dark age to green age


The kitchen and bathroom in this 1960s rambler, both existing in their original state, were in dire need of updating. The kitchen had dark plywood oak cabinetry and yellow and orange vinyl flooring. An unnecessary and nearly claustrophobic hallway connected the entry to the bathroom and the bedrooms beyond, bypassing the kitchen entirely. The dark plywood oak cabinetry continued in the bathroom and was partnered with cool blue and white tile, as well as floral print wallpaper. All surfaces, appliance, fixtures, and cabinetry in both the kitchen and bathroom would need to be replaced.


cheerful in cherry wood

The first step was to knock down the wall between the hallway and the kitchen. This made room for a built-in desk surrounded by floor to ceiling cabinets and book shelves. The kitchen layout was converted from a ‘U’ shape and an ‘L’ shape layout. This not only maintained the space for the informal dining area at the end of the kitchen, but also allowed for the installation of a larger island with breakfast bar seating.

continuing the theme

The bathroom layout was not altered, but does carry through the cherry cabinetry, granite countertops, stainless steel finishes, and warm colors found in the kitchen.


Green design was the focal point of this project, as requested by the homeowners. All wood used was reclaimed or FSC certified. Cellulose insulation was used as means to avoid CFC or HCFC-based foam insulation. New windows with low-E glass and a U-factor of .32 or less were installed. Existing recessed lighting was replaced or sealed and insulated.


All appliances were replaced with EnergyStar rated appliances and water flow reducers were installed on all faucets. The granite countertops were locally sourced and the tile contained recycled content. Water-based and low VOC paints and stains were used and materials containing formaldehyde were avoided.