Sometimes a small targeted addition can make a world of difference. In this case the just-right-sized addition enlarged and updated an older cramped kitchen and created a gracious connection to the back garden for a family that loves cooking and hosting garden parties. This home’s original small kitchen was showing some wear, and the stairs out to the back were narrow and not connected to the kitchen, so having people over for outdoor events was awkward. With a small addition that expands the kitchen and rebuilds the stairs, the kitchen is now large enough for parties and has a good connection to outdoors for entertaining. The “bump-out” addition provides better natural light and ventilation, so that the heart of the home can be a bright and welcoming space. The avid gardener homeowners also have an easy spot to peel off dirty shoes and clothes and store away small gardening tools. Although this is a small addition, there were still several opportunities to build with healthy and energy-efficient materials. Whether your project is big or small, here are some potential strategies you can choose to make your home greener:
- Quartz counters by Ceaserstone – Manufactured, highly-durable, no-VOC, stain and heat resistant, quartz countertops are produced with a high commitment to health and environmental considerations.
- Locally-manufactured cabinetry – Local sourced products reduce carbon impact and are made with healthy sustainably harvested materials.
- Local sustainable butcherblock – The kitchen island is topped with sustainably harvested Pacific Northwest wood butcherblock.
- Salvaged live edge wood shelves and bench – The shelves and bench are made from salvaged alder wood, thoughtfully crafted to highlight the beautiful natural edge.
- Energy efficient windows – These wood and fiberglass windows match the original house window style with modern energy efficiency, providing excellent natural daylighting and ventilation.
- Vapor Smart Air Barrier Wall – The new walls are 2×6 wood stud wall and air sealed at the interior and exterior of the wall with “vapor smart” membranes. These membranes create an air barrier, but also allow trapped moisture to escape from the wall system. Sealing leaks in the building envelope is one of the best ways to improve energy performance – a well-insulated but leaky wall does not perform as well as the R-value listed for the insulation.
- No VOC Paints – Superior quality no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints ensure the highest indoor air quality
- No wasted space – Every square inch is thoughtfully utilized to get the most out of this compact addition. Where the footprint would not allow a full-depth cabinet, there are shallower cabinets that provide storage for smaller items. And the former staircase is now home to the refrigerator, a small pantry, and a storage closet at the entry level.
- Creative solutions – The cabinets are installed “tetris style” to create useful storage at the kitchen level on one side and down a few steps on the other side at the backyard entry level.