HEALTH & HOME
The streets are buzzing with walkers, joggers and those bearing yoga mats – have you noticed? As the new leaves unfurl on trees and spring flowers bloom, winter garb is shrugged off and the race to be fit for warm-weather attire is on. There are boxers in parks and runners by the bays. The pools are busy, activewear abounds and the wellness literature is flooding in.
Only this feels like more than a seasonal whim. With more and more people seeking at least temporary retreat from the pace of work, life and technology, the pursuit of good health, mindfulness and clean living is on in earnest.
Up there with green juices, F45 classes and yoga retreats is deeper thinking about our homes and the way they affect our health and general wellbeing. Several of the newly built homes featured in this ‘wellness issue’ put family health and wellbeing at the centre of their design, a decision which flows through to material choices, finishes and furniture and, naturally, the consideration of sustainable principles. Says homeowner Lee-Anne (p192): “Increasingly, we are making more informed decisions about what we eat, what we put on our skin and the chemicals we clean with. I think the flow-on is to question the healthiness of our built environment.”
The many health benefits of gardening are well documented and the wonderful Yarra riverside garden of author and plantswoman Kate Herd is a delightful healing hub (p161). Unresolved and eccentric, in Kate’s words, it’s a testing ground for her horticultural experiments, a playground for her daughter and a welcome retreat for locals. “My garden sustains the local environment, nourishes my soul and inspires my work,” says Kate.
“I am thankful to share it with others.”
As I write this letter, preparations are well underway for H&G’s annual Top 50 Rooms event. This one feels extra special, taking place 20 years after H&G launched the initiative.
Gathered together in the magazine’s 50th-anniversary issue were the best practitioners of residential design at the time, a weighty line-up of interior designers, architects and decorators, including late greats George Freedman, Leslie Walford and Stuart Rattle. John Wardle, Andrew Parr, Sue Carr and
Nik Karalis all presented projects neatly in line with their aesthetic today. The same can be said of landscape designer Paul Bangay
(see p116). Also in the 1998 line-up were Thomas Hamel and Meryl Hare – and both have stellar projects in this year’s Top 50.
Huge thanks to our longtime Top 50 Rooms partner, Warwick Fabrics, an Australian brand that continues to innovate; to category sponsors and also to Cathay Pacific… the airline will whisk our lucky Room of the Year winner off to the Maison & Objet fair in Paris this January.
You’ll find our Top 50 on page 53. Enjoy! And don’t forget to vote for your favourite.