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Want to convert small conventional home on 1/6 acre to permaculture

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We are getting ready to make a big move - for us. We don't have the money saved up for land yet, but to help us get out of debt and save up the money, we are selling our really big Victorian house in an inner city neighborhood (formerly used for extended family and boarders), and will move into a rather small (866 sq. ft.) house that we have actually owned for a while, but were renting out (we have learned some hard lessons in the last few years about human nature, and never want to be landlords again!).

Anyway, the first thing we have to do is go in and fix holes in the walls and tear up nasty carpet (got trashed a bit with the last renters...). The house is on a concrete slab. I really, really want a non-toxic floor. I love the Bioshield paints (clay paints). Does anyone here have any experience with earthen finishes or clay paints on a concrete slab? Or any other kind of non-toxic finish? I think handwoven rugs on an earthen-like floor would be really nice. I have read a bit about an earthen floor on top of a concrete slab somewhere, but it looked like it would require a build-up of 2-3 inches. The ceilings in this house are already only 7 feet 2 inches, so I'd rather not lose any more ceiling height.

I would welcome any creative ideas for things we can actually do ourselves.
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