114-116 Exeter Rd, Croydon North VIC

We can’t quite believe there’s yet another lil’ A-frame looker in our midst, but here we are. Though externally it’s passable and nothing that some better pool fencing, landscaping and a coat of paint couldn’t instantly improve (pool is A1 of course), it is inside where the true joy shines through; wonderful timber ceiling and walls, solid parquetry, not overly white washed walls and that beautiful little, boho galley kitchen (tip: keep the fluorescent bulkhead lighting – warm white fluro tubes are a thing & a revelation). Positioned on the hill to take in the north and with a very sensible (and rather large) floorplan, this A-frame is way more considered and  year round livable proposition, not simply a dream weekender. That said, this part of Melbourne soared to incredulous heights in the real estate boom and is now slowly is deflating before our very eyes, we are still worried that this little patch ain’t long for the world. Still too many spivs still in the Dandy foothills. 

 

‘Simpson House’ 13 Alwyn St, Croydon VIC

Maybe the market is cooling or perhaps this is a locally perceived no-go zone (friends, it’s Croydon, let us not split undue hairs here)? In any case this striking Mid-Century ripper with bedrooms and yard to spare seems like a bit of a bargain. We’ve left out the kitchen pic (an 80s foray – easily corrected) and the concrete block needs the spam pink blasted off, but otherwise it’s lookin’ pretty fine. Acres of glazing, freestanding brick fireplace with feature copper flue, beams, bulkhead bathroom lighting, low-slung carport entry…it’s all too good and primed to get even better – in the right hands.

*Update* Wonderful architectural historian Simon Reeves has given us the lowdown on this one – marvellous migrant modern Melbourne strikes once more!
“This house was designed by unsung Dutch emigre Gerrit Hartland…… At the time, Hartland was employed in Gregory Simpson’s office, and he designed this house for the boss’s unmarried sister, Miss Kathleen Simpson. Circa 1965.”

5 Hyton Cres, Croydon VIC

Refreshing, refurbing, renovating. This, without exception, is the most common topic of inquiry we receive here at MA. Where to start? How to do it well and who can help in every aspect? So much so that coming soon we shall have an exciting new aspect to the site. But that announcement is for another time. Meanwhile clap your eyes on one masterful example of MCM sympathetic renewal. Owners and renovators – take this as your lead and inspiration into knowing what you have on your hands, what to retain, what to enhance and all within an everyday budget. The owners in this instance snapped up a c.1966, architect designed*, though woefully unloved beauty before we ourselves could list it a few years ago. It was suggested by the selling agent at the time (in their typically philistine nature) to “slap over a bit of render and she’ll get 40 more grand”. Our heroes of the tale replied that render is what was wrong with Australia – bam! And since that moment they have researched, peeled back, cleaned up, landscaped and highlighted so many gorgeous aspects of this home residence; timber feature walls! lighting! split levels! kitchen! that it now simply shimmers as a beacon of Mid-Century Modern living in the now. We raise our glasses, and our voices in kudos to this brilliant revival so well executed, one which not only saves a great home, but sends it forward with a bright and intact future. Bravo one and all!

*Architect: L H Reid for Ringwood Home and Planning Services.

‘Fitzpatrick House’ 3 Parsons St, Croydon VIC

A little early for the miracle of Easter Sunday, but why can’t we celebrate the rising of the dead too huh? We recall this particular residence back in an ‘offline’ patch and thought it was a goner. For sure it’s a bona fide Chancellor and Patrick – those solid brick supports, gabled roof and horizontal stretches of timber and windows indicate no other, however in its previous for sale listing in 2014 it was on the brink – looking very rundown and in that neck of the woods more likely to meet its end making way for some low-level townhouse development. But no! Praise be on this blessed weekend we see it has not only survived and was brought back to best by saviours who at this stage remain anonymous. So here we are for your consideration; a gorgeous, solid af Mid-Century home (c.1959) by legendary practitioners whose main following resides in the fancypants sandbelt. A home renovated with real respect to the past and an eye to the the future. A home in the trees with the best of Melbourne vistas. A residence which, considering its provenance, condition, architectural idiosyncratic flair (oh that FLW-esq fireplace!) and position in the middle east is apparently not asking an insane amount. All said and done – a little something to really to rejoice in.

41-43 Montana Pde, Croydon VIC

A real stunner in suburbs under rapid, developer-led transformation. A home built with progressive spirit in the 50s, when all around lay orchards and Melbourne was was 1/2 hr drive away, perhaps a contemporary of Mirrabooka just across the way. Now sitting in a little coil of large holdings, remnant and replanted bushland, two street frontages and on the train line. The target is painted very clearly on its head. We’ll give up on keeping the land, the interests of density to contain metro sprawl may indeed take priority here, but it would be criminal to see the home go too, such an untouched gem deserves to continue shining.

14 – 16 Marion Ave, Croydon VIC

There once was a time, no very long ago, where Croydon was pooh- poohed. T’was not the suburb of aspirational dreams, nor did it conjure images of homesteads of architectural sophistication or stunning bushland gardens into minds of those on the hunt or otherwise. But we have witnessed times changing in the last couple of years (nothing beats down inter suburban snobbery quite like a super inflated housing market) and the hidden gems to a sparse few are slowly being revealed to the world. MCM rocks Croydon.

66-68 Alto Ave, Croydon VIC

Another sweet honeybun this evening. Again with a bunch of traits worth coveting and again more than deserving of  renewal. However, things might be looking a bit grim; large land, developer badlands and an easily knock-downable home requiring passion. We’ll see.

Listing

‘Romyn House’, 131-133 Dorset Rd, Croydon VIC

Back once more to Melbourne and to this family residence designed and lived in by architect Hank Romyn circa 1964. The second of two homes he created for himself, its a very grand gesture in size and internal scope, with a mezzanine level, individual bedroom balconies and 100% northern orientation bathing it in natural light all year round. Sitting within a massive garden and completed with a pool this is one excellent family compound with some hip elements – planter box in the kitchen? Yes please! Though its original interiors have been turned into Daniels Corporation somewhat (glass bricks, a 1000 downlights and office carpeting – eeek!) there is much here to saviour and return back to glory (see the last B&W image as a teaser). Relatively cheap (though on a busy road and undervalued suburb.) This is a good pick up for someone with the means.

Listing