Sustainable Eco-Friendly Kitchen Design

Sustainable eco friendly kitchen design starts with the materials you select for the project. Cabinets, counter tops, appliances and tiles are all important parts.

The Environmental Impact of Your Choices

Are you thinking about renovating your kitchen? Have you considered the environmental impact of your choices? In today’s world, sustainability is more important than ever. When it comes to kitchen design, integrating eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient appliances, and sustainable practices is not just a trend—it’s a necessity. Each kitchen design I create uses sustainable principles and practices from the first meeting with my client to the completion of the project. I believe it is so important to plan the sustainable aspects of the project into the design from day one.   Let’s explore how you can create a beautiful, functional, and environmentally responsible kitchen.

Creating a Sustainable Eco-Friendly Kitchen Design

Any remodeling project, especially kitchen designs, can have significant environmental impacts. From high energy consumption to the use of non-renewable materials, the conventional approach can have negative impacts on our environment. From the materials you specify to the construction methods employed, each plays an important role in the environmental impact chain.

Sustainable kitchen design, on the other hand, offers numerous benefits. It promotes healthier living spaces, reduces your carbon footprint, and can lead to substantial cost savings over time. Embracing eco-friendly practices in your kitchen not only benefits the planet but also enhances your quality of life.

Choosing Eco-Friendly Materials

One of the most critical aspects of sustainable kitchen design is the selection of materials. Consider options like recycled glass, bamboo, concrete, and reclaimed wood for countertops. These materials are not only beautiful but also have a lower environmental impact compared to traditional options.

Sustainable eco friendly kitchen design using a concrete counter for the bar.

Concrete countertop for this wine bar. Designed by Thyme and Place Design

Regarding cabinetry, opt for eco-friendly choices such as FSC-certified wood or cabinets made from recycled content. These materials ensure that you are supporting sustainable forestry practices and reducing waste. Two companies I work with, Crystal Cabinet Works and Pennville Custom Cabinetry, are vigilant in the sourcing of eco-friendly materials for the beautiful cabinets they produce. Secondly, they employ good stewardship in their manufacturing and finishing processes as well.

Reclaimed antique barn beam becomes a design detail on the hood. Cabinets by Pennville Custom Cabinetry.

Reclaimed barn beam hood detail.

Additionally, choosing low or zero-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints and finishes is crucial for maintaining good indoor air quality. These finishes release fewer harmful chemicals, making your kitchen a healthier place for your family.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

Energy consumption is a major concern in any kitchen. Appliances are often the biggest energy users, so it’s essential to select those with high energy efficiency. Energy Star-rated appliances are an excellent choice because they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Eco friendly and sustainable induction cooktops add to the air quality in a kitchen.

Induction cooking is eco-friendly and sustainable. Designed by Thyme and Place Design

Consider energy-efficient refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and other kitchen appliances that use less energy without compromising performance. Integrating smart technology can further reduce energy consumption. Smart appliances allow you to control and monitor energy use, making it easier to manage and reduce your kitchen’s environmental footprint.

Water Conservation

Water conservation is another vital component of an eco-friendly kitchen. Installing low-flow faucets and water-saving dishwashers can significantly reduce water usage. These fixtures are designed to use less water while maintaining strong performance, helping to lower your water bills and reduce your environmental impact.

Filtered, chilled, and sparling water is available at the touch of a button

Sparkling, chilled, and filtered water at the touch of a button.

In addition, consider a sustainable water filtration system. These systems provide clean, safe drinking water without the need for plastic bottles, reducing waste and promoting sustainability in your kitchen.

Sustainable Practices in Kitchen Design

Sustainable kitchen design goes beyond materials and appliances. Incorporating practices that reduce waste and promote reuse is equally important. Start by setting up a composting system to reduce food waste. Composting not only helps the environment but also provides rich soil for your garden.

Built in composting bins make good stewards of our kitchens.

Built-in compost bins. Pennville Custom Cabinetry. Designed by Thyme and Place Design

Upcycling and repurposing materials are great ways to add unique touches to your kitchen while staying eco-friendly. Incorporate vintage pieces or repurpose existing materials to create a stylish and sustainable space.

Upcycled vintage table is repurposed as a kitchen island.

An upcycled vintage table becomes an island.


Finally, switch to green cleaning solutions. Eco-friendly cleaning products are better for your health and the environment. They reduce exposure to harmful chemicals and are often packaged in recyclable or biodegradable containers.

Future Trends in Sustainable Kitchen Design

As technology and design practices evolve, new trends in sustainable kitchen design are emerging. Innovations in eco-friendly appliances and materials are making it easier than ever to create a green kitchen. For instance, biophilic design, which incorporates natural elements into the home, is gaining popularity for its ability to enhance well-being and connect us with nature.

Zero-waste kitchens, which focus on reducing waste and promoting recycling and composting, are also becoming more common. These trends highlight the growing importance of sustainability in our homes and offer exciting possibilities for the future of kitchen design.

How Your Choices Can Make a Difference

 Incorporating sustainable and eco-friendly elements into your kitchen design is a smart choice for both the environment and your home. By selecting eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient appliances, and sustainable practices, you can create a kitchen that is beautiful, functional, and environmentally responsible.

Ready to transform your kitchen? Start by exploring eco-friendly options and make a positive impact on your home and the planet. If you need more help, contact me here by clicking here. I am happy to help you design your dream kitchen.  

Sharon L. Sherman, ASID, NCIDQ, CID, CKD


Sharon is the founder of Thyme and Place Design, headquartered in Wyckoff, New Jersey. She’s been practicing kitchen and bath design for the past 40 years and is a Past President of the American Society of Interior Designers – New Jersey chapter. She is a current member of the editorial board of KBB Magazine, the official magazine of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Sharon has also received a Kitchen Bath Design News 2022 Innovator of the Year Award.

Her award-winning designs and editorial comments have been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, Design Milk, Furniture Lighting and Decor, Designers Today, Bergen NJ magazineKitchen & Bath Design News, Woman’s Day, Country Decorating, Design NJ, New Jersey Home Magazine, 201 Magazine, The Best of Bergen, Savvy Living, The Vue, The Record, The Star-Ledger,  and Aspire as well as several books.

Her blog “Tips from the Trade” appears in digital form on and She has also appeared on HGTV’s My Big Amazing Renovation and episodes of House Smarts with Lou Manfredini.  Sharon was a featured speaker for  *Voices From The Industry*  at the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s international convention and The International Surfaces Event and is available for further speaking engagements nationwide on all topics related to running a successful kitchen and bath design business. She is also a CEU provider for IDCEC. 


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Sharon sherman

My award-winning designs haven been featured in multiple magazines, industry publications and on television. That’s nice affirmation, to be sure.

But perhaps the greatest accolade I’ve received is the repeat engagements with so many clients, project after project, year after year.

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