For Julia Dangar, sustainability is a priority – in fact it was a core part of the brief when it came to re-designing her home in the heart of Sydney’s trendy Bondi.
“We have a landscaping business so we feel very connected to the environment and we always want to tread lightly. We approached our architect with a pretty open brief for Bismarck House but with a clear focus on sustainability,” Julia said.
Named after the Bismarck Palm in the garden, the home was initially purchased as a dilapidated post-war semi. Bricks from the original house were salvaged and repurposed into walls, stairs and fencing in the new design, with natural and recycled materials used throughout. A huge folded perforated aluminium screen for shade and privacy gives the home a unique urban sanctuary vibe.
Julia’s dedication to green practices is reflected in the home’s carbon footprint – Bismarck House uses a combination of hydronic heating and cooling with a natural ventilation system that channels ocean breezes into the home, while also incorporating solar elements. The north east aspect and clever glazing means the house is naturally lit during the day, keeping power usage to a minimum.
Rain water tanks under the house collect water for the garden. While there’s no lawn, the garden features an array of native plants, succulents and cacti. “The outside area is both beautiful and hardy and designed by my husband Will. It’s been purposely designed as an extremely low water-intensive garden, that makes the whole space feel like an oasis. In fact the lines between indoor and outdoor sort of disappear,” Julia explains.
When it comes to smaller hosting touches, Julia’s passion for the environment has dictated everything from her choice of green cleaning products to her use of sustainably sourced linen sheets.
“We try to make it an effortless experience for our guests so we source sustainable products and services wherever possible so they don’t have to think about it. Bondi Beach is an incredible natural resource that we want to protect. There’s also great local markets, organic wellness stores and delicious restaurants and cafes nearby working with sustainably sourced organic produce that we always recommend guests visit.”
Like Julia, hosts across the country are welcoming guests into their homes – creating new economic opportunities for themselves and their communities, while also supporting sustainable and responsible travel. According to an Oxford Economics report commissioned by Airbnb, in 2019 alone the Airbnb community contributed more than $10 billion to Australia’s economy and supported almost 90,000 jobs.
A Bondi local for more than 25 years, Julia says she chose to list her home on Airbnb to give others the opportunity to experience her patch of paradise. “As a host I love sharing our beautiful space and seeing our guests’ reactions when they enter this unique property. Sharing our wonderful vibrant community with like-minded travellers is a very special privilege.”