Eco-Friendly Kitchen Design
Eco friendly wood cabinets are easier than ever to find . Bamboo is a wildly popular material for kitchen cabinets. Though not truly a wood – it’s a grass plant – it does have the look, feel and strength of wood. Salvaged wood cabinets are seeing a renaissance of sorts. Homeowners looking to add a bit of history to their homes as well as being eco sensitive are looking to the past for cabinet materials. FSC certified woods harvested from sustainable forests provide the option of beautiful hardwoods without damaging the earth.
Look to manufacturing processes in kitchen cabinet production – steer clear of kitchen cabinets produced with environmentally damaging practices including the use of Volatile Organic Compounds,(VOCs) , Formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals.
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and fluorescent lights are the best energy saving options for lighting your kitchen and home. Kichler Lighting offers the prestigious “Lighting for Tomorrow Award” winner Design Pro LED Cabinet Lighting (shown above) an innovative and easy to install under cabinet lighting – whether you choose to DIY the install with the Kichler Cabinet kit or hire out the installation to a pro. The Kichler LED Cabinet lights provide a bright, warm, white light that shows your kitchen off beautifully, is a non-heat producing light that uses 75 percent less energy than incandescent lighting, and best of all LEDs are long lasting. On average the Kichler Design Pro LED Cabinet lights will last over 20 years. Kichler also offers incredibly slim and stylish LED discs (shown on left) that can be used inside kitchen cabinets to provide additional illumination or for under-cabinet lighting – the choice is yours.
Kitchen appliances including refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers can be extravagant energy wasters. Focus your energy and budget on replacing your old kitchen appliances with Energy Star rated products – doing so will pay off for your personal finances with long term savings, and while you’re saving money you will also be helping better the planet with the reduction of your household’s carbon footprint.
The Whirlpool Resource Saver refrigerator (shown on left) is an attractive eco-friendly addition to your kitchen, The Resource Saver beats Energy Star standards by 10 percent – generating power that is the equivalent of a 60-watt light bulb. The Resource Saver refrigerator is one of several environmentally friendly appliances in Whirlpool’s Eco Kitchen collection which includes a dishwasher that uses a third less water, and an energy-savvy stove that “intelligently” enters a sleep mode to conserve energy.
Linoleum, glass tiles, salvaged stones or recycled flooring materials are perfect eco-kitchen flooring options. Linoleum is a biodegradable natural flooring material that is affordable, strong and easy to keep clean – a must in the kitchen. Recycled flooring materials like the Ann Sack’s Trend Q collection (shown on left) is created from up to 72 percent post-consumer waste and comes in a number of gorgeous color combinations. Salvaged stones and ceramics while an expensive environmentally-savvy option are the ultimate in recycling and repurposing. If you decide to use salvaged materials in your kitchen, then seek local sources as opposed to buying salvaged flooring that will require significant transportation.
Walls can be painted with low VOC paints (Sherwin Williams’ Harmony paints, Ben Moore’s Aura paints, Certa Paint Pros and Lowes’ Olympic paints), covered with organic, handcrafted wallpaper or tiled with gorgeous eco friendly tiles made from renewable resources like glass.
If you can find it , Natura by Ben Moore (recently debuted nationwide – ask your Ben Moore retailer) is the Green Living enthusiasts best option for wall paint: it has zero volatile organic compounds, is almost odorless, comes in a range of stylish colors and provides a long lasting finish.
If tile is more your style, then consider installing Bedrock Industries’ Blazestone tiles (shown on left) which are handmade from post-industrial and post-consumer glass – with no added oxides or colorants.
Concrete, recycled glass, salvaged stones and surface materials produced from post-consumer and post-industrial products provide a variety of counter top options. Ann Sacks’ Trend Q (shown on right) engineered flooring material previously highlighted in the eco-friendly kitchen flooring section can also be used for counter surfaces and wall covering.
The Decorating Diva is a luxury home design magazine and lifestyle journal dedicated to the concept of living a stylish and comfortably elegant life at home – joyfully surrounded by the beautiful things you love. Join, Carmen, The Decorating Diva’s founder, as she blogs about sophisticated, smart, stylish and beautiful decor for your home and shares her decorating and style advice with you. Follow her and several of our wonderful contributors on inspirational design trips as they explore enchanted lands both far and near – returning with a delightful treasure trove of design finds for your home.