Instead of tearing down their decrepit 1950s house and starting from scratch, a Manhattan Beach, California, couple recycled its materials to build a new one.
This pair of self-professed beach bums love Southern California for its abundant coast and year-round sunshine. When the opportunity arose to build here, the couple enlisted design/build firm owner Gary Lane to create a house that fit the neighborhood and made the most of the area’s temperate climate and the lot’s Pacific view.
What you see: a light-filled room with sleek cabinetry, minimalist lighting, and contemporary hardware and fixtures―all with a modern, low-profile style that doesn’t compete with the view
What you don’t see: the already replenished wheat fields that supplied the fundamental material for the pre-pressed wheatboard barstools. Unlike woods like teak, whose harvest requires the destruction of slow-growing forests, harvested wheat replaces itself quickly.
What you don’t see: improved air quality, due to Mark and Dewanna’s efforts to buy furniture―such as these dining chairs―from manufacturers who utilize flat-pack shipping, which helps reduce the carbon footprint by requiring fewer packing materials and less truck fuel
What you don’t see: less depletion of scarce resources due to the Sharps’ choice of furnishings and accessories made from sustainable materials. The chairs and floor pillow are made from sea grass (a renewable plant that is trimmed, not killed, for harvesting), the throw from organic cotton, and the rug from bamboo.
What you don’t see: the lack of harmful paint fumes. Throughout the house, Lori used a sandy white that has no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). “All darker paint colors contain some VOCs,” she says, “so we chose a light shade and brought in color with wood paneling instead.”
What you don’t see: all of the storm water the grass has absorbed and thus prevented from polluting the nearby ocean; much lower water bills, due to plantings like bamboo, rosemary, and Mexican salvia that require almost no water, a scarce resource in Southern California
What you don’t see: a typical concrete patio that radiates heat, does not absorb rainwater, and requires the use of expensive fuel to be transported, mixed, and poured