When you peek inside this bright and airy house, it’s hard to fathom it sits on 200 square metres in an inner-city laneway. The sense of proportion, which flows into a leafy, breezeblock-lined courtyard, gives the illusion of a much larger space.

The mind behind the curtain is building designer Carla Karsakis of boutique company Etica Studio. She drew on an eclectic range of references to fulfil the owners’ love of mid-century Scandinavian design elements as well as the natural environment and “honest” materials, including from recycled and natural sources.

The Nature-Inspired Eco House really embodies its name. Clean, minimalist lines and a neutral colour palette create the ideal canvas for pops of forest green, plywood, pine and plenty of plants, all bathed in sunlight from the north-facing orientation. Renewable energy elements have been incorporated throughout the home, as have various passive-solar design principles to help keep the home warm in winter and cooler in summer.

Restrained styling by the owners allows vintage decor to shine while not interfering with a sense of balance and space. The home appears deceptively simple, but on leisurely inspection reveals itself to be vibrant, complex and meticulously put together – proof that eco-design can co-exist with fun, beautiful, modern living.

You’ll get the chance to view the Nature-Inspired Eco House yourself in November as part of Open House Perth. In a small laneway, on a rear infill block, it is a lively contrast to the brutalist nature of the nearby East Perth Transit Building.

This home is one of 104 destinations on this year’s packed program.


Nature-Inspired Eco House
23a Chapman Street, Perth
Sunday November 12, 10am–5pm


Open House Perth is on November 11 to 12 at various locations around the city. Visit openhouseperth.net for the full program and details.


Broadsheet is a proud media partner of Open House Perth.