Rarely does the annual Home Tour have the opportunity to showcase a structure conceived, designed and built by the current owners. Caroline Di Diego and her partner James Ferris, managers of Original Evergreen Experience, designed Barnstudio to inspire, educate and invite guests to experience a balanced green lifestyle without compromising design. The overall focus is on efficient building, energy saving and reclaimed materials. The house itself "reclaimed" rhe foundation of the previous structure.
"Clients are encouraged to 'build green: but seldom is there a single showroom to visit to see the many components that make up a complete sustainable house!" Caroline said. "When you do find examples, it's not easy to actually experience what you are getting into." They can have that experience when they visit Barnstudio.
Outside, a rain garden filters runoff from the parking area and excess water from the roof and rain tank before it eventually flows toward rhe bluff to the west. The rusty metal artifacts, some from rhe junk pile and some created, are an intentional design statement to emphasize rhe "patina of reuse." The reclaimed wood is rich in stories. Part of the siding came from the walls of a warehouse in Los Angeles (rumored that old movie sets had been stored there since the 1930s.) The remainder of the siding is from the floor joists of the original house, which had been milled from trees cut on the property in 1970 and resawn in 2015 at Trevor's mill.
Inside, the fireplace wall comes from a building in Langley, British Columbia, and the whitewashed wood is the repurposed cedar siding from the original house. The front door was fabricated from 3" thick VG pine planks reclaimed from the first Farmers Cooperative Building in Spokane, WA. The Ferrari-red kitchen is from IKEA (with a dose of "lkea-hacking"), illustrating rhe designers' belief that good design does not have to be expensive. The bedroom closets are made of plywood and reclaimed fir and feature antique Asian chests.
A mechanical room, looking like it belongs in a nuclear sub, showcases some of the infrastructure of the sustainable design. Considerable research and developing of various solutions for several significant issues paid off when the prototype whole-house LED lighting design, rain catchment filtration system and innovative heating/ cooling systems all worked just as hoped, with only minor tweaks.
As Caroline explains, it's always challenging to go where no man has gone before, bur the owners of Barnstudio and Original Evergreen Experience said the outcome exceeded their expectations. They would do it again, especially now that they know how to do it, and said they could do it even more cost-effectively.