K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Mar 16 2010

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Old is the new green

Home remodeling is taking a front seat in the new economy. When new home building slid to a virtual halt these past couple of years, the renovation of existing housing stock gained considerable ground. There are still millions of homes in foreclosure, and homeowners are realizing that staying put isn’t such a bad idea. Furthermore, the “green” renovation of homes gives the added benefit of saving money on energy costs and getting tax rebates and sales incentives.

My latest project, which I mentioned in my last blog post, was the green remodel of a circa 1964 “Palm Springs Modern” home in Las Vegas. The challenge with this arguably cool yet funky house was to try to retain some of its original charm and improve the energy output to below net zero. The house was insulated from the outside in with foam technology, much like a thermos bottle. Triple-glazed windows, a high-efficiency HVAC system and solar panels were just some of the technologies used. My job as interior designer on the project was to balance the ’60s vibe of the house with finishes and furniture that are more in tune with the way we live today. Now, I’m not saying that 50 years ago, people lived a radically different lifestyle. I believe they wanted the same things we do now. What has changed is that we live in a different world today with more single-parent homes, homes with both parents working, latchkey kids, accelerated lifestyles and much more stuff.

The kitchen is still the heart of the home—the central gathering area where food is shared, conversations are carried out—and probably one of the only rooms in the home that hasn’t changed in literally hundreds of years. Food is still stored and prepared there just as it always has, but our accelerated lifestyles today demand that our appliances cook quickly, and clean up should be just as fast. Refrigerators must store fresh food longer, and all of them must look attractive and streamlined as well.

KraftMaid cabinetry and KitchenAid appliances were key players in the kitchen remodel of this 1964 built home and gave the home a fresh, new appearance while still maintaining a vintage modern look. With the added benefit of the appliances having a very high Energy Star rating, the cabinets having no added urea-formaldehyde, and a Zodiaq quartz countertop made with 25% recycled materials, the old house got a healthy, sustainable makeover that will take it well into the next 50 years.—Patricia Gaylor

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 7:00 AM and is filed under Green, Kitchen Design, Products. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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