Federation Style on Australia Day

One of the most popular style of houses around my area, is the Federation House. It was an early style of Australian architecture and consists of a sprawling, assymetrical structure. It often will have a verandah that encircles the house and roofs with gables, turrets and dormer windows.

via Domain

There are often unlikely angles, bay windows and towers at corners. It was developed to meet the demands of the prosperous middle classes who wanted to show off their new-found wealth that coincided with Federation itself in 1901. The Federation House borrowed styles from many countries and eras which is fitting for this melting pot of a nation, we call home.

via Domain

Inside the house, colours were muted but decoration was ornate. Australian motifs abound with flora and fauna both displayed in the plaster ceilings or used in fabrics, wallpaper or tiles.

from "The Federation House" by Hugh Fraser and Ray Joyce

Coloured glass or lead-light was used throughout Federation homes and the top panels of the front door often featured panels of colour in soft pastels with Art Nouveau or Australian motifs. Round bulls-eye windows as well as bay windows were popular. The bay window would often house a window seat which is such a versatile design.

Colour choice by Inside Out Colour and Design

Fortunately today, these houses are being remodelled (rather than bulldozed) to include many of the period details but with an emphasis on more contemporary living. The dark, muted tones of the turn of the century are gone and the window coverings are more streamlined and suited to today’s busy lifestyles.

Modern take on a Federation Living room by Inside Out Colour and Design

The verandahs are sought after and have often been extended to create an outdoor living space adjacent to the modern kitchen.

Wide verandah

The bathrooms have been updated but still include that old world charm.

Bathroom Design by Inside Out Colour and Design

I love working with these houses. Not just because they are iconic Australian houses but they lend so well to being enhanced and modified to suit today’s families. If you require assistance with colour or decor for your Federation Home, contact us for an on-line or in-person consultation.

Happy Australia Day

We welcome you to subscribe to our mailing list to receive our newsletter filled with tips and tricks to create a home you love

* indicates required


  1. Aren’t they spectacular looking homes. I love seeing period homes. Happy Australia Day to you too. xx

  2. Anne aherran says

    You don’t seem to have any ideas or images of the classic Queenslanders arch room dividers. Up here there are so many designs for those and I want to create one in our new house, elsewhere. I can’t find any image to give the builder! can you help? They are usually made of wood, carved. Beautiful.

  3. Hi Anne

    Thanks for finding my blog. I know the arches you mean, my grandparents had one in their home in Moorooka, Brisbane. Have a look at this website. You can buy them ready made. http://www.woodworkers.com.au/catalogues/QLD/restoration/1:%20woodworkers%20arches.pdf
    Good luck with your new home.


  4. Anne aherran says

    Thank you! ! apologies for not replying sooner but I only just found your reply!

Open modal