Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sustainable Kitchen Banquette

I've said it before and I'll say it again... I have the coolest clients! I know, lots of designers say that, but I actually do have the best clients who truly get "it." What is "it," you ask? "It" can be described as an appreciation for the creative process coupled with the patience to adapt to the challenges of designing sustainably . In particular, this kitchen banquette project and its new owner.

This project started simply enough, with a phone call from a friend of a client of mine. She told me about a little nook in her kitchen she wanted to turn into a breakfast area. A simple little banquette with a solid slate counter top that would compliment her home's prewar styling.

We had 2 basic challenges with this project: 1) Make it look and fit right for the space, and 2) Be as "green" as possible. To that end, we replicated the existing floor molding (which took 3 separate pieces of molding, cut to proper dimension, and assembled identically to the existing). Very deliberate measurements for the height, depth, and width of the bench seats were checked and rechecked to ensure the maximum seating area while allowing proper leg room and comfortable movement in and out of the banquette. Forest Stewardship Council ( ) certified plywood and molding were purchased for this project. Eco-friendly glue was used in assembly and low VOC semi-gloss paint finished out the wood pieces. The slate countertop was reclaimed from a local deconstruction and we had it cut to size, honed, and sealed using eco-friendly sealer.

This project is not only beautiful and looks as if it's always been there, but was executed sustainably and will last for many, many, many years to come. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed building this project.

*The client will soon be adding custom seat cushions and pillows.