Welcome to my blog!
I am glad and grateful you're here.
Is this for you?
Are you curious how to create...
… an all year around comfortable and healthy home with minimal mechanical equipment?
… a modern home with natural design and furniture, décor and art work that is unique to your lifestyle?
… an ultra energy efficient home that uses only as much energy as it produces on the property or less?
…. a carbon neutral or even carbon negative home that helps mitigate climate change.
… a home built with non-toxic & sustainable resources?
If you do, you’re in the right spot.
Come and join me!
What To Expect
Inspiration, Illustration & Implementation
This blog intends to give you inspiration and illustration of sustainable options for all aspect of your home and any project, no matter how big or small.
Taking care of our own needs and wants in balance with the environment is not an ideology – it’s smart, it’s common sense and beneficial for our own well being.
There are plenty fabulous blogs and websites out there where you can get ideas and advice for standard building, retrofitting, remodeling, decorating and everything around your home.
This blog introduces the sustainable options of all this. There are the standard ways to repair a roof or to find a new sofa, and then there is the sustainable way to all of it.
I believe the sustainable angle of doing things is the smarter angle with better quality outcomes.
My vision for this blog:
This blog is my way of developing a guide to turn any existing property into a sustainable dream home.
As homeowners we miss out if we do not know what can be done, how to search for the right services, professionals and products.
I am not saying we all have to become experts or become DIY practitioners. In the contrary, I highly recommend engaging experts early on for all home improvements projects, even if you plan to do certain things yourself on the way.
Experienced and trained professionals have a great pool of wisdom and ideas, they guide you and can reduce your share of “lessons learned”.
As homeowners we can be knowledgeable enough to ask industry professionals the right questions, verify the responses and judge if the project develops in our best interest.
We can have a basic understanding of products and their healthy vs. toxic ingredients.
It’s not hard to understand the basic concept of approaching everything with your sustainable glasses on. The learning curve is quite small but powerful.
Here is a rough outline of topics that will become more drawn out and detailed over time, all from the sustainable angle:
- Overview of how a house works.
- Best building and renovation practices.
- How to develop a vison for a home that fits your unique needs and wants.
- Find trade professional who can convert your vision into reality.
and then, of course here is where the real fun begins:
- Beautiful design ideas for the interior and exterior with a personalized twist.
- Furniture and decoration ideas and resources to find the right pieces for the ultimate dream home.
- Localized landscaping for low maintenance & a natural touch to please our senses.
This blog will get a little technical in article, and more visually inspiring in other places.
You will also find a scarp book (via Pinterest) with sustainable, modern and unique design ideas, furniture and décor choices, and art work as every day inspiration.
Resource pages provide links to websites with additional information, specific services and products.
I am planning to buy a property and renovate it into a purposeful, comfortable and healthy home that suits my lifestyle and expresses my personality – a home that is efficient in terms of energy and the planet – That Sustainable Home
This blog is also about my journey – to get myself organized and get you inspired.
Come along and create your own plan and scrap book of ideas. It’s never too early to start dreaming and planning. I have not even found that house I want to convert into my best home possible yet.
You know what they say: Put your dreams on paper and they become your goals more real and achievable.
I am sharing my journey with you in the hope to inspire you and equip you with tools, knowledge and ideas to create Your Best Home Possible – a modern, unique, sustainable home.
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Can I do This?
Technical Know How with a Creative Streak
I did not go to architecture school and I am not a contractor, interior designer or engineer.
I did, however, get trained in green building, building science and energy-efficiency and passed rigorous exams to become a Certified Passive House Consultant, LEED Accredited Professional for Homes and Energy Consultant.
This is a passion I followed long after I finished my master’s in business administration with a minor in IT and a separate career as a management consultant.
What I enjoy most is to intertwine the scientific principles of a high performance house with the creative design process that leads to a purposeful and beautiful home.
Working as a curator and gallery owner, I believe artwork and curated views (inside and to the outside) are intrinsic to a stimulating and personal home.
Good artwork and views will inspire and invigorate us every day.
Searching for The Real Deal
From very young on, I envied and admired my peers who exactly knew what they would do with their life. I did not, I had no clue.
So I got a masters in business administration with a minor in IT, a sensible decision to get some job and enable me to make a career in management and stand on my own feet. It all went by plan – until it didn’t…
Why did I let go of a successful career? Why start from scratch? Why let go of a nice paycheck?
Maybe a mid life crisis (in my thirties…) – I was thinking, if I don’t at least try to find my real calling I will become an unhappy disgruntled old woman. I was not really mid-life at that time but the panic was real.
So I did it, I let go of my Golden Handcuffs (the monthly paycheck) and said goodbye to my expensive apartment on 69th and Columbus, the Upper West Side, New York City, and the lifestyle that went along with it.
I was ready for a different lifestyle.
It has taken me some years, different jobs and businesses and I learned so much about myself and life along the way. But not once did I miss those golden handcuffs!
It did not come easy to me to find that calling, something fulfilling with a purpose from which I never want to retire from. I don’t like the thought of retirement, it sounds so old and done with.
After a few “try & errors” I found my place: Helping People Creating Better Homes. I also discovered Writing. So I put the two together and voila, my blog was born.
Until about 10 years ago I did not know much about buildings and design. I would not even touch our gas water heater, being afraid it would explode. I was that removed from “everything house”.
A home addition was the starting point to change all that. Because I was so frustrated with my architect, I started to get involved on a much deeper level than just being the owner/project manager.
For me it was without saying that we would use only non-toxic, plan based materials, which was very naïve of me to assume.
Of course the initial error was mine, I did not pick my architect based on my specific requirements, I rather went with an acquaintance with an artistic vein – after all it was just an addition.
One thing let to another and I got deeply engaged in energy efficiency and green building.
I rather write than talk, so blogging is the natural outlet for me to share my stories, my passion for better buildings, the knowledge I could acquire and my opinion on things.
Btw, my home addition that started this journey was quite the trailblazer. We used hempcrete as wall insulation in 2014. It was the first permitted hempcrete construction in California and probably the whole West Coast of the U.S.
Hempcrete is a plant based, healthy and carbon negative building material.
You can read all about this adventure in my blog post First Hempcrete Construction in California with lots of details and pictures.
I am very excited to have found my outlet!
Now, let’s create The Best Home Possible.