SPROUTING AS REMEDIES to the vacuity and speediness of consumer culture and its endless opportunities for distraction there's now a handful of popular movements that have got ever bigger in recent years. Each have their own flavour, gurus and disciples.

I'm talking of course about the minimalism/simplicity, slow and mindfulness movements. Broadly speaking they all shelter under the "simplicity" umbrella and they also all have a relationship with "mess".

What I mean by "mess" is not only life's inherent untidiness, the tottering piles of papers on tables and benchtops, unwashed clothes, the shambolic study desks, sheds and garages ... [...]

BUILT FROM WOOD overlooking the ocean on the Norwegian coast, Hadar Hus by Asante Architecture & Design is an idyllic 50sqm of beachfront retreat space.

Heated via a low energy heating system (it can get mighty chilly in these climes) the[...]

WE'VE been hitting a rich vein of green architecture lately  –  and The Growroom by Space10 in conjunction with architects Mads-Ulrik Husum and Sine Lindholm keeps the interface between built-form/veggie-patch coming.

Stacked with vegetab[...]

NOW AND THEN a piece of simple genius comes along with the potential to save and improve countless lives.  Waterseer™ is just the sort of brainwave that makes you want to ask: "how-is-it-that-someone-didn't think-of this-before?".

Wate[...]

THERE'S LOT OF us who nurture the building-a-retreat-in-the-country-someday fantasy. We're the ones staring wistfully out of the bus or train window on the way to work with thoughts of exposed beams, dry stone walls and kitchen gardens.

Or –[...]

RENOWNED ARTIST LUCY Culliton loves her life in the country and admits to waking every morning excited about the day ahead. “I always plan a very busy day which starts with a pot of tea,” she says. “Then I’m greeting and feeding my family[...]

MATTHIEU RICARD IS an extraordinary individual. Although, in truth, "individual" is probably not the best handle for a man who's reason-to-be stands at the very opposite of selfishness in our ego-driven and individualistic age.

And he wro[...]

THE SYDNEY BEACHSIDE suburb of Avalon has a new eco-friendly living green-roofed home – and it was built in a remarkable six weeks.

Designed by Archiblox, prefabricated offsite and then trucked in, the home is a cosy 106sqm in size, has tw[...]

PORTO OWES A lot to Harry Potter. Or as the locals would have it: Harry's story owes a lot to Portugal's second city. And that's because if you spend more than a day or two in the place you're going to trip over a claim or two about how key bits[...]

SO THE AFTERNOON is dragging slowly. You need a treat, some refreshment, something to inject a bit of colour in your day. Trouble is there's no stores nearby.  Ah look, perfect, there's a vending machine to come to your aid. Might just saunter[...]

WORKING AND LIVING in New York at the time, the owner bought his new property -- on the other side of the world -- sight unseen.  It would be a further year before his hectic schedule allowed him to travel to Australia and view his purchase firs[...]

IF SYDNEY HARBOUR and its waterfront homes represent some of the most drooled over and photographed bits of the world, it’s surprising to discover that that there’s one enchanted little cove and its hand-fashioned stone, driftwood and corruga[...]

IF YOU WANT proof that the people of Seville know how to wait, then you only need go to the Metropol Parasol in Encarnación Square. I know this because we have been waiting 15 minutes for two apples in the markets to be found beneath one of the [...]

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