Designed and built for a client who wished to downsize from her existing city house, this 1,600 square foot straw bale country cottage features an open floor plan, vaulted interior spaces, and many green strategies. Exterior walls made of straw bales provide a great insulator from the elements, and solar panels mounted to the side of the garage provide domestic hot water along with radiant floor heat. Passive solar strategies also help to minimize energy costs, while a cistern placed under the screened porch collects rainwater for gardening. Low VOC paints, stains, and finishes as well as compact fluorescent lighting were used throughout the interior of the house. Deep window sills, exposed timber framing, stained concrete floors, and knotty pine woodwork come together to give this cozy cottage a warm and earthy character.