“It’s just re­ally com­fort­able

– IT’S A RE­ALLY WARM HOUSE IN WIN­TER AND COOL IN SUM­MER – AND THERE IS LOTS OF NICE, NAT­U­RAL LIGHT ,”

North East Living Magazine - - News - ANDREA O’CON­NOR

Andrea also didn’t want the other ex­treme of be­ing too cold and clin­i­cal – in­stead the home is filled with warmth from the nat­u­ral tones and tex­tures used.

“We’ve got at least five or six timbers in the house – we didn’t try to match timbers be­cause it can look a bit cold and ster­ile,” she said. “I think we did well with that – it looks re­ally good.” Andrea’s favourite part of the home is its com­fort and live­abil­ity. She said the fam­ily added a swim­ming pool and is cur­rently in the process of com­plet­ing land­scap­ing works which will add the fin­ish­ing touches, par­tic­u­larly as it leads to­ward a grand en­trance.

“It’s just re­ally com­fort­able – it’s a re­ally warm house in win­ter and cool in sum­mer – and there is lots of nice, nat­u­ral light,” she said.

“When peo­ple come to the en­trance there is a wel­com­ing space where we have some art­work and a win­dow which looks out onto the farm next to us.”

Pa­trick loves the liv­ing room, where he can re­lax and play the gui­tar with friends, mak­ing the most of the nat­u­ral acous­tics af­forded by the zone’s cathe­dral ceil­ing. The girls also feel right at home, hav­ing the free­dom to play in an open liv­ing room which is gen­er­ously pro­por­tioned but mod­estly fur­nished, so they have space to dance and cart­wheel. And there is plenty of space for the girls as they grow older, both in­doors in their own liv­ing zone and with a pool and bar­be­cue area per­fect for en­ter­tain­ing their friends.

“It’s a good house for that sort of thing be­cause the kids can go and watch a movie while we do some­thing else in the liv­ing room,” Andrea said.

And while she is not ex­act on what the fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits of be­ing en­ergy ef­fi­cient and sus­tain­able are, she es­ti­mates it would be con­sid­er­able.

“On a sunny day the house is re­ally warm be­cause of the pas­sive so­lar en­ergy and it doesn’t need heat­ing – the ther­mo­stat only kicks in and the heat­ing comes on around 5pm,” she said.

“Ori­en­ta­tion is key. There are sim­ple things you can do that are free to make your house more com­fort­able and en­ergy ef­fi­cient.”

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