Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Sustainability, sustainability, sustainability -- if you're not using sustainable products, you are a hater of nature and no friend to the earth. Sounds a little harsh, doesn't it? Over the past few years the "green" movement has gained a lot of ground and I myself try to use "green" products whenever possible. Like many of you I want to enjoy my life, have nice things and leave the smallest possible fingerprint, but with all of the cry to be "green" why doesn't it seem to be happening?

I find it interesting that the NKBA (a national kitchen and bath designer group that I am a member of and from which I get my certification) released its list of kitchen and bath trends this year with such stunning conclusions as "traditional is the new contemporary," white is the most "in" color, and cherry still holds its place as the number one choice of wood for cabinetry. What seems to be missing from this list? Bamboo.

Have you looked at bamboo lately? It's sustainable, beautiful, and though the color choices are a bit limited (two), a great product to work with. I'll admit it's a little hard to find and a little more expensive because it hasn't grown into the market -- pun intended. It seems we tout "green" design but vote just the opposite with our wallets.

Personally I like bamboo - the floor in my master bedroom is bamboo; the furniture I designed and built for my master bedroom has bamboo elements. I recently had a client who used bamboo as a countertop material in a guest bathroom, to stunning effect. But it seems to be an incredibly hard sell, much like another sustainable product, cork.

My question to you: have you considered bamboo, cork or other sustainable products? Why or why not? Do you think using these products limits your design choices?