When you think of a terrace house in Australia today, it’s usually an image accompanied by an eye-watering price tag. These old but modernised homes are highly sought-after, and anyone old enough to remember what a steal they were in the 1980s is left rueing their decision to pass on snapping some up when they were going for a relative pittance in Sydney’s Paddington and Surry Hills.
Today, they’re virtually as good as it gets for inner-city living in places like Sydney and Melbourne, but the iconic terrace has already lived a life of love and loathing.
Their design was taken from terraced housing in cities like London and Paris in the mid 19th century, with Australia’s version boasting an iconic front verandah to cater for our climate.
While space was at a premium in most European cities from which the design was taken, the same could not be said for Australia, which was still in the throws of colonisation. However, the cost savings of building homes with shared walls and minimal external offerings remained. Hence, Sydney and Melbourne became home to large swathes of this cost-effective accommodation, particularly as the Gold Rush saw Australia’s population quadruple within a couple of decades. Amid a nation flush with cash, Melbourne became home to some of the world’s most unique and decorative cast iron filigree.
But the love affair was short-lived, and after WWII Australians became enamoured with the idea of space, and so started the obsession with the quarter-acre block. As people left the cities for the suburbs, the humble terrace became home to the poor and displaced.
It didn’t take long for the allure of inner-city living to return, and money started pouring back into the terrace houses. Nowadays, it’s impossible to find one untouched by the distinctive renovations of their 20th-century revival, replete with skylights, back decks and now even the obligatory garden of micro-herbs and perhaps even a small composting system.
But it’s not just inner-city settings where this housing style is highly sought after. Townhouses, which bear the same design principles, continue to grow in popularity. They offer comparable weekly rental returns to detached homes but they are significantly cheaper than a house, which means buyers have access to suburbs that would otherwise be out of reach. Between 2011 and 2017 townhouse approvals in NSW and Victoria grew by 120 per cent.
With townhouses becoming an appealing option for both investors and owner-occupiers, we’ve developed a range of interior design concepts that deliver luxury, comfort, and practicality within a terrace or townhouse footprint.
Forest Lodge is an example of how smaller scale doesn’t equate to sacrificing quality or convenience, with these townhouses featuring walk-in robes, ensuite bathrooms, entertainer chef’s kitchens with butler pantries, and integrated appliances.
There are many merits to opting for this style of housing; whether you’re buying a first or second home or even downsizing, the townhouse is a savvy investment. We can create a concept to suit any floor plan or space constraint to ensure your home caters for the demands of your household.