Brave New Eco

Collingwood Compact

Collingwood, VIC, Australia

Rebecca Wilkinson

  • Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Interior Designers
  • Collingwood, VIC, Australia

An energy efficient home created with a low impact on lifestyle, for a modern Melbourne family.

Brave New Eco were engaged by the owners to create a modest, hyper-functional, super-cute home in Collingwood, Victoria. They provided the interior package of a new kitchen, bathrooms and laundry, and also fit out the study, living room, lighting, interior and exterior finishes, window, door furniture and soft furnishings throughout.

Starting with the notion that good joinery and layout can be the key to small spaces; working for a family, a simple reconfiguration of the dining and lounge made a dramatic difference to the overall flow of each space, and the zoning of the main living areas.

In order to keep the kitchen small and simple, a metre-wide extension to the boundary wall was created to allow for a walk-in pantry. Designers also reconfigured the bathroom and laundry and added a small ensuite into the large master bedroom. Built-in robes were added to each room, and a study was designed with enough spaces created for books and two desks; one for standing, and one for sitting.

The lighting throughout the house was also replaced with LED lights for better energy efficiency, and designers removed all downlights and replaced the rear ceiling to reseal the house.

All interiors have been repainted and a fresh Japanese-inspired palette of black, green, white and timber joinery has been used throughout the home, to add to the new contemporary feel of space and light.

The kitchen contains an induction cooktop, new highly efficient appliances, and beautiful matt black Paperock benchtops made from recycled bamboo and paper. Joinery was kept simple, with a combination of Laminex laminate and Vic ash joinery. The ventilated cold store plywood-shelved pantry was designed to house the Thermomix and toaster thus keeping the bench space open and clear.

The bathrooms are very small but work a treat. Interest is provided with matt tiles in soft green and charcoal, combined with matt white penny rounds. Handmade timber vanities were installed and custom mirror surrounds made with the leftover timbers.

Built-in-robes included drawers and a ‘play-and-study’ nook in the children’s room to reduce the need for extra pieces of furniture and keep the rooms open and spacious. Beautiful curtains in soft linen colours keep the rooms warm and cosy in winter.

Designers also completed a landscape design, which is currently being implemented, featured decking and built-in productive garden beds composting systems, and adjustable exterior shading. Water tanks, fully retrofitted insulation, a PV array, and solar hot water complete the project, making the project an exemplary model of a compact sustainable retrofit urban home.

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