A Sustainable Kitchen

Our kitchen is finished. It was designed by Kevin Gardner (who recently graduated from the College for Creative Studies in Design) and constructed by Jason Peet. Here’s the finished product:

Kitchen under cabinet lights

We wanted this kitchen to meet the same requirements as the rest of the building, with most of the components coming from the US waste stream. The dark cabinets we found on Craigslist. They were purchased from a home in Troy that was going through a remodel. They are 1956 steel cabinets that were originally yellow before we painted them. They fit our space beautifully.

Kitchen cabinets painted

The maple countertops came from Cooley High School. Their original use was countertops for the shop classes. Jason sanded them down to produce a beautiful finish.

Kitchen countertops

The dishwasher is new. It’s a high-efficiency 2-drawer model (so we can run small loads through separately).


The refrigerator is really a converted freezer. Refrigerators are the biggest energy suckers in a kitchen, especially the freezer, and so we decided to buy a chest freezer, along with a converter kit which allows the temps to remain at refrigeration levels, and use it as our source of cooling. Freezers are better insulated than refrigerators, and since cold air stays low, when it’s opened only the top air (which is warmest) will escape. We estimated that it will cost $4 a year to run.


The shelving above the counters is made from reporposed wood in the building. The shelves are being supported by aircraft cable, which we harvested as extra from our hanging lights.

Aircraft cable kitchen 2

The lights below the shelves are LCD under cabinet lights. This is a beautiful working space — thanks Jason!

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