House Tours: Eco-Friendly California Home

Garage-turned-guest house
Committed to living a life that's simple, sweet, and eco-friendly, this SoCal family turned to Mother Earth for their home's holistic makeover.

California Dreaming

When these laid-back homeowners decided to renovate their Costa Mesa, California, house, they decided they wanted a green home before they even looked at a floor plan. Putting their green thumbs to work, they included solar panels, reclaimed wood floors, natural stone tiles, low-VOC paint, denim insulation, and lots of natural light to keep their home earth-friendly.

Total Texture

The entry features one wall coated with low-VOC paint, another constructed from concrete, a poured-in-place concrete bench, and a reclaimed wood floor. Accessories with natural textures add personality and color.

Eclectic Style

Neutral grays with surprising pops of bright colors, like orange, create a color scheme full of eclectic style. Garage sales and thrift shop accessories fill the home. Modern hard lines were softened with comfy pieces, such as plush rugs and cushy, curvy furniture.

Reworked Wood

The fireplace mantel is a freebie castoff piece of reclaimed wood -- formerly a railroad tie -- the family found at a local vintage flooring company.

Nature's Own

Natural elements flood the space. Reclaimed wood is also used again for the dining area flooring and makes its way into the furniture. Upcycled wood was used to build picnic bench seating for the table, a fun alternative to traditional chairs.

Service with Style

Store-bought cabinets hang on the wall and are topped with a slab of stone to create a built-in buffet for dinner and a display niche.

Cool Kitchen

The kitchen is super contemporary while still being functional. Ripping out upper cabinets opened up the room. Energy-saving appliances replaced outdated ones and bar seating along one length of the galley kitchen created space for conversation while cooking.

Office Space

Instead of being tucked into a separate room, the home office sits near the living area so the family can congregate around the computers and share online finds. Behind the desk hangs a corkboard, which defines the office area and serves as a central message and display area.

Green with Envy

In the master bedroom intimacy is emphasized with soothing, spa-like decor and simple accessories. Grass cloth covers the wall at the head of the bed.

Pretty Primping

The master bath's vanity is constructed from poured-in-place concrete. Mirrors are framed with rustic reclaimed wood. A salvaged mail-room basket stashes primping products under the counter and keeps things easy to reach without being in the way.

Converted Space

In the garage-turned-guesthouse/pool cabana/recreation room, sustainable materials abound. Cutting through the open ceilings are old barn beams, and eco-friendly paper covers the walls. The poured concrete floors are durable and easy to clean.

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