The venture evolved in a somewhat unexpected way. A frequent customer of ‘g’ Green Design in Mashpee Commons, Kitty stopped by the shop one afternoon to pick up some sustainable tableware products for an upcoming party. Small talk with Goldman and showroom manager Paula Smith led Brown to the topic of her dark, cluttered, and outdated kitchen. With Smith and Goldman, Brown realized that she might be able to actually tackle her goal of a complete overhaul. “The kitchen was 27 years old,” she says. “Things were falling apart. We needed to do something.”

a Breath of Fresh Air

Brown wanted a lighter, brighter space—one that made better use of the large footprint of the room, with more storage and better functionality. “It is a very traditional, Cape-style home in a small neighborhood on one of the fingers [of land] in East Falmouth. You don’t want to overbuild or put in anything out of context,” says Goldman. “With a traditional setting, the idea is that green doesn’t have to mean contemporary. It can be any style—it is really about what is in the materials.”

Over a nine-month design and construction process, Brown collaborated with Smith and Goldman to devise a new, bold floor plan that included enlarging and redesigning a center island, rearranging the cooking and food preparation areas, replacing and expanding an existing pantry, and adding both an eat-in dining area and a small home office space. The range, microwave, and refrigerator were replaced and updated with Energy Star-rated Liebherr appliances, known for their beautiful design and excellent engineering. About the refrigerator, Goldman says, “It’s not just about the look, they actually keep food longer so that you have less waste.”

Fabricated in Monroe, Washington by Canyon Creek Cabinet Company, the redesigned cabinetry was the keystone of the plan. “For Kitty, it was all about the cabinets and getting that finish just right,” says Goldman. She is quick to note that the search for the right sustainable vendor is a balancing act. “It can be all over the spectrum,” she says. “Yes, we paid a little bit more in the carbon footprint for shipping from Washington, but the product is super-sustainable, and the company itself is also very environmentally conscious in their production—they reuse their water, their wood, and their energy.”

When people think “green” they might sometimes only consider the extreme, but, says Goldman, “It is not just one thing, like ‘Did we cut the wood from our local forests and then make the cabinets?’”

Green materials are defined by their use of non-toxic, h

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Amanda Wastrom is a frequent contributor to Cape Cod Life Publications.

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