Designing the kitchen of your dreams seems like a standard home project that involves picking out appliances you love and putting features like granite countertops fit to taste into the room. Between coordinating colors, arranging decorative palettes and fitting for cabinets, this type of endeavor can easily slip into a visually-based undertaking. While designing your dream kitchen definitely is about the big aesthetic decisions and heavy lifting eventually, for many homeowners, designing the perfect kitchen means taking the environment into account as well.
As the green initiative has gained momentum, so has the creativity and dedication on the part of homeowners to build and maintain green kitchens that not only look amazing, but work for the good of the world around them as well. Beyond the environmental factor, investing in a green kitchen can be a great way to keep some money in your pocket. When you’re able to save on energy, you’ll equally save on cost—making the situation ideal for everyone in your home. While you don’t have to make every aspect of your kitchen green, there are a few essential elements that take a kitchen from merely gorgeous, to gorgeous and functionally green.
Flooring created for today and tomorrow
Creating a green kitchen has a lot to do with understanding where your energy is lost over the course of a year and even beyond. Heating and cooling sources tend to rank high on the list of energy zappers and finding routes to maintaining temperature will save on energy and money in the long run. One way to accomplish this is to pay attention to the type of flooring material you choose, as well as additional features that can be added to regulate energy and heat. Perhaps not thought of right away when looking at flooring options, bamboo is an incredible choice of flooring materials both in its sourcing process and final results. Bamboo is one of the world’s most renewable resources and in that vein of thought, extremely easy to come by. Available in a variety of aesthetic forms such as natural and distressed finishes, bamboo is naturally moisture resistant and extremely durable. Beyond that, it tends to whisk away heat and act as a natural coolant in the warm summer months under your feet. If you decide to go with bamboo flooring, it’s equally as eco-efficient to choose bamboo curtains for your kitchen that hold out heat and moisture just as easily.
To cut down on overall heating costs in the winter, it may be worth your time and pocket book to install an under flooring heating system in your kitchen. If your family spends a significant amount of time in this space, have your feet toasty will make it less likely you’ll need to crank the thermostat on a regular basis—cutting down on energy and cost overall.
Recycled glass tiles
Just because you’re going green with your kitchen design doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate all of the beautiful, accent pieces you love! In fact, green design offers just as much color and variety as anything else on the market with a lot of environmental friendly benefits. Look towards your backsplash to make a green aesthetic statement by using beautiful and brightly colored recycled glass tiles to adorn your wall. Water resistant and easy to grout, recycled glass tiles are the ultimate way to reuse and give new design life to a space that deserves functional and visual attention.
Granite countertops are a must-install item when it comes to designing an eco-friendly, green kitchen. They are a natural stone in and of themselves, but when finished with the right sealant and sanding, granite countertops are a sleek, sophisticated and functional addition to your kitchen. The easy cleanup methods for maintaining granite countertops means you’ll cut down on your harsh chemical cleaning products by a large margin as these surfaces only require soap and water. Beyond that, granite is ultra-durable and can last for years, eliminating the need to purchase additional synthetic surfacing materials over time.
Energy Star appliances
Just below heating and cooling on the energy consumption scale is your refrigerator and other large kitchen appliances. As a general rule, when you’re designing a green kitchen, it’s important to stick with energy star appliances that are designed to cut down on energy use by up to 50%.
Handmade or recycled glass dinnerware
Don’t forget your dinnerware in the course of your kitchen design scheme focusing on the green effect. There are a lot of companies out there that sell recycled glass dishes or woven bowls that can be used for kitchen décor, or also as functional dishes. The best part about adding these items into your green kitchen design is that they are not only recycled materials, but in general, a part of the profits will be sent back to the people who made them—in many cases, underprivileged communities that could really use the help. When you take your kitchen from standard to a testament to humanitarian aid and green living, you’ll really have created a space you can enjoy and be proud of.