When my husband and I decided to build a house in Sweden, we were under no impression that it be smooth sailing. Our green-ish standards (some musts, some dreams) would require extra work. Especially with two little kids along for the ride. But when we found the land three years ago – a little over 12 acres, located in the very southern part of Sweden, close to stunning coastlines, epic beech tree forests, and nature reserves, as well as bigger cities like Copenhagen and Malmö – we knew we’d hit the jackpot. So we rolled up our sleeves and began. The idea was: Build a foundation, four walls, and a roof, and incorporate all the eco-friendly ideas, materials, and systems we had the time and budget to handle. Here are some of the more earth-kind choices we ended up being able to use in the building process.
We have been lucky to work with one of Sweden’s greatest clay experts, Hanna Nilsson, and sourced local clay for plastering the walls. Some of the benefits of clay plaster are: It makes your walls non-toxic and 100% natural, lowers the exposure of electro-magnetic radiation, and creates an incredible indoor environment by balancing humidity and clearing indoor airborne toxins. (Editor’s Note: Clay naturally produces negative ions, which repel the dirt and grime that normally build up on walls.) It also feels amazing to touch – the end result is very alive and natural. Plus, the cost is comparable to standard plaster, most of which has toxic components.
Creamy plaster walls around a picture window.