Australian Architectural Style Guide

Australian homes have used a range of architectural styles, many influenced from around the globe, particularly the UK and US, as well as its own unique styles such as the Queenslander. We’ve put together this handy guide of the key styles in Australia to help you work out which style your home is, and what type of hardware will suit it.

Georgian – late 1700s - 1830

+ Colonial – 1800-1850

This early style of Australian home was simple, resembling English farmhouses and featuring brick facades, multi paneled vertical windows and symmetrical designs. Some more lavish Colonial estates were constructed using sandstone and were grander, without buildings for farm workers and coachmen.

+ Victorian – 1840-1900

Victorian style homes were built during the reign of Queen Victoria. This era of architecture encompasses a range of styles, such as Georgian, Gothic, Regency, Tudor and Italianate.

Early Victorian (1840-1860) houses were fairly simple, with formal but plain appearance and often no verandah and a picket fence. They commonly had pitched, hipped roofs of timber, slate or corrugated iron, and brick or rendered exterior walls, or weatherboards painted in browns and creams. Windows were generally timber with small sections of glass, either double hung sash windows or side opening casements. The interiors had similarly restrained ornamentation, with moulded skirtings and architraves and sometimes small cornices in front rooms.

Mid Victorian (1860-1875) homes had a greater level of ornamentation, with intricate stucco facades and decorative and sometimes multicoloured brickwork. Timber verandahs were common with cast iron lacework and patterned tile floors, and decorative brackets under eaves. The interiors featured elaborate skirtings, architraves, cornices and ceiling roses, plaster or wallpapered walls and coloured glass beside entry doors.

Late Victorian (1875-1901) style was even grander and more ornate, with elements of Italianate style. Rendered walls, parapets, arches and decorative brickwork were popular, along with lavish interiors, more varied colour schemes and elaborate wallpapers. Unlike the picket fences of earlier Victorian style, these residences were commonly surrounded by paslisade-style or cast iron fences with spears and end piers of stone or brick.

Some of the main features of Victorian homes include, arched double hung timber windows, slate or corrugated iron roofs and verandas made from cast iron lacework.

Worker's Cottage – 1840-1900

+ Federation/Edwardian – 1901-1920

Federation style is Australian adaptation of Edwardian architecture. During Australia’s first years of independence, Federation homes featured steeply-sloped, usually hipped roofs with wide eaves, and red brick or timber walls, sometimes with cream painted details. L shaped verandahs with corrugated metal roofs and embellished timber details and timber picket fences were common.

These homes had many similarities to Victorian houses, but were generally slightly simpler and less ornate. Victorian features still popular included cornices, ceiling roses, skirtings and architraves. Stained glass windows at the front of the house sometimes featured native plants or birds.

+ Californian Bungalow – 1915-1940

Inspired by architecture in the US, Californian Bungalows were commonly built during this period, combining Arts and Crafts concepts with simplicity. These mostly single story homes have a simple plan centred on the hallway, and feature lower pitched roofs and thick columns holding up the veranda. Windows were either double hung or casement, with small diamond or rectangular panes or stained glass with Art Nouveau or Arts and Crafts patterns. Usually Californian Bungalows are red brick and set back from the street, with lawns, hedges and colourful shrubs.

+ Art Deco – 1920-1939

Art Deco was a popular style during the interwar period. Characterised by hipped roofs, terracotta tiles and symmetric and striking designs or rounded edges.

+ Post-War – 1940-1950

Post-war triple-fronted brick veneer – 1945 to 1965
After WW2, brick veneer homes became popular, and larger house sizes and a growth in home ownership in the prosperous post-war period meant these homes were designed to be comfortable and designed for family living. Post-war homes had fairly plain interiors with timber floors, kitchens featuring linoleum floors and melamine bench tops, and the incorporation of carports or garages into the house. Mass produced windows resulted in a more generous use of windows.

Retro – 1950-1969

The Seventies – 1970-1980

Modern/Contemporary – 1980-Present

+ Queenslander

Queenslander – 1840 – 1939
The iconic Queenslander rose in popularity during the 1940s. Defined by Queensland’s warm climate conditions, these timber homes were high-set on timber stumps, with special verandas and iron roofing.


French Provinical