Category Archives: Musings

reduce reuse recycle [and rethink]: buildings

sustainable green eco homes building renovation extension Ballarat Daylesford Melbourne Victoria

reduce reuse recycle [and rethink]: buildings

When it comes to caring for the environment, we’re all pretty used to the concept of “The Three R’s”, in terms of sorting our household waste, upcycling furniture, or embracing vintage fashion… but what about when it comes to buildings?

As an architect with a passion for sustainable design, I dream of the day where we can ALL live in affordable, comfortable, healthy, beautiful and sustainable homes that have a strong connection with (and care for) our natural environment.

At the rate we are consuming the earth’s resources, Australians live like we had FOUR planets to provide for us1. Our current ecological footprint is not sustainable, and in order for our childrens’ children to be able to live in a world that provides enough for their needs, we need to make some more responsible decisions now.

Buildings consume around 40% of our planet’s materials, and 30% of energy resources2. It really is time to rethink our homes. It is not just about “adding” on solar panels and water tanks (although that all helps), there’s much more we can do to improve our mindset an create a more sustainable future. Continue reading

What can camping teach us about more sustainable living?

Sustainable Design Ballarat Architecture Green Building

“Take only photos, leave only footprints”

We recently spent some time camping down on the Great Ocean Road, at the picturesque National Parks camping site at Johanna Beach in the Otways. There was lots to love about the experience – including sharing my three-year-old son’s joy of his first-time camping! I also noticed that there are a LOT of lessons we can learn about living more sustainably…here’s fifteen for you.  Continue reading

Happy New Year!

Ballarat Green Buildings Sustainable Design  2015

Happy New Year!

May all your wishes come true! It’s going to be a great one – can’t you just feel it?!

Hope you’ve been enjoying a relaxing summer break – we have been!

We’ll back into the swing of the things again real soon…but for now it’s back to putting up my feet for a little longer!

Ballarat Sustainable Architect Green Builder

Talina Edwards Architecture is a Ballarat-based studio, with a passion for sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes. Click here so you won’t miss out on our monthly news!

It’s all about me…and sharing the love! (Liebster Award)

Talina Edwards Liebster Blog Award

So, my blog has been nominated for a Liebster Award! Thanks so much Louise! Which means you get to know a bit more about me on the blog today! (Feel free to change channels now…or if you’ve ever wondered where my name came from, read on and you’ll get to find out the answer)!

Some people may think of this as an annoying chain-letter scenario, but I think it’s a lovely way to get to know one another a bit better, and to link up with fellow bloggers. Louise has posed the following ten questions for me (there’s some great ones here – thanks Lou!). And if you’re interested in checking out the questions she answered, see here. (I love her response to number 9!)

1. Where does your name come from?

I get asked this a lot! I used to say my dad “made it up” but he once corrected me explaining that they didn’t sit down and try to invent a different name for me, but it intuitively came to him whilst my mum was pregnant. As though I’d communicated to him that my name would be Talina. (Some people think it this is a gorgeous story, others think it’s a bit hippy-woowoo! Either way, I love that my name is unique!)

2. What are you most afraid of?

Fear of failure! I’m a hard-working perfectionist who’s always strived for high-marks. I’ve been learning about creative-courage, embracing vulnerability, and I am improving this mindset…I hope!

3. Why do you go to work every day?

Because I love helping people create spaces (homes, workplaces, etc) that they love! I also love running my own Architectural Practice – working both in and on the business! And I love being a role model for my boys – that whether male or female, we all pitch in to do the housework, and we can all have careers which follow our dreams.

4. Who is the one person that makes your heart stir?

These days it is a three-way tie! I wish I could say it was my beloved partner, but the reality with young children is that they’re high on the list too!

5. Black & White or Shades of Grey?


6. Do you have a special family recipe to share?

This is one we made up last summer – healthy, sweet, cold, gluten-free, vegetarian, nut-free, (refined) sugar-free, and pretty yummy! It also featured in lovely Brigid’s book “Gorgeous Green Smoothies“.

Mint Choc-Chip Ice Cream:
2 frozen bananas (peel and chop before you freeze)
Big handful fresh mint leaves
½ cup frozen spinach leaves
Pinch of stevia (or other sweetner of your choice)
Small handful raw cacao nibs or dark choc chips
– Blend & enjoy! Our thermomix does this in a few seconds ;o)

7. Funniest moment in your life? 

Surely it’s not a good thing that I’m struggling to remember the “funniest” moment… I’m trying to recall those times of uncontrollable laughter where your belly aches. I know there has been many moments, but I can’t remember what they were, or which was the funniest, or why! Hmmm… the kids make me laugh often, seeing Ross Noble live was side-splittingly funny… I’ll have to get back to you!

8. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

As a LEO, my first instinct is to say a cat. To be able to laze around all day and have snuggles, be fed and cared for by loved ones, be able to have reign over my kingdom, and to be very particular about achieving my high levels of comfort (padding round and round until my cosy spot in the sun is just right)…

9. What do you hope to achieve with your blog?

I suppose I have a dual purpose. I want to help inform and inspire others about the world of sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes….but I also want to share the stuff that’s important to me too so you can get to know me (and my values) a bit better also.

10. Earth, Wind or Fire?

What about Water and Air? I love all the elements and what they stand for…hence “elemental design”. But I guess my answer is ‘Earth’, as my whole philosophy is about health of the planet, health of the people, and health of the wallet (affordability) too!

Did you learn something new about me?

And now, drum roll please…. my nominations are: 

Renae Barrass Interior Designer Extraordinaire

Liz Cummins Landscape Architect at Bricolage Design

Aldona Kmiec Award winning photographer

I LOVE the work these fabulous ladies do (and their blogs that share some of it with us!)

I could easily have picked a handful  more nominations – it was so hard to narrow it down!

Your 10 questions ladies:

1. Why is Design/Art important to you?

2. What is your favourite colour?

3. What do you love most about this time of year?

4. What are you currently listening to?

5. Have you spent an extended period of time overseas, and if so, where did you go?

6. Who inspires you?

7. What’s your most popular/favourite blog post (of yours)?

8. What is your simplest pleasure?

9. What/where is your favourite space to be (indoor or out)?

10. What are you most excited about today?

I’m looking forward to reading their answers, and getting to know them a bit better! And I wonder what questions they’ll ask their nominees… I hope you check them out too :o)