Nielsen House Ideas

Nielsen House Ideas



  • Joni likes Craftsman style, but also contemporary steel posts, etc. Does not envision vast expanses of glass (full height window walls in many modern designs). Clerestory windows are good. Possibly open for venting. Heavy usage of wood and stone.
  • Dave likes more modern look


These are Dave passive solar/green home links. More extreme and Joni doesn’t totally like this stuff.

Passive solar design and plan links. We like some of the features and designs in these links. Pretty moderate exterior designs.

Non passive solar design and plan links. We like some features in these homes.


  • Passive Solar Design
  • Energy efficient appliances/fixtures/toilets (low-flow toilets, LED lights, etc.)
  • Ability to shut off power to all non-critical outlets to avoid standby power usage (maybe color coded outlets for critical usage?)
  • Root cellar
  • Daylight basement – move earth from south side and cover north side
  • Solar water heating w/ tankless back-up
  • Masonry/Wood Heater and/or radiant floor heating
  • Rainwater capture w/ cistern storage (possible below-ground plastic/fiberglass tank)
  • Graywater capture/use
  • Solar panels/power back-up (not off grid, but a few hundred watts of panels and a place (in basement?) for batteries, etc.)
  • Drill water well w/ hand pump option
  • As long as it’s cost effective, make choices and apply for some level of LEED certification.
  • Each step propose and consider green options balancing cost/efficiency


  • Possible mother-in-law apt. w/ separate access (we’re still debating this and it will probably be just a separate bedroom w/ nearby bathroom)
  • Mostly one-level for major access
  • ADA-approved doorways and hallways
  • Natural light as much as possible in rooms and/or Solatube
  • Connector between house and garage – enclosed breezeway
  • Office sound-proofed w/ audio/video recording possibility (or a space in basement for video recording (green screen, mounts in ceiling for lights, can be rough drywalled space)
  • A separate entry – either double entry/mudroom or at least where you don’t walk into middle of house (wall/visual break)
  • Two sinks in kitchen (Dave likes big island)
  • Folding spigot that unfolds and can reach over sink to fill up pots
  • Counter level microwave oven
  • Kitchen-living area combined layout
  • Areas for privacy
  • Walk-in showers w/ seating area
  • Large utility room w/ window and possible craft/sewing area
  • Food storage room (together or separate w/ root cellar?)
  • Large walk-in pantry area near kitchen
  • Large work area in kitchen w/ island
  • 5 bedroom (Master bedroom, three other bedrooms, other bedroom in mother-in-law area)
  • 3 1/2 bathrooms (including the one in mother-in-law area which is full bathroom)
  • Workout area with possible Murphy bed for guests


  • Contiguous indoor-outdoor space – outdoor rooms
  • Large east side porch – maybe off of office or master bedroom
  • Would need delineated transition area from manicured area to seasonal work areas (low wall that opens out to “work” area)
  • Outdoor kitchen/fireplace/grill?
  • Outdoor adobe (or other) baking oven
  • Campout corner (berms, stumps, firepit, evergreens)
  • Xeriscaping and useful plants for landscaping
  • Naturalized area at south end of lot close to creek (wildflowers, native grasses & shrubs, blend into natural plants near creek)
  • Bermed landscape plantings on east and west fence lines
  • Fruit & nut trees (on outer edges of property)
  • Garden boxes (growing areas)
  • Built in outdoor seating
  • Year round water feature
  • 1/4 – 1/2 acre plot for corn, wheat, etc.
  • Area for growing blueberries, raspberries, table grapes
  • Minimal lawn
  • Possible pond/swimming pool (natural swimming pool or wading/lap pool)
  • Possible pasture area for limited animals
  • Possible chicken coop


  1. avatar comment-top

    i didn’t read anywhere in the ccr’s that said you could have chickens. Just horses and llamas

  2. avatar comment-top

    Maybe you could start making alpaka (sp) sweaters.

  3. avatar comment-top

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  4. avatar
    George Transtrum Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks, this will give me lots to work with. Talked with John this morning about your offer so we’ll hope for the best. In the meantime I’ll start collating your ideas into something tangible.


  5. avatar comment-top


    Yeah, I don’t think chickens are currently allowed in the CC&Rs – it’s on the wish/change list. We wouldn’t want roosters and hens make a lot less noise than dogs do. We’ll see.

    I could make some more alpaca rugs like we have hanging up. Just have to raise, slaughter, and skin some nice baby alpacas the way my Peruvian friends did.


    Let us know what else you need. This is just a start, I think. We’re happy to provide a lot more, so let us know which areas we should focus on.

  6. avatar comment-top

    i am commenting with an email address to see if it posts back on my email. by the way thanks for the bank advise.

  7. avatar comment-top

    My pleasure, as always.

    Tucanos Grill here we come. 🙂

  8. avatar
    George Transtrum Says:
    October 5th, 2009 at 2:51 pm


    Would you guys be interested in making a trip to the Donnelly area to see some of the projects we have designed and constructed? It would give you an opportunity to get some ideas and see firsthand a variety of our work and design ideas.



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