Infusing Modern Vitality into an Australian Midcentury Gem

In the City Beach area of Perth, Western Australia, a 1960s house has been given a fresh look by multidisciplinary studio Design Theory. They’ve managed to keep the original interior midcentury style while making it fit for modern living. 

The homeowner, a young woman, wanted a space where she could hang out with friends and live comfortably with her dogs. She needed a place that was easy to clean and pet-friendly, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Updating this house wasn’t straightforward. Once the work started, Design Theory found out that the house had a lot of damage from termites and needed a lot of repair. They decided to fix the main parts of the house to match the original design, but they also added new things like cabinets, finishes, and furniture that were inspired by designs from the mid-20th century.

The house is now full of warm, natural materials. There’s exposed brick with earthy red tones, local Blackbutt wood, and floorings that resemble cork. The sunken lounge has comfy carpet tiles. The heavy use of wood and brick is balanced by the white painted walls and windows, and stylish hanging lights.

The kitchen and bathrooms have simple mosaic tiles, adding to the 1960s feel of the house. The design team used colors inspired by the landscapes of Western Australia, like green, warm wood tones, and orange. The kitchen stands out with its orange cooker and interesting cabinet handles. 

Along with the house, the owner got some old furniture, which Design Theory chose to keep and fix up. This mix of old and new furniture, along with the original design features of the house, gives it a unique character.

The changes made to the house are subtle. The main living areas, like the kitchen and the lounge, have been reshaped to make more room and bring in more light. The design team picked colors and materials that reflect the natural beauty of Western Australia. 

The floors and the brick walls work well together, and details like an orange stained-glass window and the orange stove in the kitchen add charm. The bathroom is a standout, with green tiles and a matching basin.

The result is a cozy and inviting space that, despite all the changes, keeps its original charm. They’ve managed to make the house more practical and comfortable for the owner, while keeping the look and feel of the original design.

Photos by Jack Lovel