Kitchens with a Conscience

Thanksgiving is almost here and much of this holiday is centered around the kitchen.   By the time the time you’re finished cooking a magical family feast, you may be thinking that its time for some kitchen updates. Maybe you have already started thinking about giving your kitchen a facelift but don’t want to generate tons of waste?   That’s where Down2earth Interior Design comes in.  Here are several helpful strategies to employ to spruce up your kitchen while limiting your contribution to landfills.

Donate, don’t throw

There are organizations that will pick up your old cabinets and appliances, provided they’re still working. Amy donated her kitchen cabinets, microwave, oven, and dishwasher to Habitat for Humanity.   They operate secondhand retail outlets called Restore, which sell to homeowners looking for kitchen items at deep discounts.   See our previous blogpost about them here, and find your local restore below.


Photo from


Philadelphia Habitat for Humanity >

Montgomery and Delaware Counties Habitat for Humanity >

Bucks County Habitat for Humanity >


Do you know about Restores?


Reface, don’t replace

If the configuration of your cabinets is working for you, but the doors are too banged up, or their style is just weighing you down, you can opt to reface your cabinets.   New doors and outer shell material can give you a whole new look.  You’d expect the cost of re-facing to be quite a bit less expensive than purchasing new cabinets, and sometimes it is.   However we’ve found that sometimes the costs are about the same, but you get the clean conscious of reusing your existing cabinet housings, and you don’t have as much demolition dirt to clean up.   Two local companies that do this kind of work in Southeast Pennsylvania are:

Kitchen Magic (

And Let’s Face it (

And you still retain some design flexibility.   As the folks at Kitchen Magic point out, “Refacing uses your existing layout, but you can add an island, peninsula, or additional cabinets.”


Reuse where you can

Amy is just wrapping up a kitchen project for a client where we are reusing their existing granite perimeter countertops.  A risk of this technique is that the counter may break when removed, but with skilled contractors, hopefully that break can be controlled and minimal.  In this case, two additional seams needed to be added near the sink to piece the granite back together, but it takes a high level of scrutiny to notice and is certainly worth it to many homeowners to reuse a material that is beautiful, durable, and still has many years of life left.

And choose green material where you can’t reuse.

For this same kitchen redesign, the island changed shape, requiring a new countertop material.   We’ve opted for concrete.   Concrete is considered a green material because the main raw material for the cement in concrete is limestone, which is very abundant in nature. Concrete can also be made from other materials that are considered waste byproducts from manufacturing facilities.


Concrete has a long lifespan and can be produced in quantities tailored for your project, reducing waste.  And when it’s time to retire your concrete counter, it can be crushed and recycled to be used for road material.

Photo by Jayme Guokas from Instagram @craftworkdesign

Photo by Jayme Guokas from Instagram @craftworkdesign

We hope this helps inspire you to think about changing up your interior design ideas in ways that reduce, reuse and recycle.  To share in Thanksgiving, our d2e team wanted to share with you a recipe for a delicious apple pie, click here for the recipe and enjoy!

1 Comment
  • The Furnshop
    Posted at 04:10h, 12 December Reply

    This is really great. I liked This post. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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