Environmental News Network -- Creativity unplugged at bed & breakfastCreativity unplugged at bed & breakfast
Inn Serendipity implements environmental and social innovations.

Inn Serendipity features a solar water heating system, energy efficient lighting, all-natural cotton linens and towels, and employed several "eco-products" in their remodeling.
Balancing the charm of a traditional farmhouse with new environmental and social innovations, Inn Serendipity, owned by the husband and wife team of John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist, is an eye-opening, environmental, educational experience in Browntown, Wis. Deriving its name from a Persian folktale, Inn Serendipity holds the promise of unexpected discoveries for guests who wander the organic farm and turn-of-the-century farmhouse surrounded by riotous flower gardens and colorful hammocks.

Inn Serendipity is more than a rural retreat. It's also one of fewer than a hundred "demonstration homes" for the Real Goods Trading Corporation of Ukiah, Calif., the world's largest provider of renewable energy systems. The Inn serves as a showplace for energy conservation technologies and more socially responsible living.

"There are many relatively simple, cost-efficient things people can do to tread a little lighter on the environment," explains Kivirist. Inn Serendipity features a solar water heating system, energy efficient lighting, all-natural cotton linens and towels, and employed several "eco-products" in their remodeling, like floor tile made from recycled auto windshield glass and no-VOC paints. Additionally, Inn Serendipity has begun to redesign their grounds through permaculture design to satisfy most food needs while maintaining aesthetics. "We're trying to change the way business is done by working with, rather than against, nature. Even the coffee we serve our guests is from Equal Exchange, a purveyor who works directly with family-based coffee growers in Latin America," continues Kivirist.

Another aim of Inn Serendipity is to promote and preserve the surrounding rural economy by partnering with various local and regional businesses. The full breakfasts served to their guests feature locally-made cheeses and other dairy products; many of their fruits, vegetables and herbs come from the Inn's gardens.

"We've tried to cultivate a place where people can relax and reconnect with their creative side," explains Ivanko. "Our gardens, eclectic library and the surrounding communities offer much for our guests to explore. We're eager to share with visitors new to the area the warm welcome we've received since we moved here. Featuring local products and talent was the first step."

The guest rooms at Inn Serendipity are each based upon a different aspect of creativity: writing, music and the visual arts. The Writing Room features a 1918 school desk and printing reel; guests are even welcomed to add a chapter to Serendipity -- A Novel In Many Parts, an on-going novel written by guests. The Music Room is filled with elements of music. A baritone uniquely serves as a lamp and sheet music from the original release of "Snow White" hangs on the wall. A sunny, attached private porch is the perfect place to pick up a book and pass an afternoon reading, then enjoy the sunset while listening to Mozart, Bob Marley or Kathy Mattea. A third guest room, the Visual Arts Room, will open next year, featuring works by Midwest artists.

Kivirist and Ivanko's diverse backgrounds add to the creative environment at Inn Serendipity. Both are published authors on topics ranging from travel to entrepreneurship. Ivanko is also an award-winning photographer, contributing to Wisconsin Trails, Islands, and several children's books.

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