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A new Eco Home and Garden.

publication date: Oct 18, 2007
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green houseThe new Eco Home and Garden has been designed inside and out by Flair, the interior designers, to highlight the desirable, community based location of the development, but also to reinforce Gladedale’s commitment to green issues.

The green house or ‘unique Eco Home’ features a comprehensive range of environmentally friendly materials and innovation is in evidence throughout with natural and recycled materials from sustainable sources - cane, rattan, rubberwood, cotton, silk and bamboo.

Accessories too are green, eco-friendly detergents, glasses manufactured from recycled wine bottles, a water-powered clock and organic & vegetable bathroom soaps. All wallpaper is sourced from sustainable forests. Earthborn Clay Paints used throughout the house are organic and solvent free. Energy efficient lighting is used with bulbs that use just 20% of the electricity and last 8,000 hours, eight times longer than conventional light bulbs, while the Plunger Filter Kettle saves time and money boiling only the water required.

A mix of natural, sustainable materials are used throughout the whole house, including engineered solid wood flooring and furniture made from a mix of cane / rattan and rubberwood.

The dining table and chairs have been created from UK grown ash, one of the temperate hard woods with minimal wastage in its production. Soft furnishings include items made from 100% wool, cotton and silk, cotton/silk weaves and natural, feather-filled seat pads and cushions. The hand towels are a combination of cotton and bamboo fibre. Bamboo fibre is anti–bacterial and anti fungal, and naturally repels bad odours.

In one bedroom is a Sun Jar solar light; it resembles a jam jar packed full of solar cells, batteries and LEDs that absorb the sun’s rays all day and emit them at night, making it a very practical and environmentally-friendly light source.

The second bedroom has a unique bed designed in the shape of a boat, it takes the same space as a three foot divan – but is much more fun! It’s also fully re-cycled as it was previously used by the designer who’s since refurbished it.

Another ingenious feature is a bamboo LCD monitor casing, effectively a green PC. The bamboo used in its construction is hard bamboo, not the type eaten by pandas in the wild!

Maggie Brodie, of Gladedale Eastern, said: “The Eco Home was a tremendous challenge but is a fantastic achievement and well worth the effort to create such an innovative and beautiful home.”

The garden is split into two: a low maintenance shingle / pebble garden that takes its inspiration from the surrounding seaside using a wave of blue slate. All these materials were sourced from non sea-dredging suppliers and will reduce water evaporation from the soil by up to 85%, while the use of drought resistant plants ensures minimal watering.

The focal point of this area of the garden is a delightful old sailing boat filled with nasturtiums in willow baskets and a collection of sedums in clay pots which appeal to bees. An old anchor and pieces of driftwood add to the nautical theme while a deckchair made from recycled seat belts provides the ideal spot to watch the grass grow.

The remaining area is a small ‘kitchen garden’ with a hazel enclosure with herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers and a grape vine with grapes growing up old recycled timber groynes.

This part of the garden has been mulched using 100% organic manure to prevent excessive water evaporation. A composting bin in the shape of a beehive makes use of the lawn cuttings, while a water butt collects and recycles rainwater.

The garden is illuminated at dusk by low energy solar lighting and a bird box and roosting boxes provide shelter for wild birds and encourage habitation.

Jean Atkins, managing director of Flair, said: “Designing the Eco Show Home was a real challenge and involved significantly more research from the outset to ensure all the products used were from natural and sustainable sources, right down to the wallpaper and paint.”