Gilroy Today 2011 06 Summer - Page 24

Some elegant homes are all about the views; others are all about the elegance. The Demers home is about views, elegance and more importantly, enery efficiency. The exterior walls of this 4700-square foot house are six inches thick with super insulating recycled newspapers. There are numerous passive solar systems and a series of solar panels and heaters that reduce energy consumption by about seventy percent. And in the summer months, the home returns power to the electrical grid. Heat and cooling pumps circulate air for maximum efficiency. Whole house fans, high ceilings, instant hot water heaters and monitored lighting all contribute to the houses efficiency. The home was built by the Demers in 2007. At that time, they owned a two-story home in Silver Creek, but wanted a new one-level house with a little property and some separation from neighbors. While looking at properties in Morgan Hill, the agent suggested a lot in Gilroy. Margaret and Michael saw a lot and immediately knew: “This was it, love it!” They purchased the lot and went about finding just the right floor plan on the Internet, They viewed numerous house plans and found one that was close to what they wanted. With the CAD plans in hand, and a few modifications later, they built a spectacular home. It is big, elegant and every element has been personally selected. Marks of personal ownership are evident throughout. Margaret designed the elegant front doors that she had built in Mexico. Daughter Rachael’s bedroom was designed and painted by the mother-daughter pair. It is a tropical paradise with greenery, exotic animals and a waterfall. The original CAD plans called for two bedrooms but was made into one large bedroom, study and bath. Down the road it has the potential to be an in-law suite. Margaret is an indoor outdoor kind of person. One of her favorite places is the comfortable courtyard off the main entrance. But she is equally fond of the elegant and bountiful European raised garden outside the kitchen. Garden produce is shared with friends and canned for enjoyment in the winter months. 24 G I L R O Y T O D A Y S U M M E R 2 0 1 1