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 .
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