Dana Delany Goes Green!
Actress Dana Delany (who plays Dr. Megan Hunt in “Body of Proof” and previously starred in “Desperate Housewives”) chatted recently about making her home renovations green. “I had mold in my house and I got rid of it in a green way: I replaced the floorboard with green floorboard”. She knew the work had to be done; she wanted to make it better and be eco-friendly at the same time.
Where she works on set to film the ABC drama series, there are also green changes. They have completely eliminated plastic water bottles, and as much as possible they distribute script materials electronically rather than printing them out.
If Dana Delany can go green on set and with her house repairs and renovations, so can you! (And she’s got the same surname as me, so she MUST be a really nice person!)
Here are some great ideas for renovating your kitchen – without spending a fortune.
Countertops can be expensive. One option might be to purchase an inexpensive laminate countertop to live with, while you save the top you really want. You can then recycle the laminate by using it another part of your home, for example, as a workbench or craft table, or as a kids’ desktop. If you’ve set your heart on granite countertops but baulk at the cost, another option is to consider granite tiles. These are much more affordable, as they use up the parts of the stone that aren’t sold for a premium price. They’re easier to handle and to install.
Open concept kitchens which flow into living and dining rooms are hugely popular, bringing families together and making sure the person preparing the food isn’t left out. Look at your existing setup – could you remove a wall, or steal space from another room? Consider consulting a building contractor for this, as you need expertise with load-bearing walls and so on. This type of renovation can make a huge difference to the way the kitchen feels, and is much less costly and causes far less hassle than demolishing the entire kitchen.
If you’re bored with your kitchen cabinets, you could strip them down to reveal lovely wood, or re-finish them, or paint them (with eco-friendly VOC-free paint of course!), or add a decorative trim. You could also add new hardware backplates which will showcase the new handles while hiding older defects and holes.
Don’t under-estimate the power of colour, especially in unexpected places. You can really liven up a kitchen with different colour or finishes in small areas. Or try painting the vent hood – it’s often the highest visual point, so decorating it can break up an expanse of cabinetry. If you have a backsplash you can decorate at the same time, so much the better – that area can become the focal point of the kitchen if you wish.
One thing that bugs many people in kitchens is a lack of storage space. Clutter can easily accumulate, so you need to minimize chaos in even the smallest spaces. Consider baskets or decorative storage bins to hide less-often used items and free up cabinet space. One of the best things you can do is keep countertops clear (especially if you have limited counter space), and consider wall storage options instead. Look for brackets that can be used on angled walls, and remember corners can be used for storage too! Remember also to look at the backs of doors – cabinetry doors as well as room doors. Browse speciality websites for ideas and products to find solutions to the most difficult organizational problems.
If you’re considering replacing your floor, make sure you’ve planned your kitchen thoroughly first. If you replace the floor now, then change your layout, cabinet or appliances later, you could end up with floor gaps which are often expensive to fix. If you know you will be renovating later, resist the temptation to fix the floor now. Add some eco-friendly sisal, coir, seagrass or bamboo rugs that are easy to clean if you need to hide tired or damaged flooring.
All of these options Reduce your demand for new stuff, and allow you to Recycle existing materials, while saving you money and giving you a new look.
What’s not to love?