A library in the Blue Mountains has secured the top prize at the 2014 Home Design Magazine Australian Living Green Interior Awards.

Katoomba Library by CK Design International was recognised for its cultural addition to the area, incorporating an Aboriginal Knowledge centre, library and art gallery. The project was selected as the Overall Winner while also earning top marks in the Education category.

All winners demonstrated fairly colourful spaces while exuding the warm colour palette expected from environmental materials. While a host of sustainable products such as recycled timbers, green flooring and energy efficient lighting were used, there was an increase in up-cycled products, vintage furniture and – wherever possible – daylighting.

Australian projects dominated the awards, though office projects from South Africa and the USA received commendations in the Corporate Culture Office category.

The Green Interior Awards was established in 2012 by Australian Living, a sustainable building consultancy. This year, the company joined forces with Home Design Magazine to build awareness of the awards, which go to industry professionals who “integrate healthy, eco-friendly interior products” into their projects.

The panel of judges was made up of Shaynna Blaze (Interior Designer, Selling Houses Australia and The Block), Kate St James (Universal Magazines and Interior Designer), Daphna Tal (Australian Living), Mark Lynch (Taubmans), Ivan Sunde (Interface Hospitality) and Richard Munao (Cult).

Katoomba Library by CK Design International

Katoomba Library

Katoomba Library certainly caught the judges’ attention.

“How wonderful that a public project was able to be created into a comfortable healthy space that feels like you are in your own living room,” the panel said. “The coupling of green interior products and design in this public building enables an extended reach of education about sustainability.”

The library is the first built in the area in over 30 years, with CK Design tasked with creating a site that would “reflect the diverse and rich local identity and to create a safe and inclusive space that people love.”

The open concept space is bright, modern and utilises furniture to create multi-purpose areas and collaborative areas. Spanning 900 square metres, it features 12 internet terminals and offers free Wi-Fi.

the library boasts a central timber staircase, and a series of large windows drench the library with natural light. Timber reigns in its furniture and book storage, and it also clads clever feature pieces. Textured and patterned carpets complement colourful couches, ottomans and sitting chairs, creating a warm and inviting space.

Colour House by Ande Bunbury Architects (Australia)

Colour House by Ande Bunbury Architects (Australia)

The Taubmans Residential category went to Colour House by Ande Bunbury Architects.

“Everything in this house has been considered for its environmental performance,” said the judges. “The designer ensured that sustainability was front of mind when choosing paints, lighting, furnishings, floors, joinery and the design and feel of the spaces were appreciated by all the judges.”

Schneider Electric’s Melbourne Office by Futurespace won in the Corporate Culture Office category. The open plan office encourages collaboration with multi-purpose spaces that can effortlessly be converted to quiet areas or training rooms. The office features extensive green interiors; it was designed to meet Green Star credentials while also reflecting the company’s own sustainable commitments.

The 5 Star Green Star building used design strategies to maximise the views and natural light while furniture, finishes and materials were selected to meet GBCA guidelines. This included integrating green walls and substantial planting.

Schneider Electric, Melbourne by Futurespace (Australia)

Schneider Electric, Melbourne by Futurespace (Australia)

“This Green Star Project was very specific in choosing products that have 3rd party accreditation,” the judges said. “They focused on reducing landfill and even went to the effort of doing a comprehensive furniture audit to identify suitable items for re use. It also has a great healthy feel for a working environment.”

The Retail award went to the self-designed raw space of Inch Hairdressing & Café Randwick. The salon, which features a cafe at the front, is clad in recycled timber and decorated with antique furniture hand-picked from around the world.

Unlike conventional salons, which can be quite minimalist with a line of mirrors and white walls, Inch’s salon is striking, colourful, and offers an engaging and warm atmosphere thanks to it’s mix-and-match textures and comfortable interiors.

Owners Pedram and Rachel Zade hand-picked the fitout with items from Morocco, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark, Indonesia and Thailand to create their unique salon.

Inch Hairdressing & Café Randwick by Inch hairdressing (Australia)

Inch Hairdressing & Café Randwick by Inch hairdressing (Australia)

“It’s unusual to find a space like this where the owners not only use environmental and ethical products for their clients but also the shop itself has been considered,” the judges said. “They consciously used recycled products wanting to reduce landfill and at the same time use these items to create such a cool and funky retail outlet.”

Each winner will receive a specially made prize from Cloth Fabric, with the overall winner receiving a prize from Corporate Culture valued at $3,000.

Here is the full list of winners and commendations:


Katoomba Library by CK Design International (Australia)


WINNER: Colour House by Ande Bunbury Architects (Australia) 

COMMENDATION: Bio House by Azuba (Australia)

MERIT: Recycled House by Etica Studio (Australia)

MERIT: Harbourside Living by Marylou Sobel Interior Design (Australia)


WINNER: Schneider Electric, Melbourne by Futurespace (Australia)

COMMENDATION: 99c by Inhouse Brand Architects (South Africa)

MERIT: YGH Headquarters Office by Yost Grube Hall Architecture (USA)


WINNER: Inch Hairdressing & Café Randwick by Inch hairdressing (Australia)

COMMENDATION: Perfect Potion Retail Shops by Perfect Potion (Australia)


WINNER: Stockland Selandra Rise Retirement Village Community Centre by Arkee Creative (Australia)

COMMENDATION: Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre by THID + BLP (Australia)


WINNER: Katoomba Library by CK Design International (Australia)

COMMENDATION: Jamie’s Ministry of Food Geelong by Greener Kitchens + Bathrooms (Australia)


WINNER: Jamie’s Ministry of Food Geelong by Greener Kitchens + Bathrooms (Australia)

COMMENDATION: Mamasan Restaurant by Mamasan (Australia)