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The Nature Inspired Eco House

Posted Friday, June 23, 2017 in: Home Envy Obsessed With
Well, this is it, guys - hands-down one of the coolest houses I’ve had the honour of featuring on House Nerd!

This is Nature Inspired Eco House. Designed for a tiny 200sqm infill block in the city, this two-storey, solar passive new home is eco-friendly and runs on renewable energy (with no air-con).

Built from a mix of eco-friendly materials and quirky recycled elements (including a wall built from salvaged 1960s and 70s windows and a front door that came from Alan Bond’s demolished Dalkeith mansion), the house has external walls that were made from rammed earth and recycled concrete rubble - waste products that would ordinarily have wound up in landfill. Other walls were built from recycled 1960s bricks. And there are more recycled elements throughout it - from the green bathtub to the 100-year-old Baltic pine floorboards.

COURTYARD GARDEN: The mature tree in the courtyard (a Gleditsia triacanthos) from Ellenby Tree Farm had to be brought in and transplanted before work even began on the house. Photos by Heather Robbins

THE TEAM: Home owners Tanya and Peter, with Carla from Etica Studio and Terry from Satoa Homes. Photos by Heather Robbins


Designed for a tight, subdivided rear infill block in an inner-city location, Nature Inspired Eco House has a green biophylic roof (to purify the air while making the local bees and birds happy) and set with solar photovoltaic panels for energy.

And it is just gorgeous, with an interior palette of white resin floors, plywood cabinets, white tiling, forest green feature accents and loads of indoor plants. It’s cool, homey and individual – friendly, light, eclectic and filled with vintage furniture, plants, art and personality (and one very sweet boxer puppy).

The house is exactly what its owners Tanya McKenna, 28, and Peter Chadwick, 30, who live with their beautiful boxer puppy Henri had in mind when they begin daydreaming about building their own home together – something green, eco-friendly and unique. The home epitomises their backgrounds and interests nicely – Tanya is an environmental consultant; Peter is a trades manager in the building industry and has a talent for handmaking things. Both have a love of houses and a passion for eco-friendly building design.


Peter and Tanya were originally living in North Perth, doing up a 1920s character home that they had purchased in 2011. “It was derelict and deemed uninhabitable by the City of Vincent,” says Tanya.

While they were painstakingly pulling it apart, bringing it back to life and building an extension on it themselves, using lots of recycled materials, they began daydreaming about how much they’d like to actually build a whole new house, using recycled materials and incorporating green features. 

They already knew the perfect building designer. Tanya’s sister is my friend and secret girl crush, building designer Carla Karsakis, who runs Perth boutique design and build company Etica Studio.

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