Kitchen Tour: Earth-Friendly Contemporary Kitchen

See how one kitchen is transformed into an energy-efficient, eco-friendly space.

Green Kitchen Remodeling Project

These homeowners grew up living all over the world and wanted their home to balance the best elements from many different cultures. Creating an environmentally friendly kitchen with professional-caliber appliances was a top priority. They started their remodel by rearranging the layout to make the space as efficient as possible.

Kitchen Lighting

Two skylights were added to the kitchen. The flood of natural light illuminates the island and cooktop -- two primary workstations -- and reduces the need for artificial light. Decorative pendant lights above the island add style and task lighting when needed.

Wheat-Board Cabinets

The cabinetry has a wheat-board core sheathed in oak veneer. Wheat board looks like particle board, but it's made of chopped wheat straw -- a renewable resource -- and bonded with a polyurethane resin for moisture resistance.

Lava Rock Countertop

The counters are Basaltina stone, a lava rock unearthed in the Czech Republic. This natural and sustainable material is eco-friendly and prized for its imperviousness to heat and stains.

Marble Island

Another natural material in the kitchen is the Calacatta marble, a white stone with a distinctive taupe vein. Because it is a porous stone, it's best in lesser-used spots such as the island and backsplash.

Clean Air Solution

The cooktop hood ventilates steam and odors outdoors. This keeps the air inside the kitchen fresh and clean. If your cooktop is on an island, you can still install an overhead hood to remove foul air. A downdraft ventilation system has a less imposing look and filters the air before recirculating it in the room.

Environmentally Friendly Dining

The dining table on casters offers flexibility in entertaining. The homeowners roll it wherever they need seating for meals -- indoors or out. It also works as a bar or buffet server. Using this table for several functions eliminated the need (and extra expense) of purchasing additional furnishings. When you repurpose items in your home, instead of buying new products, you lessen you carbon footprint on the environment. Consider what pieces in your kitchen could be reused for another purpose before shopping for something new.

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