A modern Melbourne renovation teaches others how to live sustainably without compromise.

The kitchen features exposed Vic Ash Glulam beams sourced from Australian Sustainable Hardwoods.

For Leanne and Scott Thompson, living sustainably doesn’t have to mean a life of sacrifice. In fact, the couple prove this with their recently renovated home—known as Melbourne Vernacular—that doubles as an educational showroom for others to learn how green living can be beautiful, comfortable, and financially sound.

The home is topped with Colorbond True Oak Deep corrugated roofing.

The home is topped with Colorbond True Oak Deep corrugated roofing and features double-glazed low-e windows.

Nikole Ramsay

Teaming up with Australian-based Altereco Design and a host of other local partners, the couple transformed an worker’s cottage in Yarraville that dates back 100 years into a modern, eco-friendly powerhouse. 

While the pair was mindful to preserve and reuse as much of the original structure as possible, they also eagerly adopted innovative technologies to cut energy use and carbon emissions.



Cradle-to-cradle-certified carpet from the Shaw Group adds warmth underfoot in the living room.

Cradle-to-cradle certified carpet from the Shaw Group adds a warm layer in the living room.

Nikole Ramsay

“Our ambition for the mass adoption of environmentally friendly housing is to prove that a sustainable home is unparalleled in every aspect: style, performance and technology,” explains the couple, who also created a green consulting business called Melbourne Vernacular after the eponymous home. 

“As we work to make this a reality, we believe the discourse around sustainability will change its focus from efficiency, saving, and reduction to one of abundance, beauty, and convenience without cost to the planet.”

Filled with natural light and air-purifying plants, the two-bedroom abode boasts a clean and contemporary character.

Filled with natural light and air-purifying plants, the two-bedroom abode boasts clean and contemporary character.

Nikole Ramsay

See the full story on Dwell.com: An Old Worker’s Cottage Is Reborn Into an Eco-Friendly Home and Learning Center

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