Sustainable Homes

A Beautiful, Sustainable Home On A Surprisingly Small Footprint

Minimal living may look beautiful in magazines… but we often suspect that the owners have a secret cupboard for random power cords, nick-nacks, old USB’s and bits of ribbon you might-use-one-day. For Reece Stubbs, the owner and architect of The Bungalow in Cape Paterson – there really is no junk cupboard!

Reece, of The Sociable Weaver, takes us on a tour of his minimalist, eco-conscious three bedroom home, built on a surprisingly small footprint.

Miriam McGarry
Supports The Design Files

A stunning view over Cape Paterson. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Reece Stubbs of The Sociable Weaver with The Bungalow. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Welcome to The Bungalow by The Sociable Weaver. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

A small home that is designed to feel spacious. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

The South Gippsland property has views back into the surrounding hills. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Warm light floods living room. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

This home is designed for simple luxury, and living with only what you need. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

This home is designed to be a restorative retreat. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Ray of light sparkles across the bedroom. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

An elegant and understated bathroom. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

A small footprint, with a big impact. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

The Bungalow is build with The Cape eco village. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

A beach for a backyard… Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Miriam McGarry
28th of June 2019

The inspiration for ‘The Bungalow’ came from the challenge of ‘creating a little space that feels big’, architect and owner Reece Stubbs explains. The Sociable Weaver architect and his partner Steph both grew up around the Bass Coast of South Gippsland, and Reece explains ‘the beaches and the surrounding countryside hold a really strong sense of belonging and refuge for us.’ With this is mind, the couple designed The Bungalow as a space of retreat, connection and consideration.

Reese explains ‘when creating The Bungalow, it was really important for us that the house was a direct reflection of our desire to strip back our lives.’ The minimal, bright space has a relatively small footprint for a three-bedroom home, but the 112m2 house has been designed to feel generous and expansive. Reese highlights, ‘it’s about redefining this idea that to feel spacious, we need to have a lot of actual physical space. For us that’s not true.’

This philosophy is inspired by a Scandinavian approach to living – not aesthetically, but in terms of streamlined function and practicality. Additionally, Reese acknowledges Japanese design as a key reference point, particularly the idea of creating a space that can ‘inspire your behaviour and way of life.’

The Bungalow’s modest size was a deliberate environmental consideration. Reese and Steph want to show ‘we don’t all need to take up these big blocks, and put big houses on them, or build boundary to boundary.’ There is a richness in living small!

The residence is located within the The Cape eco village in Cape Paterson, which is part of a sustainability movement aimed at cultivating community, encouraging environmental protection, and developing a benchmark for sustainable design. Building here necessitated strict adherence with sustainability guidelines, which Reese sees as enhancing the overall quality of The Bungalow. If this minimal eco dream is creating a burning desire for a bungalow of your own, there are currently lots on sale at The Cape! But you don’t need to live in an eco village to think about the size of your home or the belongings you fill it with. Reese explains that through sharing The Bungalow ‘we really feel like we’re helping people to realize that, and it’s so exciting for the future of our planet and the built environment.’

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