You know you’re in a good place when you go for a walk and find a little library on a fence.little libraryThen you see a rope ladder dangling from a tree leading up to a child’s treehouse. Be in no doubt, friends. Stanmore is a nice place to live. When you look closely, it is bursting with design details one can appreciate, even on a gloomy Autumn day. Nestled between brash Newtown, and Italian mecca Leichhardt, the wide and leafy streets of Stanmore seem a world away from either. The cafe and art culture is intimate. Aside from the odd aircraft blast, it’s quiet.
Known for its headline properties, like Newington College’s Gothic Revival and Xavier House’s Victorian Italianate residence, Stanmore is a suburb of taste. But it is mostly understated.

There are late Victorian terrace houses wearing their ‘iron petticoats’ on the second storey.

There are commercial and industrial buildings of historical significance, like the Starkey’s Brewed Ginger Beer factory in Bridge Road (our new home). The old honey smell is in the rafters and brickwork. Even the street and building murals are thoughtfully painted.

There are also a great many examples of Federation architecture, both semi-detached and freestanding.

Stanmore Style

Australia’s first UKO, a co-living concept space, has opened in Parramatta Road, Stanmore.

On the homely website, Johnno once described it as the “Adelaide of the inner west” because it’s peaceful, family-friendly, village-like. Someone else said it was for families who would rather die than live in the burbs.

Lanes and rear alleys are wide enough for basketball games.  There are several small parks with neat lawns and spiralling slides.

Some experts say if the second airport ever does eventuate and eases air traffic, we can expect property prices to surge. Until then, or without it, it’s an ambient respite from the city.

Architectural Design Details

Federation architectural style began around 1890 to 1910. It is similar to Edwardian but has distinctive Australian quality. The name came from Australia’s Federation, in January 1901 when the six separate colonies united to become the Commonwealth of Australia.

Architectural styles began celebrating the optimism of our growing national identity. The most popular building style in Australia between 1890 and 1910 is known as Federation Queen Anne. Flora and fauna, verandahs, and turned timber features were used extensively.

Throughout Stanmore, there are Federation symbols everywhere.

Walk along the magnificent Cardigan Street and you’ll see rising sun motifs, floral emblems, decorative finials on roofs, coloured glass, ceramic tiles, and verandahs with timber features. They give these homes a distinctive personality.

Stanmore is a feast of architectural design details.

Strolling around the neighbourhood, the details peek from foliage and hide behind wrought iron gates and neatly painted fences.

Porches and entranceways are laid with diamonds, curves, flowers and geometric shapes in patterns. Swing open a well-cared-for iron gate and you’ll often find a stretch of tesselated tiles. What a divine welcome! A step or two to the front door may be decorated with these beautiful ceramic tiled risers or a whole flight of stairs.

What about your home? Do you have any design details that give your place character and personality?

Add Your Stanmore Design Detail

We took some photos to show off the architectural design details of Stanmore. But we only scratched the surface.

If you’re a Stanmore flaneur or a bit of a street photographer, we have a job for you.

Show us a design detail you like in Stanmore.

We’re giving someone $50 at the end of March 2020.

Entry Rules:

  1. Take a phone photo of a design detail you like in Stanmore, 2048.
  2. Use the hashtag #designplusdrafting so we can find it.
  3. We’ll be in touch via Instagram or Facebook (whichever you used to take the picture).
  4. Entering gives us permission to add it to our gallery.
  5. We’ll give one we choose $50 to say thanks.