by Ginnee Hanock
It was important for me to live with fresh air and cool breezes, no air-conditioning; I did not want to sweat until the day I died. Mission Accomplished. When asked what kind of windows I wanted. I said I don't. We never close them, they are always open and they always need washed, so let’s not have them.
We have some 21 big window openings in our house and they have screen on them to keep out bats, birds, and all of those things that are attracted to lights. In the rainforest, those critters are abundant. Bat wrangling is amusing with a butterfly net, but they got to exit the house and need help. Felipe is good at it, he can often get them on the first swipe. If he misses it can turn into a ballet of sorts. No animals are harmed in the reallocation of bats and birds.
When it gets cold, we put on more clothing, when it warms up, we shed clothing. It can get cool. Several times this week I was wearing two sweatshirts. We learned to always have an item of warm clothing with us...just in case the weather turns, it can turn quickly.
We built our house around an old existing house that was now only a slab with two foot stem walls. We left the existing house, poured more slab around it, and built. Three months later we were living in our new home.
The middle of the house is our open plan suite that includes our bedroom. Our actual bedroom space is just large enough for our king bed with walk around space. When we are in bed is makes me feel like being in a canopy bed, snug, warm, comfy but not frilly. One wall is a clothing closet hidden behind fabric, the “wall” at the foot of the bed is a library wall. The bed and head-board are on the third wall. The fourth wall is a canvas painter’s drop cloth that hangs from a conduit rod on bamboo rings that we made. It is my sliding wall, one of my very best concepts ever. With the wall open, we can lay in bed and look at the forest. When the temperature drops, we close the fabric wall to regulate the air blowing in through the screens. Two years ago we put in 3 glass panes in front of my husband's office area of our suite. It facilitates a clearer view for his bird watching, and knocked down some of the too strong winds.
Overall, I love it. I would like a rocket stove fireplace within the next house.
I learned that walls are expensive, you only need them if they are load bearing. Find another way to divide your space, such as a bookcase, closet, or movable fabric walls.