Ojai Valley Green Coalition
Green Living Home Tour & Show

7th Annual Green Living Home Tour & Show


You can see our earlier year sites:

* 2008
* 2010
* 2011
* 2012
* 2013


The 2014 tour date was Saturday, October 25 and it was the 6th annual ...

Humble Handcrafts Tiny House

Handcrafted is inherently better and this tiny home of Craftsman detailing is a reflection of a young carpenter’s dream to hand build small footprint dwellings considerate to the earth.

With a love of woodworking running through generations in the family, Ryan O’Donnell began working as a carpenter at the age of 14 building custom homes with his father. He enjoys finding materials that can be brought back to life. His 174 square foot tiny house featured on this year’s tour has siding and interior wood reclaimed from a 1900’s home in Ojai’s East End, and finished in natural oil finishes. Ryan says, “There is beauty and soul in old wood, something you can not find at a local big box store. Today we have the opportunity to save this wood from the dump.” His home also features rainwater catchment and greywater systems, FSC certified sustainably grown framing lumber, sheep wool insulation, LED lighting, daylighting with skylights, semi-outdoor shower area with composting toilet, “boneyard” scrap tile counters and backsplash, twig drawer pulls, back door windows of old glass bottle bottoms, and it is plumbed for solar water heating.

El Toro Estate Going Green

The owners of this 1920’s California Spanish Revival estate designed by famed architect Arthur E. Harvey, (creator of the Château Élysée in Los Angeles), are dedicated to preserving it’s architectural history while incorporating 21st century thinking around sustainability and ecological design.

The El Toro estate is an in-progress “behind the walls” look at creating a net-zero energy home while keeping with it’s original artistic and historic integrity. With the help of architectural historian Judy Triem, restoration of the property is well on its way and it is currently in the process of being recorded as a historical landmark. Many unique and timeless architectural features have been uncovered during restoration including features such as: all original, handmade tile, long forgotten painted ceilings on burlap canvas, classic cast iron light fixtures, and original hardware. And, restoring versus replacing is by far the “greener” thing to do. Upgrades will include insulation, air sealing, solar panels, greywater, and a permaculture landscape. The owners have enlisted the help of Ojai permaculture consultant, Connor Jones, to transform the land into a model for water conservation, natural resource management, and small organic farming methods. This will be an exciting project to follow as the completed home will be featured on the 2015 Tour, with the end result being a restored home that is ready for the next century and beyond.

Matilija Street Village Retreat

A typical Ojai Village suburban ranch style home with a thirsty lawn, underinsulated walls, and leaky windows was renovated creating a sweet retreat where the owners found ways for water and energy conservation to nourish the soul and balance the ecosystem.

The owners of this Matillija Street home took the strategy of minimizing, but not eliminating, water consumption when creating their healing retreat. A landscape architect and graphic artist by trade, they removed all but a tiny portion of their home’s lawn, replacing it with drought tolerant native plants, a nice healthy layer of mulch, and a lovely, small water feature with a hand made glazed ceramic urn that has hummingbirds and bees excited to visit. By rough calculations, these homeowners will save over 88,000 gallons of water per year by removing most of their lawn, even with the water feature added. The home nutures with the warmth of extensive natural sustainably grown wood, and beautiful art pieces throughout, including a lovely reclaimed wood and bark bathroom vanity. Along with all this beauty are the not so glamorous, but necessary features of radiant barrier roof sheeting, cement board siding, a tankless water heater, high performance double pained windows, and high efficiency lighting on motion sensors, photo cells, timers, and dimmers.

Las Piedras Craftsman

Craftsman philosophy and attention to detail is found in this home outside and in, with sustainable landscaping fitting for it's local environs, utilization of building materials found on the site, and salvaged materials for finishes and furnishings.

With much of the original footprint intact, Las Piedras was transformed from English Tudor to distinctive, eco-friendly, authentically reproduced Craftsman in the style of Greene & Greene. The Landscaping was carefully designed using drought tolerant natives and mulch. In an open area around the covered pool, the owners wanted a reduced sized lawn to cut down on heat island effect and excessive dust, so they carefully selected a native grass that requires very little water, and no mowing, creating a luscious meadow that waves in the breeze. The exterior uses recycled and sustainably grown lumber. The old-fashioned cedar wood shakes and stone are sourced from the property itself. Along with energy efficiency and water conservation upgrades, the beautifully designed interior features natural, unpainted plaster walls, salvaged walnut floors with natural oil finish, furnishings of reclaimed wood, and window coverings and spreads of natural linens and burlap. 

Ojai Valley Green Coalition Resource Center

Your host, the Ojai Valley Green Coalition, invites you to stop by at any point on the tour for refreshments!
An educational and exciting video on Hempcrete building will be playing, and you can learn more about the vast array of resources, workshops, presentations, and services the Coalition offers. Be sure to check out our library with a great collection of environmental books and videos. Sit in our comfy reading area, or check a book or video out to watch at home. Have anything to recycle like batteries, corks, ink cartridges, small electronics? We offer recycling of these items so bring them along.

We hope you enjoyed your visits!

Copyright (c) 2014 Ojai Valley Green Coalition. All rights reserved.