Sustainable with plenty of style
IT TAKES a second glance to realise that the vintagestyle interiors of Stefan and Trudie Jamason’s home are more than just a look.
Just about every part of the Alexandria terrace house was renovated six years ago using secondhand materials.
Living in a sustainable home was the driving force behind the family of six’s approach but the stylish and economic results are also enjoyable rewards.
“We had a lot of kids and not much money so we needed to do it for a reasonable price,” Trudie Jamason says. “We said to ourselves, ‘it has to be practical, eco and beautiful’.”
Using a mix of eBay and Gumtree purchases and friends’ unwanted materials it all came to a cost of about $15,000 for home features, including a solar power system.
A bit of lateral thinking found them their home’s cheapest and quirkiest features. The living room floorboards are from a Scout hall that was being torn down; you look out to their courtyard through a porthole window from a ship in Copacabana and double doors from a railway carriage have been installed in an upstairs bedroom
While they did much of the work themselves – Stefan has a background in electrical engineering – Jamason says careful planning and an understanding builder were essential to the process.
“We spent nine months drawing it all up and mapping it out on paper,” she says. “You’ve got one chance to do it and it’s really hard to change things later.”
Their home will be one of more than 100 properties open to the public for Sustainable House Day on Sunday, September 11.
Jamason says she wants to show people how easy it is to make environmentally friendly changes to their home on a small budget. “It isn’t hard, especially now that there are a lot of products available,” she says. Details and registration at sustainablehouseday.com
Left: Trudie Jamason and children Liam and Maya at her second-hand cottage. Picture: Danny Aarons Above: Bookshelf made of secondhand Ikea shelves. Picture: Alternative Technology Association