Continuing on the green theme this week, part of the whole green design concept is to "REUSE." There are many very easy ways that we can reuse other, perhaps, older items and get a new (and surprisingly wonderful) perspective in the kitchen.
Point being, you don't have to buy everything new!
First and foremost, you have cabinetry. Sometimes the existing cabinetry is in decent shape, sometimes it's in bad shape. And, even if you can refinish it, perhaps, an option, the interiors are usually old and worn. Of course, oftentimes, the floor plan and cabinetry configuration will substantially change, making it very difficult to adapt the old to the new.
If you want new cabinetry, you should have new cabinetry. I'm not going to pass judgment on those who choose to either hold on to their old, worn, cabinetry, hoping/planning to give it new life, or who buy all new cabinetry, which may not be as green as it could be. It is an individual choice, end of story.
In this new, green, era, I see my role being to offer guidance, education and choices...this is a fundamental philosophy of mine, well before this green issue came upon us. I can help my clients go down a green road, or, perhaps, a lite green road. Should they become more informed about green design, including its issues and products? Yes. What they do with that information is their choice. That said, here are some easy ways to go green!
It's a great idea in old homes, to hold on to, say, the butler's pantry cabinetry, which may be simple, old, yet, charming. I've recommended doing that many times. It is not cabinetry that one uses every day, and it usually adds to the home architecturally. Weigh this type of cabinetry carefully before thinking about removing it.
Sometimes I also design a built in pantry closet rather than adding additional cabinetry to the space. A pantry can be made on site, with doors and shelves, rather than purchasing more cabinetry. A few pieces of building material as opposed to cabinets. Sometimes this idea works out, and looks great too.
Ask your designer what the alternatives are, as well as the pros and cons, to design something more simple, more integrated with the architecture of the home, or, keeping some of which is already in place. Go down that road a ways.
(A brief disclaimer...I did not have a say on this wall opening to the right. I would have narrowed the width of the opening and put casing around the sides as well as on top, like the door, perhaps with millwork joining the two openings, and I would have made the white cabinet shorter, or to the top of the opening. It was not my choice to have a two color hutch. What I once disliked, I think I've grown to like...yet, with those changes, I would have liked it better!)