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Green Kitchen Design for a DC Home Remodel

From Online Remodeling Book Chapter 3: “A Tree Grows in a Spring Valley”

Like many homeowners, a couple in DC wanted a kitchen island, which could serve as a family gathering spot, a place for the kids to perch for snacks, and a casual social center at parties. After reviewing some home magazines (a step I often recommend to clients), they gravitated toward making it a round island, which my female client found inviting and practical. Little boys run into corners, she commented, and a round island doesn’t have corners.

Green Kitchen Remodeling

Wood floors unify the new, open-plan
kitchen and family room, both equipped
with bamboo-veneer cabinets.

In keeping with the homeowners’ goals, fitting out the new space also meant considering some green materials. From my point of view, there are many eco-friendly aspects to remodeling, and materials are only one of them. On this project, for example, the green remodeling aspects also included energy-efficient appliances. Also, the decision to remodel an existing home is far greener than the common alternative of tearing down an old house and building a new one in its place. Remodeling not only preserves the look and feeling of an old house and its neighborhood, but it also avoids wasting the material, energy, and labor that went into building the house to begin with.

There’s also a need to look at building products, which are often new to the market. We and our clients agreed to keep our choices simple and budget-conscious – but still found several very successful options.

Features Included in the Child-Friendly, Green Kitchen Design

Recycled glass tiles (from glass otherwise destined for a landfill) proved to be a beautiful choice for the backsplash, which became, as it often does, the aesthetic highlight of the kitchen. Bamboo, a quick-growing renewable resource, was the veneer of choice for the island, kitchen cabinets and family room built-ins.

In addition to the recycled glass tiles and bamboo veneer, we found an incredibly eco-friendly and tough material for the countertops. It was perfect for the client, who wanted a child-friendly, green kitchen design. To learn more, download the eBook!

“ I just wanted to tell you how happy we are with the work you designed and oversaw...We are so proud to show the kitchen and family room to friends and relatives, and love their reactions (gasps of awe and jealousy). Mike and Enio were amazing, working so hard -- every single day, beginning at 7am -- and paying such close attention to details I never would have noticed. They clearly treated this job as their "baby," not wanting to cut corners even if they could get away with it...They also were great about cleaning up; I am positive the garage is cleaner now than before this job started! ”

A.C., Bethesda, MD