Mother Earth Living


Adobe Transformation: Renovating Two Old, Ugly Houses

When they bought their Arizona property twenty years ago, authors and activists Athena and Bill Steen found themselves stuck with two old, ugly houses they didn’t want. Renovating the homes has changed their lives—and those of countless others.



Seats are made from straw bales covered with lime plaster
Photography By Athena and Bill Steen
A straw bale wall is finished with lime plaster colored with copper sulfate
Photography By Athena and Bill Steen
Lime plaster carved and frescoed with ultramarine blue pigment.
Photography By Athena and Bill Steen
This 350-square-foot cottage was constructed during a Canelo Project workshop.
Photography By Athena and Bill Steen
Bill and Athena Steen.
Photography By Athena and Bill Steen
Interior walls adorned with highly polished orange clay and lime plaster with purple fresco color
Photography By Athena and Bill Steen
Athena and Bill’s property in 1984.
Photography By Athena and Bill Steen





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