Karen Pakula is a staff writer at the Sydney Morning Herald. After 15 years of her own home renovations—on one old terrace, with one old husband, a builder—she headed to Melbourne, Australia, for a tutorial in pragmatic, economical modernism from ultra-creative couple Cat Macleod and Michael Bellemo. Pakula returned with a valuable lesson she plans to pass down to her children: The smartest way to build a dream home is to start from scratch.

Minimalist Bachelor Pad in Brisbane
Londoner Dave Clayden has gradually adjusted to life in the subtropics, where, as he puts it, “toweling yourself down…
Long Division
The dark, primeval mountains and jagged ravines of New Zealand are free of rampaging Orcs, but Middle-earth, 2007, has…
Bellemo & Cat's Cradle
Architect-sculptor double act Cat Macleod and Michael Bellemo first came to our attention with their Cocoon weekender,…
Winds of Change
Caught in the grip of the worst drought in a century, Australians are showering together.
The First Wave
In Sydney’s cramped beachside suburbia, architect Steve Kennedy defied a small footprint and a terrible drought with a…