The vision for this design was all about function and balance. I wanted to provide a sleek modern approach to sustainability. To balance high end design products with finishes that create a healthy and welcoming environment. the kitchen is designed after the concept of a working chef’s kitchen, with easy access drawers and open shelving creating a comfortable flow within the work triangle. All of the finishes chosen for this space are a safe and healthy alternative to the common finishes used in most kitchens. Many of the finishes provide LEED credits for being rapidly renewable, having high recycled content and low VOC off-gassing. For example the countertops and the tops to the custom built island are all created by squak mountain stone. (A fibrous-cement material comprised of recycled paper, recycled glass, and low carbon cement. The material is hand-cast into “slabs” as an alternative to natural or quarried stone.) Also all of the cabinetry is built from kirei wheatwood and covered with a veneer of rich dark chocolaty brown bamboo from Teragren or in the case of the island cabinets they are laminated with custom created Shikkui limix marble panels. Shikkui products are green building materials that have been used for centuries in Japan and have a cradle to cradle silver certification. Shikkui plaster was chosen as the wall finish for it’s ability to absorb CO2, VOC’s and it’s natural ability to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi and mold. The floors are a durable stained concrete which uses a recycled aggregate and is stained and sealed with a non toxic, color penetrating sealer from Green Building Supply.
All of the appliances selected are Energy Star rated which provides a drastic reduction in energy costs saving both the client and precious resources. For the convenience of the clients, I also specified a high end indoor composting machine and the new Ecodpod home recycling center. In order to bring the outdoors in, I chose to replace the existing windows with casement windows which can open to not only give the clients access to fresh air and sunlight, but also provides access to the window box herb garden within reach of the primary workspace, All of these specifications help create a balanced environmentally friendly, and functional chef’s style kitchen.