A peak inside

So many friends and family around the world have followed us via this blog and supported us on this crazy journey to build our passivhaus inspired home. And many of you have been asking for a peak inside the “finished” house to see how it looks.

So even though there are still little details that we haven’t been able to finish due to the coronavirus, here is our home:

View from the front door, looking into the living and dining rooms
Living room

A pending project is to build a floor to ceiling bookshelf for the length of the far wall. And we also need to replace the temporary front door with our custom built, well-sealed door and door frame (see the gap of light at the bottom of the current door).

Close up of the dining room

The table structure was made by my dad, brother and Rodrigo in December using the pieces of metal that surrounded the pool when we bought the property. The top is made of lenga wood and was commissioned raw from Maderas Anihuë in Franklin, Santiago. I then spent a good couple of hours applying 6 layers of varnish and sanding in between (with the help and advice of my brother for the first coats).

The photo wall is one of my favourite spots in the house. It has so many special family moments which given that my family and friends are strewn across the world, is very important to me.

Our open plan kitchen which looks onto the dining and living rooms is the heart of our home

The island in the middle has been a treasure of Rodrigo’s since we started desiging the house. The wooden top is chestnut and it was also commissioned from Maderas Añihue. A record so far is having at least 5 people scattered around the island all preparing food. And the best part is that even with so many people, it didn’t feel crowded. Since Rodrigo is the chef in our family, we pass many evenings with me sitting on one of our very comfy barstool and Rodrigo on the other side preparing dinner.

The sliding barn door to the right of the picture leads to the machine and laundry room and also a small bathroom. We have an identical door on the left which you can’t see in the photo that leads to a small pantry. This was an idea that Rodrigo added on to the design just before we started building and I am so happy that he thought of it, as it means that our kitchen can really be quite minimalistic.

View from the sliding door that leads onto the patio
Passage leading to the rest of the house
My office and sewing room

Since I work from home, it is so wonderful to finally have a dedicated office space where I can shut the door and forget about work over the weekend. Pedro, a local carpenter who also built our kitchen cabinets and the bedroom cupboards, built the L-shaped desk based on an idea I had.

One of the two guest bedrooms

Special thanks to my dad and brother who hung the curtain rods in all three bedrooms while they were on holiday with us over Christmas. So sorry you never managed to actually sleep in these rooms while you were visiting. Next time…

Left photo: second bathroom; Right photo: our bathroom

Thanks again to my dad and brother who installed all the bathroom fittings and the shower door. We owe you both big time! Our bathroom with my amazing 1,7m bathtub (that almost didn´t fit in the bathroom). I am SO happy to finally have a big bath again after 10 years in Chile with only showers or very short bath tubs.

Our bedroom

We bought a new king-sized mattress for our new home, and to save on the base, Andrea, a friend of ours who imports compostable bags and products from Italy, gave us pallets to turn into a base. Thank you Rodrigo for taking apart and reassembling really well made Italian pallets, which was a lot harder than it seems.

One of the things I love about our bedroom is its view over the “soon to be” garden and we can step out from there onto the patio.

Another view of our bedroom which shows the only window on the west side of the house

This picture is specifically for the architects who may read this because it was our architect that suggested we put a small window there to be able to look out to the gate when someone visits. This window has absolutely no use other than that, and in fact in summer it causes us a huge issue with the bedroom overheating with the afternoon sun. I now understand why Rodrigo insisted from the beginning that windows on the east or west of the house are actually more trouble than they are worth. Next summer we will solve the overheating problem by installing a semi solid shutter on the outside which will help keep the afternoon heat out. 

Our bedroom looking towards the bathroom (door on the left) and our walk in closet (on the right). This is another luxury I have never had in my life and I am loving it

We have been living in our dream house for nearly 4 months now, and I can honestly say I have never been happier (besides the chaos and drama in the world right now).

I look back on the night in 2015, after we returned to Chile from our wedding in South Africa when we first started considering the idea of buying a plot of land and building a house, and think how crazy we were at the time. Our first design has a huge two-story house with a double height living room etc etc. Very quickly our idea became a lot more basic and I can honestly say that our simple rectangle house is just perfect for us. Thanks to Rodrigo going everywhere (and I mean everywhere, in Chile and around the world) with a tape measure, the space in each area is ideal for what we need. I am so happy that we invested our creativity and budget on making our home extra special in terms of energy efficiency and comfort, while keeping it simple in terms of design and space.

Sometimes I wake up and still feel like it is a dream that we are finally in our home. We can’t wait for friends and family from around the world to come and visit us over the coming years…

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