Beaumaris Modern: Modernist Homes in Beaumaris is a collection of mid-century modern Beaumaris houses, beautifully documented by Jack Shelton, a bayside local now living and working as a professional photographer in LA. Some are original in their design and are the architects’ own homes from the 50s and 60s and other homes have been sensitively restored and renovated.
All the houses have a back story, fascinating interiors and architectural details, particularly the houses in which the owners have lived for over 50 years. Each house features a history, written by Fiona Austin, a Beaumaris resident, interior designer and local Beaumaris heritage expert, and Alison Alexander, a Beaumaris mid-century home owner, writer, editor and daughter of prominent architect Ross Stahle, from the architectural practice Mockridge Stahle Mitchell. Each house includes a biography of the original architect, written by mid-century expert and architectural historian, Simon Reeves. A detailed floor plan also accompanies each house.
Fiona Austin grew up in a mid-century house in Sydney. Her early exposure to all things mid-century was engendered by her parents who had a strong appreciation of contemporary design.
After studying fine art and then design, Fiona worked for on staff for three years at Home Beautiful Magazine and then went on to edit The Period Home Renovator magazine, whilst studying restoration and conservation at RMIT. While her children were small, Fiona freelanced for three years, writing about design for the then “Home” section of the “Age” newspaper and Home Beautiful Magazine as well as working as an interior designer for various companies. Fiona established her own interior design practice, Austin Design Associates, in 1999.
In 2001, Fiona and her husband, Craig, and their two sons, purchased a mid-century house in Beaumaris. Over time, Fiona became distressed at seeing many mid-century houses being demolished. Fiona started photographing Midcentury houses and interviewing the owners, then started the Beaumaris Modern Facebook page in an effort to link up possible purchasers of mid-century houses with houses for sale in Beaumaris. Fiona has operated her design practice for over 20 years and specialises in residential design, with a particular interest in mid-century homes. Fiona is a Chapter councillor and Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia.