As an interior designer, Jeremiah Brent is always analyzing his personal home decor, but since becoming a father, he's become even more considerate of every item that makes its way into his family's space. Specifically, he's more concerned with keeping an eco-friendly household than ever before — and that extends to every room. And with the holidays around the corner, his sustainable kitchen ideas specifically could come in handy for gathering there more safely this season.
Decor is just one way the designer keeps his kitchen more sustainable: Just this week he launched his latest endeavor, a collection of items in partnership with Grove Collaborative that are both good for the planet and make your kitchen space even more beautiful: Think refillable containers and green cleaning products. Beyond including products like these, Brent — who happens to be married to the equally stylish and savvy Nate Berkus — has a few other tricks you can copy for minimizing waste and utilizing more environmentally friendly materials in your own kitchen while making it look better than ever.
As you may know from following Brent and Berkus, their collective signature style is as lived-in as it is pulled-together, and that absolutely extends to the kitchen. The designer shares that kitchens tend to be overlooked in terms of spaces to decorate — as they are primarily thought of as functional rooms — but by employing a few strategies, they can also be chic and sustainable, too. How does he achieve this in his own home? Read ahead for some simple and approachable tips that'll give your kitchen a freshened up feel, while remaining gentle on the Earth.
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Sustainable Kitchen Ideas: Utilize Natural Materials
"I've always pulled my inspiration from nature — my designed are full of organic shapes, tones, and textures," says Brent. "But it's so important to not only be inspired by nature, but to also make decisions that are sustainable. Reclaimed woods [...] and natural linens are timeless yet still celebrated in design trends today." And if you're including wooden pieces, the designer says not to stress about matching all your tones. "Our kitchen is full of mix-matched and unique cutting boards from natural woods that complement the design of our space," he adds.
Sustainable Kitchen Ideas: Overhaul Your Cabinetry
"Hardware, reupholstering, and paint go a long way," says Brent. "Nate and I completely changed the personality of our kitchen over quarantine. A coat of deep green paint over cabinetry and reupholstered cushions for our breakfast banquette were two simple ways to make the space feel new again." Upcycling helps reduce the use of new products, and you can make painting a little greener by shopping eco-friendly brands, like Backdrop.
For an extra special touch, don't forget to swap out your hardware. "Bronze pulls or even a unique doorknob sourced from Etsy can make your current cabinetry feel fresh again," the designer explains. "No handyman skills required."
Sustainable Kitchen Ideas: Collect Items That Spark Joy
Utilizing vintage and minimizing how much you buy can help to reduce waste when designing, and Brent's strategy when it comes to adding decorative elements to your space is choosing those that tell a story, like antiques or pieces collected during travels. His favorite way to show them off? "Open shelving is a beautiful way to display a mix of handmade pottery, wicker baskets, and natural linens," he says. "This is the route we took in our Montauk home and I love the organic feel it creates."
As for the one piece of his Grove Collaborative collection that feels most personal, Brent points to the soy-based candle. "One of my favorite pieces is the Careyes candle — a custom scent inspired by our travels," he says.