House Hunting in Norway: Eco-Friendly With Fjord Views for $1.9 Million

This four-bedroom home sits on a hillside in the town of Stavern, a popular summer destination on the Vestfold coast in southern Norway. Designed by the architect Rune Breili and built in 2016, the 3,423-square-foot house has many energy-saving features, including solar panels, smart-house wiring, LED lighting and under-floor heating.

The glass-fronted upper level and rooftop terrace offer panoramic views of Larviksfjorden, a five-mile-long fjord that takes its name from the nearby town of Larvik. At least four lighthouses can be seen from the main suite upstairs, said Knut Leinaes, a broker and partner with Leinaes & Partners, which has the listing.

A granite staircase leads to the main entrance, which is sheltered by an Accoya wood enclosure. The wood, also used for much of the home’s exterior, is treated to be extra durable.

The door opens into a tiled foyer and hallway. To the right is the open living area, with oak parquet floors, white walls and, at its center, a glass-walled staircase with wood steps that appear to float. A small dining area is set up at one end of the room, and a bigger dining table and living room are on the opposite side. Sliding glass doors open onto a terrace that runs the length of the house.

The kitchen, situated against a side wall, has custom furnishings by Multiform, a Danish kitchen crafter, with sleek white cabinetry and an island with a recessed induction cooktop. A glass door opens onto a large patio with a covered barbecue station.

A hallway leads to three bedrooms, all of which have access to the terrace. The bedrooms share a large bathroom with glossy tile flooring and a vaulted ceiling with skylight.

A second living room on the upper level maximizes the water views through a wall of 13-foot floor-to-ceiling windows. Doors on either side of the room open onto separate roof terraces. Opposite the living room is the main suite, with a similar wall of windows (this one with electric blackout blinds), a dressing room and a bath with a vessel sink and large walk-in shower. A free-standing soaking tub is positioned near the windows in the bedroom.

The home’s lower level, with a family room, wine cellar, half bath, laundry room and storage area, can be accessed from the attached two-car garage.

The 0.19-acre property has ornamental plantings set amid natural rock outcroppings. Located on a cul-de-sac in a residential neighborhood, the house is about a mile from several beaches, as well as the shops, restaurants and cafes of Stavern, Mr. Leinaes said. TORP Sandefjord Airport is about a 25-minute drive northeast.

Stavern’s population of roughly 5,000 swells dramatically in the summer with vacationers, many of whom live in greater Oslo, about 90 minutes away, Mr. Leinaes said. In addition to the beaches, attractions include a historic naval base that now houses art galleries and museums, and a coastal path that follows the water for

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AND Studio creating sustainable homes with eco-friendly luxury interior design & renovation

09/13/2020, Malaysia, Johor Bahru // KISSPR //

September 14, 2020: All those who are under the misconception that luxury and sustainability don’t go hand in hand need to have a second thought. A leading Malaysian interior designer, Andreas Budiman, has debunked the myth like a boss with his innovative eco-friendly yet plush interior design and home renovation projects. The founder of Malaysia’s top interior design studio AND Studio, Mr. Budiman specializes in creating sustainable homes that can save on energy costs

A name of big repute across Malaysia and Singapore residential renovation scene, AND Studio is a full-service interior design and home renovation firm. The company offers specialized design consulting and home remodeling services and caters to all kinds of home renovation projects. Whether it’s a luxury makeover just for the kitchen or an overall makeover of an entire home, Mr. Budiman and his team are ready to work for all.

What separates Mr. Budiman’s approach from that of the regular interior designers is his major emphasis in incorporating natural elements in his projects with due respect to the safety of the planet. One of his recent projects was a condo makeover with natural design and elements which has introduced a new wave in the traditional scene of interior design in Malaysia. Located in a highly urbanized area, the condo has been transformed from a 4-decade-old house into a plush grand home, accentuated with natural elements.

“The beauty of natural elements was the main concept behind the designing and renovation of the condo”, said Mr. Budiman while speaking about incorporating natural elements in his recent project.

