Thinking of renovating your mid-century home in 2017?
Alistair McLean
Category: Building, Dr Retro House Calls, Renovations

acaciaFor those fortunate people who own a mid-century home one of the hardest parts of any renovation is the first step, especially when you don’t know the scope of the project, what you need, and what services that you may require. So many of our clients have kicked themselves after our first meeting about the time that they have wasted in procastinating about making the first step. For those people who have been wondering how to gather relevant information that is appropriate for their mid-century home, their lifestyle and their budget we established our “Dr Retro House Call” service, which is just like a once off, old fashioned doctor’s house call to your home.

The response and feedback from the home-owners in Sydney and Melbourne who have used our Dr Retro House Call service has been fantastic, and I have been told numerous times that nobody else is offering this type of individual attention for mid-century homeowners.


As the 2016 Christmas holidays are fast approaching many families will be spending more time at home, and feeling some of the short-comings of their home, especially when it comes to entertaining at Christmas time.  To encourage those households who are considering making a start to a mid-century renovation, extension, or addition, in 2017, Secret Design Studio has obtained 10 copies of Tim Ross’s DVD of his two-part ABC series “Streets of Your Town”, for the first ten Dr Retro House Call appointments booked for the December/January Christmas break in Sydney and Melbourne.

Tim Ross ABC DVD Streets of Your Town


From the back cover of the DVD box:

“In this two-part series, Tim Ross – broadcaster, comedian and aficionado of all things Modernism – explores the story of our suburbs, from Modernism to McMansionism.

In the 1950’s, pioneering architects such as Robin Boyd, Sydney Ancher, Roy Grounds and Harry Seidler adapted the international style of Modernism for a nation that was ready to embrace new ideas for home design. This ‘new’ architecture was extremely popular and as a result our suburbs boasted some of the best architecture in the world.

tim ross

But by the end of the 1970’s, things changed. Australians turned their back on these modest homes designed specifically for our needs and climate and embraced featurism – massive street presence and enormous dwellings. The era of the McMansion was born.

With unprecedented acces to some of our most iconic homes, Tim wants to find out why our suburbs look the way they do.”

One of the highlights of the series was to see footage taken from when these homes were first built, including some original Pettit and Sevit display home footage, which I hadn’t seen before.  In addition there are some brief interviews with architect Peter McIntyre, Kevin McLeod (of Grand Designs fame), and philosopher/TV presenter Alain de Botton, who all provided some interesting perspectives.


While Tim Ross covered some wonderful mid-century modern homes in “Streets of Your Town”, most of which are well known, our Dr Retro House Call service is also for houses that are not as well known, or well-designed.  The service is for home-owners who want to renovate with integrity, and to maintain the character of the original architecture (and not to renovate to make their home look like a “fashionable”, mass-market display home).  If you are interested to see the types of homes that we are happy to help you with just do a search for #drretrohousecall on our Instagram feed,  ( or just look at these photos taken from recent Dr Retro House Calls with everything from 1920’s art-deco to early 1980’s, as well as the good, the bad and the ugly in-between.

So if you live in the Sydney or Melbourne metro areas and would like to get the ball rolling please visit our enquiry page and complete your  details and I will contact you to arrange a suitable time.  But be quick as I only have the “Streets of You Town” DVD for the first ten bookings. Here is the link –















If you have any questions about Dr Retro House Calls please complete an enquiry form or contact me on 0448 579 707.  Unfortunately this offer is limited to people in the Sydney and Melbourne metro areas.