The Soot House: This Minimal Family Home with Simple Aesthetic is a True Labour of Love

, , , , , , , , By Catherine Lazure | Nordic Design

After a brief visit to Australia yesterday, today I’m taking you to coastal Maine, United States, for yet another beautiful home tour that is miles away (literally and figuratively) from this expansive residence.

The New England-inspired building is the vision of owner Anthony Esteves. The sculptor turned builder lives in the Soot House with his wife and son; their home is named after its charred black structure. Esteves used a traditional shou sugi ban* technique and a self-made, Japanese-style fermented paint made out of soot.

The place is small -a snug 55 square meters (600 square feet)- and was built to be very energy sufficient. A wood burning stove is the only source of heat which, according to the family, is more than enough to keep them warm even in winter.

The interior is modest, pared-down, with a simple aesthetic. It is quite utilitarian and minimal, and very attractive, too.

The home is sparsely furnished with flea market finds and antiques, and you’ll spot a few DIY projects like the closet, kid’s bed, nightstands, exposed-pipe faucets, etc. Eastern White Cedar, Douglas fir, concrete, and plaster were used throughout the place.

The property also includes a historic 1754 Cape Cod home that Esteves restored for his mother. A classic New England barn is under construction and will serve as the family library.




Very nice, right?

For more small homes inspiration, check out my gallery page dedicated to the topic.


* Shou sugi ban: Devised as a way to make wood less susceptible to fire and to keep away insects and rot, this longstanding Japanese method involves torching your building materials. The results are long lived and hauntingly beautiful. And the good news is that charred wood is now widely available for domestic use.” – Source


Photos:  Greta Rybus for T Magazine and via Remodelista








  1. Arne
    2 May 2018 / 5:35 am

    Beautiful home done with love and incredible skill

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