Wabi-sabi has infused Western design for centuries—though its advocates rarely knew it. It’s in the plain, efficient homes built by the Shakers, the unsentimental Arts and Crafts style, Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses and midcentury furniture.
Victoria Gazeley considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin, located on 7 acres of fertile earth in British Columbia, a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
Homeschooling is coming to be considered a holistic approach to learning by families who want to take charge of their well-being and education.
These tips mined from the second issue of Mother Earth News, published in 1970, will make your housekeeping more enjoyable and efficient. Mother has always known best.
Our favorite natural homes of 2010 range in size and grandiosity, from a 280-square-foot mountain cottage to an urban warehouse-cum-artists’-loft. Every one of them can teach us a lot about living green.
Natural Home editorial assistant Susan Melgren reviews Purple Prairie Botanicals SunStuff natural sunscreen lotion. SunStuff uses zinc oxide to provide SPF 30 protection against UVA and UVB rays.
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
Guy and Kay Baker and their three sons spent five years building a small weekend cabin in Alabama from scraps and salvage. When the 1,100-square feet house was complete, they loved it so much they made it their permanent home.
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program reached a major milestone this week when it qualified its 1 millionth Energy Star home.
Reacting against the built-for-resale mentality that's destroying our modern homes' liveability, Slow Home Studio offers a path to a more satisfying home.
Americans are turning to smaller, affordable housing. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks into this trend.
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
At the Healthy Homes Conference in Denver, a health care pioneer said healthy housing is as important as diet and exercise in maintaining well being and that access is a social justice issue. The Home Depot Foundation is addressing that.
Americans continue to believe that green homes make a difference--but they need to be more affordable.
Purple Prairie Botanicals Orange and Tea Tree Facial Toning Bar combines the bacteria-fighting power of tea tree and orange essential oil for a product that promotes healthy, glowing skin.
A National Association of Home Builders report and a Better Homes and Gardens survey find that builders and homeowners are moving toward smaller, more energy-efficient homes.
Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, according to a recent American Institute of Architects report.Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, says an American Institute of Architects report.
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
This morning in my inbox: Orlando Bloom announced at Wednesday night’s Global Green pre-Oscars party that he’s building a green, solar-powered home in London. And an RISMedia report stating that despite the downturn in the general housing market, demand for green homes continues to be a hot trend.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
For less than the cost of an SUV, a Michigan couple rehabbed their historic home to include solar panels and a geothermal system. The 110-year-old house now produces more energy than it needs.
Here are three great reasons that hemp cultivation should be legal in the United States: food, health and shelter.
The Canadian government’s ecoENERGY program stops giving financial assistance for energy-efficient home improvements.
For an investment of less than $10,000 and about a week of labor, you could have a custom workshop, barn, garden shed or office.
A new Environmental Protection Agency website helps homeowners and renters decrease their energy consumption and cut carbon emissions.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how hemp, a renewable resource, can aid in building zero-carbon homes.
Location near public transportation and walkability are as important as green materials and design in creating a green home, study finds.
For the past year, I’ve been chronicling the progress of a green-built home here in Boulder, Colorado, where I live, via this blog and accompanying videos. Watching the project unfold has been enlightening for many reasons, not least of which is the opportunity to see firsthand many of the cool technologies we read about and hear about. Sometimes that entails a little sacrifice.
Adding solar panels can increase a home's resale value by as much as $17,000, a new Lawrence Berkeley Lab report finds.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks forward to good, green building news for 2009.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse Here Sonya gets ready for a busy week of subcontractors for the NewenHouse kit home. The interior of the home is nearing completion!
Kate and Jeff are building their off-the-grid dream near Taos, New Mexico. As they build themselves a small straw bale house and make do with a few solar panels, they're realizing how little they really need.
The original weeHouse prefabricated kit house is 435 efficiently designed square feet and comes with everything you need to live well. Need more space? You can snap together two or more of the modules to satisfy your needs.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes the super-insulated, sustainable and small NewenHouse kit home she's planning to bring to market in 2012. The prototype, being built in Viroqua Wisconsin, is striving for LEED Platnium and Passive House certifications.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes moving into the first NewenHouse and conducting the final duct blaster test and balancing the HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit).
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson considers quality over quantity, slow homes and creating something beautiful.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems rely on the earth’s constant underground temperature of 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to provide comfortable indoor climates. The technology works in any size or style home, in nearly any setting on earth.
Nearly 20 years ago, Robert Laporte began experimenting with building a house using straw and Iowa's excellent clay. In the process, he discovered what makes a home's soul.
President Obama revealed plans for his new Home Star Program, also known as Cash for Caulkers, which will offer rebates for energy-efficient home renovations such as replacing windows, adding insulation and sealing ducts.
