See how an architect turned her little Venice bungalow into a water-saving powerhouse
As architect Isabelle Duvivier remodeled the 1912 bungalow where she lives with her husband and their 11-year-old son, her priority was to make the home both eco-friendly and in sync with the 100-year-old Venice, California, neighborhood. So as she drew up plans to renovate the 1,000-square-foot bungalow—adding a master suite, a bathroom and closet, and an open loft upstairs—she capped the new size at just under 1,700 square feet. Duvivier has been building environmentally conscious homes for others for years, and hers was no different. The house is powered by solar panels. Almost every surface contains recycled materials.
The entire yard is watered exclusively by gray water and rainwater that’s diverted as it runs off the roof, landing in two cisterns and flowing over a waterwheel. One of the cisterns is open, like a trough, and circulates water in a fish pond. Inside, the water from showers, sinks, and the washing machine flows into a gray-water system that pumps it into the soil beneath some strategically positioned trees. The backyard is the family’s haven too; on weekends, they regularly move their big dining table outside and host parties. The front yard is just as friendly, with a low fence and a vegetable garden that beckons the community.
Design: Isabelle Duvivier, Venice, CA;