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Modern self-sufficiency on the island of tranquility | Mandrova house

The appreciation of rural life today is not surprising, with many longing to live in harmony with nature in calmer conditions far from the noisy everyday life of the city—while not giving up creativity and comfort. This also happened to Eva and Aljaž, who felt they needed to change something radically in their lives. This is how they found the Mandrova house, which, although is in a very secluded place, something always happens.

They both worked as visual artists when in 2019 they moved to one of Slovenia’s most remote high karst plateaus. They immediately set about renovating their new home, a traditional old wooden house, without any training—yet doing everything perfectly in almost a year. Their main method was to follow the logic of the house, as they knew it would be best if they worked according to the original, authentic plans. They have been applying this old knowledge to other parts of their lives ever since. During the reconstruction, they became acquainted with the forgotten tradition of manual woodworking, which is used in every new construction. It is believed that because of working with wood and self-sufficiency, they get a completely different outlook on life from everyday life.

The design of the wooden house perfectly ensures a self-sufficient, yet modern way of living. The interiors are also dominated by wood, refracted by artworks and rustic accessories—a perfect symbol of Eva and Aljaž’s lifestyle.

In this region, Eva and Aljaž produce food under extremely favorable conditions by combining local knowledge, regenerative agriculture and permaculture. In their view, by mixing the techniques of the old world and the possibilities of the present, they can provide themselves with a lifestyle in which they can organically produce or source most of their raw materials, and thus live largely self-sufficiently without the pressure of social norms.

The Mandrova house lives in symbiosis with nature, but this does not mean that it is socially isolated from society—the farm gives a permanent place for workshops, Aljaž passes on the ancient art of woodworking, and Eva shows the little beauties of sustainable farming to those interested. And thanks to the active presence of social media, anyone can follow the everyday life of the Mandrova house on social media platforms.

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