Trend alert – Industrial style

Many might think industrial style is something that would be strictly relegated to a factory or warehouse. However, more people are embracing this eclectic and unique style which emphasises practicality in its reuse and reinvention of pieces. When it comes to industrial style think exposed interiors, sharp lines and contrasting textures. It draws heavily on integrating pieces that serve a purpose and can be used again and again such as large pendant lights, watering cans or filing cabinets and then contrasting by adding some contemporary flair.

So how to achieve the look? The trick is not to overdo it. The key is to first, plan a room then go looking for a specific piece. Start small with a few striking pieces that will make a statement. Overdoing the look can make a room look run-down, so start with one of the focal pieces and then think how you can enhance it or counter it. Create a sense of balance and ensure your pieces are not completely out of proportion with the room.

Remember to think about contrasting. Vibrant colours create an interesting and aesthetically pleasing contrast against the sometimes harsh metal and rust of industrial items.

The great thing about industrial style is that it allows for creativity and uniqueness. Have a think now about the all potential items you have in the home or garden. It might be an old lighting fixture or dining chair which could be reused and reinvented. It’s really a matter of looking at piece you have and giving them a new lease on life. Scratched or rusted items might in other cases be devalued, however this is embraced in industrial style. It also allows for personality and a certain quirkiness to shine through. Think exposed elements whether it be rope, bricks or cords.

Sustainable House Day 2011

By: Johanna Grahn

With the world’s resources running out, sustainability is more important than ever. The three words of artist and surfer Jack Johnson come to mind, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. That’s what it’s all about really, reducing our waste and making use of what we have. In the housing sector the three words “Sustainable House Day” spread the message, and they are inspiring many Australians to follow the environmentally friendly path when building or renovating their homes.

For 10 years the event has showcased some of Australia’s most sustainable homes, and by doing so it has given ideas and tips to people on how to incorporate solar, ventilation, water harvesting, recycling, shading, thermal mass (materials that absorb and release heat), and glazing and window treatments into their homes.

This year the Sustainable House Day takes place on Sunday September 11 between 10am-4pm. Over 300 homes throughout the country will be open for inspection, so that visitors can experience hands-on the difference it makes when using sustainable products. Many of the homes will have architects, builders, and specialist service providers on site to answer questions and give advice, so make sure to put the date in your calendar. Remember, taking aboard some of the concepts of sustainable living is economically and environmentally friendly. In other words, it is all good!

Check out this link to find an open house near you:


The world of design is such an exciting and important place. Design touches our lives everywhere; it’s all around us, from our architecture, our cars and our clothing to our infrastructure and, of course, our furniture and furnishings. These are just some of the diverse areas of design.

Image: Corporate Culture

Designing requires consideration of the aesthetic, functional, economical and socio-political dimensions of the process and the resulting entity. It involves considerable thought, research, planning, modelling, revision, and often re-design before a final outcome is reached.

In the current issue of Luxury Home Design (volume 14 number 4) we lead you on a journey of design discovery, introducing you to many of Australia’s talented designers, taking you inside their world to find out who they are, what they do and how they work.

Image: Kelly Hoppen’s London home. Photography: Mel Yates

We visit design hubs in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth and enter some of the beautiful homes that the designers have created. We also visit the London home of renowned British interior designer, Kelly Hoppen, whose signature style has become a benchmark for design excellence.

Our featured houses and apartments are an outstanding selection including modernist design, classic beauty and contemporary splendour. Each home is a unique reflection of its inhabitants, created for comfort and sanctuary with the environment very much in mind. And Steve Freeth explains the finer points of the “smart” home, illustrating how technology is changing the way we live — while two exceptional case studies reveal the smart home in action.

Image: Project by Graham Jones Design. Photography: Chris Groenhout

We have selected an inspiring variety of glamorous and elegant, modern and practical, environmentally friendly and just gorgeous furniture and furnishings to temp you. And our comprehensive kitchen and bathroom feature covers everything from the latest fabulous appliances to finishes, lighting, gadgets and space-saving solutions.

It’s a wonderful voyage of discovery and enlightenment and one I truly hope you enjoy.

