May 15, 2021
Market Trends
Property Insights

Heritage Houses with Contemporary Extensions

News & Insights
Best of Both Worlds. A look at Melbourne’s historic homes with ‘wow factor’ contemporary extensions

Elegant, grand and ornate. Melbourne’s treasure-trove of historic houses have proudly stood the test of time, gracing our leafy streetscapes ­for a century or more.

And due to ever-tightening local council restrictions – designed to retain heritage character and reduce over-development – the best of these solidly-built classics will be around for many generations to come.

But while the facades remain true to a bygone era, in many cases there’s a different story taking place behind the scenes. With most of the building/restoration rules and overlays applying only to the houses’ visible street-facing features, an increasingly bold range of rear extensions are catapulting these homes daringly into the 21st century.

Melbourne architects are leading the surge in creating solutions to ensure our wealth of Victorian, Federation and ArtDeco houses retain their historical good looks while adding spectacular new spaces with all the ‘wish list’ features associated with contemporary liveability.


Working within the parameters of existing façades and their pre-determined proportions, designers can really put their ingenuity and skill to the test, creating stunning transitions between existing and new spaces that artfully span the centuries with plenty of ‘wow factor’.

Incredible renovations with contemporary influences from all over the world can be found  in some of Melbourne’s most glorious heritage homes. These extension styles include New York Industrial, Scandinavian Minimalism and Minnesota Modernism, which  may well lead to some catchy new portmanteaus. Perhaps VicMod, FedScandi or DecoMin?

They have already got their own overarching nickname – with some in the industry labelling them ‘mullet houses’ – ‘traditional in the front, modern in the back’. And like the haircut, it seems the style is here to stay.

Marshall White has some fantastic heritage homes with ‘old meets new’ renovations currently for sale and recently sold. Take a look:

1/120 Esplanade, Brighton

‘The Riviera’

Expressions of Interest Close: Monday 17 May

11 Randolph Street, Hawthorn

 Period Charm and Inspired Contemporary Design

Auction: 22 May

23 Bambra Road, Caulfield North

Endless Opportunity Across 4 Titles

Expressions of Interest Close: Thursday 20 May

11 Bendigo Avenue, Elwood

Beachside Magnificence on the Golden Mile

Auction: 15 May

Should you require advice on any aspect of selling your property, contact our Marshall White Sales Team for assistance on (03) 9822 9999