As designers, we believe creating change in our everyday spaces encourages change on an even bigger scale.

Our Philosophy

On Home Ground is a design studio focused on changing how we create and experience our most precious spaces – our homes. As sustainable designers, we step away from traditional architect/client relationships. Instead, we share our knowledge to educate homeowners to help reduce the overwhelm and zero in on what they truly need in their new home. 

There is a gap between what families ask for and what they need. We believe that every home should be intentional and every space should have a purpose. Good design shouldn’t just be for the privileged. Our goal is to make sustainable design accessible to all. We want you to live a more eco-efficient life in a home designed around your own values and needs.  

Our Values

On Home Ground holds strong values that guide our work each and every day. 

We are:

  • Intentional – we believe every space should have a purpose. 
  • Resilient – we believe there is a way to solve any problem.
  • Connected – we believe in the intrinsic connection between people and place.
  • Curious – we believe in the value of lifelong learning and growth.

Each of these values align with the projects we create and the people we work with. We invest our time and energy in the concept and design of your home to make a difference. We want to help you live your best life in a healthy home that supports your wellbeing and that of our environment. We are always eager to learn new ways of being sustainable. 

sustainable designers
Sustainable designer onHome Ground Director

Our Director

Our director, Natalie van der Merwe, grew up in the Hunter Valley and studied architecture at the University of Newcastle. This background gave her a grassroots and common sense approach to designing spaces to live in. After gaining experience in a commercial firm, Natalie took the plunge and set up her own practice – On Home Ground.

The early days were full of uncertainty and hard lessons, but gave Natalie the opportunity to hone into what mattered most. Deeply passionate about learning and creating, Natalie is the lead creator at On Home Ground. She’s also the business planner and project manager. As a sustainable designer, Natalie’s goal is to turn dream homes into REAL homes.