The Federation Home
The Federation architectural period evolved in Australia at the turn of the century when, in 1901, Australian colonies collectively became the Commonwealth of Australia.
A Federation home is an Australian version of the English Edwardian House, which drew on elements of Victorian style and Queen Anne revival period of 1895 to 1910.
The Federation style (built mainly between 1900 and 1912) was an ornate building featuring decorative motifs. Australian flowers, the kangaroo and emu were all common on these homes, along with a sunrise motif on the front gable which celebrated the dawning of a new century.Federation houses were typically built in red brick or weatherboards, with a galvanised iron roof or terracotta roof tiles.
They were usually detached with gardens and leadlight glass in the windows.
The ends of gable and roof eaves had detailed wooden fretwork and ornate timber brackets.
Inside, the Australian-edwardian style home was more welcoming and cosy in comparison to the dark and gloomy colours and heavy fabrics that the Victorian predecessors preferred. It featured soft creams and light and airy neutrals, along with mahogany wood panelling and details.
This period lasted until the first world war when there was a shortage of tradesman and the cost of houses had to be reduced. From 1915 a less decorative house was built, with plainer style lead lighting in the windows and the ornate details were no more. These were known as ‘Bungalows’.
The Queenslander Home
The quintessential Queenslander is a classic piece of Australian architectural design and really is Australia’s iconic home. They were, and still are, typically found in Queensland (hence the name) and Northern NSW. Also designed at the turn of the century, they came about to provide relief from the lengthy, hot summer days and protection from tropical down pours.
Queenslanders were usually a single detached house that were generally built on high piers or stumps with a prominent exterior staircase. This brought the main floor above flood levels, but also allowed the cool air to circulate underneath providing natural ventilation through the house.
They were also characterised by broad, sprawling verandas on two, three or four sides of the Queenslander. These verandas were shaded by corrugated iron roofing, lattice and roof ventilators providing additional living space that was outdoors, yet protected.Indoors, the floor plan normally consisted of four to six rooms only so its not uncommon, these days, to find Queenslanders with a rabbit warren layout where additions have been made over the years.
Decorative features such as pressed-metal ceilings, detailed fret-work and casement windows were featured on these buildings.
Usually made entirely of wood, which does not retain the heat of the day as bricks do, Queenslanders kept the indoor temperatures cooler.
Queenslanders were initially a cheap housing option, but production tapered off after the second world war, when materials became hard to find and lower maintenance homes on smaller blocks were more desirable.
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If you would like to read more on Architecture, take a look at our blog on Brutalist Architecture https://www.inspiredspaces.com.au/brutalist-architecture/ or on Art Nouveau https://www.inspiredspaces.com.au/art-nouveau-architecture/