Eco Chic for Three

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  • A block of land in Byron Bay, slowly evolved into one couples prefect eco-house, designed to have the lightest possible footprint on the land.

    Rachel Bending remembers the first time she laid eyes on the Byron Bay hinterland and the strong connection she felt to the area. ‘The Byron Shire is very similar to where I grew up in ‘Old’ South Wales in the UK’ she says. ‘Both have stunning, unspoilt beaches, rolling hills and farming land, leading to rugged, wild forests and cliffs’.

    With her partner, Campbell Rowe, Rachel bought a block of land in Byron Bay in 2003. To familiarise themselves with the property and see how it reacted to natures elements, such as the sun and wind, Rachel and Cam spent four years living part time on the site in a caravan, all the while commuting to Byron Bay and Sydney to run Rachel’s environmentally focused business Bird Textiles.

    Read the rest of this interview, from the current November issue of Australian Womens Weekly, by clicking this 'read more' link.

    ‘Undertaking this kind of research enabled us to design the house with a great deal more awareness of environmental factors and, ultimately, to design a practical and energy efficient home,’ she explains.

    After familiarising themselves with the land and planting the gardens with orchards, succulents, tropical ornamentals and natives, Rachel consulted Steve and Sophie Trstenjak from Blue Architects, to design her a home which was focused on minimising her family’s environmental footprint.

    ‘We were initially drawn to Blue Architects because they had .......a modern design aesthetic and a personal interest in sustainable design’ says Rachel.

    The home was constructed using stone, strawbale, concrete and glass because of each materials unique properties, focusing on thermal mass and insulation.

    The interior of the home is an eclectic mix of old and new, with thrift shop and eBay finds sitting alongside rare collectable glass and design classics. 'What ties it all together is my passion for printed surface design and inspiration from the 1950's,' says Rachel.

    Find Rachels top 'eco tips' and top 'home secrets' in this months edition of Australian Womens Weekly.



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