Comment: Out with the old, in with the older? ’60s Vs Victorian chic

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:31 05 June 2018

A bit boxy? Jane's old house in Sydney (Google Street View)

A bit boxy? Jane's old house in Sydney (Google Street View)


It was only a couple of weeks ago that we were pondering the merits of 1960s interiors, and now we’re looking back further still to Victorian times.

While I love a bit of ’60s chic when it comes to the odd teak dressing table or crazy feature wallpaper I’d take all the coving and cornicing of an 1800s home over a square and boxy build any day.

And I say that as someone who once lived in a house that looked like an actual box.

Rather than being a ’60s build, this Aussie place was ‘architect-designed’ (aren’t all houses?) in about 2005.

From the outside it was among the ugliest places I’d ever seen, but the interior was light, bright and designed with modern living in mind, with an open plan kitchen/diner, a wall of bifolds and a utility room that was neatly tucked away.

Upstairs, there were bedrooms to the front and back, with an ideal office space in between, full of natural light.

As much as I loved the inside, from the street I much preferred the period terrace next door – though I knew it was dark and poky inside, much like many Victorian homes over here.

We forget now so many of them are extended into the side return, with velux windows in the roofs of their new kitchen/diners creating a very different home inside a shell that – from the front at least – remains largely unchanged.

Yet the streetscape to the rear tends to tell a very different story, with dormer windows of varying levels of attractiveness (or not) creating extra bedrooms and en suites in the loft space.

For me, the best of both involves period kerb appeal brought up to date with thoughtful expansion indoors – with as much original coving and cornicing as you can shake an outside toilet at.

Now there’s one character feature I can’t see making a comeback.

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