When it came to constructing her first home, Rachel Bending, the founder of Bird Textiles, spent more than five years observing the land on which she planned to build, compiling albums of ideas she hoped to implement. A design inspired by Bending’s inclination to honor the land, her inherent good taste, and years of planning, her well-thought out endeavor has given way to one of the most gorgeous homes imaginable. More than just an incredible abode, the structure implements some of the most advanced sustainable building practices available – both inside and out.
Bending’s masterpiece uses straw as an insulator, which not only provides for energy efficiency, but a medium able to make way for generous curves on the homes’ exterior walls and contemporary, yet natural look. Built with natural cooling/heating methods in mind, ample windows and doors keeps the interior cool in summer, while generous outdoor decks place outside living on the list year-round. Additionally, Bending constructed winter and summer bedrooms that align with the seasonal temperature changes – a summer room opens to the elements and outdoor bathroom, while the winter bedroom provides a space that is snug and warm.
The home also features an outdoor bathroom with composting toilets and an incredible outdoor bath, which was designed to fit the secluded location and to meet five years worth of weather and climate observations to ensure outdoor-friendly bathing temperatures. All water used in the home, from the drinking water, to the pool water and toilets, is captured on the roof, which also hosts six solar panels that provide for general energy needs and a solar hot water system.
And, because Bending has a soft spot for 1950’s aesthetic, most of the appliances have been given a second lease on life and are re-fitted with more efficient motors. The fridge, old laundry sink in the kitchen, and even the outdoor bathtub are just a few of Bending’s beautiful antiques that have been adapted to be more efficient.
“Aside from the phone,” says Bending, “we’re pretty much self-sufficient.” So sufficient, in fact, that the home even provides extra power to the local grid during peak energy hours!