Federation, Home is Where the Hearth is…

Where sympathetic patterns and modern technology comfortably coexist, creating a warm, harmonious ambience. At first consideration, the Federation style home interior is a prescriptive one; some facades need to be maintained to a council code and if one insists on adhering to authentic pieces, the need to seek out restoration specialists becomes a lifestyle rather than a hobby!

Back to the Future

Not insignificant, considering we have just all voted, Federation marked the era in Australian history when all the colonies agreed to form Federation with the separation of states under the Federal banner in 1901. Federation architecture, as an era or theme, was a significant break from the formality of the Victorian era. It marked a time where building materials were widely available through mass-production. There were no longer servants, nor formal parlours to receive guests. This reduction in hierarchy made the Federation style home far more welcoming, cosy and family oriented.

Let there be light. I say!

Nothing screams ‘welcome home’ more than prettily painted picket fences, patterned wrap-around verandahs, little reading spaces, corner fireplaces, expansive bay windows and ambient Tiffany leadlight table lamps. I am a sucker for stunningly intricate cornices,architraves and skirting, ceiling roses and claw foot baths. I adore stained glass for their jaw-dropping beauty but draw the line at poky little rooms made even smaller with dark friezes and borders.

If one is sympathetic to the period, you will fall in love with the era’s fabulous corner mantlepieces, informal sitting rooms, built in library shelving, separate kitchen, statement bathrooms and integrate fabulously patterned tiles throughout. If you also adopt in your design more natural light and a simplified floorplan, then you will enjoy the best of both worlds. If you are not bound to restrictive colour schemes, you can complement the elaborate lace trims and picket or wrought iron fences with a more contemporary palette of soft greys, muted blues and other neutral colours. Gloss black with cream continues to be striking, while exposed or rendered brickwork is a personal preference, I am partial to both when done beautifully – I love a good chevron brickwork design, did I also mention sandstone suits this era too?

Work on Your Chi

One of the best renovations you could invest in, would be to focus on creating a better flow, to benefit from a better and a more straightforward layout throughout the house. Ideally, if you integrate stunning federation style tiles, with larger rooms featuring modern downlights and generous built-in robes rather than the original maze of small rooms leading into other rooms, with a single downlight for the entire room, you will create a great living space.

Tile Heaven for your Haven

We’ve established that a Federation style design brings a sense of comfort and familiarity with its pretty flourishes and cosy detailing. I’ve been ever so subtle in endorsing our brilliant selection of Federation-style tiles, which would be the icing on the design cake for your project.

Have you been busy pinning fabulous Federation & Victorian-era house and bungalow design inspo from Pinterest? Well, you may notice that our stunning gallery has been created to make your life easier. We love the era too and our patterned encaustic tiles are divine!

Byzantine Design offer a mix of herringbone and chevron monochromatic styles, including penny rounds and crackle gloss subway tiles for bathrooms. For fancy flooring, we have the gorgeous patterned encaustics I mentioned earlier, a whole selection of slate and marble and plenty of mosaics that work back with everything.


Federation Info and inspo:






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