What do we mean by “green” kitchens?
There exists a certain irony in kitchen design today. We believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and the one room where the nourishing of body and spirit is most literally occurring. And many of us take great effort to ensure that the foods we buy or grow are nutritious, often organic, and increasingly local. And it simply feels right doing this.
But when it comes to renovating or installing new kitchens, we often turn to big box retailers to select cabinets made overseas with materials that often contain formaldehyde and high levels of VOCs. We then top them with countertops made from polycarbonates and laminates adhered to MDF.  Shouldn’t we take the same care in selecting our materials and finishes as we do in selecting our food? After all, anything we bring into the house ends up entering our bodies in one form or another.
So, how is Balance Studio different?
Our cabinet selections draw upon one of three resources:
1. Reclaimed/repurposed cabinetry and case goods
2. Handcrafted local cabinets made by local artisans using local wood and formaldehyde free plywood.
3. Domestically manufactured semi-custom cabinetry made with NAUF (no added urea-formaldehyde) certified plywood and natural hardwood doors and drawer fronts.
These resources enable us to provide our clients with a full range of the latest design, hardware and finish options and your choice of how you want to spend your money.
Our clients typically select countertops in one of three categories:
1. Natural stone or quartz, including regional or reclaimed slate
2. Local hardwood
3. Paper-based compressed panelized products such as Richlite® or Paper Stone®.
We have become experienced in designing kitchen lighting using predominantly LED or CFL components, including dimmable LEDs and under cabinet lighting.
We help clients through the appliance selection process by drawing comparisons between competing offerings and looking for devices that meet or exceed Energy Star® standards, including the latest induction cooking equipment.
But what REALLY sets us apart is design. We start by gaining an understanding of how you, our client, use the kitchen. While there are standards involved in designing kitchen spaces and flow between activities, folks who are particular foodies appreciate the attention to everything from prep surfaces to compost planning, to helping to plan for kitchen gardens. Efficiency of movement, accessibility, air drying of dishes, planning for socializing or entertaining are all considerations we make. We are one of the few local resources that employ an NKBA accredited kitchen and bath designer. NKBA standards cover the full range of kitchen design implications including building code, electrical and plumbing systems, lighting, structure, estimating, project planning, materials, and computer design.
We invite you to look through our previous clients’ work to discover how a Balance Studio green kitchen works. If there are ideas you’d like to see firsthand, we’re happy to arrange a visit. With luck, it will be around meal time.
The kitchen design process
"Design is a process - but not a neat tidy linear process."  Moving from the idea, or wish, to the finished product involves a lot of going back and forth, checking and rechecking . . . it takes inspiration, creativity, but mostly a lot of hard work.”

Recent Kitchen Projects