Thinking about renovating your kitchen, but want lower utility bills and reduced maintenance at the same time? You can have it all – beauty, value, affordability and cost savings – with a green renovation.
Let’s hear from the people who’ve proved going green doesn’t mean going expensive.
1. Think about space.
Your Abobe suggests reviewing the space your kitchen takes up. “You can reduce the resources used in your kitchen by building a smaller and more efficient kitchen with the space. This means that you don’t design a kitchen that’s bigger than you need it to be.”
You’ll save money too – bonus!
2. Consider your materials.
Consider the sustainability of the products and materials you’re planning to use in your renovated kitchen. Think about the sealants, paints, flooring and cabinetry.
Kitchen countertops can be made out of recycled paper, flooring from cork, and cabinets from bamboo. It pays to do your research and find out the environmental impacts of each product.
3. Clean with green products.
Hate not knowing what’s in your cleaning products? Why not make your own – you probably already have all the ingredients.
Baking soda is a great gentle scrub that helps remove grease and dried on particles. White vinegar helps remove streaks from chrome, stainless steel, and glass surfaces. Lemon juice will leave your kitchen smelling fresh and whiten stains. Salt is great for killing bacteria.
4. Use natural light.
The layout of your kitchen directly contributes to a more efficient living space. One day to do this is by making use of your kitchen’s natural lighting. This is one of Damco Kitchen’s design strategies. Natural light can come from an adjacent window, overhead skylight, or even from adjacent rooms that are open to the kitchen.
5. Search for products to overcome issues.
Bamboo is a great material choice for kitchen floors – because of its environmental qualities and its strength to fight scratches and dents. However one kitchen renovator, a Green Tasmanian Renovation, the polyurethane finishes scratches and shows up white.
They recommend a product using a product to disguise the scratches – instead of choosing a different type of material altogether. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding some additional products to bring out a material’s strengths.
6. Recycled timber for counters.
Natural Modern Interiors suggest using recycled timber for the kitchen counter and painted timber for the cupboards and drawer fronts.
When sourcing the timber, follow these tips:
- Avoid using timber that has lead paint on the surface
- Don’t buy timber with any water damage
- Install a sink with a drainer to avoid wet dishes on the timber surface
- Use a food grade, non toxic, wax/oil sealer for the bench top
- Think about possible joint movement when using recycled timber
7. Energy saving appliances.
Use energy saving appliances in your kitchen to help reduce your energy consumption. Appliances can account for up to 30% of your home energy use, so it pays to choose energy efficient options where you can.
8. Perfect your paint.
A good paint job can make all the difference to a space, especially a kitchen. Be sure to choose paint that is healthy for the environment, while matching your home’s unique style at the same time.
Complete Home recommends reversing and repeating the light and dark colours to provide continuity. For example, olive-green splashbacks introduce colour and reflect a home with a leafy setting.
9. Buy second hand.
In a recent kitchen renovation tips article, Compare Quotes suggest renovators to consider buying second hand bench tops, cabinets or appliances.
Check out newspaper classifieds, Gumtree, eBay and salvage yards to score yourself a bargain on classic kitchen décor. You’ll get that vintage feel, without having to spend the money. Plus, buying second hand is always better for the environment.
10. Insulate, insulate, insulate!
Sustainable homes need effective insulation to keep rooms cool in summer and warm in winter. Homely suggest adding insulation to walls, floors and ceilings to make not just your kitchen but also your home, more sustainable.
As we progress towards building new homes that embrace sustainable design, we can now see the same principles can be applied to renovations, too!