Adding eco-friendly features didn’t mean that Mara Dodson had to lose the original touches in her 1920s Craftsman bungalow.

The home, renovated by Elemental Green Homes with features such as Energy Star appliances, spray foam insulation, new windows and high-efficiency heating and air systems, won a 2017 EarthCraft High Performance Award for its preservation of original building materials and its high indoor air quality.

Mara Dodson and Doug LeGette sit in their living room with their dog, Buddy. Mara is a consultant for The Moss Group while Doug is a special education teacher. Their Craftsman bungalow in Atlanta's Edgewood neighborhood was built in 1925 and renovated in 2016 by Joe Thomas of Elemental Green Homes .

Credit: Text by Marena Galluccio/Photos by Christopher Oquendo

Credit: Text by Marena Galluccio/Photos by Christopher Oquendo

In addition, some features, including most of the hardwood floors, two fireplaces and a medicine cabinet, were salvaged from the original Atlanta home.

“What I love about our home is that there’s a nice mix of new and old,” she said.

Dodson said having a home that is environmentally friendly, but doesn’t sacrifice amenities, provides a peace of mind.

“I think that’s great, you know, not to have a trade-off,” she said.


Residents: Mara Dodson and Doug LeGette with their dog, Buddy. Mara is a consultant for Washington, D.C.-based The Moss Group and Doug is a special education teacher.

Location: Atlanta's Edgewood neighborhood

Size: 1,500 square feet, three bedrooms, two baths

Year built/bought: 1925/2016

Architectural style: Craftsman bungalow

Favorite architectural elements: Original hardwood floors, sliding barn door in master bedroom

Project consultants: Joe Thomas of Elemental Green Homes and real estate agent Clarke Weeks of Coldwell Banker NRT Intown.

Renovations: "Essentially, the entire house has been updated, while keeping the original fireplace and brick exterior," Dodson said. In 2016, Elemental Green Homes expanded the back to add the master bedroom and bath, guest bath and kitchen. The company installed Low-e windows along with Icynene foam insulation, sheetrock and new HVAC and ERV (energy recovery ventilation) systems to improve the air quality. The renovated kitchen has expansive countertop space and storage, she said. The plumbing was even reconfigured to find the shortest way for hot water to reach the bathrooms. The home also was repainted and new light fixtures were installed.

Interior design styles: Eclectic and mid-century modern

Favorite interior design elements: The built-in bookshelves are a "great feature in the living room, paired with a funky spider-like light fixture," Dodson said. Her favorite vintage and antique pieces are her grandmother's china cabinet and her grandfather's Coca-Cola cooler.

Favorite outdoor features: The front porch with rocking chairs, and, her husband, Doug LeGette's favorite appliance, their Big Green Egg.

Resources: Furniture from Macy's, Target, Lenoir Empire Furniture in Tennessee, and the Houzz and Nextdoor apps. Lights from Houzz and T.J. Maxx.

Decor tips: Try to incorporate vintage pieces into a space. Dodson placed a vanity that once belonged to her grandmother in the guest bedroom.