Natural Selection

Stylish and green touches make an east-side couple feel right at home

Photos by Martha Busse

Combining style and eco-consciousness is something Nichole Dyer Moore and Heath Moore do every day as owners of Ananda Salon and Spas, purveyors of plant-derived Aveda hair and skin products.

The hip Madison couple hoped to extend the approach into their home life, particularly when choosing a new house for themselves and their thirteen-year-old son, Justin.

“I think living green and reducing your environmental footprint really is part of being a good neighbor and investing in the health and wellness of your community,” Heath says. “We live in Madison and own a business there so we want to do things that help the environment as well as the economy.”

The Moores had already put down roots on the city’s east side, living in a condo while Nichole started her first salon on Atwood Avenue.

And while they scoured homes and properties across Madison and beyond—even putting in an offer on a house in Middleton before deciding it just wasn’t for them—they soon realized they were already living in the area they like best.

“The east side is where I want to be,” Nichole says. “It’s just more laid-back,” Heath adds.

A handful of Nichole’s clients and employees suggested looking into houses built by Veridian Homes. Heath was hesitant to check out neighborhoods developed by the company, fearing the houses would be cookie-cutter replicas of one another. Yet both were pleased with the character they found in the Grandview Commons neighborhood on the eastern end of Madison.

What sealed the deal for the Moores was the way Veridian incorporates green practices into its homes. The 2,700-square-foot house they built last year carries both Green Built Home and Wisconsin Energy Star certifications. And the neighborhood was planned to include green spaces, shops and restaurants along with houses, Heath says.

The couple chose an existing house plan, but they made several changes such as adding windows to the main and upper levels. Other tweaking took place in the kitchen. Realizing room to cook—she loves to bake, he specializes in Italian and Middle Eastern dishes—was more important to them than extra storage, they eliminated a large pantry.

The result is a sizable cooking space featuring white cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and ebony wood floors that extend throughout the downstairs. Two oversized drum lights—another customization—are a dramatic touch above the kitchen island.

Photos by Martha Busse

Heath and Nichole bucked tradition in the formal dining room, turning it into a large office. They prefer to eat in an airy dining space between the kitchen and cozy living room complete with a stone fireplace.

The casual, comfortable sofa and ottoman in the living room are Nichole’s décor choices; Heath’s collection of modern, minimalist furniture makes a statement in the sitting room near the front door.

“I’m sort of in the middle,” Nichole says of her furniture tastes. “I like clean lines, but a little ornamentation is nice.”

While the house blends the couple’s personal styles, son Justin has made his own mark, too. A loft space near his bedroom on the second floor is where he and friends play video games. And the unfinished basement has become the perfect place for skateboarding.

The Moores have plans to expand their family. A currently undecorated—but already soundproofed—bedroom next to Justin’s will become a baby’s room.

But for the moment, the family is enjoying their new home, one that’s set in the part of town they love, decorated in the styles that are theirs and built with the principles that matter to them. The house doesn’t necessarily look green, Nichole and Heath say; it just looks like their home.

“All the components came together,” she says.

Katie Vaughn is associate editor of Madison Magazine.

Madison Magazine - April 2008
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