See how a radio-dialing, non-video-gaming, book-reading, low-tech family lives
Jess Chamberlain; photos by Thomas J. Story
December 5, 2012
| Updated March 26, 2021
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Read all over
No web surfing at home means more time for reading the printed newspaper.
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Modern meets old-school
Modern lines and electricity are present in the kitchen, but there are no digital interfaces on those shiny appliances. On the floor, the kids play with toys like wood blocks, not video games.
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Clutter kept tidy
A kitchen drawer plays catchall for keys and iPhones.
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Simple household products
The family owns modern-day appliances like this dishwasher, but without LED interfaces.
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There's no fighting for appliance outlet space on the kitchen countertop. Even the juice press is manual (and therefore, unplugged).
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Coffee the old-fashioned way
Coffee is made on the stovetop instead of by an electric coffee or espresso machine.
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Even pantry goods are "unplugged": Laura Jo and Donovan prefer not to purchase processed foods.
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Back to the grind
Lev (4) and Ezra (6) help Donovan grind flour (manually, natch) for bread making.
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Lev helps Laura Jo with bread making, done by hand and oven--not bread-making machine. Giant maps serve as artwork around the house and also teach the kids about geography, as opposed to online maps.
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In the dining room, the table was crafted from old bowling alley flooring and the chairs were salvaged from a local middle school library. The wool-and-cotton rug is hand woven.
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No screen time for the kids means more time for play and puppet shows.
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In the living room, guitars take the place of a sound system. And there's plenty of time for globe spinning. The low-tech couch was Laura Jo's grandfather's and was rebuilt and reupholstered for reuse.
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In the living room there are real books, no Nooks. Plus, more low-tech furniture: This table and lamp belonged to one of Laura Jo's grandmothers. Much of the living room furnishings are heirloom pieces.
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In the master bedroom, even the telephones are low-tech.
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Antique clock radio
An old dial radio provides low-tech tunes and time-telling in the master bedroom.
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In the boys' room, stacks of books and toys like marble runs and wooden cars line the shelves.
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In the boys' art room, well-stocked shelves of art project supplies are a crafter's dream.
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Lev and Ezra share a bedroom to make room for their well-used art space.
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Upstairs, Laura Jo's home office is adjacent to the boys' craft room.
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In Laura Jo's sun-lit workspace, colored pencils, fabric swatches, and hand-drawn sketches adorn a cord-free desktop.
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As part of her work as the design director for the organic textile brand Coyuchi (coyuchi.com), Laura Jo sketches and makes notes by hand in her office.
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In the office, an inspiration board (not a computer screen) holds sketches and yarn samples.