Inside the Japanese retreat at 28 Mackennal Street in Canberra

Behind the unique front of this 1950s home lies a spectacular ‘Japanese retreat’ – complete with a dreamy bathroom sanctuary, modern decor and an airy open plan living area perfect for entertaining

  • An architect has created an epic oriental retreat fronted by an unassuming façade on a quiet Canberra street
  • The one-of-a-kind home at 28 Mackennal Street in Lyneham was inspired by Japanese interior design
  • Made from Australian-sourced recycled materials, it has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a four-car garage
  • Standout features include a bath clad in Tasmanian oak and a grass-watering system controlled from an app
  • The outdoor deck is made out of timber salvaged from a basketball court at the Australian Institute of Sport
  • So unique is the design that the home is nominated for the 2020 Master Builders Association Housing Awards

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An architect has transformed a 1950s brick cottage into a unique oriental retreat fronted by an unassuming façade on a quiet Canberra street.

Redesigned in collaboration between construction firm MegaFlora and architect Blake O’Neill, the one-of-a-kind two-storey at 28 Mackennal Street in Lyneham, in the capital’s leafy north, was inspired by the owners’ love of Japanese interiors which are simple but always of the highest quality craftsmanship.

Built from recycled materials sourced across New South Wales and the ACT, the four-bedroom house – which took three years to complete – has sustainability etched into every corner.

The outdoor entertainment deck is made out of timber salvaged from an old basketball court at the Australian Institute of Sport, while a whopping 680 metres of repurposed hardwood battens run along the ceiling alone.

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The redesigned 1950s cottage at 28 Mackennal Street in Canberra, which has been transformed into a unique four-bed home

The redesigned 1950s cottage at 28 Mackennal Street in Canberra, which has been transformed into a unique four-bed home

Spacious living areas with towering ceilings and a north-facing kitchen which opens onto the terrace are spread over 292 square metres, along with a master bedroom complete with a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite with two showers.

‘The open plan design of the master bedroom and ensuite makes it feel generous but the use of darker colours and a high level window which captures the street trees helps to create a sense of intimacy and privacy,’ architect Blake O’Neill told Daily Mail Australia.

A wooden bathtub clad in recycled Tasmanian oak is the centre-piece of the master bathroom which is flooded with natural light and covered in handmade floor-to-ceiling finger tiles – a traditional interior trend in the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’.  

The north-facing kitchen has sliding doors which open onto the outdoor entertainment deck, made from recycled timber

The north-facing kitchen has sliding doors which open onto the outdoor entertainment deck, made from recycled timber

Four bedrooms (one pictured) are spread over the 292 square metre house

Handmade finger tiles (pictured) are fixed to the walls of the two bathrooms

Four bedrooms (one pictured left) and two bathrooms fitted with handmade Japanese finger tiles (right) are spread over the 292 square metre house

Custom features include a steel fireplace (pictured) and recycled hardwood battens which run along the ceiling

Custom features include a steel fireplace (pictured) and recycled hardwood battens which run along the ceiling

Other custom features include a steel frame encasing the brick fireplace and an

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Ecoliv Building’s retreat at 3 Hope Way, Phillip Island is a lesson in style and sustainability

Inside this quirky eco-home lies a spectacular island retreat – complete with sweeping views, dreamy rustic decor and a chic outdoor relaxation hub

  • Sustainable architects have built an eco-friendly retreat on the coast of popular holiday spot, Phillip Island
  • Designed by Ecoliv Building, 3 Hope Way offers views of the surrounding countryside from every room
  • It’s made with ‘minimal waste’ materials and powered by solar panels, a 250l water tank and electric carport
  • The one-of-a-kind home has two bedrooms, a butler’s pantry and an spacious outdoor entertainment deck

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Architects have built an eco-friendly seaside retreat on the coast of popular holiday destination, Phillip Island.

Designed by Ecoliv Building, a firm headquartered in Gippsland, Victoria which specialises in environmentally-conscious prefabricated housing, 3 Hope Way in Cowes, the main town on the northern side of the island, is a lesson that sustainability can be achieved without compromising on style. 

The single-storey home, which was custom made with ‘minimal waste’ materials, has an impressively low energy rating thanks to renewable power sources that include solar panels, an electric carport and a 250-litre water tank.

The one-of-a-kind two-bedroom boasts a butler’s pantry, two living rooms and a ‘floating’ egg chair on its spacious outdoor deck – but there’s no question that the standout feature is the enormous living room window which captures unrestricted views of the surrounding countryside in its frame.

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Architects have built an eco-friendly seaside retreat on the coast of popular holiday destination, Phillip Island

Architects have built an eco-friendly seaside retreat on the coast of popular holiday destination, Phillip Island

It was designed by Ecoliv Building, a firm headquartered in Gippsland, Victoria which specialises in environmentally-conscious prefabricated housing

It was designed by Ecoliv Building, a firm headquartered in Gippsland, Victoria which specialises in environmentally-conscious prefabricated housing 

There's no question that the standout feature is the enormous living room window which captures unrestricted views of the surrounding countryside in its frame

There’s no question that the standout feature is the enormous living room window which captures unrestricted views of the surrounding countryside in its frame

Set on 684 square metres of land, the building consists of two ‘modules’ which intersect in a perpendicular ‘T’ shape.

