This Magnificent ’70s Pad Has Been Completely Restored + It’s For Sale
On The Market
Amos House is one of Melbourne’s retro beauties that could’ve been lost to history, if it had fallen into the wrong hands.
Nestled onto a lush acre in Templestowe, the home was originally built in 1971 by industrial designer Graeme James Amos of Oneil Pilli Amos Architects — who reportedly went broke during the project. It’s been home to a series of local families since, but when current owners Erica George and Damon McKinnon saw it for sale in July 2021, the modernist abode had been unoccupied for four years.
‘It was completely overgrown and dilapidated,’ Erica says. ‘My initial thought after inspection was that it was too run down and I called Damon to say: ‘It has great bones, but I think it just needs too much work.”‘
But when Damon visited the home a few days later, he fell in love with it and convinced Erica they could bring it back to its glory days. Two years later, the couple say they have ‘no regrets’ and have just listed 17 Colonsay Street in hopes of finding a new custodian.
They started by completely stripping the house back to its foundations, leaving only the double-brick construction and internal brick walls. Damon and Erica were able to track down a copy of the original plans, and spent months designing their own sympathetic version, while improving its functionality and liveability for today’s era. Erica handled the interior design and managed the project, while Damon — an electrician — worked on ‘almost every element of the renovation,’ in addition to doing all of the electrical updates.
‘We loved the mid-century modern, split-level structure of the home with its towering floor-to-ceiling windows and its alluring private courtyards,’ Erica adds. ‘It was important to source natural materials and finishes such as wood, terrazzo, metal, and glass that commonly feature throughout MCM interiors, with a contemporary take on some of these.’
New grey terrazzo floor tiles feature throughout, contrasted with warm blackbutt timber-lined ceilings in the carport, sunken entry and living room. A signature focus was to ‘bring the outdoors in’ wherever possible, aided by the addition of 12 new skylights that fill the interiors with natural light. Even the colour palette reflects the house’s leafy location, with pops of green in the kitchen’s verde calacatta marble benchtop and the mosaic tiled bathroom — a homage to the ‘quintessential ’70s aesthetic’.
Some of the most extensive works included building a suspended slab that extended the outdoor living area, renovating the pool (with its own diving board) and reviving the grounds, including the full-size tennis court.
‘We were inspired by the sparse cactus gardens often surrounding many of the mid-century gems in Palm Springs, surrounded with pebbled garden beds,’ Erica explains. We incorporated this into our landscape design whilst being mindful to softly mesh it into the surrounding Australian bush surrounds.’
Each room and space was designed to frame these magical views, ‘delightful sunsets’, and the uninterrupted outlook over Ruffey Creek trail. The home’s foundations are cut into the hill, anchoring it perfectly into the sprawling block that has felt more like a country property for the couple and their two kids, despite being within walking distance of Templestowe Village.
‘From the street the home is quite unassuming, which we love,’ Erica says. ‘It’s only when you are down on the tennis court looking back up that you realise what a large entertainer the house really is.’
17 Colonsay Street, Templestowe, VIC is listed for private sale with Kay & Burton Boroondara.