“This property was sold August 2012. To see more of what we make visit Meiners and Lee Studio.

There are many catch-words used these days to describe energy efficient homes built with natural materials and respect for the land: green, eco-friendly, passive solar, low impact, non-toxic. The property described here is all of these things plus the energy of the artist-owner-builders and all the volunteers and craftsmen whose good will is embedded throughout.”

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Straw-bale Home Guided Tour/ Adobe studio — 8 Comments

  1. Jay
    As it was put one some……”You so Funny GI”. Too old for a high rise build and way too old for anymore children…..har har hahaha. If I did build one that size, by the time I got to the top, they’d have to build a mausoleum right there and box me up.

  2. Owen:

    The removable panel on the opposite side of a wet wall used to be common construction practice. This was back when building homes was not a generic assembly line procedure. You’ll find that a large number of homes had the removable panel to expose plumbing in homes built before… I’m not sure how long ago. Before WWII would be my guess. Before the big shift to suburban living. Before the G.I. Bill made the demand for cookie cutter generic housing so profitable.

    Carroll:

    With that 7 story house you’re building and all those several dozen kids you have and are planning on having, I can see where a streamlined laundry system would be important. You might need to build an entire laundromat just to keep up with it all.

    /snicker

  3. There are a lot of ideas in that home worthy of discussion, but THAT is the way to setup a laundry room.

    I have never understood why houses are designed such that laundry must require lugging around baskets of clothes all over the house.

    I saw a similar idea in a home I visited many years ago. Similar to what was shown in this video, there were not really any walls between the bedrooms and the laundry room. The cabinetry served as wall structure and could be opened from both sides.

    There also was a great idea for a clothes hamper in the childrens’ room. The wall cabinetry had a tilt out door that served as a “basketball hoop.” Kids were actually able to shoot baskets with their dirty clothes into that tilted out cabinet opening. On the other side of the cabinet, a door could be opened and the clothes would dump out directly on countertop for sorting. The countertop was at exactly the same height as the top loading washing machine, so the clothes could simply be slid off the counter directly into the washer. Once transfered to the dryer and dried, the clothes could be restocked directly back into the wall cabinetry through the back doors.

    Beautifully designed. Not just beautiful cabinetry, but beautiful function making a tedious job the least amount of work possible.

    That, it seems to me, is the essence of great architecture. When someone gets inside the lifestyle of a family and custom designs the features of a home to make it function smoothly for everyone, it’s genius.

    The amazing thing was, the kids always kept their rooms cleaner as a result. Nobody ever had to nag them about picking up their dirty clothes. IT WAS FUN TO CLEAN THEIR ROOMS!! Shoot a few baskets every day to clean up. What could be better?

    How many parents can appreciate that?

    The other great part of that house I visited years ago, was that the laundry room also had wet wall to hold the plumbing that backed up to the bathrooms. All the plumbing was easily exposed behind a removable plywood panel. Nobody ever had to break loose any bathroom tiles to repair any plumbing or replace an old shower valve.

    I can’t stress how intelligent this design was. How many plumbers have bad knees and bad backs from trying to squeeze into tight places where some architect or designer tried to cram in some plumbing fixture to make it fit.

    More architects and designers need to spend some time fixing the plumbing, heating, and other mechanical systems in a home so that they can appreciate a home that is designed to be SERVICED.

    (Note: My comments are intended to be general in nature, not directed at any particular architect or designer.)

    • That’s an amazing laundry room idea. Thanks for passing that along.

      My parent’s house was built by carpenter for himself and had numerous clever ideas. There was an easily removable trap door through the adjoining closet to access the bathtub pipes. Brilliant and so simple. Everything breaks eventually and need maintenance. Might as well plan on it. This would make a good blog post if I could compile some more really good ideas.

  4. VERY nice place they have. What’s especially nice is you can see by all the extra things they’ve incorporated into this home is how they’ve thought outside the box. They think artistic and practical. I am curious as to why they want to sell the place or perhaps this is an older video and they’ve already sold it. Wonder why?

    • Maybe someone made an incredible offer and they couldn’t resist. Sometimes this happens with one of a kind, outstanding properties.

      This reminds me of a story that’s a little sad. I met a guy in his 60’s who worked really hard to build a stunning adobe home. It was going to be their dream retirement home for him and his wife. It turned out so good that someone made an outrageous offer and so they chose to sell. Later they regretted it because they were too old to build another home.

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