Imagine a sleek, contemporary kitchen where racks of fresh lettuces grow right next to your refrigerator. And not only that, this would be an energy-saving kitchen, too. How would it work?
In an example created by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba for Whirlpool and Elmar -- featured at the Milan Furniture Fair -- technology and ecology come together in a culinary-centered relationship. Bridgette Steffen, who reports on this Green Living Kitchen for Inhabitat.com says, “Elmar strives to create innovative design solutions that are functional, ergonomic, and high-quality. They are well known for their work using high temperature treated wood in the kitchen, which makes it water-repellent and more durable. The appliances and technology are supplied by Whirlpool, whose 6th Sense Technology minimizes the use of water, energy, and time.
“All of these elements combine into an advanced kitchen where wasted water or heat from one appliance is reused in a second. For example, warm refrigerator coils are used to heat water for the dishwasher. Wastewater is recycled to water walls of plants and spices. All in all, this integrated kitchen will divert 60% of the water and heat generated from appliances to fuel other appliances. It is expected that this kitchen would save 24% on a homeowner’s energy bill.”
Perhaps not as futuristic, but certainly more readily adaptable to more people’s tastes and homes, are the ideas gleaned from Lisa Ishimuro’s conservatory, featured in Country Living. The slide show gallery gives the garden lover lots of inspiration for turning a room into a verdant sanctuary, no matter what season.
Garden Room Style, by Peter Marston is another great source of inspiration for bringing nature into your home. The author says that he has “always had a conservatory on my various houses, sometimes small, sometimes large, but usually close to the kitchen. For me, the garden room is also a place in which to work at home peacefully, surrounded by the things I love.” Filled with color photographs, illustrations, and interesting historical notes, this book can sit on your coffee table and bring a bit of the outdoors in simply by sitting there.
Now let’s go from the sublime to the ridiculous and take a look at The Digestive Table, featured in an article for WebUrbanist. This dining table is one of several very unusual ones reported on by Delana, who writes, “Some ideas are so simple and common-sense that you wonder why no one has done them before…and then you realize that it’s because the idea is sort of gross. The Digestive Table from Amy Youngs is just such an idea. It incorporates eating with composting, something that makes a lot of sense. When you’re done with dinner, you throw the scraps into the built-in compost heap inside the table. Then sowbugs, bacteria, and worms help the material decompose and turn it into luscious natural fertilizer that feeds the plants kept at the bottom of the table. If you want to lose your appetite (and so have more food to feed the table), watch the attached LED monitor to see live decomposition action from inside the table. The Digestive Table isn’t commercially available, but the website does include a construction diagram so you can build one yourself.”