Vernolia and Lerner, Natural Remodeling for the Not-So-Green House

Vernolia-Lerner book imageI know, this isn’t really a book about native plants. But bear with me…I think many of us view landscaping with natives as part of a broader picture of taking better care of our planet. For me, working with native plants and bringing my little patch of landscape to a point of supporting greater biodiversity is a personal, small-scale victory in the face of a much more vast and daunting task: that of reversing our culture’s pattern of short-sighted ways and replacing that with greater caring and thoughtfulness.

This beautiful book helps bring a more natural way of thinking to what we as humans need and ask our homes to do for us.

One of the most surprising projects I had in grad school was when I was assigned to use what I’d learned about landscapes to re-design the interior of an existing room in my home in such a way that it created a stronger connection with its natural surroundings. Everything changed: colors, choice of materials, orientation to the light, even a new opening from the room onto a patio outside… Why had I never before thought about the rooms inside my home with these concepts in mind?

This book helps the reader through just that kind of revolutionary thinking. I love that this book is about remodeling existing homes where we live now, rather than how to build a brand new house on an isolated plot of previously undeveloped land. And I enjoyed the celebration of sun’s warmth, wind’s energy, and the coolness of deep earth that is woven through the book’s words and photos.

If you find yourself in the midst of planning a renovation project, this book could be just the help and inspiration you’re looking for.