TV: HGTV's Pure Design: How Green is Beth & Jack's Kitchen Redesign?

An exclusive home improvement TV review.

Posted by Caryn Colgan | Nov 09, 2009
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In this recent episode of Pure Design, Samantha Pynn helps homeowners Beth and Jack transform their cramped and dysfunctional kitchen into a functional and slightly greener space. The couple has a large kitchen and adjoining dining area but it was poorly laid out. While the kitchen had the desirable work flow triangle with the stove, sink and refrigerator, it was spread out over seven feet. At that distance, the triangle was not functional. Additionally, appliances crowded the limited countertop space and the stove was crammed against one wall with no countertop space on one side.

To get to the BBQ area, the family needed to get past the antique table and chairs. Due to the dining room layout, the furniture blocked access to the sliding door that led to the backyard.

The contributing Design Editor at "Style for Home" Magazine, Pynn, discussed the couple's goals for their kitchen and dining area. They wanted better work flow for food preparation, more countertop space and easier access to the backyard. Jack wanted an island in the kitchen and Beth would agree to an island only if it was functional. Beth was also very attached to a wine refrigerator that she and her friends enjoyed during their social gatherings.

Pynn added an island that included an Energy Star microwave with a drop down door. By putting the microwave in the island, countertop space was created. The oven's drop down door enables easy access to the interior even though the stove is below the countertop.

The beloved wine cooler was retrofitted into a new and very functional desk area. Since the cooler was out of the main traffic area, guests would be able to help themselves to wine without getting in the way.

All of the kitchen cabinets were replaced and no mention was made about recycling them. However, the banquette that was built in the dining room featured storage space beneath the seats made from cabinet doors. These doors may have been recycled from the demolished kitchen. The good news is that the couple was pleased with the new dining room design since it made accessing the backyard easier.

By painting and reupholstering the antique chairs and refinishing the antique table, Pynn recycled the dining room furniture. The upholstery fabric was organic hemp and cotton... eco-friendly choices.

Similarly, the old bamboo floor was ripped up and replaced with a new, harder variety of bamboo. While the bamboo is a wonderful, sustainable and renewable flooring choice, again, one wonders how the old floor was disposed of.

The kitchen remodel included all new Energy Star appliances. A corkboard message center was affixed to particle board with solvent-free, water-based contact cement. To be greener, they could have chosen a healthier formaldehyde-free material than the usual particle board. If they used a formaldehyde-free material it should have been mentioned.

While the show has definite design merit, if it wants to live up to its "pure" name it could go further by incorporating more green and eco-friendly materials. With so many sustainable choices available, I would like to see Ms. Pynn use her talent and obvious good intentions to help views go "greener."

Photo credit: "Pure Design" on Facebook.

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