written by:
July 27, 2013
Connecting a home to its environment can be as simple as bringing parts of the natural world back inside. Click to see six homes that beautifully incorporated natural design accents.

Norwegian Wood

As part of an effort to appreciate the outdoors, a Norwegian family designed their vacation home to incorporate nature. The door handle of their sauna, for example, is just a piece of driftwood they collected at a nearby beach.  

Photo by: Pia Ulin

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Norwegian Wood
1 / 6
Modern dining area with reclaimed wood furniture

Green Zero-Energy Family Home in Santa Cruz

The railing of an open upstairs hallway in a zero-energy Santa Cruz house is another application of collected driftwood in the home. 

Photo by: Gabriela Hasbun

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
GABRIELAHASBUN©2012
Originally appeared in Green Zero-Energy Family Home in Santa Cruz
2 / 6
plane house greece outdoor table

An Idyllic Vacation Home in Greece

To shade their patio from the piecing Mediterranean sun, a Greek couple installed a thatch of locally sourced dried palm fronds.

Photo by: Andrea Wyner

Photo by 
Originally appeared in An Idyllic Vacation Home in Greece
3 / 6
The concrete bases of the mooring posts are decorated with seashells.

Ship Shape

You can practically smell the sea breeze in this Amsterdam home, thanks to architect Pieter Weijnen’s “brand of maritime modernism.” The seashells decorating the concrete base pictured here connect an inland home to the ocean. 

Photo by: Hertha Hurnaus

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Ship Shape
4 / 6
Rocks dug up during construction were saved and incorporated into the poured-concrete floors and walls. Hydronic heating coils in the floor are augmented by a wood stove during the damp winters.

Diamond in the Rough (and Ready)

Architect Ken Meffan saved rocks excavated during the construction of his California home, and set them as seats into the concrete floor of his family room. 

Photo by: Todd Hido

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
Justin Reid
Originally appeared in Diamond in the Rough (and Ready)
5 / 6
As Meffan was hand-troweling the concrete floor, his daughter ran in with different leaf specimens from the property, like ferns and bamboo. Meffan pressed the leaves into the drying concrete and later swept the crumbling leaves away, leaving “fossil” imp

 

Diamond in the Rough (and Ready)

In addition to using rocks for chairs, Meffan also saved the imprints of leaves his daughter selected from the backyard by pressing the specimens into wet concrete during construction. 

Photo by: Todd Hido

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Diamond in the Rough (and Ready)
6 / 6
holm residence sauna

Norwegian Wood

As part of an effort to appreciate the outdoors, a Norwegian family designed their vacation home to incorporate nature. The door handle of their sauna, for example, is just a piece of driftwood they collected at a nearby beach.  

Photo by: Pia Ulin

Photo by Pia Ulin.

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