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!
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.
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!
Sonya Newenhouse describes how she uses the southern-facing 17-inch-deep windowsills of her Passive House-certified home to grow seedlings.
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 moving into the first NewenHouse and conducting the final duct blaster test and balancing the HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit).
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.
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.
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 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 Sonya Newenhouse describes the HRV (heat recovery ventilation) unit and insulation installation for the NewenHouse Kit Home.
Back to the Roots (BTTR) is collecting 20,000 pounds of coffee grounds each week, cultivating them into a rich substrate from which to grow oyster mushrooms and make grow-it-at-home mushroom kits.
Mighty Fine Gardens’ vertical garden kits provide families with a way to teach their children the value of outdoor time and of making healthy choices with food.
Nothing screams summer like ice cream. Rodelle and KitchenAid are partnering together to present the first ever ‘Great American Ice Cream Challenge.’
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.
Natural Home chose bamboo for its kitchenware line because it's both sustainable and beautiful.
bambu creates modern goods for the kitchen and home, created from renewable materials, including bamboo and cork.
Though used like timber, bamboo is a grass that self-propagates as it spreads underground via a network of rhizomes. A white oak tree takes 120 years to grow to maturity; bamboo takes three-and-a-half to seven years.
Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools are made without formaldehyde or other harmful additives, through a process that eliminates waste.
In the first of this series, we test out a hydroponics growing kit by planting lettuce and herbs indoors under the lights of a Worm's Way hydroponics system.
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.
Back to the Root makes growing mushrooms at home simple and sustainable.
Join the Lemon Verbena Lady as she visits some community gardens in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia to get you ready for this year's gardening season.
J Clay Pottery features all your favorite foodie items—mugs and plates to bowls and sake sets—in all-natural clay and nature-inspired colors.
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
Design your dining room with patterned placemats from Amenity. Made of organic cotton and hemp, these placemats come in a variety of colors and designs, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your room.
Sharing the love of cooking with children is a wonderful way to get kids in the kitchen and introduce to them the simple pleasures of life from kneading bread to chopping carrots to create a delicious and healthy meal.
Smooth, tangy, full of flavor, it just takes a few minutes to whip this up for spreading on focaccia or roasted chicken.
A kitchen garden offers many benefits beyond saving money.
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.
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
Americans are turning to smaller, affordable housing. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks into this trend.
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.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes how she and her team insulated under the slab of the NewenHouse prototype home and the importance of air sealing to achieve Passive House certification.
Sonya Newenhouse describes the roof truss system and air-tight barrier between the second floor and the roof for the Passive House NewenHouse Kit Home.
Learn more about growing vegetables and herbs with a hydroponic system with Worm’s Way.
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.
Planting herbs in pots is a great way to jump into gardening, and you'll be able to use your harvest every day.
Clutter taking over? Organize your kitchen with these decluttering tips and storage solutions.
Natural Home editorial intern Kristin Standley shares her favorite ways to brew iced tea for a refreshing, healthy and green summer treat.
Natural Home editorial intern Kristin Standley plans a green Fourth of July celebration.
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
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.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
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.
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.
Whether you’re searching for unique gifts for loved ones or just need a little snow day entertainment, look no further than a bottle cutting kit. It may sound complicated, but a little patience and a steady hand are all it takes to master this useful art.
Here are some ingredients to make cooking with kids a tasty experience!
A typical Make-Your-Own Beeswax Candle Kit contains several sheets of honeycomb-printed Beeswax made in the United States, 100% cotton wicks and instructions; enough supplies to make at least 10-12 individual candles.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes the framing process and how she finds opportunities for borrowed light in the inner walls of the NewenHouse kit home.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes building the 12-inch remote Larsen Truss wall, which, combined with the OSB air barrier, will create a 16-inch-thick insulated wall system for the NewenHouse kit home.
Here Sonya describes moving into the the NewenHouse and conducting the final duct blaster test (reaching an amazing score of .51 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals)and balancing the HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit).
Sonya Newenhouse describes how she and her team insulated the perimeter of her model Passive House slab and installed an EPS foam frost skirt around the slab for cold climate construction.
The office hydroponics system has taken off and is producing food quite rapidly, prompting an investigation into the pros and cons of hydroponic vegetable growing versus conventional gardening.
This marinade not only tenderizes meats and chicken, but it also has a wonderful zesty taste that is easy to get hooked on!
This recipe is great for summer picnics because it doesn't use mayonnaise.