Kate St James, FDIA

Managing Editor

The world’s biggest homes and lots of renovating in Australia!

So what’s happening in the news?

Two different sets of figures have been released over the last few days that have revealed some very interesting things in the Australian home market.

We all like things big in Australia and this first set of findings really proves it! A new report by CommSec has revealed Australia continues to build the biggest homes in the world. The average new home built in Australia is still 10 percent bigger than its counterpart in the US.

The average new Aussie free-standing home is 243 square meters – almost double the size of the average home in Denmark.

After steadily rising for the last 25 years experts however now think the average house size has peaked as more people favour smaller dwellings with increase energy prices.

The second finding has revealed, the effects of our love of reality home renovation shows.

An estimated $10 billion will be spent on home renovation in NSW this year and figures from the Bureau of Statistics show that the value of large alterations to homes has increased by 11 per cent between 2009 and 2010.

Although our love of reality home reno shows might be inspiring DIY enthusiasts, there is a risk factor involved for the home and the dabblers themselves.

Figures from the National Injury Surveillance Unit at Flinders University, Adelaide found DIY-related accidents are increasing. The most common injuries in 2009-10 were caused by falls from ladders, followed by roof falls, power saws and other power tools.

There is a reality behind the reality tv shows. Many people might undertake projects without realising the full implications and naturally that’s where trouble can set in whether it be a burst pipe or budget blow-out.

So when you are renovating or building the world’s biggest home, remember safety first.


With so much emphasis on sustainability in our vocabulary today, learning about architecture and the importance it plays in our lives is more essential than ever. The Australian Architecture Association (AAA) and Luxury Home Design (LHD) both recognise this and that’s why we’ve partnered, to promote and encourage public interest in this important part of our culture.

Project by Bark Architects

The AAA was formed in 2004 to promote architecture to the wider community. The founders of the association include Australia’s most prominent architect, Glenn Murcutt, and the late Harry Seidler, whose work, both in Australia and internationally, are widely recognised. Founding director Annette Dearing says, “We need to keep architecture at the forefront of people’s consciousness as it’s such an important part of our culture and heritage. It’s vital that people are given the opportunity to see architecture of the highest standard.”

The AAA runs a program of tours, talks and events throughout the year. Membership is open to all, not just architects, and a majority of the program is led by volunteers who are knowledgeable and passionate about architecture.

The Noosa Tour in September will take you inside some of the most interesting contemporary residential and public architecture on the Sunshine Coast, with architects John Mainwaring, from JMA Architects, and Lindy Atkin and Stephen Guthrie, from Bark Design.

Image: Viridian by JMA Architects

This is an all-day bus tour that includes lunch, commentary and coach travel. Why not take a detour from your regular weekend at home and join the AAA Noosa Tour, where you will meet like-minded architecture enthusiasts as well as have the opportunity to stay over in Noosa to enjoy the fabulous atmosphere of this beautiful Queensland enclave?

The AAA/LHD Noosa Tour will be held on Saturday, September 10 and costs $150 for AAA members and $175 for non-members, including bus transport, commentary and lunch.

For more information:

Australian Architecture Association


A home in the hills

At Complete Home, we love to share the stunning homes and brillant architecture we come across and after casually doing some browsing on the internet we found a whopper!

Based in the Hollywood Hills this house’s contemporary architecture oozes grandiose and style.

Nakahouse as its known, comes from XTEN Architecture and is a remodel of a home initially built in the 1960′s.

The architects kept the foundation and footprints, but decided to take full advantage of the breathtaking surrounding views and added outdoor terraces.

The colour scheme focuses on contrasting between black and white. However, splashes of colour are added, such as the gorgeous fushcia pink lounge that creates a element of fun and warmth.

The white open rooms and floor-to-ceiling glass windows that overlook the Hollywood Hills create an even greater sense of space in the already spacious home.

Check out our featured homes to find more designs that will inspire (and possibly cause a bit of jealousy too!)

Ultimate oceanic


Under the southern sky

Apple has some big plans in store

Apple’s new headquarters is going to be huge – literally!

Just to follow up my blog on Apple’s new headquarters I’ve come across some interesting information on the diametre for the new spaceship/office.

