As another year comes to a close, we’re fondly remembering the incredible homes—and inspiring homeowners—that have graced Natural Home’s pages over the past year. We reviewed hundreds of amazing homes before we settled on the select few that we highlight in the magazine. From British Columbia, where Denise Franklin lives happily in a 280-square-foot cottage built to resemble a mandala, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where an architect took full advantage of an urban infill site to build an inspiring green duplex, we pulled the best of the best. Here’s a look back at another spectacular year of green living.
January/February: “Mission Accomplished”
With little money, a recent college graduate proves that anyone can build a green house if they have the will. Heather Ferrier’s passive solar home in suburban Dallas is the first house in Texas (the third in the United States) to get the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest Platinum ranking.
Heather Ferrier's Dallas home is sited to catch maximum sun from the south and east. A metal Galvalume roof reflects back 75 percent of the sun's heat. Photo By Paul Bardagjy.
March/April: “In Quietude”
Denise Franklin’s 280-square-foot cottage in British Columbia, built for just $28,000, is a place for healing and nurturing. Her simple house, aptly named Quietude, accommodates her back-to-the-land lifestyle.
Denise Franklin's 280-square-foot cottage is built of local lodgepole pine. The ventilated, insulated double metal roof reflects heat away from the house during the hot Okanagan summers. Photo By Stuart Bish.
May/June: “At Home in the Future”
Chicago artists Francis Whitehead and Jim Elniski create a living art project in an abandoned warehouse—a home much greater than the sum of its parts—that features an impressive array of alternative energy technologies.
Frances Whitehead and Jim Elniski's Chicago warehouse-turned-home is filled with artwork, antiques and oddities they have collected on world travels or inherited from family. Photo By Barry Rustin.
July/August: “Green on the Greens”
Karen and Griz Adams’ Craftsman-inspired stucco and limestone home fits right into its golf-course community outside San Antonio—but forward-thinking features such as passive solar orientation, solar hot water and natural ventilation make it stand out from the rest.
Local craftsman Bruce Calder used a salvaged pecan tree to make the dining room table in Karen and Griz Adams' Craftsman-inspired Texas home. Photo By Paul Bardagjy.
September/October: “Tulsa Time”
A deep green duplex built using structural insulated panels (SIPs) makes the most of its urban lot and invites Oklahomans to embrace sustainable building.
Rachel and Shelby Navarro's Tulsa, Oklahoma, home is constructed from structural insulated panels (SIPs) made in nearby Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Photo By Michael Shopenn.
November/December: “Family-Style Prefab”
A sustainably built, passive solar prefab home in Aspen, Colorado, highlights efficient, responsible materials and the versatility of so-called “kit home.
The Grant family's sun-drenched patio provides sweeping views down the valley, and multiple windows offer passive heating on cold Aspen days. Photo By Michael Shopenn.