Design Innovations from an Eco-House with Hotel Style

By Christine Quinlan Posted August 17, 2012
Green Living: Kitchen Details

© Matthew Millman

Perched on a steep hillside in Mill Valley, California, Scott and Tracy Lee’s home is as comfortable as a five-star hotel, but as eco-conscious as a hippie’s yurt. "We didn’t want the kitchen to look like a kitchen. So, instead of getting a huge range, we went for a low-profile cooktop, which doubles as counter space. We also hid all of the appliances and the pantry, so you can’t see them from the other rooms. And we elevated the kitchen six inches above the rest of the floor to create a commanding view of the entire space.” Here, more of the couple's design innovations.

1. Ceiling
The weathered Douglas Fir beams were salvaged from an Idaho soybean plant.

2. Cabinets
To make the kitchen feel like an extension of the family room, the Lees hid most of the appliances under the counter or behind custom-made walnut cabinets.

3. Counters
The kitchen floor and counters are made from six-inch-thick slabs of polished concrete. “I wanted it to look like a band of concrete that grows out of the floor and wraps over the island,” Scott says.

4. Dining Table
The Lees chose a walnut slab for furniture maker Chajo to use. The 1980s leather-and-chrome chairs are by Mariani for Pace.

5. Lighting
The Lees installed energy-efficient LED lights on the ceiling and under the kitchen cabinets and island top. Local artist Mick Handley made the steel-and-rope lamp pendants with linen shades.

Read more about their Eco-House with Hotel Style >

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