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Incorporating wind and water into your ocean-side property

By Tarryn Caton

When we think of modern design elements, we tend t o think of wood, stone, concrete and other surface and building materials. However, for thousands of years a most practical and sometimes spiritual consideration has been the influence of wind and water.

The well known practice of Feng Shui is a direct interpretation of how these elements and others affect the lives of the people that live or work in a specific area. Feng (wind) and Shui (water) are chief among the forces of nature according to ancient belief.

Of course, when establishing any sort of structure, shelter from the elements is as important as access to clean and fresh water and air. There is no way in which to design a modern dwelling without considering these most ancient of design elements.

An energy efficient home
Luxury real estate by the sea can make a lot of use of the natural elements that shape everyday views. Water and wind can both be harnessed to make your home more eco-friendly and enjoyable to live in.

For those with larger properties, a small wind turbine may be more of a reality than you think. Modern technologies have significantly decreased the size and noise- level of domestic wind turbines. Depending on the kind of model you go for, and the strength of the onshore wind, you could power a lot of guilt-free electronic entertainment.

With wind comes rain, and while you’re nicely snug inside during the wet weather, it could be a very good idea to have water tanks collecting this natural harvest for you. While you may not be in need of extra water supply, it can slightly reduce your water bills per month, and also allow you to water the garden or use water features and swimming pools without worrying about your environmental impact.

Water tanks don’t need to be unsightly either, and can come in a variety of colours and materials or can even be installed underground.

Shelter
Of course you expect to enjoy your sea view in a warm, dry and sheltered home. But what you can often be neglected when considering shelter, is getting in and out of the house.

If you don’t have internal access to your garage, or if you find yourself parking in the driveway, you can be very exposed to the elements before even setting foot inside. The same is true for outdoor entertainment areas that have insufficient coverage.

Seaside climates like the Gold Coast, although generally sublime, can be temperamental, and  the last thing you want is to have your barbecue rained out. When buying a luxury waterfront property, or renovating your own, make sure to think about how weather might affect your every day living. Awnings, pergolas, carports and wind-breaks can all help to make sure you enjoy every moment at home, regardless of the weather.

Relaxing sounds & fluid decorating
Water and wind are design elements that set luxury properties apart from the crowd. Whether in Melbourne or Sydney, there are certain aspects of design that set a property apart from the rest. Things like water features, swimming pools, wind-driven installation art, and natural water courses all serve to make your home more enjoyable, relaxing and sophisticated.

Water features like fountains can be installed indoors and outdoors, and can be mounted to walls or laid in the ground. As a decorating feature they add a refinded feel to any foyer or garden, and the soft music of trickling water is an inviting and pleasant addition to any room or outdoor entertainment area.

Natural features like streams or ponds can be enhanced or replicated to create a seamless tie-in to the environment.

Wind sculptures or art installations can provide an exciting and dynamic feature to your property. Whilst most wind-driven installations are visual, and involve a fair amount of rotation and movement, there are also features that treat the wind as an instrument.

Referred to as Aeolian sound- generation, devices that manipulate the force of the wind to produce sound can give a calming musicality to the blustery gusts of coastal living.

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