The first houses a rumpus room, pantry and open plan kitchen-cum-living area while the second is filled with a bathroom, laundry and both bedrooms.

A mirrored splashback over the kitchen sink creates a reflection of the rural surrounds, flooding the house with natural light and bringing a sense of the outdoors inside.

Set on 684 square metres of land, the building consists of two 'modules' which intersect in a perpendicular 'T' shape - the first filled with a rumpus room, pantry and kitchen-cum-living area

Set on 684 square metres of land, the building consists of two ‘modules’ which intersect in a perpendicular ‘T’ shape – the first filled with a rumpus room, pantry and kitchen-cum-living area

The second houses a bathroom (pictured), laundry and two bedrooms

A mirrored splashback over the kitchen sink creates a reflection of the rural surrounds, flooding the house with natural light and bringing a sense of the outdoors inside

The second module houses a bathroom (left), while a mirrored splashback in the kitchen (right) reflects sunlight inside

The interior design compliments the coastal surrounds, with beachy accessories like wicker baskets used throughout

The interior design compliments the coastal surrounds, with beachy accessories like wicker baskets used throughout

The one-of-a-kind two-bedroom boasts a butler's pantry and a 'floating' egg chair on the outdoor deck

The one-of-a-kind two-bedroom boasts a butler’s pantry and a ‘floating’ egg chair on the outdoor deck

On the side of the house, a large entertainment deck runs parallel to the kitchen while the car port backs onto the bathroom in a further nod to the sustainability of the design.

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The Phoenix Garden is a green retreat in London’s West End

The Phoenix Garden, a green space and community building tucked into London’s West End, takes centre stage in the next short film published with Open House London.

Filmed by Jim Stephenson, the documentary is one of nine videos that will feature on Dezeen throughout Open House London 2020 to celebrate rarely published places in the capital.

The Phoenix Garden is located on a former World War II bomb site near Convent Garden. It opened to the public in 1984 as one of seven green retreats in the area, but it is the only one remaining.

In 2017, local studio Office Sian added a brick and limestone building to the entrance of the site, which contains a multifunctional space for events and workshops to expand the garden’s offerings.

The Phoenix Garden community building in west London by Office Sian
The Phoenix Garden’s exterior that references traditional walled gardens

In the documentary, Office Sian founder, Gurmeet Sian, outlines the story behind the studio’s design for the building.

He notes that it takes its cues from traditional English walled gardens but also forms a connection with the existing brick pathways that meander through the site, which were built by the Phoenix Garden’s own gardener.

The boundary wall is punctured by a giant, wooden archway to the street, which conceals the garden and entices passersby by showing them that “there’s something beyond.”

The Phoenix Garden community building in west London by Office Sian
Architect Gurmeet Sian beside the arched wooden entrance

Sian goes on to emphasise that the design of the community building was a highly collaborative process, during which the studio worked with the Phoenix Garden’s board of trustees and gardener.

“The design process for this project was really fascinating,” Sian explained.

“Some projects you have a little bit more autonomy as an architect. For this project, there was a strong element of that, but equally, there was a strength of conversations between myself and the Board of Trustees, but in particular, the gardener Chris, and what formed was quite an interesting bond,” he said.

“We really had to almost come up with an innovative, interesting way of working.”

The Phoenix Garden community building in west London by Office Sian
The view of the garden from inside the building

Reflecting on the project, Sian said the highlight of designing community spaces like this is seeing them in use, and a sign of his engagement with the scheme is that he had his wedding breakfast there shortly after its completion.

“It’s fantastic to occasionally come back when I’m invited to see how it’s bedded into, not only the geographical and architectural characteristics of the site but embedded into the community,” he explained.

“It’s quite rare to feel that you are so involved in the project that you can actually get married within your own building, but my wife and I are very fortunate to have our wedding breakfast here.”

Open House London responds to “fiendish challenge” of coronavirus with video tours, cycle rides and model kits

Dezeen is a media partner for Open House London and is showcasing a different short film every day during the festival. The documentaries form part of the event’s diverse programme for

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Mum reveals how she transformed her grotty old bathroom into a stunning retreat

Mum transforms her grotty old bathroom into a stunning spa-inspired retreat – and the entire project cost her just $5,000

  • A mum has revealed how she transformed her grotty old bathroom for $5,000
  • Australian woman Connie Lane revealed she shopped at Bunnings for the reno
  • Connie said she and her husband did the project entirely themselves
  • Thousands who saw the transformation online were impressed with the results 

A mum has revealed how she transformed her grotty old bathroom into a stunning retreat in a few weekends – and she saved thousands by doing it herself. 

Australian woman Connie Lane spent just $5,000 on her ‘budget bathroom renovation’, saying it’s ‘one hell of an improvement from the original space’. 

Typically, homeowners in Australia can expect to spend between $18,000 and $25,000 on a new bathroom.

