Monday, February 13, 2012

5 Spectacular Australian Homes

Look at these gorgeous & eco-friendly houses...

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5 Spectacular Australian Homes

Some of my favorite designs are coming out of Australia. Whether it's stunning contemporary architecture, just the right amount of collected/eclectic in an interior, a lush landscape or charismatic bloggers full of creative ideas, the ideas coming from Down Under are inspiring and unique. Get inspired by these five homes that include all of the above and more.

1. A contemporary addition in Sydney. This home's new wing was designed by Sam Crawford Architects. This open, light-filled space serves several purposes, including music room, art gallery, library and dining room.

One stunning design detail in the space is this laser-cut wood panel. The design was swiped from the clients' collection of Scandinavian hand-painted ceramic tiles.

Using natural light and opening up to the outdoors drove the design, which carefully considers all of the relationships between inside and out. As you can see here, doors completely open up the space to the courtyard, and the edge between the two even serves as a bench.

2. An eco-friendly retreat in the bushland. Traveling to the other side of the island, this lovely home is in the bushland, on the northern outskirts of Perth. The construction is rammed earth and was designed for maximum energy efficiency.

The living room's chalkboard wall is always changing, depending on who is visiting.

Sited near the Indian Ocean, collections of natural objects picked up on beach strolls decorate the house.

3. A couple's vibrant townhouse in Adelaide, South Australia. Clever blogger Atypical Type A's home is full of midcentury modern finds and clever DIY projects. In the master bedroom, the wavy lamp on the right came first, then she found the bedding that coordinated with it.

Instead of registering for a slew of cut vases, salad tongs and platters as wedding gifts, the couple's guests created a pool of money for them to commission a work of art from an artist they loved (Danish artist Pabi).

An inviting patio provides a secluded spot for dining. It's quite a transformation; when the couple moved in, the spot was "devoid of anything living." They added the planters and bamboo screening, the mirror-backed iron candle sconce holder and the outdoor dining furniture, which includes curvaceous Panton chairs.

4. A dramatic landscape design in Sydney. This site presented spectacular views and a series of challenges to landscape architecture firm The Secret Gardens of Sydney.

Connections between the terraces as well as views from inside to out were thoughtfully considered in the design of the landscape.

The site contains a series of outdoor rooms at different levels, surrounded by lush plantings and comfortable outdoor furniture like the Orbit by Dedon. This round lounge even has a canopy you can pull up to provide shade and privacy.

5. A beach cottage makeover in Sydney. One of our very first Houzz Tours was with Sarah, the blogger behind A Beach Cottage. While her home (and our interview format) has evolved since this interview posted, I still love perusing her easy-breezy beach style.

Painting a vintage trunk and suitcase white and stacking them created a quirky and functional nightstand.

Using a simple neutral palette of white and tan allows a range of interesting textures to stand out.