Many thanks go out to Jenny, one of the marvelous Albuquerque Live & Learn Conference goers, for a tour of her strawbale house. The strawbale technique is economical, earth-friendly and perfect for desert regions such as New Mexico. I know there are strawbale houses in Bend as well, but I've never seen one up close, so this was a treat. Jenny's home is made for sustainable living and will eventually include solar hot water for radiant floors. They do have a solar water pump, composting toilets and solar tubes to bring light in during the day.
One of the things I love about this technique is the opportunity to be creative with the mud. There are many little touches that make Jenny's home unique. In this photo you can see a circle on the wall- check the photo below if you can't figure out what it is. Also, I like the detail under the window. The ceiling is made from recycled palettes.
It's a window porthole to the straw. What a wonderful tribute to the humble material which created this home. I love the handprints too!
Here again are the creative touches that make this house so beautiful.
Because of the width of the strawbales the house has very deep walls and consequently you can have beautiful window seats such as this one.
In the bathroom you can see the composting toilet and the light coming from above which is a solar tube. A solar tube is more efficient than a regular skylight and creates a nice natural light in the house.
Thank you Jenny for opening up your home so generously. We really enjoyed the tour. I only wish I had thought to get a photo of the sheep!