NESTLED in Tallebudgera overlooking the Gold Coast, rainforest residence Miri Miri is evidence sustainable design can be seamlessly elegant too.
Owners Blair Schooley and his wife Judy bought the 8.5ha block in 2006, with a dream to create something that complemented nature.
Mr Schooley said he had wanted a home with a backyard where he could "feel the grass between his toes".
"We figured we wanted to spend more time outside, so we needed a design that would fit that lifestyle," the father-of-two said.
"I'm not a designer but I have a lot of friends who are architects so I mulled the idea of sustainable design with them."
Designed by architect Colin Loel, the sprawling residence was created with the Queensland weather in mind.
"The best way I can describe it, is a really long and narrow building that is about one room wide all the way through," Mr Schooley said.
"The idea behind that was so we didn't need airconditioning. In the winter the house absorbs the sun, it is very clever like that.
"It is purposefully designed. Since we have lived there we have never taken the doona off our beds."
Mr Schooley said the extensive use of concrete kept the house cool while the narrow design allowed breezes to flow right through the house.
The four-bedroom house has north-facing rooms, breezeways, polished concrete floors and louvres for cross ventilation.
"At first we wanted to build the house under the cliff on the property, but decided it was the backyard space we wanted," Mr Schooley said.
"There is a guesthouse my brother uses when he comes to stay."
An open-air bathroom with a large cast iron bath and rain showerhead features at the back of the guesthouse which Mr Schooley described as a retreat.
"I thought I would get sick of driving up the road to the house every day," he said. "But it turned out to be therapeutic."
Natural features include recycled timber and stone along with an angled ceiling with exposed beams in the kitchen.
The kitchen benchtops are made from recycled timber from a railway bridge in Yamba.
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