Starting out on your green home journey? Ballarat’s ‘Smart Living and Building Expo’ (& we) can help!

Are you just starting out on your green home journey? Do you want a sustainably designed home but are not sure where to go, who to ask, or even how to find them in the first place? If so, you are not alone. The building process can be very daunting, especially at the very beginning.

I met many people last weekend who were at this initial stage. They all had dreams of what they wanted, but none were sure where to start. They had all come along on Sunday 23rd February 2014, to the “Ballarat Smart Living and Building Expo” (just one of the Victoria-wide “Sustainable Living Festival” events), where I had a stall/display. Friends of Royal Park in Buninyong ran this inaugural event, and there were over 40 stalls dedicated to sustainable lifestyles, including four local architectural practices that specialise in sustainable design. The organisers estimated over 1000 people attended the event, and I certainly found that there was a constant stream of lovely people to chat with over the day.

Ballarat Smart Building Living Expo


“Do I need an Architect?” & Mailing List Sign-Up at the ‘Ballarat Smart Living and Building Expo’


Our display at the expo


Hi! My name’s “Talina” – not Tania or Talia or Helena or Selina  :o)


So many lovely folk to chat with! And the kids-colouring table (& wooden building blocks) getting a work-out!

I loved hearing about the unique sites people had (inner-city Ballarat, Ballarat-outskirts, Skipton, Beaufort, Buninyong, Lal Lal, Daylesford, Otways, Yea, Melbourne, South Australia, and more!), and loved listening to people tell me about their dreams for their future sustainable homes…

I chatted with many, many folk throughout the day, and the comments I kept hearing were: “We’re just starting out…”, “We’re not sure where to start…”, “We have a site [here] and we think we want to do [x] but we need help…”

This is why the very first question should be “Do I need an Architect?” I’ve answered this for you in my FREE guide and checklist. Just sign up to my mailing list to get your copy. It makes sense to talk to an expert who has been through this very same process countess times, and can help answer your questions, and guide you through the designing/planning/building journey so that you enjoy it without undue stress. Sometimes it can be hard to see the proverbial forest for the trees! You can have so many ideas, but it can be hard to visualize how they will all come together. The right architect will listen to you and get to know you (and your site) thoroughly, and will help you piece together the bits of the puzzle so your dream-home design will unfold before your eyes…

The expo was a great opportunity for people to come and ‘shop-around’ by meeting with different designers to get a feel for the individual philosophies and unique services provided by each practice, and to get a sense if they were on the same wavelength.

I also loved the immediate feedback I received about my ‘stand/display’…with a number of people saying it was a green ‘oasis’ with the bamboo blinds and pot-plants! It was important to me, as a designer, to create a comfortable, welcoming, living space with roof, walls, and a floor. (Not just a laptop, or a folio to flip through on a table). I had quite a few comments on my attention to detail, and that is great compliment – as that is the same way I approach each Architectural project I do.


I loved that the kids created their own gallery and pegged up their artwork!


I loved that people felt comfortable entering and using the space I’d created…just as I’d intended. (A place to chat, a place to rest, a place to create some art…) And we even tried to keep this gorgeous dog as our mascot – he felt right at home!


Our little free gift  – a bookmark made from hand-made paper with native Swan-River-Daisy seeds inside, with the quote “From little things, big things grow” (Thanks Paul Kelly!)I’ll definitely do more of these expos in the future, as it is a great opportunity to meet more people in the community who are also passionate about green buildings and sustainable design, and that is just so inspiring to see! This is one of the reasons I wanted to create a little take home gift for everyone who stopped by to say hello to me at the Expo…a bookmark with native wildflower seeds. Just a way of me being able to say ‘thank you, it is lovely to meet you’.

Talina x

Are you just starting out on your dream home journey too? Have a quick look here to see how we can help.

Still got questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page, or please get in touch with me and ask away! I’d be happy to help.



  1. Ailsa B du Bois on March 1, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Love your work Talina, and your attention to detail especially. Ax

    • Talina Edwards on March 1, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      Thank you Ailsa! And thanks for taking the time to leave a comment too – appreciate it! x

  2. Louise on March 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    I love your designs too Talina. Your stand looks beautiful and reflects your style.

    • Eat Drink Grow Local on March 1, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      I loved your display Talina. It was beautiful and very inviting. The kids loved colouring in too. One day we hope to buy land and build a sustainable home. Good to know who to talk to when we begin the journey! Congrats. Sounds like it was a great success x

      • Talina Edwards on March 1, 2014 at 10:32 pm

        Thanks for stopping to say hi! And I loved that your girls were immediately drawn to the kids table. Keep dreaming about your dream-home & one day it will become your reality! x

    • Talina Edwards on March 1, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Thanks Louise! Glad you like! x

  3. Christene Zlatkovic on March 2, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Talina, It was great catching up with you at the expo and your site looked great and achieved what you set out for. An eye for detail, pre-planning and design. Well done.

    • Talina Edwards on March 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks Christene! Was lovely chatting with you too x

  4. Victoria Lovejoy on March 3, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    it was lovely to meet you at Bunninyong Talina. Hopefully we will catch up again the dreams evolve

    • Talina Edwards on March 3, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks Victoria – it was lovely to meet you & Gary too! I look forward to hearing more about your (future) home someday. x

  5. Susan Nethercote on March 5, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Oh I so wish I could have seen it in the flesh Talina! You stall looked so beautiful and I know how much hard work went into it. Your energy and passion for what you do is super-inspiring! xx

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  8. […] of local stallholders, exhibitors and services – all with a focus on sustainable living. (Here’s some pics of the first time I attended). It is on Sunday 28 February from 10am to 4pm at Royal Park in […]