Sunset Idea House 2012 A Nice Green Wine Country Retreat

Sunset Magazine has built a reputation out of all things home-and-garden-related in the West, while Blu Homes has built a reputation for affordable green modular homes. Now the two have teamed up on Sunset’s 2012 Idea House, the new two-story Sunset Breezehouse in Healdsburg in California‘s Sonoma County, which will be available for a sneak peak on April 21 at the factory it is being built at.

While the home’s original design debuted in the 2005 issue of Sunset, this year’s model has been updated by Blu in ways that reflect the company’s take on the home’s indoor/outdoor connection. It includes 16’ wide sliding glass doors, an elevated deck, “thoughtful” exterior landscape design (including water features, outdoor seating areas and planters), an herb and vegetable kitchen garden area, and a “Breeze Pod” for a flexible detached living space. Additionally, the home features an integrated wine cellar (a nod toward the good life in California wine country) and soaring 14’+ high ceilings.

Blu, Sunset Idea House1

image via Blu Homes

The location for the home appears to be no coincidence, as Blu reports that Sonoma County is fast becoming a hub for the company, with  four existing Sonoma-area homes based on the Breezehouse design and nine new homes in the works, including four in Healdsburg.

These other Blu homes in Sonoma showcase Blu’s business concept of catering to different demographics. For instance, one home being built around the company’s Element design will serve an 80-year-old “downsizer,’ while a net-zero energy Breezehouse design will form the hub of a “sprawling family compound.” Also going up in the region is a family retreat complex featuring a Blu Glidehouse and an Element, and a Breezehouse featuring an “in-law suite” with accessibility features for aging parents.

Blu, Sunset idea House2

image via Blu Homes

The Breezehouse opens to the general public in the wine country starting in early August with a series of six weekend open houses.

“With an indoor-outdoor aesthetic and elements that accentuate a relationship with the natural world, Blu’s homes – especially the Breezehouse – are a perfect fit for California wine country and Sunset’s enlightened readers,” said Bill Haney, founder and president of Blu Homes, in a statement. “We are delighted to have Sunset magazine’s support in bringing this iconic design to life with a new generation of smart and beautiful features for a new generation of homebuyers.”

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.


  • Reply April 19, 2012


    Ugly, impractable, huge waste of land

  • Reply April 20, 2012

    Dana Smith

    Hi Susan, Just wanted to clarify that anyone can come check out the Sunset Idea House on April 21 while it’s still be constructed in Blu’s Vallejo, CA factory. However, the house won’t be set, finished, and open to the public in Healdsburg until August. Thanks. Dana Smith (PR for Blu Homes & Sunset)

  • Reply April 20, 2012


    Beautiful home.  Excited for a chane to get to see another great green Modular Home.

  • Reply May 24, 2012


    Affordable, green, modular homes – the wave of the future!  Three cheers for Blu Homes.

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