The house has been decked up with natural stones like marble which has brought a classy edge to the overall condo. Moreover, AND Studio has incorporated natural lighting in the home renovation project as much as possible to ensure almost zero energy consumption. 

“With the ‘go green’ campaign going strong with each passing day, homeowners are really conscious about attaining a sustainable design and eco-friendly living. But, in most of the cases, they are curious about how to incorporate that ethos into their homes and need a guiding support here. This is where we come in.”

“We try to bring in a natural feel in homes with the help of natural stones, like the way we did in one of our last projects. Natural stones carry a timeless appeal and they always add a dose of class when you are seeking a luxury makeover for your home. Moreover, they are durable. Besides, we focus a lot on getting in natural lighting for your home to reduce energy consumption as much as possible. We believe in creating sustainable home designs that would be pleasing to the eye, easy on pocket and also would contribute to the betterment of the planet.”

While asked whether they had to face challenges while incorporating natural elements in their projects, Mr. Budiman mentioned a number of handicaps which they had to learn to tackle. He noted about the difficulties in

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Top Ways To Build An Eco-Friendly Bathroom

One of the top trends for 2013 is to include eco-friendly features in bathroom remodels and new bathrooms. Many people however are looking for ways to have an entirely eco-friendly bathroom and not just a few items here or there. Here are the top ways to build an environmentally-friendly bathroom.

1. The first obviously is to be conscious of water flow. There are three areas in the bathroom that consume water: the toilet, the shower and the sink. Toilet water flow can be controlled with the European style low-flow flush toilets. There are two water flow options, one for low-flow and one for full-flow. Most shower nozzles come with a ring in them that reduces the water flow. Another way to make the bathroom eco-friendly is to have shower water drained into a tank that can be re-used to water lawns and flowerbeds. The same can be done with kitchen sink water. If you decide to go this way, be sure to use biodegradable soaps and shampoos. As for sinks, low-flow water devices are also available.

2. Use low or non-VOC paints. “Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This is especially important if children are using the bathrooms.

3. Incorporating natural elements doesn’t just allow a bathroom to feel relaxing; certain elements can also be environmentally friendly. The first is harnessing the sun’s natural energy. If you have a south-facing bathroom, larger windows will help naturally warm the room, cutting down on energy bills. Window treatments like double-cell shades can keep in warm air during the night or block the sun’s light during summer months, keeping the room cooler. Plants are also a great addition to a bathroom, but make sure they are tropical plants that thrive on humidity. Plants help clean the air of pollutants and give us oxygen.

4. Use recycled or reclaimed barnwood for cabinetry. Wood stands up well to time and can create a great rustic look for the bathroom.

5. Using repurposed tiles is a great way to create art in a bathroom. By searching for tiles that have been discarded, the homeowner can create an amazingly unique atmosphere by mixing and matching colors and textures for a fraction of the cost of new tiles.

There are many ways to make a new bathroom eco-friendly. Updating a bathroom can be done with just a few tweaks here and there. Remember, reuse, reduce and recycle apply to bathrooms as well as any other room in the house.…

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Remodeling? Try an Eco-friendly Kitchen

It’s quite refreshing how many people are interesting in using environmentally friendly products these days, even when they’re taking on expensive home improvement projects such as remodeling the kitchen. Fortunately, you can now get “green” materials without paying any more than you would for other high-end materials. Unfortunately, you can’t always find these eco-friendly countertops, cabinets, and floors at your local home improvement store.

Specialty stores (those that emphasize green living) are your friend here, but since they’re smaller, they won’t always have all the options. It’s a good idea to research online and decide what kind of flooring, countertops, appliances, etc. you want before you even look for a buyer.

That’s where this article can help. We’ll look at a few areas where you can make environmentally friendly choices when remodeling the kitchen. In the end, your new kitchen will look as good as anybody else’s on the block (maybe better).

Countertops

There are lots of eco-friendly options for kitchen countertops. Concrete is low-maintenance and easy to mold into whatever shape and thickness you want. Natural stone such as granite, though a somewhat limited resource, doesn’t give off harmful vapors that man-made materials can. Countertops made from recycled materials are increasingly popular. You can find everything from paper to glass to ceramic (how would you like a handsome Terrazzo countertop made from old toilets, sinks, and tubs that would otherwise be cluttering up landfills?).

