Wednesday, 25 February 2009

little (sustainable) house in the big woods

This past weekend I visited some friends who have started a new life for themselves out in the bush. He built this house almost entirely by himself, the dream is to live as sustainably as possible.

He got the lumber to build the house from a mill that had logged some huge trees and then realised their saws weren't big enough to processes them into boards. They trees had just been lying there for years, what a waste. So he bought the logs for a very low price, and had them processed at a nearby mill for next to nothing


Their organic veggie garden is still at the beginning stages but they had a big vision for what it can become. The composting centre is just to the left of this photo.

craftsmanship counts. I love the detail, reminds me of gingerbread houses from fairy tales.

You wouldn't believe the perfectly good things that people throw out. He sourced all the doors and windows for the entire house from second hand places, dumps, inorganics days, and things he found on the side of the road.

Upstairs, their bedroom feels more like the tree house of your childhood dreams.

This beautiful wood burning stove hooks up to the plumbing and heats the water for the home, keeps the all the rooms warm, and did I mention it cooks?

She on the other hand has been busy taking care of this wee bush baby, and with another one on the way, you know things are going to be busy. Out here, clothing optional.

If you want to see more, check out my flickr set about their developing house and lifestyle.

Hope you are all inspired by this, I sure am. But I think there are ways you can incorporate what they are doing into your own life with out having to make a drastic change like moving to the bush. For me, living in the centre city is a way of being sustainable. Using less space and land means less waste. Also living smack bang in the middle of things means shopping locally and supporting small businesses, it means no commuting, and it means using shared resources like public transport, parks, libraries. These things all help lighten the load.

We can all do more though.

-k

18 comments:

Nikki said...

Oh woooooahhhhh. That is so freaking awesome it isn't even funny.

I'm in love with that house.

Do ya think I could build one myself?? I wanna try!!!

hanna said...

This is SO cool.
wow!

Melissa said...

ohh, that's a beautiful house. thank you for sharing it with us!
that is something i really miss about nz- that kind of wonderful, earthy, natural way that many people choose to live.
but i totally agree with you- the same kind of approach can definitely (and is- especially here in europe) be achieved in the middle of a city. so inspiring, k!

Rachel said...

hey kim, thanks for sharing your friends house with us, they really are living the dream huh! I am often aware of how inefficiently we live and how much more we could do with our house - oh and some cash! But you are right - the challenge is to make our current life more sustainable and be inventive in the way that we make decisions. I am currently trying to brainstorm ways of neatly shredding plastic shopping bags so that I can weave them into bags or necklaces - any ideas? your a star!

skymring said...

wow, wow, and WOW! This is my dream from about ten years back, but then Life came along ... I really admire the ones that are making it.

ashley said...

oh my gooooodness! this house is my dream house! how beautiful! hanks for sharing all those photos :)

Louise said...

Wow - I am in love with that house. Thanks for sharing such a special place with us.

ruby in the dust said...

How inspiring! We do our bit in the suburbs with a veggie garden, compost heap and recycling some materials for building. I might share that in my next blog post...

charlotte said...

wow i love it! we saw this amazing documentary the other day and it had forest gardens in it - and I am absolutely smitten!!! I must get a copy of it to bring home if I can. They had another amazing garden on it too - and this house and the permaculture / forest gardens would be wonderful together.

Kimberley said...

great post, i'm loving that kid's bum! (in a nice way, not a yukky way)

Frith said...

Wow, I really love this house, makes me feel all happy inside.
So inspiring, good on them!

Liz said...

Kimberlee I love reading your blog!! I think I found it through Stephanie Chambers... I always like to see the interesting crafts you're coming up with. I think one day soon I am going to move to New Zealand and work with you guys.

fiona said...

very cool! super stove they have there. thanks for sharing.

bellathreads said...

The house and land is amazing. They must have worked very hard to get there. And that stove!!

Victoria said...

Okay, I just looked through the flicker set and that house is a dream. Sooooo beautiful. I am impressed. All that wood it just looks perfect. And the surroundings are dreamlike too.

p.s I loved the Little House in The Big Woods series. My favorite was The Long Winter.

Laura said...

That's awesome! We are purchasing a two family home, and plan to do any and all remodeling in a sustainable fashion. My fiance works to retrofit buildings to become LEED certified, and aims to make our home as energy efficient and environmentally sound as possible. I'm looking forward to it!

lily, rosemary and the jack of hearts said...

What a beautiful home, I really want to live out in the country for a few years when i first have some little ones (a long way off yet!) and they are really doing it. Im inspired! xx

Jacoline (Lien) said...

It looks like a dream live for me