This weeks terrific guest blogger is award winning kitchen and bath designer Susan Serra, of Susan Serra Associates.
I endorse the concept of reuse so very much that I want to provide more ideas on the topic of designing a kitchen with a reuse philosophy. Let’s go through some creative uses for items which might be cast off otherwise.
Furniture – I’ve used a sofa in two of my kitchens for seating at the dining table, both of which had been recently put out of use elsewhere in the home. The sofa must be elevated to be at the correct dining height. A new use for a sofa which may not fit elsewhere due to a recent move can add great comfort in the kitchen. I will never not have a sofa in my dining area; comfort in the kitchen is a requirement for me. And, of course, it does not have to be a sofa. Oftentimes, there is room for an upholstered chair of some sort in a lovely nook. Refinishing family heirloom dining furniture and chairs is a great way to keep green. I used my mother’s mid century Danish modern dining table in my breakfast room for some years and felt warm and fuzzy every time I looked at it, also admiring its authenticity.
Lighting – ANY type of lighting can be used in kitchens and I love using sconces in a kitchen. Sconces placed at each side of a window adds a charm that is just unexpected in a kitchen. Too many sconces? Consider reusing a pair in the kitchen! Again, seeking out light fixtures in antique or thrift stores adds an authentic feeling to the kitchen and a sustainable design element.
Countertops – Sometimes we are faced with odd pieces of furniture. Before donating or sending a piece to the green trash pickup, take a look at the countertop. Can it be reused as a desk top in the kitchen? Likewise, for small sections of countertop, look at the salvage areas of marble fabricators. Another great idea is to find a piece of stone with an aged patina, probably way back in an antique store where it is just waiting to be reused, giving it new life!
Antiques – Speaking of antiques, a freestanding armoire can serve as a wonderful kitchen pantry. At the flea market in my area, I actually look at the bedroom dressers and armoires for inspiration as kitchen storage. Be open to the reuse of a piece which is commonly used for other rooms but which just might be perfect for the kitchen.
Authentic Decoration - No need to purchase vinyl wall decals or decorative items in big box stores made in far away places, instead, enjoy the hunt in thrift, flea markets and antique stores for wonderful items, often at a great price. Another green idea is to walk outside and borrow from nature – behold the diversity of the sculptural beauty surrounding you, an indoor reminder of the treasures of our planet.
Appliances – To save money and to procure an appliance which is already “out there” a smart idea is to rescue scratch and dent appliances. Often having just lite cosmetic issues, buying scratch and dents is a logical substitution to “consuming new”.
What about your ideas? Can you add to these? I’d love to add to the list.