Siting, layout and form

Most villas have a central corridor with rooms to each side.

Typical villa features include bay windows and verandas facing the street, sloping hip roof, and timber weatherboard cladding.


In towns and cities, villas were commonly placed close to the street in order to maximise the rear yard space. Though early town sections were reasonably large at ¼ acre (just over 1000 m2), growing populations and pressure on land meant that inner city sections were often smaller. This meant there was less space available for side yards – in extreme cases, space is not available between adjacent villas for maintenance of side wall claddings. The front of the house (bay window and veranda) almost always faced the street, irrespective of sun and view. This meant there was a consistent decorative edge to the street, and also meant that those on the southern side of the street would have the front veranda facing the sun, while those on the northern side would not. The only indoor-outdoor flow was onto the veranda via the front door.

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A typical villa layout has a central corridor with rooms off to the left and right. The living area (known as the ‘parlour’) and the main bedroom typically faced the street, with second and third bedroom facing the side of the house, and service areas – a kitchen, scullery and pantry – at the back. Over time, villa layouts have changed to incorporate additional service areas such as indoor toilets and laundries. Read more

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A typical villa features include a hip roof sloping about 30–45° for the main building, one or more bay windows and a decorated veranda or porch facing the street, sash windows, and timber weatherboard cladding. Though most villas are single-storey, villas of two or more storeys are found in some areas. Read more