DESIGNING YOUR SUSTAINABLE DREAM KITCHEN
In planning a sustainable kitchen renovation, the collective thinking for a majority of designers requires taking a look at the "big picture." It's a picture that includes much more than lifestyle, functionality and looks. While selecting sustainable products can require additional expense, careful consideration should be given to selecting products and desgin concepts that will not only last, but provide a feeling of security and confidence in knowing that the investment is worthwhile.
Much of the fun involved in a kitchen renovation is selecting the products that we have been dreaming about, from luxury appliances to designer backsplashes, renovations should incorporate products and design elements that you didn't have the first time around. After all, it's not called a "dream kitchen" for nothing. When considering products for a sustainable kitchen, it's critical to consider longevity, build quality and classic design. To support the movement towards green building and sustainability, the National Kitchen & Bath Association has devoted a section of its website to useful tips, articles, news and other items relevant to green design: http://www.nkba.org/green/default.aspx.
Taking a close look at the products we wish to include in our kitchens is more important than ever. The idea is not to become a scientist or an engineer in the process of renovating a kitchen, but, remembering to ask questions about the origins and manufacturing processes of products and materials that you're interested in is key. A little research will reveal a product manufacturer's own sustainable philosophy and can educate you in the process.
A sustainable kitchen is durable and long lasting, typically in a classic design, and made of materials that are procured and manufactured in responsible ways.
"As a designer, I love to be resourceful, too - it's one of the most interesting and creative ways to design a sustainable kitchen," says Susan Sera, Certified Kitchen Designer and owner of Susan Serra Associates, Inc. "Whether it's giving a former living room sofa new life as a seating area in the kitchen, refinishing your existing cabinetry or enjoying the adventure of finding salvaged, uniquely distressed materials to use in a new kitchen renovation, there are so many ways to give your kitchen function and personality." Sera also notes that flea market finds and classic modern vintage are excellent ways of being resourceful.
Most importantly, energy use must be considered when contemplating a sustainable kitchen. The use of LED as a light source for task lighting and accent lighting is a natural, and is now in fixtures that function as general lighting. CFL bulbs are better than ever in terms of the "color" of light the bulbs emit. Beyond lighting, an appliance which uses less energy is the direction many designers are following, for both cost and sustainability reasons. Visit the U.S. Green Building Council's website, http://greenhomeguide.com/, to learn additional tips for reducing energy consumption in the kitchen and other areas of the home.
Energy efficient appliances benefit both the consumer and the environment. With a wide variety of high quality and competitively priced products on the market, consumers have many options to match their needs and budget. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's website devoted to ENERGY STAR® http://www.energystar.gov/ is a great resource for common home energy issues.
With a line of ENERGY STAR® rated dishwashers and refrigerators, Dacor is a proud provider of appliances that meet the strict ENERGY STAR® criteria for energy efficiency. The latest offering, the DistinctiveTM Series Dishwasher, continues Dacor's committment to maximize the efficiencies of its appliances without sacrificing design or functionality.
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