inside a house with tick and crosses against items
Photo by Marnie Hawson

The Design Files x Momentum

These eco-chic stories from our friends at The Design Files are just what the planet ordered.

In 2023 we partnered with The Design Files to serve up some seriously stylish eco-living, architecture, and design inspiration.

Whether you’re interested in making some changes (for the greener) at your place or seeking a dreamy little aesthetic escape, there’s something for everyone in this uplifting reading list.

1. One hundred-year-old Edwardian home gets an energy efficient transformation

The masterful adaptation of this Old Edwardian into an energy-efficient home is nothing short of alchemy.

Architect Imogen Pullar and builder Mark Van Handel of MVH Constructions applied passive house design and electrification to create a genteel family home that respects the past while celebrating the new. All without sacrificing a single flourish of heritage charm.

Edwardian house facade
Rear house extension
Designers retained the original Edwardian façade while upgrading the interiors and adding a rear extension that optimised passive heating and cooling. Photos by Marnie Hawson.

Edwardian house kitchen
Low VOC materials including timber veneers, laminate and terrazzo benchtops were chosen for the kitchen. Photo by Marnie Hawson.

Read the full story and explore the photo gallery >

2. The Future of Sustainable Housing with Jeremy McLeod

Will the future look anything like the Jetsons convinced us it would? Or is it greener? We think you’ll get a buzz from this piece of excellent listening from The Design Files podcast.

Peek into the bright future of sustainable housing design with Architect Jeremy McLeod who talks about the quiet revolution taking place with Nightingale Housing.

Tune in to TDF Talks >

3. Lucy’s Green Energy Journey

In this two-part series, Melbourne based stylist (and founder of The Design Files) Lucy Feagins steps us through the process of having solar installed at her home in Fitzroy.

Three bedroom house in Fitzroy
Lucy’s three-bedroom home in Fitzroy was designed by Kennedy Nolan and built around eight years ago. Photo by Amelia Stanwix.

In Part one she shares the roots of her decision to go solar, choosing a system and provider, then Part two takes a deep dive into the nitty gritty of costs and installation. And how did it all work out? Find out in Part three.

Sunpower solar panels being installed
Lucy with all black sunpower solar panels
Lucy chose Sunpower solar panels for their all-black and slimline appearance, their long lifespan and 25-year warranty. Photos by Amelia Stanwix.

Her relatable (and informative) take on the process feels just like chatting to a friend about it.

4. Everything you need to know about GreenPower
(+ why you should make the switch)

In this empowering little feature, The Design Files writer Amelia Barnes helps answer the question of what we as individuals can do for the climate.

The challenge is a tricky one, we all need electricity, and if you’re using electricity from the grid (as most of us do) you don’t get much of a say in how the power supplied to your household is made. Enter, GreenPower – a government accredited program that allows households and businesses in Australia to invest in the future of Australia’s renewable electricity sector from as little as a few extra dollars a month.

What is GreenPower exactly, how do you get it? This FAQ covers everything you didn’t know you needed to know about GreenPower.

5. This all-electric dream home in Melbourne feels like a hidden bushland retreat

When the Harding family moved to Blackburn, they had their hearts set on a special, tree-lined pocket known as the ‘Bellbird’ area – a divine, leafy pocket of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

Clare Cousins Architects were engaged to help them bring to life a serene, sustainable home with all the right eco moves (and views) – and they delivered!

The design makes the most of passive design principles and natural materials to highlight the surrounding green spaces. Photo by Eve Wilson.

House facade
Inside house window looking at garden
The buildings small footprint means it sits lightly on the land and, large, insulated windows bring the green views in at every turn. Photos by Eve Wilson.

Meet the Harding family and take a wander through their extraordinary home. Read more >

6. Everything you need to know about installing solar power

Getting solar for your home is one of the most empowering things you can do. But the process can feel like entering a minefield of technical language and dodgy operators – eyeroll!

Wondering what size solar system, you actually need? How long it takes to pay itself off? Are batteries worth the expense? This handy FAQ has you covered.

7. This serene passive house was made with extreme weather in mind

After years of freezing winters and sweltering summers in poorly insulated rental homes, Katherine Post and Chris Gyngell were committed to making their ‘forever home’ as energy efficient as they could.

With the help of sustainably led Sanctum Builders, Hehe Design and Maxa Design they’ve created a three-bedroom home that’s a delight to live in – no matter the weather.

Living and dining room
The kitchen, living and dining room look out onto a manmade lake in Kyneton – through triple glazed windows. Photo by Marnie Hawson.

Interior kitchen
Colourbond and spotted gum cladding on house
The interior palette was inspired by the surrounding Australian bushland. To account for the relatively high bushfire risk, they chose non-combustible materials to protect their home including Colourbond and spotted gum cladding. Photos by Marnie Hawson.

Get your Pinterest pinning fingers ready for the full story >

8. How to improve Australia’s poorly built homes

In this fascinating podcast, join independent energy advisor Tim Forcey and Lucy Feagins of TDF Talks as they tackle common issues with Australian homes and what you can do about them!

A must listen for anyone interested in what they can do to make their homes more energy efficient (more comfortable and less expensive for the long run).

Take me to the podcast >

9. Everything you need to know about creating an all-electric home

If you’re still cooking (or heating) with gas it could be time to update your thinking (and maybe a few appliances). One of the best things you can do to help reduce fossil fuel usage at home is electrify, everything.

Not only can they run on renewable energy (such as rooftop solar) but electric appliances are also usually safer, more efficient, and just as (if not more) effective.

Read the full story >

10. What's so exciting about the energy transition? Find out with Lisa Chiba

Ready for a hit of optimism with all the climate doom and gloom that’s around right now? Australia has made some great progress – we’ve roughly doubled renewable energy production since 2017 – but it’s going to take some seriously smart engineering to reach net zero.

Join our very own MD and climate advocate Lisa Chiba and TDF Talks host Lucy Feagins for a very down-to-earth take on what everyone can do to support Australia’s transition to renewable energy and how we can design our way to a better future for the next generation.

Tune in to this uplifting podcast from The Design Files >

Thanks again to our friends at The Design Files for this amazing edit of climate-conscious content – here's to our partnership and many more inspiring stories to come!

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