I talk a lot about the Dream House(tm) in this blog, so I thought I’d try to sort out my thoughts a little and give a few examples of what that means to me. It’s all still very vague in my head, but there are a few details I know for sure that I want, and some others that I am open to discussion on. But one thing is for sure, it has to be sustainable.
The above house was built in Wales by Simon Dale back for only £3 000 back in 2003, and it is a gorgeous construction oozing of love and personality. This made me start to search for other people doing similar things, and a year-long love affair was in the works. Sadly, this house had to be taken down due to moisture and mould, so care and knowledge needs to be administered, but it is still terribly quaint and charming.
Other societies, such as the famous Lammas Ecovillage gathers a whole community of sustainability-minded people in one place, sharing tools, knowledge and running workshops and courses.
One of the things I really like about these houses, is that they are all so personal. They have round edges, slightly skewed floors (unless you’re a perfectionist, which is also perfectly fine!), and are filled with things that make the house unique to its inhabitants.
I mean, just look at this gorgeous and completely personalised home from Simon Dale’s second home in the Lammas Ecovillage. Complete with a view straight into their greenhouse, giving them a fun, lush view in summer, but also reducing heat loss from such a massive window by having a second set of glass outside.
Here are some of the top ten things I really love about green houses, in no particular order:
- They source mostly local materials where they can, making use of everything rather than creating a lot of waste and requiring a lot of transport.
- They look gorgeous and personal, not mass-produced and square.
- They breathe, contributing to a healthy indoor climate.
- You get to design it according to your own needs.
- They can be really cheap, depending on how you do it.
- Thick straw and clay walls insulate really well, at or beyond the requirements of even the most stringent legislation.
- They can be adapted to the climate in which they are built
- If built well they are cheap to heat, requiring very little energy and being cheap/easy to maintain.
- They help put us back in touch with nature, and they treat softly on the earth. I certainly plan on my house to be net carbon negative.
- It makes me feel happy just looking at them, imagine what it’s like to live in one!
Another thing that always inspires and reminds me of what sort of life I want to live, are the Lord of The Rings and the Hobbit movies. Whenever I see Bilbo’s house, it just strikes me that I want a life of wood, earth, warmth and homemade, not plastic, single-use and mass-production. The colour palette is very attractive as well.
It just feels like you can breathe in a place like that, you know? Fill jars of preserve for the winter, hang your laundry to dry out in the breeze, plant beans and eat them before they’re entirely ripe, gorge lavishly on succulent berries, sit for a few hours in the workshop and throw some bowls on the wheel, burn pottery on cold autumn days.
I’m getting carried away here, can you tell?
But that’s my dream.
Not something big and cold with hard edges and smothered in stainless steel.
Just something warm, homey, flawed and self-made. Filled with memories and promises of days to come. A warm place that is utterly and completely home.
I still need a lot of knowledge and hope to attend courses and get to know other people who are into this. But one day, one day this will be real.
Oh, and fireplaces. Gorgeous, gorgeous fireplaces. Our house will have a baking oven for me too!
Because why not? 🙂