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IdeaGarden Eco-Farmhouse

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After Will Rosenzweig and Carla Fracchia bought this 100-year-old farmhouse in Healdsburg, California, they hired Arkin Tilt Architects and Earthtone Construction to make an eco-friendly example out of it. The house had good bones but it was "thermally challenged in both summer and winter," says architect Anni Tilt. Thanks to the addition of a new wrap of rigid insulation on the exterior, new windows throughout, a ventilated roof, and a new wing with shade overhangs, the house is transformed. "It now provides an entirely different level of comfort and performance—a quantum leap forward—which has transformed the way we use it," the owners report. Click through the slideshow to see how the architects and contractors turned the old and leaky structure into a model of energy-efficiency. All photos courtesy of Edward Caldwell (copyright 2011).

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  An exterior view of the renovated Healdsburg house, which the owners use as a weekend retreat. The dining room, located in the new white-painted wing, provides a counterpoint to the existing Victorian, with the entry reoriented between the two volumes.  Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell
    An exterior view of the renovated Healdsburg house, which the owners use as a weekend retreat. The dining room, located in the new white-painted wing, provides a counterpoint to the existing Victorian, with the entry reoriented between the two volumes.

    Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell

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  Re-clad with rigid insulation and painted Hardie-board, and topped with a ventilated roof with deep overhangs, the old Victorian is many times more comfortable and energy-efficient than it used to be, while still retaining its original character.  Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell
    Re-clad with rigid insulation and painted Hardie-board, and topped with a ventilated roof with deep overhangs, the old Victorian is many times more comfortable and energy-efficient than it used to be, while still retaining its original character.

    Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell

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  An arbor by artist Jordy Morgan marks the path to the house from the parking area.  Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell
    An arbor by artist Jordy Morgan marks the path to the house from the parking area.

    Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell

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  The entry, mediating between the dominant volumes, is marked with red doors; the kitchen cupola is visible above.  Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell
    The entry, mediating between the dominant volumes, is marked with red doors; the kitchen cupola is visible above.

    Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell

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  The new, open kitchen is the heart of the renovation, with views of the garden in every direction. The added kitchen and dining rooms feature ample south-facing windows along with carefully designed overhangs, awnings and porches that shade the high summer and afternoon sun.  Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell
    The new, open kitchen is the heart of the renovation, with views of the garden in every direction. The added kitchen and dining rooms feature ample south-facing windows along with carefully designed overhangs, awnings and porches that shade the high summer and afternoon sun.

    Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell

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  The original rafters in the kitchen are exposed and topped with salvaged fir bleacher seating. The high ceilings allow the warmer air to stratify near the ceiling. A south-facing clerestory brings light deep into the space.  Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell
    The original rafters in the kitchen are exposed and topped with salvaged fir bleacher seating. The high ceilings allow the warmer air to stratify near the ceiling. A south-facing clerestory brings light deep into the space.

    Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell

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  With exposed fir framing and clay plastered walls, the spacious dining room is the new social focus of the house. The custom dining table was created from salvaged bowling lanes. Connecting the home to the garden was a high priority, and a 14-foot-wide multi-fold door completely opens the dining room to the outdoors, while shading the interior space from the western sun.  Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell
    With exposed fir framing and clay plastered walls, the spacious dining room is the new social focus of the house. The custom dining table was created from salvaged bowling lanes. Connecting the home to the garden was a high priority, and a 14-foot-wide multi-fold door completely opens the dining room to the outdoors, while shading the interior space from the western sun.

    Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell

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  Located off the dining room, the deep covered porch features an outdoor countertop and sink for washing vegetables on their way from the garden to the table.  Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell
    Located off the dining room, the deep covered porch features an outdoor countertop and sink for washing vegetables on their way from the garden to the table.

    Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell

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  A live edge bench, harvested from the site, balances the carved door of the bathroom on the opposite end of the entry/mudroom.  Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell
    A live edge bench, harvested from the site, balances the carved door of the bathroom on the opposite end of the entry/mudroom.

    Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell

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  The "Zen-inspired" lower bathroom is designed with rich colors and textures. Local craftsmen were engaged for the “tansu” tub (which overlooks the garden) and the carved bathroom door. Salvaged vertical grain Douglas Fir "stadium select"-grade bleacher seating was re-planed to create warm, textured ceilings.  Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell
    The "Zen-inspired" lower bathroom is designed with rich colors and textures. Local craftsmen were engaged for the “tansu” tub (which overlooks the garden) and the carved bathroom door. Salvaged vertical grain Douglas Fir "stadium select"-grade bleacher seating was re-planed to create warm, textured ceilings.

    Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell

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  The upstairs bathroom was fitted with a skylight over the shower, adding light and spaciousness to the small room. Locally made Heath tiles line the new shower, and a marble slab salvaged from wainscot at Brooks Brothers in San Francisco now serves as the vanity top. Bamboo light fixtures add warmth.  Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell
    The upstairs bathroom was fitted with a skylight over the shower, adding light and spaciousness to the small room. Locally made Heath tiles line the new shower, and a marble slab salvaged from wainscot at Brooks Brothers in San Francisco now serves as the vanity top. Bamboo light fixtures add warmth.

    Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell

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  The older Victorian portion of the home features windows installed from the exterior, so the historic interior molding could be retained. The owners consider the renovation an unqualified success. "In the past, it would take literally 24 hours to heat the interior to a comfortable level, using both the wood stove and the inefficient baseboard heating," they say. "Now the house maintains a comfortable temperature all day and night with little or no supplemental heating, and we can visit the house during the winter without having to wear our down coats and long underwear.”  Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell
    The older Victorian portion of the home features windows installed from the exterior, so the historic interior molding could be retained. The owners consider the renovation an unqualified success. "In the past, it would take literally 24 hours to heat the interior to a comfortable level, using both the wood stove and the inefficient baseboard heating," they say. "Now the house maintains a comfortable temperature all day and night with little or no supplemental heating, and we can visit the house during the winter without having to wear our down coats and long underwear.”

    Courtesy of: 2011 © Edward Caldwell

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  Here's a floor plan of the IdeaGarden house.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!
    Here's a floor plan of the IdeaGarden house.

    Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

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