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.

The Two Single Most Important Things to Consider When Designing a New Home

Janita Norman
November 2022
New Homes

Designing and building your own home is a joy and a privilege; a rare act of creation that leaves a mark on the world long after our time. But in the same breath, it is daunting and overwhelming, with seemingly endless thoughts and ideas fighting for your attention. Today I want to declutter your mind and ask you to focus on these two simple things...

First: what is your story?

Our homes are fundamental to the way we live. They express who we are and play a central role in allowing us to live the way we want to.

Think about your life, your loves, your experiences, and how you live in your home. Every design should capture your essence and reflect who you are and your lifestyle.

“A well designed home that specifically suits you is a pleasure to live in.”
– Janita Norman, Lead Building Designer

From the outset the vision must be clear.

Knowing why you are building directly informs the design. Articulating why you are building and what you want to achieve will ensure that design is aligned with that vision.

Ask yourself:

  • Why am I building?
  • Who will live in our home?
  • How old are our kids and what do they like to do?
  • Do members of our extended family live with us or visit for long periods of time?
  • Is this our “forever home”?
  • Will the home need to adapt to changing life and family circumstances?
White Arrow White
/* Web Share API */