Katie's Solar Powered Straw-Clay Home

House Call

Welcome to Katie, who's trying out for a spot on our editorial team. Enjoy!

Who Lives Here: Katie Cushwa
Location: Old North St. Louis, Missouri

Tell us about this home: Although the front portion of this home is over 100 years old, the entire house was renovated 6 years ago. With solar power, rainwater collection, and straw-clay walls, this home is very connected to the earth. When we moved here from one just a block away two months ago, we solidified our commitment to this vibrant neighborhood in a forgotten part of the city.

All of our furniture has been passed down to us from loved ones and our textiles, prints, and paintings acquired from traveling. The rug in the living room was purchased from the weaver in Tunisia and the Amish quilt was purchased by my mother 35 years ago in Pennsylvania. The doors were gifts to the previous owners (and renovators) and they rescued the granite in the counters and around the wood-burning stove from a nearby granite supplier dumpster.

As a full-time bicycle commuter, I strive to stay connected to the earth every day. Our vegetable garden this season is a work-in-progress, but with our pear, cherry, and apricot trees and raspberry bushes we have had plenty to harvest! Since our kitchen windows face south, our indoor (as well as outdoor) herbs have been so healthy. Our home is so filled with joy.

Thanks, Katie!