National Recognition for Rivergums House: Here's Why...

Janita Norman
July 2021
New Homes

Our 2020 home, Rivergums House, recently won Best New House $500,001-$750K (NSW) at the 2021 Design Matters National Awards. The win is a validation of our belief in the power of purposeful design to deliver practicality and functionality without sacrificing beauty and emotional impact. Here I outline a few of the major design considerations that guided this award-winning home.

A sanctuary for body and mind

Rivergums House, like every project we undertake, is a convergence of people, place, and space that provides practical utility and emotional connection that wouldn't exist otherwise.

Splitting their time between Melbourne and Moama, the owners of Rivergums House wanted their regional home to provide a refreshing contrast to the urban setting and period architecture of their city home.

A large sliding door facing the waterway captures the view as a kind of living artwork within the house.

Waterfront views are emphasised in this home. Our landscape designers continue the neutral colour palette into the garden with a low-lying and practical feature that is careful not to interrupt the waterfront vista.

A physical sanctuary was created by way of creating private space, and deliberately disconnecting the property from the street. A mental sanctuary was created through ‘carefully designed simplicity’ designing uncomplicated spaces, with a gently monochromatic palette and abundant light and air, fostering a sense of peace. The sanctuary inspiration also lent itself to the creation of purposeful, gentle angles, and clean, precisely designed spaces.

— Janita Norman, Lead Building Designer

The interior spaces are deliberately simple, with few details and a sense of light-filled serenity.

We took inspiration from modern gallery spaces, where the architecture acts as a backdrop, allowing the occupants to curate and create the style within.

The birth of a beloved second home

At the end of the day, it is the betterment of the lives of our clients that drives us, so while accolades are cherished – and in recent times this feels especially needed – we judge our own success by the impact we have on the lives our our clients.

And by all accounts, our client has relished in this slice of peace in a hectic modern world, travelling to Moama more now than ever. If that's not voting with your feet, then I don't know what is.

10 Heritage Design Tips

Practical tips for designing your next heritage renovation.

Our clients are often surprised when they find out just how much they can do with their heritage listed building. We created this document to dispel some of the most prevalent myths about working with heritage buildings, so that you have a solid foundation on the can-dos, can't-dos, and things to be aware of.

Holistic home design means deeply integrating the core of building design with the correlated aspects of interior and landscape design to produce a cohesive whole that is more than the sum of its parts.

How to Design a 7 Star Energy Rated Home: My Top Solutions

Janita Norman
June 2023
New Homes

With 7 Star Energy Rating requirements coming into force in October, homeowners and builders need to be prepared for this significant change in the design and build process. We've been handed an exciting challenge with these new standards, but with knowledge and planning, most homes can comfortably get there.

So, you're eager to understand the most effective strategies for achieving the new 7 star energy rating?

Well you're in the right place! In this article, I'll dive into the specifics of designing a home that meets these requirements, covering topics such as building orientation, construction system, insulation, glazing, and energy-efficient appliances. Along the way we will learn how 7 star accommodations don't have to break the bank, especially when integrated right from the beginning, during the design stage.

So without further ado, here are my top solutions for designing a 7 star energy rated home...

White Arrow White