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Monday, 2 April 2012

Prince Charles's Ideal Home

He may have spent much of his life in palaces and castles, but the Prince of Wales is passionate about sustainable living and the need for cleaner, greener houses. Many of his ideas were the starting point for the Prince’s Arts and Crafts House at this year's Ideal Home Show in London which he visited (left, with Prince's Foundation Ambassador George Clarke) after the exhibition's official opening. Although the house is inspired by the 19th c movement which concentrated on quality, handmade design and furnishings, it's in tune with current environmental thinking and 70% more energy efficient than building regulations require. Its thick walls and natural materials such as clay, wood, lime and wool will keep it warm in winter and cool in summer, and the architects say its one wood-burning stove should be enough to heat the whole 2-storey house.

The Prince believes in fostering British craft, and this is evident in the d├ęcor, which includes stained glass windows, lino-cut wallpaper, hand-made tiles and traditional joinery.
 Out in the garden, visitors could see British-sourced materials, crafts and plants, with a strong emphasis on the edible. Planting also includes the Amelanchier, or ‘June Berry’ which flowers early and has edible berries in June, and Erythronium ‘dog’s-tooth violet’, another early flowering plant that thrives in the shade of small trees.

The house (left) will eventually end up on a residential site, where one lucky family will be able to live in a royal dream home. But there could be more - the Prince's Foundation is hoping to interest a commercial builder in the design.

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