"Housing Trends: Good Space Use & Green," Cont'd. (& bonus recipe: blackened salmon with spicy peach chard corn salsa)

Continued from main post, click here to return.

"710" In Venice

The "710 House"was profiled
in an article from the New York Times about housing trends for its being smaller and ecological.

But specifically 710 was highlighted because it is internationally noteworthy having achieved a hot designer label.

710 has earned a LEED
certificate, for Leadership
In Energy and Environ-
mental Design given by the
U.S. Green Building Council.

Imagine a house that:

  • emits no harmful gases into the atmosphere
  • produces its own energy, and 
  • incorporates recycled materials, from concrete to countertops. 
Achieving LEED is not an easy accomplishment.

This house is located in Venice California boasting a sales price of $2.8 million.

Carol Anthony's Strawbale Cloister, In New Mexico

Carol Anthony built a studio and home that according Chris Casson Madden in her book A Room Of Her Own, could literally be an artifact from the eighteenth century.

Strawbale Cloister is described by Carol Anthony as a "cloistered, clustered casita".  It is surrounded of course by indigenous vegetation:  pinion, juniper, gamma grass, chamisa and arroyos.

Carol Anthony is an accomplished artist, to see what she's produced in this casita, click here.

Actress Ali MacGraw's Small, High Efficiency Studio

When Ali McGraw bought her home tucked away in Northern New Mexico, she contracted to have built - next to but separate - a high- efficiency, small studio. It includes a proper bathroom with a shower and a survival kitchen as well as a kiva fireplace and queen-sized bed, flanked by built-in bookshelves. Note:  it is elevated to take advantage of the incredible view of the mountains.

It is a beautiful use of space.

Photo frrom book: A Room Of Her Own

Wikipedia page on Ali MacGraw, click here.

To see a CBS interview of Ms. MacGraw that includes discussion of her life in New Mexico, click here. 

He's Been Profiled By The Likes Of Oprah And Anderson Cooper  -- Jay Shafer And His 'Tumblewood Tiny House Company'

Jay Shafer started his Tumbleweed Tiny House Company because of his concerns about the impact larger houses have on the environment, and because of a desire to not want to maintain a lot of unused or unusable space. Shafer states, "My houses have met all of my domestic needs without demanding much in return. The simple, slower lifestyle my homes have afforded is a luxury for which I am continually grateful."

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company has been profiled on Anderson Cooper 360, The New York Times, The Oprah Winfrey Show (To see Tumbleweed's media page, click here.)

"It makes for a lot less cluttered life"  - - A Maine Family Living In Their 'Tumbleweed Tiny House' In Maine

The Speed family built a Tumbleweed Tiny House and this unique Maine home was highlighted by the Bangor Metro News in an article called, "Home Petite Home," that reads, "In small-home design, the devil is in the details."

The home employs dozens of space-saving tips:

  • stereo speakers are wired into the home and a flat-screen television is mounted on the wall
  • Vertical space is maximized with small shelves
  • Kitchen implements are hung from the ceiling
  • The bathroom and bedrooms are just big enough to move around comfortably
  • There’s an ingenious washing machine that doubles as a dryer.

At the same time, they also employed a host of tricks to make the space seem bigger than it is:

  • A high percentage of windows to wall space lets in plenty of natural light
  • The walls are brightly colored, creating an airy and spacious feel in each room
  • Instead of a wide-open floor plan, each room has its own distinction or divider to differentiate it from the others.

To top it off, everything is clean and beautiful within, right down to the glass jars full of grains on the kitchen windowsill.

Living in a small home for the past two years, says Speed, has changed the way she goes about everything. “It makes for a lot less cluttered life,” she says.

I am enjoying seeing the shift toward smaller and especially, higher-efficiency, green spaces.  Smart interior and architectural design is taking advantage of these trends and this is a beautiful thing.

Blackened Salmon With Cheesy Polenta And Spicy Peach Chard Corn Salsa

Serving Size:  4


Blackened Salmon

1 pound fresh salmon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Spicy Peach + Charred Corn Salsa

1 ear grilled corn
1 red pepper, charred
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 peach, diced
4 basil leaves, chopped
1 lime, juiced
3 green onions
1 teaspoon hot sauce

Cheesy Polenta

2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
2/3 cup polenta
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Make the polenta.  Pour the chicken broth and milk into a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is soft and thick, about 15 - 20 minutes. Keep warm and then just before serving, stir in the cheddar cheese and season with salt and pepper. If the polenta seems a little thick you can add a tablespoon of butter or extra milk.
  2. While the polenta is cooking work on the salsa and salmon. Preheat your grill to high heat (you can also roast the corn and peppers in the oven, but I prefer the grill). In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub the salmon with a tablespoon of olive oil and then cover with the blackened seasoning. Leave about 1 or 2 teaspoons of the seasoning for the salsa. Place the salmon in fridge.
  3. Rub the corn and red pepper with a little olive oil. Wrap the corn in a small piece of foil and grill the corn + red pepper for about 25 minutes turning each veggie about three times. Remove and let cool. When cool, slice off the corn kernels, de-seed and chop the pepper and place both in a medium size bowl. Add the chopped peach, chopped jalapeƱo pepper, basil, lime juice, green onions, hot sauce and 1 to 2 teaspoons of the blackened seasoning. Toss well and set aside.
  4. Remove the salmon from the fridge and grill (or broil, whatever you prefer) for 3 to 4 minutes, flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Serve the salmon over the cheesy polenta and top with the salsa.
    Recipe From Half Baked Harvest

    For more small space and small space decorating ideas, see below.

    For more green ideas, see below.

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