(Welcome again to Elka, one of the finalists in our Editor search for the upcoming Green Therapy blog. Here's her "Green Tour". Comment away!)
Name: Ozan and Brian
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Size/Type: 1150 sq. ft. 2 bedroom in a rented Cape Cod-style home
Years lived in: 10 months
Brian and Ozan Williams, an architecture graduate student at UVA and a financial consultant, respectively, have found a way to successfully join their green living principles with their DIY, artsy aesthetic. A married couple living in rental housing close to campus in Charlottesville, Virginia. Brian and Ozan possess a singular style that imbues their home with the couple's collective design personality.
Ozan, who has an eagle eye for thrift shopping, is also an excellent seamstress, gardener, and renovator—skills that came in handy when the couple transformed this janky rental unit into a thrifted paradise. Brian, who is an accomplished visual artist and steel welder, is also a skilled designer and carpenter.
Best of all, Ozan and Brian made almost all of these green changes at minimal expense. They serve as an inspiration for those of us looking to green our lifestyles, but who don't have the fat pocketbook to support photovoltaic panels or a legal greywater system. Indeed, through extensive reuse, recycling, and smart purchases, they've managed to green this house on a shoestring budget. I'm excited to see what type of green, crafty ideas Ozan and Brian come up with when they build or purchase a home of their own.
Note: Ozan writes that besides their television, nearly all of their interior/exterior design elements, furniture, etc., are handed down, thrifted, or found.
Style: Haphazard, vintage, ad hoc. The house is itself is a weird low-rent version of a Cape Cod, which is common here on the East Coast. It was definitely build by hand. I've found things in the house from 1938, but I'm sure it's older.
Inspiration: Other people, nature
Favorite Element: Water and carbon! (Kidding!) I like the quiet and shady front room and the dappled shade in the backyard. Directly outside our windows, everything is all green, which is great.
Biggest Challenge: Undoing all of the shoddy craftsmanship from the house's status as a long-time rental unit, coupled with the general grime of college rentals.
Biggest Embarrassment: The ugly bathroom off of the kitchen is so annoying I want to blow it up.
Best Green Feature: The relative passive cooling of our fans, our rain barrel, and the knowledge that we made this house the way it is by being smart, and not by spending a lot of money.
Proudest DIY: Brian built a shade pergola structure in the back, but we DIY everything so it's hard to say.
Biggest Indulgence: Besides amazing cheeses? Plants. We are crazy for plants.
Dream Source: We are not sophisticated enough for this answer. Brian said "the McMaster-Carr catalog" ( //www.mcmaster.com), which is full of tools and hardware and machinery and it's about five inches thick. I have no good answer….the great secret thrift store of my dreams?