Biophilic Maxwell House

Biophilic Maxwell House

Tucked away in a cul-de-sac in Melbourne’s northern suburb of Northcote, Maxwell House is a high-tech eco-friendly home built for a young family of five, plus their dog Otto, a miniature schnauzer.

The Maxwell residence rethinks traditional suburban dwelling by allowing the occupants to indulge in a deeper connection with nature via biophilic design.

From internal courtyards to large windows, the well-balanced home centers around wellbeing and enriching the families’ health.

A collaborative effort between architectural practice Melbourne Design Studios, the clients and interiors by The Stylesmiths, the house is a contemporary triumph completed in 2020.

Split over two levels and consisting of four bedrooms, two internal courtyards, pool, fireplace and large living areas, Maxwell Home is the embodiment of healthy and sustainable living.

The Stylesmiths were handed a blank canvas to create an interior that worked in harmony from where the architects left off.

The design team respected the original values and balanced robust materials like polished concrete floors, American oak paneling, large windows and slate.

Maxwell House, also known as Biophilia-Slate Home, won Best Sustainable Design in Australia, Design Matters Award and is an NABD winner, recognised widely for its sustainable and innovative design.

The building architects created a family home that inspires, relaxes and calms busy minds, with beautifully crafted spaces, natural materials, and endless dialogue with nature.

Each space offers intimate views and engagement with natural surroundings and vegetation, be it from courtyards, gardens, green roofs, or planters.

Natural light, ventilation and direct sunlight gives a profound sense of seasonal rhythms, blurring the reality of the suburban setting.

With that wonderful base to work from, The Stylesmiths embarked on an interior design journey centred around “wellbeing”.

Timber warms the spaces throughout creating contrasts against the dark stone, terrazzo, brickwork, marble and glazing.

Texture played a vital role in enhancing the interior material palette.

Through the use of soft furnishings, textures were selected based on their tactility – boucle fabrics, hand woven rugs, felt folded cushions, chunky weaves and wallpaper.

Tactility helped form an emotional response to each room though-out the home.

The Stylesmiths’ clients were open to exploring new ideas – and were particularly keen to support local home-grown design, so many of the pieces throughout the home are sourced and manufactured locally.

Lead designer Silvia Roldan from The Stylesmiths believes that the use of colour which has been applied in every room is key to creating calming spaces that are warm and inviting.

Throughout the home the colour palette continues to develop as you move throughout the house allowing for unexpected surprises in every room.

Project Details

Completion Date – 2020
Building Levels – 1

Project Team

Interior Design

The Stylesmiths

The Stylesmiths was founded on an idea that high level interior design should be accessible to everyone regardless of budget.


Fiona Susanto

Fiona‘s photography aesthetic is about crafting the natural beauty of its subject and surrounding.

Driven from a background in design, Fiona works across multiple disciplines and design sectors, from portrait and lifestyle photography to design and architectural shoots.

Photo Gallery

Click on a thumbnail image to enlarge.

Design © 2021 The Stylesmiths. All Rights Reserved.| Images © 2021 Fiona Susanto. All Rights Reserved.

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