Try this recipe for a tasty, healthy and versatile salad.
Gorgeous greens and fresh mint make a tasty, healthy, and quick soup.
My parents’ customers reused their containers to buy honey in bulk. Now I reuse jars to store all kinds of foods.
La Chanh Nguyen's eco-friendly designs are changing the function common household items. Her process is simple; she deconstructs an object and recreates it with a green purpose and function.
Tea towels are the perfect accessory to add life to your kitchen. Wipe your hands on them, or hang them up as décor. Hammocks & High Tea's collection of tea towels features global prints in rich colors.
Jessica's favorite green gifts for the upcoming holiday season are stylish and eco-friendly.
Outdoor kitchens, dining areas and living rooms are a great way to expand your home's living space. Designers offer advice on how to make the most of the great outdoors—in your own backyard.
Natural Home editorial intern, Kristin Standley, begins an indoor herb garden on her windowsill for fresh herbs year-round.
Natural Home editorial intern Kristin Standley finds healthy road trip snacks.
These are the herbs that I simply have trouble envisioning any kitchen garden living without.
Obama is poised to sign the Food Safety Bill. Learn more about how you can guarantee the safety of your own food.
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.
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.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how hemp, a renewable resource, can aid in building zero-carbon homes.
A new Environmental Protection Agency website helps homeowners and renters decrease their energy consumption and cut carbon emissions.
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.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson considers quality over quantity, slow homes and creating something beautiful.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Guest blogger Sarah Lozanova talks about the advantages of downsizing to a small home as her family moves to Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage.
Give yourself a little extra reason to treasure your time in the garden by perusing the gardening articles from our March/April 2013 issue. We teach you how to have your earliest spring garden, give you tips on reducing your gardening resources, show you an unexpected source of nutrition, and much more!
Make this succotash recipe to use up your garden's excess of squash, corn and zucchini.
If you are new to cooking with herbs, try adding flavor to your meals with these six culinary herbs.
Think your balcony's too tiny to provide food and fun? Check out Apartment Therapy's great tips for making the most of your outdoor space.
Got kitchen clutter? Turn a picture frame into a beautiful, useful storage solution.
Hova Design’s FabricPots makes indoor gardening easier.
Patters and personality galore, Plover Organic’s organic cotton bedding and kitchen textiles add just the right amount of spice to your green home decor.
Follow these tips to banish clutter and increase your efficiency, from your home office to your garage.
Natural Home editorial intern Samantha Schwartz bakes her first batch of organic cupcakes from scratch.
Learn how to keep your kitchen a safe and healthy space for your family by following these tips.
From a little-known sugar substitute to a conversation-starting book, this list of items for the green kitchen contains a few surprises.
Vintage tins add decorative accents to your home while also providing storage.
For a zero-waste kitchen, learn how to reduce food waste with these tips from guest blogger Letitia Star.
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.
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.
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."
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.
The U.S. Green Building Council recognizes the top projects, developers and home builders participating in its LEED program for 2011.
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.
Elizabeth Richardson lays out her plan for building her own salvaged home.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares her plans for Blackbird Studio, a 333-square-foot she plans to build.
See how an energy-efficient house faired it’s first winter in Maine.
Want to be sure about what you're putting on your skin and hair? Save a little money and have a little fun mixing up these DIY beauty treatments. These natural home beauty remedies are made from basic household and kitchen ingredients!
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove narrows down her choices of Energy Star-rated appliances for her LEED-certified home in Tennessee.
Stephanie tackles moving and furnishing an empty house by picking salvaged, hand-crafted or environmentally friendly pieces.
Did you know that lemons can cut grease, brighten laundry and whiten fingernails? Discover these and many more uses for lemons!
Salt can soak up stains, clean pots and pans and exfoliate skin. Check out these and other uses for salt!
Good for cleaning home and body, vinegar has many uses around the house, from cutting grease in the kitchen to softening hair and laundry.
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.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares how she built her home's front porch from salvaged wood—and how she finds beauty in flawed materials.
Follow along as architect Mark Miller takes his energy-efficient design skills to the next level with the Passive House standard.
Good for cleaning home and body, baking soda has many uses, from absorbing odors to keeping hair shiny and carpet fresh.
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.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller continues his introduction to the Passive House standard.
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.
Decorate your home with zero-waste decor that can be reused, recycled or consumed—instead of toxic landfill trash. The Christmas decorations of Colonial Williamsburg offer inspiration for using natural decor.