The Hubs and I just returned from a little weekend getaway to see my family. My family is spread to the four winds so our reunions are scheduled around two important things #1.) holidays #2) University of Oklahoma Football. The meeting location for this family get together is Dallas Texas. Dallas is home to many things but always in October its home to the State Fair of Texas. In addition to that, the second weekend in October, the fair hosts the OU Sooners vs Texas Longhorns football game. It is commonly known in our part of the country as “The Red River Shoot-Out”. (The Red River is the border between the state of Oklahoma and the state of Texas) OU/Tx is a rivalry game that my family has made a tradition for many years. The game is played the old Cotton Bowl Stadium located in the middle of the state fair. The great part about that is your game ticket gets you into the State Fair for free. We always explore the fair. This year the fair became inspiration for some rehabs. Well, the first rehab inspiration came from my new desire to work out more. My arteries need a rehab after eating a few Fletcher's Corny dogs and some deep-fried cookie dough. I almost tried the deep-fried s'mores. (The Texas state fair is known for their deep-fried delicacies…check out Southern Livings article about it) Anyway, the real rehab inspiration came from touring the three eco-friendly homes that they have built right on the Texas state fair property. No one lives in them but they are three, actual homes that showcase all that you can do in green home building and renovation. The hubs and I were so inspired we are excited about implementing some of the things in a future home. (Please forgive the pics…not knowing inspiration was at hand, I didn't bring my camera. I used the camera on my phone)
The first house was one of those “tiny houses” like the Design Star crew designed this season. Here is me in the tiny shower. It would not be easy to shave your legs in this shower.
Here is the second home and I was in
love lust over the living room.
The wood on the fireplace is re-used barn wood. I love the light, and the furniture layout. I am not a huge fan of the painting of the woman staring at me, but she kinda grew on me after a while.
I am not sure what is “green” about this shot, but I thought the tile and the yellow stove was unique. I love the chevron wood floors. It is also done with reclaimed wood.
Finally, we entered the Net Zero Home.
You could renovate your house to be more “green” and energy efficient, but if you really wanted to put a stop to your energy use you could build a Net Zero Home. This house has a yearly utility bill (water, electric (heat/air) of $100. Did you read that…$100 a YEAR…not month…YEAR!!!! Get this…that # is for a 5,000 square foot home. Isn't that insane! That is why its a Net Zero home. I could bore you with tons of pics but this is how they do it:
- wind power
- water recycler of the gray water used in your home
- rain barrels that are hooked up to water system
- foam insulation
- placement of windows when you build the home. You face your home a certain direction and put lower (normal) windows in the front and higher windows in the back. It has to do with the sun affecting the temperature AND optimal lighting so you use less electricity. Honestly, it sounds weird but I didn't even notice until someone told me.
- energy-efficient air-conditioning unit (not heating unit…explained below)
- Solar Panels
ind power and solar panels for the most part. The great thing is that it only costs $150 a square foot to build. That is WAY cheaper than I expected!
Heated floors. I have always wanted them but thought they were a luxury. This home does not have forced air heat in the home (heating system) The science behind why to only have heated floors is simply that heat rises. Forced heat comes out your air duct, and quickly rises. If you have floor vents its better but some homes only have wall vents and the heated air only goes so low before it rises. This means your heater has to work overtime to keep your home at the temp you have set. Also, if you don't have a duct in a certain part of the house/room then it can always remain cold. Heated floors evenly distribute the heat and the heat rises evenly throughout the entire house. The heating unit is hooked up to the heated floor and always distributes an even amount of heat through the tubes. A drafty door or window will not affect the production of the heat. Draftiness can KILL your pocketbook in the winter because the heater is always running! On top of that, your feet are warm (with a forced air unit your feet are usually the appendage that remains cold.) It does limit you in your flooring choice but cork floors are good for this installation. If my floors could look like this I could be just fine with that!
If you go to the Texas State fair you should check it out. It is definitely inspiring. These homes didn't hold back on any expense in the interior design department. They spend 300,000 on decor! Whoah! It basically serves as a showroom for “fancy smancy” interior designers. For example, this lamp costs $5,000. I liked it but I will stick with my thrift store finds, and save the $4995 for heated floors.
I did love this pendant and I had an “Aha moment”. I got this light for free and thought….maybe I could recreate this light somehow.
After our trip to the Net Zero home we headed to the stadium where I watched my Sooners demolish Texas 55-17.
To end the perfect weekend the Hubs and I headed to our bi-annual trip to Ikea. Ikea is 7 hours away from my home so I only get to go about 2 times a year.
I am usually not able to walk out of there without clearing out a few gift cards and then spending another $100 on top of that. The hubs is used to being ready to strap something to the top of a car or sit with his seat closer to the wheel because of multiple large flat boxes. This time, I walked out with $60.00 of boring stuff. I bought a clearance curtain that I will turn into a shower curtain for our upcoming guest bathroom rehab, a few door mats (much-needed with two dogs), and some white frames. I am finally going to put some frames on the wall in my living room. I bought 20 at $1.99 a pop and hopefully I can accomplish something like this, or this, or maybe even this.
After we checked out with my newest re-usable Ikea bag and stuff within it, we both bought a 99¢ icecream cone, walked past the loading zone where many were strapping boxes to their car, and jumped in the car to return home….quite comfortably I might add.
Have you been to an unexpected place that gave you inspiration? Do tell.
Thanks for reading,