Collaborate_1 (2)

Secret Design Studio is seeking collaborators.

Since the launch of our “Dr Retro House Call” service we underestimated the number of people looking for a little bit of help and advice with their mid-century home.  We also underestimated how many of these at-home appointments… Read More

Read More
Original  Proposed front extension design to an existing mid-century modern home.

Blackburn Project – Work in Progress Overview

One of the most exciting stages in any building project is when the house has passed lock-up stage and the plasterboard is in.  If the design process has been properly considered (and crafted) then everything that you imagined is happening as it should… Read More

Read More

Dot and Jack’s Mid-Century Modern home

(Pic 1 Dot contemplating the future in her Hamlyn Heights Mid-Century Modern Home) This is Dot.  This beautiful photo was taken by her grand-daughter, photographer Jane Kelynack, when Dot was 93 years old, about a year before her… Read More

Read More
(Picture 1 – A collage made from art work by artist Howard Arkley)

Should I render my brick home? (Our tribute to the triple fronted, cream brick veneer home)

(Picture 1 – A collage made from art work by artist Howard Arkley*) “Should I render my brick home?”  It is a common question that many owners of 1950’s and 1960’s homes have considered at some time.  While… Read More

Read More
Photo 1 – courtesy of Steven Coverdale, “Mid-Century Domestic Architecture Australia”

What white is the right white to paint my Pettit and Sevitt home?

Simple question really. If you are familiar with the Pettit and Sevitt project homes that were built in the 1960’s and 1970’s the white walls, contrasted with the dark stained timber were a common feature in the thousands… Read More

Read More
Grant Featherston
Living room setting at Hotel Federal exhibition 1953
type C photograph
Featherston Archive, Melbourne

Where to start in clearing out somebody else’s home (and what should happen to the mid-century furniture?)

Most people at some stage in their lives will have the duty of having to clear out somebody else’s home.  A relative may have passed away, or has moved into a nursing home, or simply the homeowner is… Read More

Read More
house of tomorrow3

The Home of Tomorrow – 1940’s style

Over the years Secret Design Studio has amassed a huge collection of 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s home magazines, such as “Australian House and Garden” and “Australian Home Beautiful”. Occasionally another magazine or plan book falls into our hands,… Read More

Read More
Elastic Suspension

The book of Featherston – an interview with author and collector Geoff Isaac

Hi Geoff, thanks for your time today. Q1) I understand that you are in the process of publishing an art book called “Featherston”. Who were Grant and Mary Featherston?   A1)   Grant Featherston was a Melbourne based… Read More

Read More
A rare modernist project home designed by Bernard Joyce and built by Inge Bros Pty ltd in 1968

“Can a mid-century, architect designed project home have heritage value?”

  Everyday we see more of the suburbs that were developed in the Post War period, such as Beaumaris, Balwyn North, Glen Waverley and Lower Templestowe being demolished for new houses and townhouses. I thought it would be… Read More

Read More

Industry Interview – Trish Hunter and “The Vintage Post”

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Trish Hunter  who was good enough to give me some of her time to talk to me about “The Vintage Post”.   When did Trish Hunter first become interested in vintage?… Read More

Read More
New steps to entry showing planter box.

Thinking of renovating your mid-century home in 2017?

For those fortunate people who own a mid-century home one of the hardest parts of any renovation is the first step, especially when you don’t know the scope of the project, what you need, and what services that you… Read More

Read More

Opening our new Sydney Studio October 2016

Secret Design Studio is opening our new Sydney studio in mid-October 2016.  For the past five years we have been mostly looking after our Melbourne clients with their mid-century houses, and have completed a small handful of jobs in… Read More

Read More

Revisiting Harry and Penelope Seidlers’ home in Killara

Many decades ago, when I was studying Architecture at the University of Sydney, Post Modernist Architecture was the rage with all of the young, bright eyed and impressionable architecture students.  Post-Modernism was a reaction against the discipline, and… Read More

Read More
St faiths1

Salvation for our Mid-Century Modern churches?

The 1950’s and 1960’s saw the rapid growth of many new suburbs which resulted in a need for the construction of many new churches to support these new communities.  Usually they were designed by local architectural firms, sometimes… Read More

Read More

Reality TV Show “House Rules” – 10 lessons learnt from Rose and Rob’s Retro Revival house.

While channel surfing the other day, Secret Design Studio stumbled onto Channel 7’s “House Rules”, which is one of the many generic quick-makeover reality shows.  It was fascinating (and a bit scary) watching what was happening to a… Read More

Read More

Encapsulating the cleverness of small house design

Going, going, gone, but not in a good way. Secret Design Studio knows of at least one under-bidder who wanted to save this home and who lost out at the auction yesterday against a buyer’s agent who proclaimed… Read More

Read More

“How do designers know how to source the cool stuff?”

Secret Design Studio was recently assisting some of our Sydney clients through our Skype Design Review service and I suggested a company that they should check out for some living room furniture.  They had spent a fruitless weekend… Read More

Read More

Heritage Victoria listed property for sale in Eltham designed by architect Kevin Borland 1951

Architect Kevin Borland’s house for the Rice family is now on the market. It is one of Melbourne’s more interesting experimental houses that was built with a very tight budget in Eltham. “The Rice House – designed by… Read More

Read More
Farewell Modernist Australia - a tribute from Secret Design Studio

Farewell Modernist Australia – a tribute from Secret Design Studio

It is with a heavy heart that Secret Design Studio needs to comment on the retirement/sabbatical of one of our favourite blogs “Modernist Australia”. For those who don’t know “Modernist Australia”, is headed up by Patricia Callan &… Read More

Read More
Glenunga Flats 1940 by architect Frederick Romberg

New Robin Boyd Foundation Open House Sunday 22nd May

From the Robin Boyd Foundation a new open house event Sunday 22nd May: “Following the success of last years Exemplary Apartments open day, this second open day of apartments looks at significant apartments of the early 1940s and… Read More

Read More