Mother Earth Living


Ranch House Revival: A Green Renovation from the Ground Up

A land conservation specialist and her husband walk the talk as they green their California home, quite literally, from the roots up.



With soaring oak columns made from fallen trees and original gray-green beams, the dining room evokes the feel of being in a forest.
Photography by Barbara Bourne
Committed to recycling, Suzanne Jones furnished the home with stylish, used items.
Photography by Barbara Bourne
In this solar-powered home, the redwood decking was salvaged from an abandoned sawmill and the existing deck. Salvaged siding, double-pane windows and passive solar heating add to the home's sustainability. Beneath the deck, a 10,000-gallon steel storage tank collects rainwater for irrigation use.
Photography by Barbara Bourne
Susan and Rob bought their dining room table, chairs and lamp secondhand. They purchased the dining room artwork - 'Yellow Circle, Yellow Square' by Oli Sihvoven - at an online art auction.
Photography by Barbara Bourne
Architects Cate Leger and Karl Wanaselja (left) relax with Rob, Suzanne and their son, Dean.
Photography by Barbara Bourne
The focal point in the new living room is the original fireplace, sandblasted to brighten the discolored, dark-orange stone. The fireplace also provides a sense of history and much-needed thermal mass, absorbing and holding heat in the house.
Photography by Barbara Bourne
The front entry's unique support beams and bench were built from a centuries-old oak tree that fell on the property before construction began.
Photography by Barbara Bourne
The large, open great room leads onto an expansive elevated deck, adding outdoor living space with easy access to the kitchen.
Photography by Barbara Bourne
In the bathrooms, Suzanne used salvaged tiles, tubs and countertops, and even found a plumber willing to work with salvaged plumbing.
Photography by Barbara Bourne
With soaring oak columns made from fallen trees and original gray-green beams, the dining room evokes the feel of being in a forest.
With soaring oak columns made from fallen trees and original gray-green beams, the dining room evokes the feel of being in a forest.











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