Much of this can be attributed to a considered interior palette – mostly neutral tones that connect the five bedrooms, five bathrooms and multiple living areas over two storeys.
Vertical timber panelling, stained or painted, offer texture to the walls, while parquetry Oak timber floors adds sophistication. This vertical detailing, in a barely-there grey hue, is a feature of the kitchen cabinetry, complemented by porcelain benchtops and splashback. For the bedrooms and wet rooms, timber inflections combined with stunning GreenTag-certified Italian tiles – which have at least 40 per cent recycled content – perfect the elegant interior.
But the home’s relaxed feel also comes down to passive solar design. By maximising a north-facing orientation La Fleur takes advantage of passive heat gain and loss, and natural cross-ventilation, to provide thermal comfort year-round and to eliminate reliance on mechanical heating and cooling.
Energy is also generated from a 12.5kW rooftop solar panel array, conveniently stored in dual Tesla Powerwall batteries for use overnight. ‘We’re watching the consumption and storage rates and can see the home is operating at net zero which is great,’ James says, adding that smart home automation helps the occupants further control how much power they use. ‘Solaire created its own GoGreen system with Control4. Pressing a button at the front door or on your phone turns everything on or off except for your essential circuits, so the house might only use around 0.2kW per hour when you’re not there.’
To enhance the build’s eco-credentials, the team spent hours researching alternative and ethical building products. Internally, all paints are no-VOC, the structural and finishing timbers are FSC-certified, and the standout brass tapware in the kitchen and bathrooms were handmade in Melbourne by Sussex Taps.
‘Sussex Taps have a high water-efficiency rating, but the business also remelts the brass off-cuts and swarf and reuses it in their own tapware, rather than shipping the excess off elsewhere internationally.’