Mother Earth Living

A Lookout Above: A Cozy, Solar-Powered Home in Oregon

Despite the complexity of the design, this homeowner finally gets her sustainable watchtower-inspired home.

In Central Oregon’s high desert, with sweeping mountain views, the Solar Lookout home is designed after 1930s-era fire lookout towers. Built of 75 percent recycled woods and powered by solar energy, it stands as a model of creative design and sustainability.
Photo By Susan Seubert
Photo By Susan Seubert
Photo By Susan Seubert
A cozy living room corner is the perfect spot for viewing wildlife or a starry desert sky. Dick built four studio couches that pull out for extra sleeping space and provide seventy-six cubic feet of storage.
Photo By Susan Seubert
In the kitchen, a shorter chest-style refrigerator, painted to match the cabinets, allows 360-degree views of the Cascade and Ochoco Mountains. The countertops are milled from a large Douglas fir log washed up on the shore of Whidbey Island.
Photo By Susan Seubert
The low, southern sun warms the living/kitchen area on the upper floor in winter. A thirty-inch roof overhang minimizes summer’s heat. Wood for the floor and beams are from a dismantled naval base; the walls were fashioned from old Sonoma Valley pickling vats.
Photo By Susan Seubert
Concentration on cooking is often interrupted by a passing golden eagle or bluebird. Binoculars and a bird book are always nearby.
Photo By Susan Seubert
The home is a place of simplicity and celebration, where the outside and inside are one—a place to discover passion, playfulness, and laughter.
Photo By Susan Seubert
Level Two
Level Three
Level One
Stairs from the lower power room, made from recycled Douglas fir, invite a healthy climb up through the Solar Lookout.
Photo By Susan Seubert
A 1930s sink from a second-hand store and a claw-foot tub (purportedly from a local brothel) furnish the middle-floor bathroom.
Photo By Susan Seubert
A workbench with natural and discarded items invites playful creativity—perhaps a parody of the house itself.
Photo by Susan Seubert
Most mornings begin with coffee in the middle-floor bed where Glenda and Dick can watch dawn light up the mountains and birds arrive at the feeder. Dick built the queen-size bed on a box with drawers for ten cubic feet of storage. The beams, floor, and wallboards are recycled wood. The built-in, multi-shelved headboard and window casings come from a local pine mill’s over-runs.
Photo By Susan Seubert

Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.

(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here