The living space in one of the earlier AVJennings house designs.Historical photographs from one of Australia’s oldest residential developers show just how far home design has come over the decades.To mark the induction of its founder, Sir Albert Victor Jennings, into the Australian Property Hall of Fame last week, the company has opened its archives, revealing how trends and technology have changed how we live.Sir Albert, or AV, launched the company during the Great Depression, mortgaging and later selling his own home for his first build.He went on to launch Australia’s first display home, and was behind the introduction of curved roads and cul-de-sacs in housing estates. However, it was the house designs that really changed, with block sizes shrinking significantly over the decades. But where back yards have been shrinking, company records show that interiors have been increasing. Average house sizes have grown by about 25-30sq m every decade. THEN: A model of a 1948 AVJennings home. NOW: The kitchen is no longer tucked away, taking a prominent spot in open plan homes.But Mr Baker, who has worked in the industry for three decades, said the seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces was the biggest gamechanger. THEN: A ‘modern kitchen’ inside a 1950’s AVJennings home.The 1960s kitchen depicts an island-style bench – a key item on most buyers’ wishlists today. Mr Baker said the linoleum floor, however, would likely be ripped up to expose the hardwood floors – a luxury feature in new homes today. NOW: The spacious and light kitchen in one of the homes at the AVJennings Kersley Lane community in Kenmore. NOW: Kersley Lane by AVJennings is a townhouse development. Townhouses are springing up across the southeast, with many developers jumping on infill sites close to the city.AVJennings national design manager Richard Baker said the changes were “all relative”, and reflected the availability of land and the needs and finances of the buyer.“Some of the photographs appear to be from the austere fifties,” he said. “People had come out of two wars, the Depression, and extravagant adornments were considered, by many, to be unnecessary.”More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoOne of the images depicts a “modern kitchen” in a 1950s home. There is no sign of a butlers pantry, stone top island bench or fancy splashback. Mr Baker said that particular kitchen would likely have been found in a middle class home.“Back then, the kitchen was tucked away, out of sight, and used only for food preparation,” he said. “Today, the kitchen is the heart of the home. They are still functional but they have become a statement piece.”He noted that the butlers pantry was not unlike the kitchens of the past, saying they had become “like a hidden sub-kitchen within the statement kitchen”. THEN: The kitchen space in one of the earlier AVJennings house designs in the sixties shows the emergence of the breakfast bar/island bench.The 1950/60’s living room (bottom left) was anything but spacious. “Back then, homes would have had very clear lounge, dining and kitchen spaces,” Mr Baker said.“Construction costs, heating and cooling, would have been factors, but also the Aussie home evolved from that British colonial style.“It really wasn’t until the late eighties or early nineties that we saw the move towards extra living spaces, rumpus rooms, media rooms, and extra dining spaces. I remember the ensuite being a luxury when I was a kid but now it is a requirement.” NOW: Home designs now focus on seamless flow from the indoors to the outdoors.“It is surprising, really, that it has taken us as long as it has (to open up our homes to the great outdoors),” he said.“In these early photographs, there was probably a single door with a flyscreen … now it’s double sliding doors or stackers leading to alfresco dining and outdoor living spaces.” AVJennings has seven new communities in Queensland – Creekwood, Enclave, Essington Rise, Kersley Lane, Parkside, Riverton and Villaggio.