Eco-friendly Flooring

Bamboo is becoming very popular in the flooring arena, both in the kitchen and other rooms of the house. Since it’s a grass, it grows much more quickly than trees, so it’s an easily replenished resource. If you prefer hardwood flooring, consider wood harvested from sustainable forests. You can also get hardwoods made from salvaged or reclaimed wood (such as from old buildings that were torn down). These natural materials are often more eco-friendly than man-made compounds.

Kitchen Appliances

Make sure to choose Energy Star appliances when you’re shopping for your new oven, dishwasher, refrigerator. They may be more expensive than traditional models, but these appliances use 10-50% less energy and water so you will save money in the long run. You don’t have to give up style for energy efficiency; you can get stainless steel and other high-end finishes in Energy Star-rated models.

Cooktops

Is there such thing as an environmentally friendly cooktop? Of course. The new induction units on the market use electricity to produce a magnetic field that causes molecular movement, which heats pans instead of burners. This method of heating uses less energy than gas and electric stoves, and induction cooktops are safer too (no need to worry about a child touching a hot burner).

Cabinets

Choosing cabinets that are functional and handsome is a big part of a kitchen remodel, since they take up a large portion of the room. When you’re looking for eco-friendly options, choose the same sorts of materials you would with flooring. Bamboo and reclaimed wood are handsome choices. If you need less expensive …

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Eco-Friendly Interior Design – A Guide to Creating a Sustainable and Ecological Interior

It is not often realized that the materials used for interior design could be threatening the environment or even your health. It is always a wise option to look out for an eco-friendly interior designer who could bring your ideas to your life at an affordable cost while ensuring the materials used don't endanger the environment or put you at the risk of respiratory problems and other conditions.

Paint

A host of eco-friendly solutions are in the market if you only look for them. Eco-friendly paint is one, conventional paints and finishes are quite dangerous if scientific reports and investigations by interior designers are to be believed. They are said to release low level toxic emissions long after they have dried on your walls. Paints with Low-Volatile Organic Compounds (Low-VOC and No-VOC) are the solution. You can feel the difference they are free from odor, thanks to the lack of harmful chemicals. Some of these eco-friendly paints are however expensive and may turn those on a budget off. But it is important to remember that it is almost impossible to create 100% non-toxic and non-allergenic paint even though manufacturers claim so. What can be done is to use paints that have a lesser concentration of the harmful elements which is effectively what the Low-VOC and No-VOC paints are.

Wallpaper

For those who would like a bit of vibrancy added to their walls, eco-friendly wallpapers are around. The problem with the regular wallpapers lies in the inks that are used while manufacturing. Eco-friendly wallpapers feature water-based inks; These inks are printed on chlorine-free paper obtained from forests specifically managed for the purpose. Low-VOC adhesive can be used for lightweight and medium weight paper-based wall decorations.

Carpets

Once you are done with the walls it is time to turn your interior design cravings to the floor. The pollution hazard with generally used carpets and flooring is that their installation can fill the indoor air with plenty of VOCs or volatile organic compounds. Included in these VOCs are carcinogens such as formaldehyde and benzene. You certainly would not want yourself or your loved ones to be inhaling these toxic substances. You ca not escape from it as these compounds could take years to dissipate, long after your flooring has been completed. What's more, the treatment employed to keep the carpets free from moths, soil and moisture involves toxic chemicals. The carpets themselves could attract toxic substances and VOCs from outside the house. The good news is that eco-friendly interior designs can be employed here as well. There is a wide variety of eco-friendly flooring options that include bamboo, cork, recycled metal and glass tiles, linoleum, stones and sustainable and reclaimed woods.

Carpet Tiles

Check out modular carpet tile squares that can use in place of the traditional carpet, these tiles are held to the ground by adhesive dots. They resemble the conventional carpet when all the tiles fall in place together, but are made from totally recycled materials and can be recycled again …

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