Name: Lauren Zerbey
Started at Re-Nest: January 2011
Lives in: Seattle, WA
Lauren knows a thing or two about smart, stylish, and efficient living—and the tools needed to get it done yourself! For the last five years, she and her husband (both architects) have been fixing up their 1910 home in Seattle, Washington, and sharing what they've learned along the way.
You most enjoy writing about: I like writing about the small moves and clever solutions to everyday life that can have a big environmental impact. I'm also fascinated with small space living and organization and I enjoy researching less-than-glamorous topics (like hot water heaters) and organizing the information into ways that are more accessible to people. Knowledge is power and I believe that the better we understand the way our homes work, the products we buy or the food we eat, the better equipped we are to affect change on a larger scale.
Your personal home style is warm modern. My husband and I are both architects and we've spent the last 5 years redesigning and retrofitting our small 1910 house. For me, I want my home to be energy efficient, comfortable and beautiful with a mix of new and old, DIY and purchased. I would also like four Eames shell chairs for my dining room table...preferably found on the side of the road and in need of some TLC. (I'm still working on that one.)
Your green home must-have is Efficiency and organization! For me, this means taking a holistic, whole-house approach and really looking at how much energy a home uses as well as how the spaces are laid out. If your home is comfortable and functions well, it will likely be around for another 100 years. Also, I love my Toto Aquia dual flush toilet — efficient and well-designed!
Your ideal Saturday morning is: hot coffee, a warm blanket and a good book, going on a walk with my husband and our golden retriever, grabbing breakfast (pancakes loaded with fresh berries) from Portage Bay Cafe.
What's on your nightstand? My iphone and a stack of books and magazines.
Where you go for inspiration/info/help? I'm constantly inspired by other DIY/home blogs, like Door Sixteen, The Brick House, and Manhattan Nest, but I also like to geek out on more technical sites like Green Building Advisor, Fine Homebuilding, and even the City of Seattle website, which is chock-full of useful information for homeowners. Taunton Press is also a great resource for "how-to" books on a variety of subjects and I turn to authors like Michael Pollan and Jonathan Safran Foer for inspiration on more sustainable food practices.
DIY or buy? DIY has been our home renovation mantra, but these days I prefer a hybrid between the two. I find that this approach can make a project less overwhelming but still affordable.
Favorite CFL or LED lightbulb brand? I love the new LED "tape lights" from ET2 Contemporary Lighting. We used them as undercabinet lighting in our kitchen - super efficient and perfect for people who don't want a lot of visual clutter.
In 2011 you're going to: Slow down, finally learn how to use the sewing machine that's been sitting in my basement, and be more mindful of the food I buy and eat.
Posts by Lauren
• DIY Solution for Hiding Clutter in a Small Kitchen
• How To Care For a Wax Floor Finish
• 5 Books for DIY Enthusiasts
• Rethinking Urban Density: 10 Backyard Cottages
• Decked Out: Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Treated Wood
(Images: see linked posts for full image credits)