K & B

How to achieve an eco-friendly kitchen

Mercifully the days are over of us ripping out the existing kitchen regardless of its condition and dumping it in a skip the minute we move into a new house. In part that's because kitchens are expensive..and often very expensive..and partly because we're getting the message that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Kitchen compost bins: get composting and grow your own

You'd probably have a fit if you saw a family member put a tin can, newspaper or plastic drinks bottle into the 'normal' (ie destined for landfill) kitchen bin. But do you explode in green-faced exasperation if you see someone put some tangerine peel, teabags or eggshells into that same bin?

If yes, enjoy a metaphorical pat on the back.. you can pass go and move on to another article.

But if the answer is 'er, no..why would I?' well, if we can be so bold, you need to read on...

How to achieve an eco-friendly kitchen

Eco-friendly kitchens use recycled and recyclable materials. Wood products should be FSC-certified, while ease of dis-assemby is important in the design of kitchen units and cabinets. Kuche built the ktchen for the first certified Passivhaus in the UK and they used Durat for countertops, a solid surface material from Finland that is 100 per cent recyclable. Puustelli Miinus is an eco Finnish brand to consider.

Kuche built the kitchen for Underhill, the UK's first accredited Passivhaus, designed by architect Seymour Smith and featured on Channel 4's Grand Designs Live. The kitchen has a 10m run of units with a recyclable Durat worktop. Core design criteria were for all materials to be recyclable, for all wood products to be FSC-certified and for the kitchen cabinets to be designed for easy dis-assembly.

Noisy bathroom? choose Quiet Mark products

You may feel largely inured to it; but when you think about it, wouldn't it be nice to be able to sleep through someone in the house taking a crack of dawn shower before they rush off to the airport? or not to feel guilty if you have to flush the loo at 3am because it'll wake everyone up? Think how nice it would be to hear the radio even when your partner is blowdrying their hair...
 

Patterned tiles for a Mediterranean style kitchen

A lot of us have moved away from ceramic tiles in the kitchen, in favour of resilient flooring such as vinyl, linoleum or rubber and glass splashbacks.

But if you want to be creative, take inspiration from the colourful and detailed encaustic patterns of the 19th century, which you see used to great effect in Mediterranean countries.