Interested in an Eco-Friendly Kitchen Design? Here are Your Inspirations.
Whether you are climate-aware, inspired by a catalog, or impressed by a friend’s kitchen, you are here now and working in the right direction.
You can use your design sensibilities or consult an interior designer to help you marry an eco-friendly design with your functional needs to create a unique kitchen that caters to your family.
As a bonus, sustainable kitchens are trending. Making eco-friendly improvements also means adding to the value of your home.
But First, What Are We Trying to Accomplish with an Eco-Friendly Design?
An eco-friendly kitchen design uses fewer resources to build a kitchen without compromising your everyday needs or aesthetic vision.
Such a design minimizes negative environmental impact by sourcing sustainable materials, non-toxic paints & finishes, resource-efficient products, and so on.
Eco-friendly kitchen design is also sustainable and timeless. So, it ensures that all the fixtures, appliances, and materials used in the kitchen have a long life.
We have skimmed through hundreds of eco-friendly kitchen ideas to bring you our top picks. These will help you design an eco-friendly kitchen within your budget and the desired aesthetics.
Repurpose the Old
Vintage just became fashionable. So, repurpose old pieces in your house and give them a modern twist. There are many creative ideas out there, and they are sustainable and eco-friendly. After all, using the “old” works right into the “reduce, reuse, & recycle” philosophy.
You are reducing the amount of waste, decreasing the production of a new piece, and preventing more toxic materials from releasing into the environment.
You can use retro décor like wall hangings, thrift an old industrial table for a kitchen island, install vintage, intricate faucets, or pursue similar creative-yet-affordable options.
Install Resource-Efficient Fixtures
Energy-efficient light fixtures are another low-cost option for your sustainable kitchen. Bring home light fixtures, faucets, and equipment that are good for the environment and your utility bills.
Traditional kitchen appliances and fixtures waste large amounts of water, electricity, and natural gas every time they are used. An eco-friendly kitchen design uses energy-efficient appliances and smart fixtures that minimize resource utilization in the kitchen. This translates to lower monthly utility bills too.
While shopping for an eco-friendly kitchen, look for:
- Low-flow faucets with a WaterSense label by EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency). These faucets reduce at least 30% water flow by allowing it to flow at a maximum speed of 1.5 gallons per minute.
- Energy-efficient appliances that have a high Energy Star rating. Such appliances not only reduce your carbon footprint but also bring down your utility bills. It’s an absolute win!
- Smart fixtures, such as smart switches, that allow you to adjust brightness. Sensor-equipped lighting control minimizes energy waste. You can also replace incandescent bulbs with LED lighting that consumes 75% less energy.
An interior designer will help you optimize your “green” kitchen design. For instance, a modern interior designer will not only advise you on which light fixtures to buy but also design the kitchen to use minimum artificial lighting. Too few lights and you risk dark spots in the kitchen; too many of them and you end up defeating the purpose. Balance is the name of the game, and interior designers know how to strike it.
Picking Out Sustainable Materials for Cabinetry
When you are installing a new set of cabinetry, consider sustainable materials. There are so many great options available in the market:
One of the most popular kitchen cabinetry materials, plywood is long-lasting, affordable, and easy to work with. Multiple wood sheets are glued together to make plywood – more sheets mean thicker plywood. Also, ensure that the manufacturer does not use formaldehyde, an environmentally harmful chemical, as glue.
Timber is a natural, classy, and durable material for kitchen cabinets. It can also be easily repainted and repaired after a few years, which makes it perfect for a sustainable kitchen.
If you are looking to create a unique kitchen with stave patterns on the cabinets, then bamboo is the way to go. Bamboo is readily available, easy to grow, and affordable, making it suitable for your green kitchen.
If you are consulting an interior designer, ask them to suggest some high-quality, durable materials. You don’t want to cut corners with cabinetry. Otherwise, you will fall into the trap of repairing and replacing cabinetry every few years (if not months), which would run counter to your eco-friendly vision. After all, your plan is to reduce waste, not create more of it.
Making Eco-Friendly Countertop Choices
Countertops are the most used surfaces in the kitchen. So, the durability of your kitchen design hinges on your choice of countertop. Here are some of the eco-friendly materials that have proven their mettle.
The lightweight material is made of recycled materials such as crushed stone. These countertop boards are scratch- and heat-resistant, durable, and tough, making them perfect for eco-friendly kitchens.
Recycled glass is another popular sustainable choice. Crushed glass and resin are combined to form this eco-friendly material. Colorful glass is embedded in the material, and its playfulness with both natural and artificial light produces visually stunning countertops.
- FSC Timber
Timber is another excellent material for countertops. Just make sure that you use Timber products that are certified by Forest Stewardship Control or FSC. The certificate means that it was harvested responsibly for environmental and social benefit.
All these materials are highly durable and delightfully affordable. With the right imagination or an interior designer in tow, you can use these materials to turn your basic kitchen into an uber-luxurious one. All you need is creativity.
Use Toxin-Free Paints
The paint in the kitchen determines the final look of the kitchen. When you go paint shopping for an eco-friendly kitchen, stay away from any paints that include volatile organic compounds or VOCs. The quintessential smell of new paints comes from VOCs, which are a result of the harmful gases they emit.
Many paint brands manufacture VOC-free paint. These include earthBorn, Auro, Little Green, and so on. If you are working with an interior designer, ask them for paint brand recommendations that carry the shades you need and fit into the budget you are working with.
Kudos On Building a Clean Kitchen
A sustainable, eco-friendly, and zero-toxin kitchen is clean in the truest sense of the word. Food cooked in the kitchen will nourish your body and keep your mind at peace, knowing that you contributed to a better planet.
Although a green kitchen will require you to think more, care more, and go the extra mile, the results are worth every ounce of additional effort you spend on it. The abovementioned kitchen design inspirations will guide you in the right direction. You can use them to create a space you can be proud of.