House Mullets: Traditional in the Front, Modern in the Back

08.24.17 | By
House Mullets: Traditional in the Front, Modern in the Back

You’re probably familiar with the term ‘mullet’ when it comes to hair, but did you know that house mullets exist as well? What’s a house mullet, you ask? It’s where the front facade and the back of the house look entirely different, in this case, more traditional in the front and modern around back. Take a look to see some of our favorite house mullets from around the world.

St Kilda Extension front \\\ Photo by Les Hams

St Kilda Extension back \\\ Photo by Les Hams

Finnis Architects designed a modern extension onto this classic house with a terra cotta roof and red brick in Melbourne’s St-Kilda suburb. They wanted to retain the charm of the original house so it fit in with the building, while also adding modern amenities onto the private rear of the house.

Bilateral House front \\\ Photo by Shai Gil

Bilateral House front \\\ Photo by Shai Gil

A renovation on a 116-year-old Period Revival home was completed by Audax in Toronto and is known as the Bilateral House. They carefully reconstructed the front facade with restored brick, new stucco, and wood trim, while creating a contemporary interior and extension with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the backyard.

Alamo Square Residence front \\\ Photo by Joe Fletcher

Alamo Square Residence back \\\ Photo by Joe Fletcher

Located in San Francisco, the Alamo Square Residence is situated in a city-owned park built in 1857 and known for old Victorian houses. While the owners loved the charm of the neighborhood, they longed for a modern interior with an open floor plan and flexibility. The 1889 home got a facelift on the front and a back that’s clad in sliding mill-finished aluminum screens that aid with privacy, along with a major renovation, all by Jensen Architects.

Newport Heritage Home front \\\ Photo by Aaron Pocock

Newport Heritage Home front \\\ Photo by Aaron Pocock

A Newport heritage house in Melbourne, Australia, underwent a massive renovation by DX Architects that included an open floor plan for the living and dining area, which now opens up to the backyard.

Escobar Renovation front \\\ Photo © Winquist Photography

Escobar Renovation back \\\ Photo © Winquist Photography

In a Phoenix, Arizona, 1930s neighborhood, the Escobar Renovation was completed by Chen+Suchart Studio. The English Tudor style home had not been renovated since it was built, which meant rooms and closets were closed off and quite small. In addition to the renovation, they added a much-needed extension with a double pitched roof making way for vaulted ceilings.

Jac front \\\ Photo by Brett Boardman

Jac back \\\ Photo by Brett Boardman

Panovscott Architects transformed this 1917 cottage in Sydney by designing a layered addition, called Jac, in the rear to help connect the original home with a 116-year-old Jacaranda tree on the property. The original features of the federation-era cottage, like the brickwork and white framed windows, remain while the rear comprises box-like rooms with large panels of windows to frame the view.

Alvarado House front \\\ Photo by Ethan Kaplan

Alvarado House back \\\ Photo by Ethan Kaplan

In San Francisco, the Alvarado House, by Terry & Terry Architecture, kept its original Victorian facade, as well as some of the layout. As you move towards the back, the home becomes more modern with open, multi-functional spaces for communal enjoyment, along with connections to multiple outdoor decks.

Cabbagetown Residence front \\\ Photo by Shai Gil

Cabbagetown Residence back \\\ Photo by Shai Gil

Dubbeldam Architecture + Design were tasked with designing a modern addition and completing a renovation on a 100-year-old- home in Toronto’s Cabbagetown neighborhood. The Cabbagetown Residence’s facade was restored according to the Toronto Historical Board, while the rear received a modern addition that brought much needed light and sight lines to the interior.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.