Low-Emission Chic

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-By John Boley

Melbourne-based firm Inform Design is an architecture and construction company that works closely with leading local architects to create contemporary home designs for sustainable living. Not content merely to create beautiful spaces, Inform Design ensures that wherever possible, energy saving features are incorporated into the design, making the house more comfortable, affordable, functional and ethical.

The company believes its architectural flair and building expertise make it “a leader, setting the benchmark for Australian contemporary home design. Award winning modern homes designed by Inform Design are showcased in its creative portfolio.” The company has indeed been recognised for its innovative home design, winning the Housing Industry Association’s “˜Australian Home of the Year’ at the Australian Housing Awards with its Urban House, a design which was praised for its contemporary aesthetics and innovation in environmental sustainability.

A series of display homes in Melbourne reflects Inform Design’s expertise in home design and capabilities as specialist builders. One of the homes, says the company, represents an exciting new direction for Inform. “Designed by the masters of sleek contemporary living, architects Pleysier Perkins, Hampton Street reflects a strongly modernist style. This striking 4-bedroom home includes full height glazing, an outdoor fireplace, large loggia space with swimming pool, and a range of other distinctive features to create a contemporary, high-end home. It will be built and displayed at 734 Hampton Street, Brighton.”

Another design, almost completed, is The Cube – Centre Road, Brighton East – designed by Leon Meyer. According to Inform, the Cube offers “a range of cubic, modular elements that can be adapted to create different configurations. Cube’s clean, geometric qualities are softened with timber elements to create a cool, contemporary home suited to both level and sloping sites.” The Cube’s interiors have been designed by Chelsea Hing.

A third design currently in the works is The Linacre – Belmore Road, Balwyn – also nearly complete. The company describes this home as offering “relaxed contemporary living that’s always in style. Its classic, Leon Meyer design optimises the property’s orientation to maximum effect, allowing natural light to permeate the house on both floors. Linacre’s spaciousness and warm, welcoming feeling explains its ever-popular appeal.” Chelsea Hing also designed the interiors for this project.

According to David Ansett of Storm Brand Design, the home building market in Australia is typified by a “bland range of home designs, brought to you by a range of equally undifferentiated businesses. Having worked in the space for a number of clients over the past five years, I would define the market offer as ‘affordable = uninspiring’.” Ansett believes that while there are practical minimum costs for building one’s own home, “the price you pay is a lack of individuality, and poor and dated design quality. A walk through any display village will reinforce the message, as each house you enter feels almost identical.”

Speaking to Inform’s strong aesthetic sensibilities, however, Ansett praises the firm as one of two Australian home building companies “that have begun to deliver on the often-heard brand promise of “˜contemporary living’. Working with architects of note and ability, Inform Design has produced some great looking houses that feel “˜architect designed’ both inside and out, creating a strong sense of differentiation, positioning their new product at the premium end of their market.”

As an example of what Ansett was referring to, the Inform Pod House is a collaboration with Melbourne architect Barnaby Chiverton. The house consists of two pods which can be positioned at different angles, or different levels to suit a sloping site. Inform plans to soon have a Pod display house open at Mt Martha.

Boasts the company’s website, “creativity, coupled with a passion for home design, is what makes our modern homes unique. When you combine the vision of leading architects in Melbourne with a great team of home builders, the end result is an Inform Design modern home.” Combining sustainability with true artistry is clearly proving to be a winning formula for this innovative firm.

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

July 14, 2020, 2:30 PM AEST