The exterior of this home is reminiscent of a Georgia farmhouse, so as a nod to this design and to help the family's sustainability, designers created raised bed gardens around the pool. Now, the family can enjoy the Southern air while growing their own herbs and vegetables for their kitchen.
This small backyard is high on color and sustainability. An eclectic mix of materials that include block walls, ornamental pea gravel, flagstone and boulders makes for an exciting and sustainable design.
The soaring contemporary design of Element House in Florida draws inspiration from the nearby Gulf waters. The graceful arching roof is meant to echo the gentle Gulf waves, and the color palette borrows greens, grays and whites from the ever-changing colors of the water and sky.
The concern for this design was sustainability, so to landscape the exterior of the house, the designers used mostly reclaimed materials, like the stones that make up the gabion wall, and plants that wouldn't require much water, such as the cactus.
This design features a long curving hall that sweeps through the house. The result is a deep focus space with an unimpeded view from the front door across the entire house and out to the back garden. This continuous space dramatically enhances the circulation of natural ventilation and light. Clerestory windows throughout the house significantly lower the need for artificial light, adding to the house’s sustainability. Cutouts in the wall house simple decoration for added color.
For flexibility in a small kitchen — or any multifunctional space — consider an island on wheels instead of a built-in version. The creative minds at Kerr Construction worked movable versatility and sustainability into their design for an island in this warm, modern kitchen. “The island base is a midcentury workshop machine, and the counter is locally resourced and made from reclaimed wood planks. We refinished the planks to match the medium-tone wood cabinets,” they say.
Ada's Technical Books & Cafe occuppies a remodeled home in the Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle. The impetus for the project was to create the "book retailer of the future." Achieving this vision required an adaptive reuse design, an addition and a pioneering approach to the neighborhood bookstore. The challenge would be to convert a dilapidated single-story Craftsman into a refurbished mixed-use project. The owners were dedicated to creating a balance of history and modern sustainability, so architect Jeff Pelletier imagined the building like an aged book cover with crisp, clean pages on the inside. In order to connect the space with the street-scape, Pelletier added a raised front porch for cafe seating.
The bee is the Savannah College of Art and Design's mascot, "a unique icon of industry" says SCAD president Paula Wallace. The bee is also the star of a new organic garden and apiary legacy project and teaching tool at the college where students can learn about a host of relevant topics including garden design; sustainability; use of plants in beauty and fragrance products; the use of beeswax in jewelry-making and painting; and how to dye fabrics using plants. In just about every way SCAD Back40 is the perfect, holistic teaching tool and laboratory for a school perpetually expanding its approach to incorporating real world practices into its curriculum. Pictured: a bee pollinating anise hyssop.
A pastoral, new urbanist deveiopment described as a "wellness community," where sustainability is a focus, Serenbe is about 40 minutes from Atlanta but a world apart in attitude. An array of beautifully built single-family homes make Serenbe a home for many, but it's also a great rustic tourism destination with an onsite Inn at Serenbe and plenty of farm, nature and cultural activities to keep visitors busy. The 40,000-acre bucolic planned community is home to farm-to-table restaurants like The Hil, The Farmhouse at Serenbe and The Blue-Eyed Daisy as well as a growing roster of smaller spots and cute retail offerings. The arts are a big part of the community, so see if your visit coincides with special Art Over Dinner al fresco meals with local creatives and check out the Serenbe Playhouse's schedule. This vanguard theater group has garnered national recognition for staging immersive theatrical experiences and fun, creative spins on the classics that often use the woodsy surroundings and outbuildings of Serenbe as stage sets.