Homes and gardens to inspire you for Open House Melbourne

It’s that time of year again – Open House Melbourne is happening this weekend, where you’ll be able to explore all of the glorious buildings that Melbourne has to offer for a limited time only. Check out the 2019 program here – you can also pick this up in many of our stores.

To inspire you and wet your whistle for the weekend to come, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite titles celebrating the beautiful homes, gardens and architecture of Australia and the world.


Small House Living Australia by Catherine Foster

For those of us who grew up watching such programs as Grand Designs, we know that ingenuity, innovation and creativity doesn’t just have to be relegated to the big and boisterous. Small House Living Australia shows us that sometimes, the smaller the space, the bigger the dream, with 21 small but inspiring Australian homes. Some are clever additions onto tight urban sites: others are tranquil weekenders in deep countryside – what all have in common is a shared belief that good architectural design principles make even the smallest of architectural and ecological footprints possible.


More Great Properties of Country Victoria by Richard Allen and Kimbal Baker

This fascinating and beautiful book takes us into the private world of thirteen notable properties. It’s a treat to see the photography exploring the splendour of great homes and properties that have been lovingly maintained and carefully restored. It’s like stepping onto a different continent; many of the settlers who established these homesteads were trying to recreate the English and European countryside with which they were familiar. We can’t necessarily get inside, sadly, but we can dream (and live vicariously through photographs).


Living in Australia by Robin Boyd and Mark Strizic

Robin Boyd is perhaps one of the most influential 20th-century Australian architects, although is best known for his small-house designs. Living in Australia, a seminal book where Boyd writes about his own work – a rarity, although Boyd had nine published titles – includes colour photographs by John Gollings and essays by renowned architects Kerstin Thompson and Rachel Neeson reflecting upon the importance of Robin Boyd’s work.


Australian Dreamscapes by Claire Takacs

Claire Takacs' Australian Dreamscapes is a beautifully put together collection of photography exploring some of Australia’s most beautiful, diverse and dynamic gardens, paired with essays from the garden-owners or designers. Whether you’re a garden enthusiast, budding horticulturist or landscape gardener, Australian Dreamscapes is the dreamy, moving book that you need. You’ll be thinking of these beautiful gardens while you’re stuck in the office or the car, that’s for certain.


The New Australian Garden: Landscapes for Living by Michael Bates

The New Australian Garden: Landscapes for Living is an insider’s account of the journey to design, construct and plant 18 landmark gardens that represent a new movement in Australian landscape design – one where the relationship between architecture and garden is paramount. This intriguing book has been put together by landscaper Michael Bates, working alone and in collaboration with some of the greatest design talents in the field. Inspiring. Are we allowed to jump fences to look at private gardens yet?


This is Home: The Art of Simple Living by Natalie Walton

This is Home: The Art of Simple Living is about simple living – how to focus on our values to create authentic homes full of meaning and joy. Author Natalie Walton has the enviable task of stepping inside fifteen homes across the world to meet the people who made them, and discover whether there is some universality to what makes us happy in the spaces we inhabit. Filled with beautiful photography, transporting stories and practical advice, this book inspires us to nurture the space that helps make our lives possible.


Living in the Landscape: Extraordinary rural homes in Australia and New Zealand by Anna Johnson and Richard Black

Hands up who has dreamed of packing in city life and high-tailing it to the country? In Living in the Landscape: Extraordinary rural homes in Australia and New Zealand, Anna Johnson and Richard Black explore new and exciting relationships between landscape and design. Their book examines how architects increasingly use various nuanced landscape conditions as inspiration and sites for creativity. Sadly, we can’t get inside these remarkable spaces for Open House Melbourne – but we can dream.

For the full list of Open House Melbourne activities, visit their website here.