Some aspects of a home that is just right for you are personal.
Homey personal elements can be symbols of places from your past- perhaps a childhood bedroom that was a sanctuary, a favorite collection of books, a photo of the front porch of your grandmas house, fabric from the first crazily painted freedom space of your young adulthood or a postcard evoking the shadowy memory of a glimpse of a perfect room in your travels.
To introduce this project to a home design magazine, I wrote the following synopsis;
Welcome to our home! It’s the first ENERGY STAR Qualified home in B.C., which means that it uses 30% less energy to function as the incredibly comfortable living space that it is. This represents a savings of approximately 3 months of energy bills. The home has a passive solar design, 10” thick walls, Continue reading →
I’ve been curious about soapstone stoves for a long time, but had ruled out the possibility of owning one because I’d read that they were very expensive. Then, Lars and I walked through the doors of Kootenay Woodstoves. I saw the soft blue hue of the Hearthstone woodstove collection. And we discovered that the price tag for a small soapstone hybrid stove is the same as for a cast iron stove-between $2,500 and $3,000.
Our Mandala is 2,300 sq.ft. , but it is so well insulated,passive solar and energy efficient, we can use a smaller stove , the efficient Tribute, which normally heats up to 1,000 sq.ft.
Your choice in flooring has a major impact on the use and feel of your home.
Think about it, you ‘interact” with your floor every day. The floor is what you feel under your feet when you step out of bed in the morning, it’s what you drag furniture across, it’s the surface that someone spills food on and you clean it every day. Plus, you constantly hear the sound of footsteps on your floor surface as people and/or animals move in the building.
We chose cement floors over a radiant floor heating system in the basement because we want to use that mass for a heat sink. We chose natural stone in the entryway and bathrooms for significant water resistance, ease of cleaning and the feeling of nature. And, we chose cork flooring for the main Mandala, kitchen, master bedroom, study, hallways, stairs and downstairs bedroom. There are many reasons why we went with cork. I list them below with accompanying snapshots.
Our Dream Team looking down through the skylight for the first time. An exciting moment!
“The Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round…..The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles …Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were…. and so it is in everything where power moves.” Black Elk
Reason #1. Our human connection with the shape of a round home runs deep. Think about it. Our original home (mothers womb) is round. Our ancient “homes” ; caves, tipis, hearth fire gatherings, yurts were beautiful round shapes. Round is a familiar and soothing shape in nature, our very organs and limbs and the trees around us are……round. Continue reading →
“It’s unbelievable how fast your house has gone up….”
The project is moving along very smoothly. The benefits of building with prefab components really shine in the areas of time and waste. Because the prefinished/precut pieces arrive at the site ready to be nailed or screwed into place, the tasks can really zip along..
This week has been spent focusing on details like the cedar soffits, the covering for underneath the roof overhang. The pieces come from the Mandala shop in large panels and go up quickly. Continue reading →