The BUILD blog

I'm the editor of BUILD. Big fan of efficient housing and new technologies, still dreaming of one day living in a very elaborate cave...

5 radical ways sustainability will change our houses      by   Darcy Wilson

16 March 2015


Nothing like a few predictions to make yourself cringe in 10 years' time... with that in mind, here are a few ways homes could change radically in the foreseeable future as sustainability becomes a real focus:


1. Houses will be made in factories

6 incredible homes built mostly for cats     by   Darcy Wilson

03 February 2015

Bloody cats.

This post was originally going to be about cat AND dog friendly renovations, but the cat lovers win - hands down. Some people say cats exert a kind of mind control over their hapless owners - and there's even (surprisingly decent) scientific evidence to suggest that they infect their owners with parasites that mess with their brains...

7 tricks to make your small bathroom bigger     by   Darcy Wilson

19 January 2015


You've bought a new place, and the bathroom looks like it was designed and built by an agoraphobic, photosensitive drunk at some point around the lowest ebb of the great depression.

A tiny, crappy bathroom's an opportunity - as long as you've got the right ideas and the basic means to pay for some changes, there's usually a whole lot you can do to liberate some space.

Opening up a tiny bathroom is one of the easiest, most satisfying and biggest bang-for-buck changes you can make to your home...

Here's a few ways you can do it:

Jedi mind tricks: how to sell your home for more     by   Darcy Wilson

25 November 2014


Home buying guides all seem to reel off the same platitudes: set an upper limit, bid early / late, get a prepurchase inspection, turn on the cold logic, and approach the task with the hard, stony heart of a hangman.

All solid advice, but let's face it - no matter how hard people try to stifle it, buying a house is always a heavily emotional process. Real estate agents know this, and they bank on it.

Beyond the stars: how to build greener     by   Darcy Wilson

11 November 2014


CSR House, which was built as an experiment in sustainable, affordable house design.


26 of the world's most stunning home offices     by   Darcy Wilson

13 October 2014

Even the most lazily prepared home offices have more character and warmth than the sun starved, lowest-common-denominator melamine clad shame cubicles so many of us inhabit for half of our conscious hours these days.

27 amazing homes built from 11 unusual materials     by   Darcy Wilson

30 September 2014


We don't have the exact figures on hand, but it's very safe to say that most houses are built using the traditional, conventional stuff - bricks and mortar, timber or steel frames - you get the idea.

More and more though, we're seeing amazingly clever and striking houses built using different things - often with the goal of recycling, and in many cases achieving some huge wins in terms of sustainability and general build quality.

Below's just a sample of some of the creative material options you can build your house from:


Interior design colour predictions for 2015     by   Darcy Wilson

27 August 2014

I think I mentioned last time that I'm not too good with colour - but it's always interesting to read these predictions and hear more from the experts about what's likely to dominate the trends.

For 2015, Dulux has created four colour palettes based on its colour predictions - these are called Wildland, Silentshift, Modhaus and Earthworks. To develop and represent these palettes, Dulux has worked with design professionals Juliet Moore and Ben Edwards from the architecture firm Edwards Moore, and textile designers Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie of Bonnie and Neil.


Reinventing the bathroom - Bathroom Innovation Awards 2014     by   Darcy Wilson

25 August 2014


The trends and gadgets constantly come and go, but modern (western-style) bathrooms really haven't changed in any substantial way for about 100 years - and there's a pretty compelling case to be made for the fact that the whole concept's long overdue for a dramatic shake-up.

16 clever ways to improve your balcony     by   Darcy Wilson

19 August 2014



A naked, unadorned balcony's a sad sight. You've paid for all that glorious outdoor living space, and haven't managed to get the neurons firing in a way that lets you put it to proper use. Done well, a balcony's easily the best part of your house - it's worth putting in a bit of thought to make yours a place people want to be...


1. Install a bar around the edge

Great for narrow balconies where you don't have room for a decent sized table - especially if you have a view worth enjoying...

