Wellbeing and Nature; Top of the Agenda for Home Owners as More Look to Bring the Outside in

Big River Group


Carlton North Residence – Credit: Derek Swalwell

With research proving our built environment has a significant effect on our overall wellbeing[2], there has been a steady increase in the use of decorative timber in homes in recent years, with home owners searching for a deeper connection to earth and nature indoors. The materials surrounding us on a daily basis are critical to our mood, and the beauty and uniqueness of wood is being embraced for this reason. While some building materials can look hard and cold, the warmth of timber brings a sense of nature and wellbeing into a space, and offers a certain luxury.

Materials and patterns mimicking nature can help achieve a sense of wellbeing, which is at the core of biophilic design. Rather than a trend, architects are continuing to incorporate biophilic design as the standard in residential building. By leveraging natural materials such as wood and stone, homeowners can achieve a sense of wellbeing through visual connections with nature without necessarily having outdoor spaces. This can also be done by utilising organic and biomorphic shapes and formslive plants, earthy textures and colours, natural lighting and ventilation.

“Home owners are not only looking for sustainable design, but an all-encompassing holistic approach to style and functionality as well as health and wellness in their homes. With an increase in apartment living and smaller house footprints, we are seeing a rise in the use of decorative timbers on walls and ceilings being specified to enhance the living space, while larger dwellings are increasingly being designed to connect to their external environment through the use of natural material palettes. There’s a myriad of timbers available depending on the desired texture and colour and where it will be used in the home,” says Stuart McGonagle, Sales and Marketing manager at Big River Panels.

From the natural blonde of Birch and Hoop Pine, to the deep rustic tones of Spotted Gum and the warm colourings of Blackbutt, Big River Group offers a variety of naturally beautiful timber options. All of which are known for their interesting texture and hardwearing finish, adding warmth, style and individuality to a space.

The extensive use of Plytech Birch for interior walls, ceilings and cabinetry, provides a clean, natural look, and merges interior and exterior spaces throughout the home. The premium decorative panel is constructed using high-grade Finish Birch veneer to ensure a consistent high-quality finish, which contributes to a spectacular home that blends beautifully into its natural surroundings.

A stunning choice for cabinetry and joinery that achieves a natural aesthetic is Big River’s ArmourCab, a new generation of engineered Australian decorative wood panelling.  Available in Blackbutt, Spotted Gum and Hoop Pine timber finishes, each with its own natural colour and markings, ArmourCab adds harmonious design and plays an important role in marrying indoor and outdoor spaces.

Combining the stunning intimacy of native timbers with the rugged durability of a precision-engineered structural product, Big River’s Armourpanel is a decorative plywood and another popular choice for residential application as it has a distinctly natural appeal. “In maintaining the natural characteristics of the selected wood species, every Armourpanel sheet offers an individual and natural look, with the species’ unique grain structures being preserved so no two sheets look alike,” Stuart says. Also available in a range of native species including Blackbutt, Flooded Gum, Spotted Gum and Sydney Blue Gum, its durability makes it ideal for use in hardwearing areas, including flooring, wall panelling, screening, cabinetry, ceiling linings and joinery.

Project 12 Architecture were recently commissioned to transition a much-loved double fronted heritage listed Victorian terrace, into a generous inner-city dwelling.

Contemporary updates remain faithful to the dwelling’s Victorian heritage and there is a strong emphasis on detailing and craftmanship throughout the home with the use of natural and sturdy materials such as Spotted Gum timber, marble and concrete. Big River Group’s premium plywood products in Spotted Gum were specified all through the interior of the home, with the natural beauty of the species adding textural depth and richness to the overall design.

“Use of Big River’s timber profiles throughout creates a sense of flow and cohesion,” says Aimee Goodwin, Director at Project 12. “Spotted Gum timber has been used for the flooring, wall panelling, joinery cabinetry and stairs to establish a subtle but undeniable connection between the various rooms and levels.”

The natural rugged landscape was undoubtedly a key inspiration for Dune House, a two-storey beach house located in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula National Park, which was designed by Zenibaker Architects and built by Saltvu Builders.

Designed to engage with its environment through a carefully considered palette of natural materials, the exterior consists of a flat skillion style roof form, silver-grey cement walls and timber, while internally a sense of balance is achieved by incorporating Big River’s Armourpanel and ArmourCab in Blackbutt. Chosen due to their hard-wearing durability and unique visual qualities, Armourpanel was used for the stair walls, the entry and the living walls and ceilings while ArmourCab was used for the kitchen cabinetry and joinery, enabling a beautifully rich and warm interior.

“The ease of installation allowed for these large areas to be covered relatively quickly,” says Michael Baker, Director of Zenibaker Architects. “The unique visual quality of the large ‘swirling’ crown grain and colour variation creates a real feature wherever it’s been used.”

Armourpanel, ArmourCab and Hoop Pine is manufactured in Australia under the Plywood Association of Australia’s third party audited quality control program and milled from managed regrowth and plantation forest hardwoods and is PEFC certified.

Big River Group is a wholly Australian owned and operated company. For more information on Big River Group visit www.bigrivergroup.com.au

[2] https://www.thestablecompany.com/blog/8-ways-timber-can-benefit-our-health-the-research

About Big River Group

Big River Group manufactures a range of construction products including timber and steel formwork, timber flooring, plywood and decorative panels, as well as distributing a broad range of other building products from well-known local and international suppliers, focussing primarily on the commercial and residential, civil and infrastructure construction trade market segments. Big River owns and manages 26 sites across Australia and New Zealand expanding Panels, Building Trade Centres and Formwork & Commercial divisions. Big River provides customers with the security of a full support network, and technical expertise at every stage of the product lifecycle. This is the guarantee of quality and service that Big River has based its 120 years of success on.

  • Oceania Luxury Travel Co Luxury Travel Australia FiveStarAsutralia.com Banner 728x90 1