Sustainability has long been embraced by many in the design community, but the phrase itself means different things to different people. For some, using water-saving plumbing fixtures and energy-efficient appliances is their major contribution. For others, incorporating products manufactured using recycled materials is their go-to. Still other designers use may use reclaimed wood or antique pieces to give designs a lived-in look. And don’t forget salvaging the kitchen being pulled, which can often be recycled for use in another home.
While green design has come under fire for increasing the cost of a project, many of those prices are coming down, as environmentally responsible design morphs into simply being good design. And, manufacturers are becoming keenly aware of their own environmental responsibility and designing products accordingly.
Products that meet the criteria for sustainable design are being introduced every day, with designers interested in learning more about them and how they – and their clients – can benefit from them. Some of the products and trends include:
- Countertops made with recycled glass, quartz, ash and even waste products are making dramatic statements.
- Younger generations are flexing their buying muscle and interested in using sustainable and recycled products.
- Water-saving showerheads and faucets are restricting the use of this precious commodity without sacrificing performance.
- LED lighting is being used everywhere – from intricate lighting fixtures to dramatic cabinet interiors.
- Appliances are delivering not only dramatic energy efficiency but are incorporating recycled interior elements.
- Statement sinks are being featured in the kitchen and bath, often fashioned out of reclaimed and recycled metal and other materials.