At Home With Lisa Ling

Take a look inside the journalist's LEED-certified, carbon-neutral house in Santa Monica.

When journalist Lisa Ling and her husband Paul Song wanted to settle down, they easily found the perfect city in Santa Monica, Calif. But the couple couldn't find their dream home.

So they decided to design and build their own.

"When Paul and I decided to build a house here in California, we decided, 'Let's just go for it. Let's try to build the most environmentally friendly house that leaves the least carbon footprint that we can,'" Lisa said in an interview with HGTV. Lisa is known for her investigative reports and past experience with The View. She now hosts a new show on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Earth-Friendly Features

With solar panels and a rain-harvesting system, the large house leaves a tiny footprint. It's the first platinum LEED-certified, carbon-neutral house in Santa Monica.

"I want this house to be an example of the kinds of things that people can explore and contribute to that monumental desire to save the planet in simple ways," Lisa said.

The house harvests energy from the sun with more than 60 solar panels. There is a 5,000-gallon tank buried in the front yard that collects rain water, which is used for irrigation, filling toilets and washing clothes. The wood in the house was coated in a non-toxic substance that is resistant to fire, mold and termites. The foam insulation is 48 percent more efficient than other insulation, allowing the home to keep a stable temperature without a cooling or heating system.

And, on top of all that, the home is recycled from the house that used to sit in its place.

"When we found out that after the demolition, the entire house would go into a landfill, we were so aghast. So we thought, 'Let's try and do our best to do a 100 percent reuse-recycle demolition,'" Lisa said. "We put every nail that was taken out of that house to use. We're using a lot of the wood from the previous house, and we achieved 100 percent."

Inviting Design

The house is designed with an open feel; the first floor is one big, open room.

"We'd like a place that is very warm and inviting to our friends and family, but something at the same time that is very open and not divided," Paul said.

The interior design is a fusion of traditional and modern, with Asian touches throughout. The home has a mostly neutral color palette, with pops of color in red chairs and a bright orange window. There is also a large sliding glass door that connects the main floor to the backyard.

"To be in this place right now that is so symbolic of beauty and love and thought means so much to me," Lisa said.

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