27
May

Designing the Ultimate Eco-Friendly Kitchen for Your Melbourne Home

More and more homeowners are choosing to incorporate eco-friendly features and materials into their modern kitchen designs as sustainability becomes an ever-growing priority for society. Considering the kitchen is where we consume a large percentage of our household power, from lighting to keeping food cold, to the myriad of cooking appliances we have at our disposal, energy-efficient solutions are a must

Before you begin your kitchen remodel, there are a few factors you need to consider when it comes to your material and design choices to ensure you strike that perfect balance between aesthetic appeal and sustainability.

Settling on your sustainable building materials of choice

Going green with your kitchen design means choosing materials that are sustainably sourced and have a reduced impact on the environment. Two of the most popular options include:

  • Bamboo: Actually a form of grass, bamboo shares a lot of characteristics with hardwood, which has seen it become a popular and versatile building material for flooring, roofing and walls. Bamboo is incredibly fast growing, coming to full maturity in just 3-5 years, making it a much more renewable source of building material compared to traditional hardwood trees. Bamboo floors also require very little maintenance and can last a long time if looked after – making them a valuable addition to your modern kitchen design.
  • Cork: If a wine bottle is the first thing you picture when thinking of cork, then you’re likely not alone! However, cork is actually a popular building material for flooring, rigid insulation, acoustic walls, countertops, and exterior finishes. Cork is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree, but unlike other trees, stripping the bark doesn’t harm the tree. In fact, a single cork oak tree can have its bark harvested safely 20 times during its life cycle, making it an incredibly renewable resource.

Fun Fact #1:

Did you know that as well as being non-toxic, cork is also naturally anti-microbial? Thanks to air pockets within the material that allow it to breathe, it can resist mould and mildew. The cork oak has also evolved to develop a natural resistance to forest fires. This resistance to open flames makes cork a smart and sustainable building material for your kitchen remodel.

Easy steps to go green with your kitchen renovation

  • Embracing energy-efficient lighting, fixtures and appliances: Energy efficiency is a growing concern for our environment and power bills alike. Consider adding dimmer switches to lights so you can control the wattage. Also, replace bulbs with energy-efficient LED alternatives wherever possible. They might be slightly more expensive to buy, but you will ultimately reclaim the cost by limiting your household’s energy consumption.

Fun Fact #2:

Did you know that some appliances still consume energy, even when switched off, just from remaining plugged into a power socket? Limit your passive energy usage by unplugging appliances when finished with them.

  • Recycling is your friend: Reuse, refurbish and repurpose materials where you can during your kitchen remodel. This can go a long way towards improving your household’s sustainability and contributing to a greener lifestyle.
  • Use recycled timber: Creating a kitchen with recycled timber accents can look great for your home.  Using recycled timber is also much better for the environment than getting something new. 

Design and Style

Planning an eco-friendly kitchen isn’t just about the materials you select. Pinpointing the right style can save your money and the earth’s natural resources down the track. Choose a style that won’t date and will grow with your needs.

  • If you have small children – the kitchen needs to be safe for small children now but also be large enough to cater to them when they are insatiable teens
  • If you have retired and you intend to be in your home for many years to come, consider incorporating adaptable design into your home.

Don’t leave your eco-friendly kitchen renovations to guesswork. Contact the specialists at Smith & Smith today for an understanding of how you can go green with your modern kitchen ideas, without breaking the bank. We provide custom kitchen design and renovation services throughout Melbourne.