Eco-Friendly Makeovers

Check out these examples of eco-friendly redesign.
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Before: Tacky Kitchen Tile

The homeowners adored everything about this house except the kitchen. The green and blue tiles that cover the floor, the countertop and the backsplash belong in a pool, not a kitchen.

After: Modernly Rustic

After the makeover, the dramatic new faux-stone backsplash gives the kitchen a natural, earthy feel. More counter space is added with a bamboo peninsula, and a new faucet tops it off. Additional cabinets are brought in to match the old ones that have remained, and all are freshened up with crisp new hardware. The floor has been redone in an eco-friendly cork material.

Before: Log Cabin Cover Up

This master bedroom looked like a sauna of honey-brown woods with a rough texture and absolutely no style or purpose. In a home with two young children who love to spend time in their parents' bed, the rustic cave look just wasn’t working. And it wasn’t safe — splinters were plentiful in all that wood.

After: Cozy, Serene Bedroom Sanctuary

An eco-friendly wall veneer in rich chocolate brown replaces the rough wood. The padded green headboard and fresh cream-colored bedding create a calm, soothing atmosphere. New wall sconces and carpet complete the look.

Before: Dark, Dingy Garage

A single working mom of two young children has a small apartment-style condo that doesn’t afford the kids any room for a play area of their own. Their grandmother lives next door and offered her garage (pictured) to serve as that space. Our designers signed on to help transform it into a fun, safe play area.

After: Multifunctional Garage Getaway

The soft new colors and textures work together to create a harmonious place that the adults and children can all enjoy. The materials used in transforming this garage, including natural-fiber flooring and hemp beanbags, are healthy for children and easy on the environment.

Before: Catchall Family Room

This space was supposed to function as a music room and a playroom but instead morphed into a junk room for a family of five.

After: Dual Purpose Gathering Space

A stage has been built (behind the chairs on the cream-colored wall) for the young girls of the house to use for practice and putting on performances. When not used for entertaining, the area doubles as a place to study; all it takes is a simple rearranging of the new chairs. Extra touches such as the musical notes painted on the wall with nontoxic paint and hemp curtains that provide a splash of color complete the design.

Before: Outdated Kitchen

The owners of this home believe the kitchen should be the heart of the home. Unfortunately, this heart was failing. Aside from the poor layout and a design that choked off family time, the space was afflicted with stained carpet and grease-laden walls and cabinets.

After: Cheerful, Sunny Kitchen

All the dark wood cabinetry and flooring has been ripped out. The new cabinet layout is much more open and makes the room seem larger. The crisp white paint brightens the room considerably, and energy-efficient stainless steel appliances, modern lighting, new flooring and recycled-glass countertops give the space a sleek look. The bamboo butcher block creates a focal point in the center of the island, which is both a prep space and an eating/homework area.

Before: Completely Boring Bedroom

This master bedroom wasn’t the retreat the busy homeowners needed it to be — it was a blank slate with only a bed, a TV and some plastic drawers set up as end tables.

After: Old World Romance

The bed has been moved to be the focal point of the room. It makes a dramatic and bold statement with the four posters made out of reclaimed wood. Reclaimed dressers flank the bed, and the concept of a modern French room is grounded in reclaimed curtains from the penthouse suite of a local hotel. The print on the fabric of the curtains is continued on accent pillows and cushions atop the benches at the end of the bed to tie the new look together.

Before: Listless Patio

The owners of this home hadn’t touched the backyard in the three years they’d lived here and were eager to bring it to life.

After: Chic Cabana

A fresh new coat of paint, a new bamboo awning and furniture made from recycled plastic have transformed this space into a laid-back tropical getaway. Off the patio is a series of composite decks (a great green project) that lead up to an amazing lounge featuring two outdoor couches covered in eco-friendly fabrics and a reclaimed metal fire pit.

Before: Empty Dining Space

The newlywed owners of this home needed to transform this vacuous space into a dining room fit to host their first adult dinner party.

After: Hip and Zen

The rich chocolate-brown dining table has been repositioned to create a better flow throughout the room and now has enough chairs surrounding it to seat eight. In the lower wall niche at right, a buffet table has been built out of bamboo shoots, and it doubles as a display shelf. The 24-foot-high wall of windows is covered with floor-to-ceiling curtains, which give the room much-needed texture. A repurposed chandelier has replaced the old one, and its much higher placement emphasizes those great high ceilings. Finally, the old carpet is gone and in its place is a painted concrete floor covered with several repurposed doormats.

Before: Bleak Master Bath

The owners of this home had lived here for eight years and had never updated the master bathroom, and it simply didn’t suit their needs anymore. They wanted it to be a place that energizes them when they wake up in the morning and relaxes them when they come home at night.

After: Beautifully Sustainable

The new vanity and tub face-out was crafted with wood harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council and backed by earth-friendly vinyl siding that adds great texture. Natural stone sinks sit atop the vanity, and beneath it is a mini wine refrigerator and coffee maker for an added touch of luxury. The walls are now covered with a natural clay product, and the carpeted floor has been replaced with sustainable cork flooring.

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