Designer Advice: A More Sustainable Kitchen Renovation

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Written By Jim J Neal

Cosentino Keeping the environment in mind when renovating is not only good for the earth, but also for your family and your wallet. You can save money on utility bills and repairs by making eco-conscious choices like choosing high-quality materials like Cosentino countertops or energy-efficient kitchen appliances.
Two design experts were consulted by us to offer their advice on how to remodel your kitchen sustainably. Brittany Farinas (CEO and director of design firm House Of One) and Amalia Grziani (principal of Noor Property Group) share their top tips for making kitchen renovations easier on the planet.

Hiring a Green Team

It is important to find experts who are just as passionate about your renovation project as yourself. Farinas states that contractors and architects who have experience building sustainable structures can be very helpful. They’ll be constantly looking for ways to lower your carbon footprint and reduce costs.
Graziani also recommends hiring local contractors. They can help you find local materials by understanding the laws and regulations of your region.

Choose Materials Wisely

A kitchen featuring Silestone Ethereal Haze on the island and backsplash.CosentinoLongevity should be a top priority when it comes to choosing materials. Silestone from Cosentino can be used as a kitchen countertop. It is stylish and sustainable. This high-performance mix of premium materials, quartz and recycled materials is manufactured using 99 percent recycled and 100 percent renewable energy.
The best thing? The best part? It is resistant to acids, stains, scratches and impacts from heavy pots or pans. This makes it easy to maintain and lasts a long time. Silestone offers a generous 25 year warranty for added peace of mind.

Refurbish before Replacing

It’s a great way for you to save money and be eco-conscious while renovating. “Refinishing or refacing your surfaces can increase the structural integrity and property value of your home,” Graziani states. “I prefer new appliances but I have reimagined cabinetry and millwork with staining and refinishing.”
Farinas also loves preserving cabinetry. “I recently renovated the original cabinets in my Spanish Mediterranean-style home with fresh coats of green paint, and it turned out amazing!”

Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances

Look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR certificate when shopping. This stamp of approval means that the product meets the stringent energy-efficiency standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It can help you save money.
A standard-sized ENERGY STAR dishwasher can save you approximately 3,870 gallons on average, while an EPA approved refrigerator can save more than $220 over its 12-year lifespan.

Take a look at passive designs

Farinas maximized natural lighting and heat in this Miami Beach kitchen by using passive design. This is a way to lower your utility bills.
“Windows can be oriented so that they capture and maximize low-level winter light, and block out the harsh summer sunlight,” Graziani states. Skylights can also be integrated into designs to reduce electricity and lighting costs.
She suggests that you be thoughtful about landscaping. According to the EPA, shade trees can actually reduce cooling energy costs by 7-47 percent. They are most effective when they are planted to the west or southwest of buildings.

Consider the long-term

Although a green renovation may cost more upfront, the long-term benefits will be well worth it.
“Low flow faucets, such as, can help you conserve water, while insulation and energy efficient appliances can help with electricity bills and heating bills,” Graziani says. Studies have shown that green certified homes sell on average 5 percent more than the market value.
This type of thinking is a smart way to approach design and decor. Your space will not look or feel outdated if you choose timeless decor over trendy.

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