Wednesday, December 05, 2012

It Can Be Done! Hope for an eco and budget friendly home

Months and months ago, what seems like a lifetime now, you might remember that I got to visit P. Allen Smith's farm. If you were hanging out around here back then you will remember this because I posted a gazillion post about his house, which I adore.
What I didn't post at the time- what I couldn't post yet - was about the other house on the property - the Next Generation Garden Home.

This house was a project that has been documented on the eHow channel. Allen and his team were given the challenge to build an eco friend 1600 sq ft house, in 150 days for 150K. (You can see the floor plan here.)

When we were visiting they were mid-project and while we got to tour the house we couldn't post our pictures. Well, the house has now been finished and I have been green lighted to post away.

As much as I loved Allen's larger home, this house (where his brother and sister-in-law will live) made an even bigger impression on me because here, live and in person, was someone doing some of the very things I have been hoping to do with our house. Here was a moderate size house, at a moderate price being made from eco friend and recycled materials. AND it is farm-house chic. So often all of the "eco-friendly" home designs are super modern and minimalist, and that is just not me.

My first favorite thing- the red roof of course! You watch and learn all about it here, here ,here and here.
If you are like us and have dormers to think about when adding a new roof, they tackled that also- here and here

Once inside the house, I was so excited to see the the mixture of old, new and unique materials used through-out.
Nothing was "builder standard." Everything was custom and unique but on a budget. Like the ceilings in the kitchen and master bedroom. They were made out of  a thin gauged galvanized metal and Allen refers to them as the "barn roof ceilings.

The master bedroom ceiling was eventually painted (this photo is from the finished room,) but the kitchen is still shiny. You could see more about the differences here and how cost-effective this was.

It is a well known fact that I want to add texture to every single one of our ceilings. I can now add barn roof to the list along with beams and beadboard.

Speaking of beams. These are in the living room (finished house.) Our living room has the highest ceiling in the entire house, and if there was one room I could put them in, it would be that room. Hmm...

You might be wondering what is happening on the walls there - well that is the burlap that they put on the walls to add texture. Yup, burlap. Just when you thought they had thought of all the uses for burlap, here comes another one. It turns out to look like a linen wall covering. Pretty darn nifty. 

Along with burlap and beadboard, other rooms had these painted wood slat walls which I am ga-ga for. I don't know that we will ever get a whole room this way, but I sure would love to do the big wall in our living room. 

In the kitchen they combined upcycled cabinets from Habitat ReStore, big box store ready-made cabinets and then these (which are the pantry) they added chicken wire too. 

The cabinets they found from the restore are very similar to our upper cabinets and the way they modify the big box store cabinets to match is great. I love having these videos to reference (which is where I pulled this image of the finished product.)  Mostly so I can show Sweet Man and say "see! I'm not crazy, it can be done!"

There is so, so much more on the eHow channel where all 200 videos (2-4 minutes each) are loaded. Each video showing one aspect or another of this house was put together - from the gutters to the cellar, and the final completed walk thru (watch below.) You can also keep watching as they tackle decorating and furnishing the house.

Everyone knows that I love Pinterest and shelter magazines as much as I love coffee (and that is a lot)  I have personally pinned houses that cost ten times as much as this house. But I find it both incredibly comforting and refreshing to see such wonderful eco and budget friendly ideas fleshed out in ways that I replicate or at least be inspired by. Eco Friendly, Budget Conscience,  Farmhouse Pretty - what's not to love?


  1. All I can say is Amazing!

  2. Just the inspiration I needed!


ok, really. tell me the truth... do these comments make me look fat?

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