the zenergy house

The Zenergy House was one of the first projects I worked on out of school.  One of my best friends had moved out to California and, when a company solicited design services for their Home Performance/Energy Star showcase house, she jumped up and took it.  And convinced myself and our other best friend to join in.  It was crazy, and it was awesome.

The exterior and home utilities had been designed and installed prior, so we were coming into a house that needed to feel more like a home, but also act as a teaching tool. Low-VOC paint was used, recycled-content wall covering from Madison & Grow was used in the kitchen and sealed for easy maintenance, floors were all renewable resources or  held recycled content.


Furniture was sourced locally and from companies selling sustainable sourced wood wares, or even bought off (because re-using is one of the best ways to be sustainable). Shelves were re-purposed to provide information to visitors.



Bedrooms featured recycled content sliding doors on the closets, furniture bought from Craigslist and local vendors, and some pieces, like the master bedroom headboard, we had specially built from a renewable Kirei board.  The paint in the master bedroom is by American Clay, a beautiful product that is non-toxic and has a rich, dimensional finish.



My favorite bedroom was for the youngest daughter.  We used dimensional wall tiles made from recycled paper and cardboard, painted them white and put it above the bed.  We also designed fabrics in bright pinks that were based on branches and a tree of life, which were produced by O Eco Textiles.


Outside, we designed the copper canopy and outfitted the already gorgeous landscape with recycled content outdoor furniture and a natural gas burning fireplace.  It was an amazing place to hang out in after the grand opening.





Images above via Green Home Specialists Zenergy Home

The grand opening was amazing.  We had Senator Fran Pavely come by, many local journalists and bloggers, and the family/company that hired us were pleased.  Admittedly, though, the coolest part of the opening was when Bill Nye road up in his bicycle and hung out with us.  I mean, it’s Bill Nye!


This project was located in Studio City, California.  Rebecca, above, was a major champion and did 99% of everything.  However, it was amazing to be so connected to her and our friend Katie, emailing and texting throughout the day to design, select and plan out the space.  To us, it was a great success, and I’ve since never not thought to use sustainable products as they are so beautiful in the home.

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