One website has compared the diameter for the proposed headquarters to that of the Pentagon. After some calculations it came to the conclusion that the new headquarter’s diametre was roughly 1615 ft.

A circle circumscribed on the outside of a pentagon whose sides are 921 ft long has a radius of 783 ft. So a circle that would circumscribe the Pentagon has a diameter of 1,566 ft.

So if Apple’s headquarters turned into the flying saucer it so resembles, and happened to crash land on Pentagon, it would just slightly cover the building. Wow – that’s a lot of space!

Apple must have some big plans in store for the future. Although the designs have been released for the new headquarter’s architecture, we’re interested to see what exactly they’ll do with the massive space. We’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Uh-oh Sydney is now the seventh most expensive city…

It’s the news we didn’t want to hear. Sydney is now the seventh most expensive city -Yes, in the world. Even more surpising is that is has beat out international hotspots such as New York, London and Paris who this year, dropped down on the list. However, if you’re in the market for a new home, are renting or even enjoy a coffee from your local barista even now and then, you no doubt already know how expensive Sydney can be.

The rankings, published in the annual Prices and Earnings report were calculated by comparing the cost of an average ‘shopping basket’ of 122 goods and services. The six cities that were ahead of Sydney were Oslo, Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Tokyo.

Sydney was the only Australian city to appear on the list. But don’t start packing your bags and head off to live in another state just yet. The rankings revealed some positive news. Afterall, with Sydney’s high living costs comes with higher wages.

Sydney finished second in a table ranking the domestic buying power of its citizens. This was calculated by comparing wages in each location with living costs.

Sydney’s jump in the rankings can also be explained by the strong Aussie dollar and the depreciation of other world currencies such as the US dollar and euro. So although the ranking might not be the most welcomed news it is sign of a good economy.

What do you think of the rankings? What cities were you suprised to see on the list?

Apple’s new headquarters take it into the future!

We all knew that Apple’s new headquarters were going to be nothing short of amazing and boy did they deliver!

Cupertino City Council released the plans for the new headquarters that are sure to take Apple (further) into the future!

The headquarters will be built over 175 acres. The building will be a massive 2.8 million square feet and will boast a 1,000 seat corporate auditorium, a fitness centre, research facilities and I’m sure some very cool office space that will epitomise modern design.

The most striking part of the project is naturally the building itself – a huge four-story circular structure, that some comparing to an alien mother ship. However, Apple’s futuristic architecture reflects its forward thinking. Plenty of green initiatives are also to be implemented such as an on-site, low carbon power plant and plans to reuse water and cut down on car travel.

Apple’s 12,000 employees will also be able to gaze out through the glass walls into the woodlands. The location will have 6,000 trees and plenty of indigenous plant life including apricot orchards. Jealous much?

The new headquarters are set for completion in 2015.

Tell us what you think of the new proposed new headquarters. Has the sight of it made you now want to run off and work for Apple or do you think it looks like a flying saucer that has crash landed on some woodland?

New lease on life

There is a new housing trend in Sydney that is playing a dual role preserving our heritage and changing the way we think about apartment living.

The idea of recycling long standing buildings and turning them into modern, beautiful apartments has seen people now start to call the old flour silos in Newtown, The Royal Women’s Hospital at Paddington and Walsh Bay wharves, home.

Reusing is a growing trend, especially in our increasingly environmentally conscious society and it makes sense. What better way to give a building a new lease on life by giving it a new purpose? It beats having it razed to the ground. This way we can maintain a piece of history and the hertiage architecture but also integrate it into modern living.

Here are few of the many examples of restored and recycled buildings that are now stunning apartments.

Caritas, Darlinghurst

This restored Georgian-style sandstone block is located at the old Caritas site in Darlinghurst. It was originally built as a halfway house in 1867 for people with mental health, alcohol or social issues. It later turned into an office and now has been transformed into six apartments. The buildings will maintain their heritage feel but with added modern conveniences.

St John’s Church, Paddington

This church dating back to 1845 is soon to be given over to retail and café space. The new manse will become a large, Torrens-titled house. Traditional stonemasons have been working on the exteriors and windows to restore the building to its former glory.