Daria and Ben's Z Haus

Daria and Ben's Z Haus

Leela Cyd
May 18, 2011

Name: Daria Crymes and Ben Waechter
Location: inner NE Portland, Oregon
Size: 2800 sq ft
Years lived in: almost two years

Daria, Ben and their two children live in the Z Haus, one half of a duplex Ben designed with family play, great air flow, natural light and clean lines in mind. It's a dazzling home, full of effortless, disparate elements that come together in the loveliest way.

The Z Haus, located in urban NE Portland, balances on the edge of family function and modern design. To maximize garden and outdoor space, Ben built the adjoining row houses upwards, with only one or two modestly-sized rooms on each of the four levels. The window placement and structure maximize air flow and natural light, keeping the home warm in winter and cool in summer.

The home is Energy-Star Certified and nearly all of the building materials are as environmentally conscious as you can get. This green ethos is echoed by Daria and Ben's lifestyle and furniture choices. When asked where Daria gets her beautiful hanging textiles, stylish ceramics and many of the lamps, she responded, "One great estate sale per year." Daria's exquisite, eclectic taste make for a unique and inspiring home. She pulls together disparate styles and objects in the most remarkable way. Much of the art collection has been done by family members young (the kids, 4 and 7) and old (they have a landscape by Ben's grandfather, for example). A few of the furniture pieces were created by Ben's grandparents as well—architects and designers in Germany during the BauHaus era. The apple certainly didn't fall far from the tree, as this couple lives and breathes a creative, green design sensibility.

Re-Nest Survey:

Our style: Simple

Inspiration: Efficient and pragmatic design

Favorite Element: Split levels with sliding wall panels

Biggest Challenge: City codes

What Friends Say: So light, bright, airy and social- they love it!

Biggest Indulgence: Built-in vacuum system

Green Elements/Initiatives:
• Near public transportation
• On a bike lane
• Durable materials
• Rain screen
• White TPO 'cool' roof
• Radiant-hydronic floor heat
• UPVC (un-plasticized, non-out gassing)
• Double pane windows
• Window placement at corners with adjacent to wall for enhanced natural light (washes around room vs. shadow around window such as in centered windows)
• Blown in insulation
• Wax-oil wood floor finish
• Non-VOC paint


• Silestone Countertops
• KWC Faucet - Stainless
• KWC Water Dispenser/ Filter - Stainless
• KWC Soap Dispenser - Stainless
• Insinkerator 3/4 Horsepower Heavy Duty Motor
• Asko Dishwasher - Stainless
• Dacor Cooktop and Wall Oven - Stainless
• Ventahood Cooktop Vent- Stainless
• Fisher Paykel Refrigerator - Stainless
• Meltemi Lido Ceiling Light Fixtures
• George Nelson Pendant fixtures in Dining Room

• Duravit Sink
• KohlerFaucets
• Caroma Dual Flush Toilet
• Robern Medicine Cabinet
• Smedbo Accessories
• Ginger Kubric Wall Sconces
• Meltemi Lido Ceiling Light Fixtures

• (Manifesting!) Grandparents
• Estate Sales
• Craigslist
• A few vintage items from Look Modern, Portland
• 2 new items from Hive, Portland
• Sliding wall panels custom made by Mark Allen of PEG Construction

• Travels
• Estate Sales
• Family
• Credit at ReRun in Portland.

Lighting: YLighting

Rugs and Carpets: Estate sales and Madson-Mullinger Carpets/Rugs in Portland.

Tiles and Stone: Precision countertops and Stucco bathrooms

Window Treatments: None yet! Will be DIY...

Beds: IKEA

Artwork: Family, kids

Paint: Exterior custom from Sherwin Williams Interior: Zurich white (low VOC)

Flooring: Bonzai Flooring, number 2 White Oak (#2 for variations in color and texture which offer a nice materiality to the white walls).

Visit Ben's Architecture Atelier: Waechter Atelier
Visit Daria's Realty: Living Room Realtors
Read more about the Z Haus: Z Haus

(Thanks, Daria and Ben!)

Interested in sharing your home with Re-Nest? Contact our editors through our Green Tour Submission Form.

(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)

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