There a number of impressive Federation homes in Brighton, many of which can be found close to the shoreline where the well heeled gravitated. Set in lush garden settings and often bordered by high fences, their presence often comes with their high-pitched rooflines and bay windows, the latter being perfect for watching the gentry walk along the beach.

1. Location: 20 Victoria Street, Brighton

A stone’s throw from the beach, this distinctive house, with its shingled façade, appears not to have been altered. However, as the home features steeped pitched roofs, a hallmark of this period, the owners were able to add a second storey addition without this being visible from the street. Stained glass leadlight windows, soaring ceilings and fretwork arches can be found here, along with open fireplaces and other period detailing. The manicured English-style garden also pays homage to the Arts and Crafts style movement that started in the United Kingdom as early as the mid-19th century.

2. Phillis Spurling House

Location: 38 Black Street, Brighton

Designed in 1888 by Sydney-based architect John Horbury Hunt, this home is a unique example of the shingle-style-arts-and-crafts that was inspired by domestic architecture from North America. Shingles, black timber and a pitched roof help to define this home, nestled beside Middle Brighton railway station. Hunt, although well respected at the time, only built approximately 20 homes in his lifetime.

3. Location: 8 Black Street, Brighton

Black Street in Brighton also contains the Federation home named Elwin. Set on sprawling grounds, over 2,000 square metres in area, the red brick home was built around 1888. Elwin underwent a substantial makeover a few years ago with an entirely new wing added to the rear. So now, in addition to the highly ornate rooms, with their heavily decorative ceilings, there’s a large contemporary wing that includes an indoor swimming pool with garage-like glazed cantilevered doors that can be fully opened to blur the division between inside and out.

4. Location: 6 Seymour Grove, Brighton

Built at the turn of the 20th century, this unusual home has a distinctly art nouveau feel with its curvaceous high gabled end. Set on 1,200 square metres of land, this five-bedroom house could equally be at home in Belgium. Recently renovated by Austin Design, the house includes sone unusual features including a faceted timber ceiling in the formal living room

5. Location: Brighton by Merrylees Architecture

This Federation home, built at the turn of the twentieth century, combines the best of the past with the present. Architect Jane Merrylees, director of the practice, removed the layers of paint to expose the home’s original façade. The home’s heavy concrete roof tiles were also replaced with a more appropriate steel roof. Boasting decorative features, including leadlight framing the front door, the house includes a contemporary open plan kitchen and a living wing that leads to a lush garden. “These homes have a timeless quality. Their features can’t be replicated,” says Merrylees.

Text by Stephen Crafti
Merrylees Architecture images courtesy of Tom Ross

Merrylees Architecture, images courtesy of Tom Ross

Merrylees Architecture, images courtesy of Tom Ross


Merrylees Architecture, images courtesy of Tom Ross

Merrylees Architecture, images courtesy of Tom Ross

Merrylees Architecture, images courtesy of Tom Ross

Lifestyle & Design

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