‘It’s done. Our budget bathroom reno is complete,’ Connie posted on Facebook.

BEFORE: A mum has revealed how she transformed her grotty old bathroom into a stunning retreat in a few weekends - and she saved thousands by doing it herself (pictured before)

BEFORE: A mum has revealed how she transformed her grotty old bathroom into a stunning retreat in a few weekends – and she saved thousands by doing it herself (pictured before)

AFTER: Australian woman Connie Lane spent just $5,000 on her 'budget bathroom renovation', saying it's 'one hell of an improvement from the original space' (pictured after)

AFTER: Australian woman Connie Lane spent just $5,000 on her ‘budget bathroom renovation’, saying it’s ‘one hell of an improvement from the original space’ (pictured after)

‘It took a few weekends as there was a delay in receiving our shower wet walls.

‘But I think we kept it under $5k. We may have a few cents left and all work was done by us.’ 

Connie revealed where she bought all of the items from in the bathroom, including the bath and shower screen from Builders’ Discount Warehouse and the shower walls from Mr Wet Wall.

‘I bought the vanity from IKEA, the tapware and a wine rack for the towels from Catch of the Day and the barn door, paint, panels and trims all came from Bunnings Warehouse,’ she said.

DURING: Bar moving the bath, Connie said she didn't re-do much of the plumbing as she wanted to save money, and she did the whole project for under $5k (pictured during)

DURING: Bar moving the bath, Connie said she didn't re-do much of the plumbing as she wanted to save money, and she did the whole project for under $5k (pictured during)

DURING: Bar moving the bath, Connie said she didn’t re-do much of the plumbing as she wanted to save money, and she did the whole project for under $5k (pictured during)

Finally, the vinyl flooring came from Evolved Floors, and the mirror was a splurge buy from Temple and Webster.

‘It’s one hell of an improvement from the original bathroom. Now if the boys mess it up they’ll be showering outside,’ Connie concluded.

Thousands who saw the transformation on Facebook were impressed with the results.

‘This looks amazing, such a good job,’ one woman posted.

‘Wow, very impressive,’ another added.

AFTER: 'It's one hell of an improvement from the original bathroom. Now if the boys mess it up they'll be showering outside,' Connie said (pictured after)

AFTER: ‘It’s one hell of an improvement from the original bathroom. Now if the boys mess it up they’ll be showering outside,’ Connie said (pictured after)

AFTER: Thousands who saw the transformation on Facebook were impressed with the results, saying it had inspired them to do their own bathroom (pictured after)

AFTER: Thousands who saw the transformation on Facebook were impressed with the results, saying it had inspired them to do their own bathroom (pictured after)

Some asked whether she re-did the plumbing anywhere, as this can be expensive.

‘We kept everything else pretty much in its original

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Safe House Wellness Retreat

Rehabilitation becomes necessary when a situation falls into disrepair, and needs to be restored to a better condition. Rehabilitation becomes necessary for humans after an accident or surgery or when they are learning to live without drugs or other addictive substances or behaviors. In a rehabilitation center where treatment and training for rehabilitation are provided, clients are given physical, occupational and or vocational therapy according to their needs.

It is in the light of the above definition, that Safe House Wellness Retreat's latest blog will consider cogent and very important reasons why you should consider a rehab as soon as possible, if you need to. The following are some of the reasons:

Addicts are helped to get off drugs or alcohol

Perhaps the most important reward an addict gets for enrolling in a rehabilitation center is that he or she is taught how to get off the hook of addiction and stay free. When a person is free from addiction, living a normal life in the society becomes easy and interesting.

Proper Guidance and Supervision are provided in Rehab

In a rehabilitation center, there are members of staff who are adequately trained and competent to offer proper guidance to clients. The supervision system in such centers are designed and programmed to give anyone who enrolls in the facility the appropriate help which they might not get at home or when they are alone. With such an encouraging atmosphere, clients' recovery process will be smoother and easier.

Treatment and Therapies are diversified

During the rehabilitation process, there are diverse therapies available for treating addiction. Such treatments are designed in a way that the psychological status of clients is regulated and definitely out of all the treatment types available, a client will get one that will suit him or her perfectly.

Emotional and Mental health concerns are addressed

The services offered in a rehabilitation center cater for the mental and emotional challenges a person might have. This is so because clients will be treated by specialist and issues such as depression, anger and anxiety are properly addressed.

Good habits are encouraged

At the heart of a successful rehabilitation process is the adoption of good routines by the addict. This ensures that the risk of suffering a relapse is minimally reduced. By the information made available to them and the activities and programs implemented in a rehab, clients are made to choose positive habits which will ultimately help them stay free.

Addicts are taught how to deal with relapse

Knowledge about suitable tools, how and when to put them to use are critical for an addict trying to recover because even after going through a rehabilitation treatment, an addict may still suffer a relapse. To solve this, most centers equip their clients with strategies and skills of dealing with a relapse when it occurs. With such powerful information, addicts can comfortably gain knowledge of addiction and how to get over a relapse and move on with their normal life even without the need …

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