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“Good design is eco-design.” It’s a principle that has well and truly been brought to life in the home of American journalist Lisa Ling, known best as host of Our America and as a former host of The View. Designed by Marco DiMaccio, principle designer at PUNCHouse Design Group, this residence has become the first ever energy neutral home in Santa Monica, California, with two EcoSmart XL900 burners amongst the more visible eco-friendly technologies incorporated.

Mounted onto a large two storey wooden wall, the EcoSmart burners were vital in bringing the comfort of home into the natural textures and elements of the main living space, while maintaining a commitment to minimal environmental impact.

“The warmth of the fire with the warmth of the wood toned wall helps to create the expected iconography of a warm inviting home,” says Marco. “The polished concrete flooring reflects the glow of the fire nicely, but the three elements together produce an engaging dance of opposing textures and warm hues.”

The “Mid Century modern revival with an Asian infusion” residence is home to Lisa Ling, her husband, Dr. Paul Song, and their 10-week-old baby girl, Jett. Lisa and Paul worked closely with Marco in developing several design concepts, including the contrast between bold and neutral colours.

“I have really particular taste, so it was a collaborative process between Marco and my husband and myself,” says Lisa. “Marco really has executed our vision perfectly, we couldn’t be happier with our finished home.”

Adds Marco: “I tried to keep some areas of the house that one spends little time in with a grand bold colour, such as the small red bathroom finished in a deep red glass tile, or the garage painted in a high-gloss orange paint. I enjoy the surprise of such a finish.”

“The majority of the house was based on Lisa’s desire to have the interior calm, relaxing, and quiet, so we went towards a neutral light grey for the walls.”

“In following his client’s request to “keep it open, clean, playful, and reserved”, Marco has created an intimate space that is private but also open within the walls of the property.

Wood and stone textures throughout the living and kitchen areas complement and enhance natural elements within the home, such as the EcoSmart Fire. In addition to her passion for investigative reporting, Lisa is also a strong advocate for eco-friendly living.

“We knew we wanted a fireplace incorporated into the design, but we wanted something clean burning,” says Lisa. “We fell in love with EcoSmart when we found it; it’s something that is functional, in that it heats the whole house but is also a form of wall art, especially with the custom box that Marco made. It just fits.”

The light of the fire is magnified by the custom designed firebox with mirrored backing that makes the installation appear see-through, opening up the space in a way that is so subtle, many don’t even notice the mirror.

In addition to the brand’s eco-credentials, Marco names the quality of the fire as the number one reason for selection.

“Nothing looks or performs as well as EcoSmart. Having a flue-less fireplace also meant a huge amount of savings on space and construction expense. We could place the firebox in an area that would have been impossible to have a fireplace in if we were to use traditional fireplaces that need to be vented.”

Marco DiMaccio, principle designer at PUNCHouse Design Group