When Steve Sikora and Lynette Erickson-Sikora restored Frank Lloyd Wright's first small, affordable home, they discovered how green the iconic architect really was.
An annual survey of home buyers found that Americans want smaller homes with a focus on casual living and togetherness. From larger kitchens to outdoor living spaces, these 10 features were the most popular. Find out how you can get them, too!
In Bethel, New York, a developer that has specialized in large luxury homes is building modest houses to appeal to a younger crowd--more anecdotal evidence that smaller homes are here to stay.
One of the nation's largest home developers announces it will offer solar arrays as standard features on new homes in California.
When Paula and Matt learned that running a utility line to their rural Vermont home would cost the same as buying solar panels, they never hesitated. Now they're living the good life, off the grid.
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
Anecdotal evidence from coast to coast indicates that Americans have had enough of granite countertops and whirlpool tubs. They want smaller homes with green finishes instead.
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
Maintaining indoor air quality is important in a healthy home, but poor craftsmanship can lead to water damage and eventually mold issues.
We asked our readers to share their tiny homes: The only criteria was that they be 1000-square-feet or less. Gain inspiration with these small homes from our community of readers who love their tiny homes.
Sonya Newenhouse describes how she uses the southern-facing 17-inch-deep windowsills of her Passive House-certified home to grow seedlings.
See how one blogger made the decision to build a tiny house and her plans to build it herself.
Guest blogger Sarah Lozanova talks about the advantages of downsizing to a small home as her family moves to Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage.
Think having a green home is out of your price range? Here are some easy, realistic ideas to create an eco-friendly living space that might actually save you money!
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace reviews Prairie Essence Herbal Garden Lip Balm, a natural lip balm made from a blend of rosemary and herb essential oils.
These three homes--in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina--use passive cooling techniques to eliminate the need for mechanical air conditioning. Check them out and learn a few tricks for reducing--or eliminating--your AC bills this summer.
Existing homes that are certified as “green” sold for 30 percent more than homes without such a designation, according to an analysis of the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan region released today by Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource. Newly constructed homes with a sustainability certification sold for 8 percent more than non-certified homes.
This result continues a four-year trend in which new homes with third-party certification for sustainable construction and energy performance have consistently sold for more than newly constructed homes that had not been certified. The term 'certified home' includes homes that received an Earth Advantage New Homes, ENERGY STAR, or a LEED for Homes designation, or a combined Earth Advantage/ENERGY STAR certification.
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
As Passive House Institute standards up the ante, USA Today’s "Best Green Homes of 2010" list reflects Americans’ desire for affordability, efficiency and style.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes how and why the Passive House conference inspired her to change the NewenHouse kit home's design to meet Passive House certification.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares her plans for Blackbird Studio, a 333-square-foot she plans to build.
The NewenHouse kit home has officially received Passive House certification! The Passive House is also the highest-rated Energy Star home in the state of Wisconsin.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers inspiration to anyone wanting to build their own home from salvaged materials.
Deconstruction, breaking down houses bit-by-bit, is a great way to find free building materials to build small low-cost homes.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers advice on how to incorporate reclaimed materials into home design without the end result looking like "junk."
See how an energy-efficient house faired it’s first winter in Maine.
Elizabeth Richardson lays out her plan for building her own salvaged home.
Designed as a shotgun-style house for natural ventilation, the Alligator House was designed and built as part of the rehousing effort in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Consider these environment-friendly tips when remodeling your home.
The U.S. Green Building Council recognizes the top projects, developers and home builders participating in its LEED program for 2011.
Made from repurposed shipping containers and recycled steel, based on Prius engineering, with a gray water system and a living roof, this Mojave Desert residence and workplace is a prototype for low-cost prefab kit houses everywhere.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller offers an introduction to the Passive House standard, including what makes Passive Houses energy-efficient and how they differ from passive solar homes.
Follow along as architect Mark Miller takes his energy-efficient design skills to the next level with the Passive House standard.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes the HRV (heat recovery ventilation) unit and insulation installation for the NewenHouse Kit Home.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares how she built her home's front porch from salvaged wood—and how she finds beauty in flawed materials.
Living in a high-efficiency home can be a bit of an adjustment. Follow these four expert tips to make the transition go more smoothly.
The weather outside may be frightful, but it’s a delightful time to curl up with a stack of gardening books and begin planning next season’s harvest.
In her new book, Micro-Green: Tiny Houses in Nature, Mimi Zeiger profiles 36 creative, innovative small dwellings that represent a 'new, rich architectural typology.' Here are eight great examples to start fueling your fantasies.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller continues his introduction to the Passive House standard.