Builders and owners of straw-bale houses inevitably add a great number of details. Given both our location and our personal aesthetics, we've opted for a Santa Fe/Mexican style with lots of wood – mostly from storm-downed trees. This page shows some of the features that make our house unique.
The house on the hill. The land is extremely steep, but this hilltop has perfect southern exposure for a passive-solar house. The large trees are valley oaks and California live oaks.
Welcome. The posts and beams are storm-downed yellow pine. The front door was made in Santa Fe.
Once inside you're greeted by a tree trunk – a yellow pine from the Sierras.
The stair risers are Mexican tiles that we bought in Santa Fe. The light in the stairwell come from a Solatube.
Every straw bale house has a "truth window." Some people won't believe that your house is made of straw.
All you have to do is open the door.
The natural gas fireplace incorporates many natural elements. Some people think it odd to have a boulder in the great room. Floors are stained concrete.
The bale walls are plastered to the floor. There are no baseboards to hide ill-fitting drywall.
Bale walls provide deep window benches. The concrete slabs were poured on site.
Punched-tin scones in the great room and bed bedroom (and also the cat door) were custom made for us by Marion Moore at Taos Tin Works. Her work has been shown at the Smithsonian.
The countertops are soapstone. It's a heat-proof, stain-proof material that used to be used for lab benches. It's only drawback is being somewhat soft, so it can be scratched. The cabinets are cherry.
A hat and coat rack was made from an old oxen yoke. This wall is finished with an American Clay earth-based plaster that gives it a deep, rich color without a paint-like sheen.
The ceiling logs – called vigas – are a traditional part of Sante Fe style. We have them in several rooms. A Santa Fe viga is a structural element. Ours, however, are purely decorative.
The guest bathroom, also known as the red bathroom. The vanity is an antique Mexican cabinet.
You never know what might be clinging to the walls. This is beadwork from South Africa.
Our view from upstairs.
© 2021 Randy Knight