A home that marries several green building techniques brings its owner-builders closer together as well.
The soft curves of entryway arches and alcoves, easily achieved with earth plasters, lend graceful architectural details to the home. After learning the plaster application technique from Guelberth, Paula finished the interior walls herself.
Careful attention was paid to siting, so that the house is comfortably ensconced on the meadow site.
Sheer curtains offer privacy while allowing natural light over the salvaged tub. Paula loves to look out over the meadow while she relaxes in the bathtub.
Guests are greeted with an old terra cotta “doorbell” and glowing oil lamp at the threshold. A straw-clay coating on the foyer’s exterior provides texture, insulation, and soundproofing.
Overstuffed pillows invite reading or catnapping in the snug windowseat.
Photos by Povy Kendal Atchison
Salvaged interior doors complement vintage tag-sale purchases and family antiques in Chris and Paula’s bedroom.
A cozy view of the meadow surrounds the heirloom dining table, chairs, and place settings that belonged to Paula’s mother. Guelberth designed the round nook to accommodate the table, where Paula enjoys her morning tea while gazing out at the meadow.
The floral-shade lamp was a real find at a local consignment shop. The kitchen is separated from the entry way by a stair-stepped cob wall.
A welcoming adobe gate frames a sign that was a wedding gift to Chris and Paula. It reads, “Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much.” The home, located on 4.9 acres, is entirely off the grid, drawing from the abundant solar energy of the Rocky Mountain site.
Chris and Paula kept their construction costs to a minimum by doing much of the work themselves. Straw bales wrapped around a timber frame proved to be an easy method for the construction novices.