BDAV Awards 2014: The Winners' Gallery     by   Darcy Wilson

30 July 2014



The Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV) held its awards night last weekend, and we were lucky enough to go along. There were some spectacular homes on display, both as winners, as highly commended runners up and as nominees.

A picture tells a thousand words - so we've collected together a gallery of the winning entries.


Union of Old and New - Archsign

6 of the world's best games rooms     by   Darcy Wilson

22 July 2014


You don't have to be dripping with money to appreciate the appeal of a dedicated games room - and there's no hard and fast rule that says what kind of games it has to accommodate. This week we're showcasing six of the most interesting dedicated games rooms we've seen for a while. Enjoy!


1. Michael Jackson's games room (virtual tour)

Spot the difference: rendered or real?     by   Darcy Wilson

27 June 2014

Here's an interesting secret about those perfect houses that you look at in catalogues and on sites like Pinterest: more and more of them are fake.

Lots of big companies (and design and architecture firms) looking to show off their work are turning to seriously convincing 3D computer renderings as a way both to cut costs, and create the 'perfect' picture of what they're selling. Not convinced? IKEA used computer renderings for more than 25% of the pictures in its 2013 catalogue... most people just can't tell the difference.

Vote for the BDAV 'People's Choice' 2014     by   Darcy Wilson

02 June 2014


The title says it all really - I got an email this morning saying that the voting's open for this year's BDAV People's Choice Awards. The People's Choice Awards are a chance for the rest of us to vote for our favourites from the projects nominated for the Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV) Building Design Awards 2014.

There are some incredible houses nominated this year (have included a couple of examples below) - drop over, have a look through and vote for your favourite design here:

25 amazing ideas for kids bedrooms     by   Darcy Wilson

19 May 2014

There's plenty of scope for clever design when it comes to kids' bedrooms - not just to make things look fun, but also to make the most of space, to give them a place to play, and - more importantly - to build the kinds of brilliant things we'd love to have in our bedrooms as adults if people weren't likely to judge us for it...

Here are some of the best we've seen:


Climbing walls

A fantastic idea if your kids are half-monkey - but probably only sensible if you have high ceilings and you're able to put in some safety measures underneath.

10 of Australia's best 'face saving' renovations     by   Darcy Wilson

05 May 2014


It can be hard to let go of a nice old house, no matter how much you want to drag it into the 21st century. Sometimes it's a nostalgic thing. Other times, it's because your local council wants to prevent you from expressing your bold 'tastes' in ways that are likely to make the neighbours squirm.

16 incredible renovation finds     by   Darcy Wilson

23 April 2014


In the backs of our minds, we're all quietly hoping to uncover something a bit special when we renovate an old house. 99% of the time something interesting does turn up, but 99% of the time it's either:


Winners gallery: houses from the Dulux Colour Awards, 2014     by   Darcy Wilson

28 March 2014


Each year Dulux holds its Dulux Colour Awards to honour architects and designers who use colour in innovative ways - and to showcase the excellent work they've been doing.

As well as being a good way to highlight the clever work done by some of our better local architects and designers, the awards are also a good opportunity to see what's happening in terms of colour and design trends for houses - and perhaps to find a bit of inspiration (or maybe a designer or architect) for your own place.

9 of the world's most incredible back yards     by   Darcy Wilson

25 March 2014

I won't surprise anyone by saying that here in Australia we love our back yards. We've got the weather for it, a whole host of TV shows, radio shows and magazines dedicated to them - and the space and expendable incomes necessary to do create some amazing things.

For no other reason than the fact that it's genuinely fascinating, this week we thought we'd put up a quick blog showing off some of the amazing (non-garden) things people build in their back yards:


1. The Boulder Creek Tramway (Tasmania)


How Google wants to control your home     by   Darcy Wilson

20 February 2014


For years, people have spoken with great conviction and excitement about a big surge towards pervasive, high tech home automation. If you look at the way microprocessor technology and the internet have crept into every other facet of our lives - and at how obsessed most of us are with comfort, convenience and efficiency (particularly at home) it's been a safe conclusion to draw for as long as anyone's drawn it.


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