The House

photo by Richard Olsen

photo by Richard Olsen

The house's ground floor comprises a yoga/exercise/massage space; three bedrooms and three baths; and a 1,000-square-foot open kitchen/den/dining area/TV nook, a room that's ideal for dinner parties and talks and gatherings, a room with an operable window wall that seamlessly merges it with a large outdoor terrace overlooking a pond, water elements, and the forest. The house's second floor is a living room/work corner, all of it wrapped in windows with vistas of the gardens, and an additional bedroom and bath. A spiral stair in the living room concludes at the house's third floor, the master suite.

Along with being Wi-Fi equipped, each room displays Van der Ryn's own paintings and other art collected over 40 years, and the house includes his personal multi-thousand-volume architecture and ecology book collection. The house's water supply is sourced from mineral-rich, chemical-free on-site wells. Electricity is supplied by solar panels. In the winter months, indoor temps are controlled by fast-heating energy-efficient gas heaters and/or two wood stoves that burn a supply of oak harvested on-site. All linens are from Cuddledown; quilts and blankets are from travels in India and Europe. 

While the House has complete privacy, Eco Refuge owner Sim Van der Ryn resides within walking distance and is thus usually available to respond directly to any questions or concerns. Services available upon request include a master chef, yoga instructor, and masseuse.