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the cottage

The Cottage is a straw bale building with wood framing. This was the first thing we built at the Dacha. We wanted to have a dry place to store our tools, as well as to practice our construction skills.

For the complete and hilarious, building-of-the-straw-bale-cottage, aka the Winter Palace, video-series visit us here.











The interior is plastered with three coats, two of earthen plaster made of clay and straw and sand, and one of lime plaster. We then applied a lime wash, which we dyed slightly with red clay.

The building is south-facing, solar passive design with a concrete slab floor.

The ceiling is old barn boards that we sanded and coated and nailed up. All in all, it’s pretty cozy in there.

At this point, the cottage is heated by the sun and a small wood stove. There isn’t any electricity in it, or water. It’s a good place to crash in the warmer months, but we’ve had a few issues with humidity that we’re still figuring out.

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