Melbourne mid-century homes: Classics dazzle for sale in Caulfield North, Elwood and Brighton

A Caulfield North apartment attracted 12 bidders for its incredible style as a raft of mid-century stunners make impressions in the inner south.

The mid-century renassaisance is having a moment on the Melbourne market, with a selection of beauties making a statement in the inner south.

A three-bedroom upper floor apartment at 2/5 Norwood Rd, Caulfield North, fetched $1.93m under the hammer at an auction brought forward due to demand on Tuesday night.

That was a tasty $230,000 more than reserve for owner Rod Duke and partner John, who bought the property 11 years ago and replaced ‘80s updates with sympathetic style.

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“It had a hideous ‘80s kitchen and ‘80s bathrooms; the original owners had updated it once and we updated the kitchen and both bathrooms,” Mr Duke, an interior designer, said.

“We also opened it up to have a bit more open space — the rooms are very large so the proportions are quite generous — we didn’t want to mess with the original layout too much.”

Tomassi & Co’s Alby Tomassi said about 26 buyers registered to bid and 12 participated at a red-hot online auction that included the great-nephew of the building’s builder.

“It was beautiful to have that emotional connection it; a lot of people who love that sort of architecture were really blown away by Rod’s design,” he said.

Mr Tomassi believed it was a benchmark price for a mid-century apartment in Glen Eira.

The striking building, which also encompasses a lower floor apartment, was built in 1956 having been commissioned by post-war Europeans arriving in the country.

An Olympic rings motif on the windows of the apartment below and the balcony panels of green and gold on the front of the building are nods to the year it was built.

“The whole kitchen is built in,” Mr Duke said.

“We wanted to recreate what they did in the ‘50s by building in the furniture in a complementary wood; in this case it’s bamboo, but it looks like the wood they used in the ‘50s, and all the angles of the handles of the woodwork are nods to etchings on the glass panels on the front door.”

The couple are selling for a tree change.

“It’s a passing of the baton to someone else who appreciates that mid-century masterfully proportioned place,” Mr Duke said.

“I’ve loved living there and I’ll miss having all that light and all that air. It’s like living in a treehouse.”

In Elwood, author Lily Brett’s former place is up for grabs at 72 Dickens St.

The five-bedroom house was created from two apartments by the sellers and has a $4.8m-$5.25m price guide in an expressions of interest campaign closing November 10.

RT Edgar Toorak agent Anthony Grimwade the property was “an absolute cracker” and had attracted “an enormous response” from buyers who understood and appreciated the era.

“They’re so beautifully built with solid walls and lots of light, floor-to-ceiling glass,” he said.

“There’s something about that architecture that a certain type of buyer seems to gravitate towards, and I think this is one of the better examples of mid-century architecture that I’ve seen — and certainly one of the better ones that seems to be on the market.”

Mr Grimwade said the blue carpet in the living room was the home’s original carpet and the sellers had updated the bathrooms and kitchen and put in a pool.

He believed the celebrated author might have been the original owner.

And in Brighton, a new dream home in mid-century style is turning heads.

The three-bedroom house designed by Warren Foster of WJFA Architects and inspired by California mid-century design luminary Flank Lloyd Wright is priced at $5.7m-$6m.

It was runner up in the 2012 HIA Awards and built by Art Nouveau homes.

Kay & Burton Bayside’s Alex Schiavo has the listing, at 47 Middle Cres.

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Originally published as Melbourne mid-century homes: Classics dazzle for sale in Caulfield North, Elwood and Brighton

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