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Totally Green (And So Much More)

The Panaros’ new home is built with environmentally friendly materials and processes in a way that will allow them to age in place. Thinking ahead is green.



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The shower in the master bath has no doors to allow easy access and a floor of river rock provides a no-slip surface. Photograph by Jared CastaldiJulie and Tony Panaro live on the tranquil waterfront in Chesapeake City in a house surrounded by trees.

It’s a green setting—without and within—with rhododendron and laurel outside and environmentally friendly materials and systems inside the house.

But the Panaros have taken the concept of existing in harmony with the flow of life a significant step further. Their design isn’t just for tree huggers. It embraces people, too, with and without physical disabilities.

“This is our forever home,” Julie says. “It’s a place we can grow old in without ever worrying about how we will get around.”

Julie is a real estate attorney. Tony is a builder. Together, they own Panaro Construction, which specializes in custom homebuilding and renovation.

The Panaros also are creators of EverLife Design, a concept that marries green building and accessible design, brought together in a way that creates spaces that are beautiful, energy-saving and sustainable.

“Green, accessible design isn’t only efficient,” Julie says. “It can be luxurious.”

Their commitment to those principles is evident in their home, an incubator of sorts for green and accessible design. They often open the house to like-minded souls, who can experience green, universal design firsthand.

Before they built their EverLife home, the Panaros lived in a traditional, two-story Colonial. They decided to sell that house and build from the ground up after Tony checked out an overgrown plot that had been languishing on the market near Chesapeake City. The lot was so thick with trees, it was hard to walk through. When Tony finally made it to the other side, he was amazed to find a sweeping vista of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.

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