Our Straw Bale Dream Home

A central Washington couple explores sustainable straw bale construction and build a beautiful dream home.

Straw Bale Home
The red roof blends well with a nearby apple orchard. Also pictured above is the door on the south side of the house, which leads to the multipurpose mudroom.
Photo courtesy Catherine Wanek
Straw Bale Building
A picture of the Van Cleve home in the winter months.
Photo courtesy David Van Cleve
Living Shelter Design
"We worked 95 percent of nights and weekends. After about six months, we were really frazzled. It was hard, but I would do it again."
Photo courtesy David Van Cleve
Straw Bale Construction
The Van Cleves and their straw bale building crew. David Van Cleve is at right in the front row; architect Terry Phelan is fourth from left (in straw hat) in the center row; and Margie Van Cleve is second from left in the back row.
Photo courtesy David Van Cleve
Dream Home
A. The path through a landscaped front yard leads to an arched entry.B. The kitchen contains Energy Star-rated appliances.C. The home office, from which Margie Van Cleve telecommutes (with help from Patches the cat).D. The four Van Cleve cats (Buzzy pictured here) love to lounge in the windowsills.E. The south walls of the house, left, and the garage, prior to the first stucco coat. In the future, the garage roof will be fitted with a photovoltaic solar power system.
Photos courtesy Catherine Wanek; David Van Cleve

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