Renovation of the Mill Room with natural materials
Earlier this year we decided to convert a room on the ground floor of our house into a bedroom. The room was not part of the original house, we believe it was added in 1950 when the house was converted from being a water mill to a residence. The room is built on top of the area where the water wheel had been located, and it has a large window facing the forest.
When we started, the walls were covered in dark wooden paneling, and there was no insulation in the walls.
I researched various options for insulation and wall coverings. My goal was to use natural materials and to make the room as healthy as possible. I ended up using a method that is used in natural/organic buildings in Germany. The walls were stripped down to bare masonry, then wood fiber insulation in sheet form was “glued” to the masonry walls with clay paste (just clay powder and water). The insulation was then covered with a clay/sand plaster. Even though it’s not a big room, it took nearly a ton of sand and many kilos of clay to cover the walls. The fluff from cattails (the water plant called dunhammer in Danish) was added to the mix to help reduce cracking in the plaster. Clay has the advantage that it is a natural material that can help regulate humidity, resulting in a room that feels good to be in.
In the floor, we increased the insulation thickness and added real wood floor boards. We also found a used door that matches the style of the house, and made new window sills from salvaged wood. As the last step, the walls were painted with a breathable clay based paint in a natural off white color.
This new room is named “The Mill Room”. It’s not currently listed on our website booking system yet so if you’d like to reserve it, please email us for details.