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Interior Design & Flooring

Crafting a green kitchen

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 08:32

Whether you've finally had enough of your tired cabinets or your mother's impending visit has made you question the layout of your home, kitchen remodeling can prove to be an exciting and stress-relieving activity that opens the doors to a wealth of decorating possibilities. This season, go for the green as you convert your spacious eating area into a model of eco-friendly perfection, down to the very wiring that lines its walls. 

Eco-friendly countertops

Start with your countertops as you peruse the many environmentally friendly companies that will craft customized counters made from recycled wood, stone or glass. One potential countertop material, paperstone, is 100 percent crafted from recycled paper. Heat resistant up to 350 degrees, these countertops are better suited to handle water and spillage than wooden surfaces. Paperstone resembles darkened soapstone and provides a fashionable addition to any kitchen.

Other eco-friendly alternatives for countertops include concrete slabs, resin and bioglass, though proper research should be conducted prior to installation to ensure whichever material you choose, it will suit both your cooking and environmental needs.

Skylights

Instead of purchasing a new, overpriced kitchen light or chandelier, consider investing in skylights over the ceiling or large windows to open up the space. By installing skylights in the kitchen, electric costs can be slashed, as natural light provides the much-needed light for day cooking. These panes can also lighten any room and provide a beautiful backdrop that you can enjoy when gathered around the dining-room table.

Underfloor heating

Radiant heating, or heat that emerges from underneath the floor, can turn your kitchen into a warm paradise. Keep your toes cozy as you eat your well-prepared meal. This form of floor heating can not only enhance the overall temperature of the room, but it can cut your energy and heating costs significantly. By reducing the amount of airflow and providing the most efficient way to heat a home, radiant heating has the ability to transform your kitchen into the most comfortable room in the house.

Decoration

There is a wide array of eco-friendly possibilities to choose from when remodeling your kitchen, from the physical decorations to the rug you throw on the floor. If you choose to paint your space, be sure to invest in low- or VOC-free products. These earth- and people-friendly paints do not emit harmful gases or odors when used, nor are they toxic when thrown out. Additionally, consider crafting upcycled kitchen accessories, such as refurbished items or homemade trinkets.

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