‘The Point – Tetley House’ 658 Nepean Hwy, Frankston South VIC

Still staying Peninsula side, we just had to get this posted as yet another pedigree rental which could do very well as party central. A c.1958 commission for David Chancellor (naturally of firm Chancellor & Patrick) this one has been leased in the past and seems again to just be sitting around empty, waiting for new tenants. With that handsome main living, bland yet clean new kitchen, bedrooms to accomodate 4 (perhaps up to 8)and a sweeping lawn just crying out for bocce and beers and a bonfire we think $650 a week ain’t too much to ask. The call of the contemporary commune is strong with this one. 

The Flip n’ Fail

Every so often we allow ourselves the indulgence of savaging the current state of Mid-Century homes and the obsession of mass-class renovation within this ‘flip’ market. While sellers’ aspirations may now be forced to move down a gear (who ever knows the future?) one thing we do know is the parade of irksome examples in which bespoke originality, warmth of materials and bursting potential is wilfully destroyed in place of ‘consumer-driven’ neutrality and feckless banality continues unabated. 
We suppose on some level we should be happy that this Frankston home (of admittedly poor condition at time of sale 4 years ago) is still standing and structurally the same but we cannot help bemoan all the missed chances to make the interior a delightful expression of home and hearth using its original materials without resorting to a tiresome snowbound theme, wiping out all traces of inbuilt joinery and exposed brick (original light fittings not withstanding) and which in the process has changed a lovely Mid-Century residence into just another display house of overarching dullness. 



That said, that common garden variety ‘renovation’ isn’t nearly as offensive as this next abomination.

Imagine having the financial power (a lazy 3.5 mil in this case) to purchase a wildly designed, miraculously cantilevered waterside residence. Architecturally alluring and bold, built in the form a french curve with a swimming pool and entertaining at its heart, as listed here by us some years ago. 

Now imagine having no ability to conceive of refurbishment without ignorantly clinging to the most repellant hallmarks of commercially driven ostentation, pathetically confusing it for elegance. The result is here – a gangly mess of severe surfaces and depressing schema of metal, grey and ice contrived to appeal only to those with Patrick Bateman depths of sociopathy and other empty vessels for whom prescribed, high-gloss and over lit ‘luxury’ (but worthless liveability) is a deeply misguided yet viciously contested goal. And yes, they’ve filled in the pool.

This once lovely home of unlimited appeal and transcendent form now simply a cold mausoleum, a blockish monument to the worship and display of ‘capital’ at the expense of everything human, everything felt and heard and experienced.
We suspect a ‘make over’ provoking such visceral recoil purely from the online images feels like a house of clinical horrors in actuality and hence it comes as no surprise it’s been sitting on the market for quite while now. C’est la vie.


TEASER – In order to address this chronic problem in future and offer practical alternatives to this frozen pandemic, we’ll soon be launching a new aspect to Modernist Australia  – a companion and resource to locate the right practitioners and products to help anyone in their quest for sympathetic home renovation and refurbishment. Keep your peepers peeled people!

23 Hopes Rise, Frankston South VIC

A bit of Franga fabulous today capturing that rectangular, upstairs/downstairs of many a beachcomber-esq, sea-side house design but with the bonus of a bangin’ nostalgia trip for all those 70s kids out there –  timber walls, floating staircase, shag carpeting (yes, even in the kitchen) and stonework. With a beautiful line outside and awesome details inside and potential for so much in the garden, we need this to go to someone who knows what they’re doing not just any ol’ punter who’ll blindly slather it in white paint for a flip and certainly not someone who’ll destroy it for some polystyrene clad townhousery. C’mon gang – this is the affordable Mid-Century dream for one of you.

78 Derinya Dve, Frankston South VIC

Only for those with rose coloured glasses (or maybe glasses half full) comes this broken down beauty. Beyond the obvious cavalcade of dereliction, water stains, tile grime and the echo of boots on grainy floors is the promise of a dreamy half-acre compound with a centrepiece home (merchant builders perhaps?**) complete with timber ceilings, wonderful intervals of brick and glass, open flowing spaces of an utterly modern sensibility. Anyone driven by imagination, passion and elbow grease? This is a more than worthy contender.

**Update: ‘Tis confirmed! It’s a ‘Terrace House’ designed for Merchant Builders by our main man Graeme Gunn (cheers MCDA!)

4 Neil St, Frankston South VIC

For us at MA South Frankston has become a reliable place to locate beautifully kept, medium to large sized, MCM homes just as much as the big Vic ‘burbs of Kew, Bawlyn and Beaumaris. We also have an intense soft spot for anywhere  which is still a little under-the-radar, a place not fully infiltrated and where normcores still flinch at the thought of moving to. Good. But grasp onto that Frankston, it won’t last too much longer for where progressive, creative, open-thinkers flock and the housing stock is an enticing proposition to this crowd – as this exposed brick and mission beamed beauty surely is – the mainstream inevitably does follow.

255 Humphries Rd, Frankston South VIC

Petitt & Sevitt project homes are usually spotted in the bush hills of Sydney, looking for the most part like the mission brown beamed and white walled original gems that they are (like this gorgeous little rental for instance). Today’s example however is a bit more on the epic side of things. In the secretly high-end ‘burg of South Franga, home to many jaw-Mid-Century sprawlers, this one sits pride of place in its own compound of joy and although it’s had a white out, tack on and marble up and diverges from the gumnuttiness of it’s Sydney origins, it is still a inspiringly straightforward and light home.

Note – For more P&S love, and in keeping with the growing movement to celebrate and preserve MCM homes in this country (hooray!), take a look at a rather new ‘Pettit and Sevitt Owners and Friends Club’ on Facebook.

PS – The agents might want to note that not long departed Ken Woolly (vale) was an actual person.


6 Armagh Rd, Frankston South VIC

A nifty family compound in this year’s favourite location. A mid-70s wonder utilising MCM design rules with solid timber and brickwork. Relatively pared back for its time, moving into a more 80s palette of pastels over typically heavier browns (although that may be courtesy of a more recent refurb) it remains timeless and in impeccable condition. Move right in and soak it up.

10 Ronald Ave, Frankston South VIC

Is it too early to declare Frankston South MCM hotspot of the year? We always knew there were some heavy veins of gold in this underrated bayside locale, but they’re presently being unearthed onto the market in such a hasty succession as to make our heads spin. And the best thing? These gorgeous, unpretentious residences are not even close to asking the ludicrous prices as seen in most other classic Melbourne Modernist suburbs. Get on this horse people, for it may not last too much longer.


11 Mulgra St, Frankston South VIC

Why are we so obsessed with this one? Like a roaming fox, we keep coming back to check it, clicking over those timbered split levels and threadbare-with-love carpets one more time. It must have something to do with its rustic, Ladies of the Canyon vibe; choose a rainy afternoon, or sun dappled morning to sit by those windows with a hot tea, decked in denim and whipping up some macrame or poetry whilst Joni pours out her heart out one more time. Suffice to say, if we were in the position to buy, this would not making our posted listings.

207 Humphries Rd, Frankston South VIC

A faded beauty today, but one so ripe for a sympathetic overhaul we’d love to give it a go ourselves. A pool is always going to suck us right in, let alone an irregular shaped one surrounded by crazy paving and accompanied by a shed/ cabana nearby (you can certainly do better than that current fence). Plus potential gardens, as they say, out the wizzway.  The home itself sings the same tune – tired and somewhat abused (a typical colonised kitchen in effect), but even the dullest mind can survey the underlying groove and beauty. It would be a true pleasure to see this through, with love and care, transformed into a shimmering Mod spread once more.