Winter Home

Winter in the NSW Blue Mountains is a very chilly affair, but we meet a family who have designed their home to cope beautifully with the elements.

Robyn and Roland Clarke bought their land six years ago and spent 18 months learning about the site and how the sun moved with the seasons while they designing their dream home. It was not an easy process and involved lots of compromise. But Robyn and Roland agree the end result is a family home that works well with the climate. They used a lot of concrete floor, which is insulated by the sun coming in and heating up the floor. Also, pipes from the fire fuel the underfloor heating. And they ensured the house had excellent insulation. One room of the house is built cave like, with small windows so easier to heat and most winter nights they're in their reading or watching TV.

Throughout the house are beautiful pieces of bush furniture, hand made by Roland using wood collected in the bush and wired together. After being in the house for hour years, Roland says being owner/builders has its own set of problems. They still don't have a fully functioning bathroom, and the rendering isn't finished – mainly because it's a job Roland hates doing! But Roland says realizing that no house is completely perfect is a major step you reach along the way. As long as it addresses your major concerns it's been successful, and both Robyn and Roland agree they are very happy with their winter home.

Get the winter look

  • When the temperature drops and the winter wind howls you need a toasty retreat that can cope with the elements.
  • A cave-like snug with minimal windows and a roaring fire fuelling underflow heating is the perfect place to hibernate.
  • Natural oxides added to limewash or sprinkled on concrete floor create rustic reds, oranges and deep purples for an instant warm glow.
  • This cosy bush style takes its cue from Mother Nature and celebrates the elements with bush furniture, nature framed as a picture and rusted corrugated iron.
  • This is a house designed to work with the elements for warmth as well as style, so come in from the cold and from this warm friendly space winter has never looked so good.


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