Renovating a kitchen is no small affair and one that should not be entered into lightly. If a full kitchen renovation isn't possible for the foreseeable future, the next best thing is to find simple ways to refresh your cooking space. Plus, the declining cost of "green" technologies is making it easier and easier for homeowners to retrofit them - and for builders and developers to incorporate them into new homes and kitchens, is the sound advice from Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group.
The best things to focus on for your kitchen eco-transformation are to use sustainable, local materials, and to focus on water and energy efficiency. An eco-friendly kitchen doesn't mean you have to go knocking down walls. A few simple changes can make a big difference and you'll love your kitchen even more. Here are a few simple things you can do to Eco-up your Kitchen.
Reface kitchen cabinets - Cabinet refacing could give you the same result as custom cabinetry, but at a fraction of the cost. Also, refacing will harm no more than one tree in the process. Refacing is when a thin veneer or laminate of wood is applied to the existing kitchen cabinets, instead of replacing the unit. The result will be stronger cabinets with a beautiful new finish!
Go energy-efficient - Kitchens are one of the highest energy-consuming rooms in your home, constantly buzzing with fridges, etc. It is therefore important to choose environmentally-friendly lighting, fixtures and appliances. These days there is a multitude of stylish, low-energy and eco-friendly kitchen appliances on the market such as convection ovens, up-down refrigerators and induction stoves. Go for gas and try to incorporate as much natural light into your kitchen design as possible.
Save every drop - Install water-saving devices in your kitchen, like an aerator which can save up to 60% of your water, will also save you money and they are easy to install. Faucet aerators are small attachments fitted on taps that dilute the volume of water flowing from the tap with air. Consider getting water-wise appliances, the average household dishwasher uses between 15 – 18 litres of water per wash whereas some modern models use as little as 6.5 litres each time. The right appliances in your kitchen can make a huge difference!
Berry Everitt says, when it comes to redecorating the kitchen, "It's always best to go for the most modern look and keep it light. White or stainless-steel cabinets are the most popular right now, while glass top-cabinet doors instead of solid wood can really open up a smaller space. Stone countertops are the easiest to clean and colour can be added in the form of door hardware, cookware or even kitchen towels and blinds."
Especially today, people are investing more wisely when it comes to buying a home, or a second property for house-letting. This makes green homes more popular, providing energy and water savings on utility bills, as well as contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle. If you have not yet considered introducing green features into your home, then now is the time to start. Having a green home is a great selling point and adds value, making your home more desirable for buyers.