Steal This Look: The Low-Impact Kitchen

Remodelista The Low-Impact Home Book Cover

The cover of our new book, Remodelista: The Low-Impact Home, features the kitchen of architects Ruth Mandl and Bobby Johnston of CO Adaptive. Their firm specializes in retrofitting existing buildings to make them energy efficient, and the couple transformed their own historic Brooklyn brownstone into an ultra-efficient passive house. Their monthly energy bill is zero—and that includes keeping an electric vehicle charged and maintaining a steady indoor temperature year-round.

In designing their kitchen, Mandl and Johnston prioritized green materials and energy efficiency, installing air-tight triple-glazed windows, a compact fridge from Liebherr, and a Monogram by GE induction cooktop. Here, we list the sources for the main elements, down to the small, cheerful, and future-minded accessories.

Find Remodelista: The Low-Impact Home: A Sourcebook for Stylish, Eco-Conscious Living in bookstores online and in stores starting today, October 4. To find your closest local bookstore, visit IndieBound. For more on the book see our book announcement.

Remodelista The Low-Impact Home Book Cover
Above: One key eco-minded switch made in the kitchen? The architects removed the natural gas from the building entirely, replacing it with solar-powered electricity via a solar array installed on the roof. New plumbing, electrical, and ventilation systems are all located within an interior central spine branching out to service each floor—a strategy critical to passive house performance.

As for the shade of green on the cabinets—the couple had it custom mixed to match a favorite light fixture that hangs over their table. Photograph by Matthew Williams from Remodelista: The Low-Impact Home: A Sourcebook for Stylish, Eco-Conscious Living.

Remodelista The Low-Impact Home CO Adaptive Design Photo by Matthew Williams
Above: A detail of the kitchen sink showcases a few eco-swaps including a low-flow faucet, natural bristle brushes, and a solid version of dish soap (reducing the need for plastic packaging). Photograph by Matthew Williams from Remodelista: The Low-Impact Home: A Sourcebook for Stylish, Eco-Conscious Living.


George & Willy Wooden Pegboard
Above: Mandl and Johnston created the custom pegboard backsplash from FSC-certified, maple-faced ApplePly, a high-grade plywood produced with soy rather than off-gassing formaldehyde. Though not of the same pedigree, the George & Willy Wooden Pegboard, pictured here, made of architectural-grade birch plywood is $320 for the standard size.
Reform Basis Painted Cabinet Fronts
Above: The kitchen cabinet fronts are by Copenhagen-based Reform, a kitchen company working toward 100 percent sustainable materials and practices. Their BASIS collection is inspired by Scandinavian architect kitchens of the 1960s and is available in custom painted oak, as shown in Mandl and Johnston’s kitchen.

While we recommend sourcing reclaimed or locally-grown wood that is FSC-certified, we should note that Reform sources raw materials that are FSC-certified, but their final supplier, they explain, is not, and thus, their kitchens are not officially FSC-certified.

Caesarstone Quartz Countertop Pure White
Above: Greenguard-certified Caesarstone, a product made of quartz, is a more ecologically responsible swap for granite and other stone mined in far-off locations. The Caesarstone Quartz Countertop, shown here in Pure White, is available at The Home Depot.

Faucets & Fixtures

Vola Faucet 131lap-20
Above: The wall-mounted Vola Faucet 131LAP-20 is a pull-out spray model with flow rate below 2.2 gallons (or 8.3 liters) per minute; $843.75 at Quality Bath.
Vola Kitchen Handspray
Above: The Vola Kitchen Handspray for keeping the sink clean is $2,433 at Quality Bath.
Kohler Riverby Undermount Kitchen Sink
Above: The Kohler Riverby 33-Inch Undermount Single Basin Cast Iron Kitchen Sink is $849.75 at
22 System Wall Outlets
Above: The 22 System offers a selection of minimal flush mount Wall Outlets by Bocci. Contact System 22 for price and ordering information.
HAY Noc Clamp Clip Lamp Off White
Above: The kitchen is lit with a few HAY Noc Clamp Clip Lamps in Off White; $213 each at Finnish Design Shop.

Sink-side Accessories

Kohler Riverby Utility Basin Rack
Above: The Kohler Riverby Utility Basin Rack with Soaking Cup is $83.43 at
Elsie Green Stoneware Berry Bowl
Above: The sink-side dish is the Stoneware Berry Bowl from Elsie Green, used here as a draining soap dish; $39 at Elsie Green.
Andrée Jardin Copper Wool Sponge
Above: For a similar copper scrub, the Andrée Jardin Copper Wool Sponge is $10 at Smallable.
Dish Soap Round Porcelain Bowl
Above: The Dish Soap in Round Porcelain Bowl is available as a citrus or unscented solid soap. It eliminates the need for packaging and the soap is available as a refill when finished; $36 at Ardent Goods.
Iris Hantverk Dish Brush Vardag
Above: The Iris Hantverk Dish Brush Vardag is $8.65 at Finnish Design Shop.
Iris Hantverk Pan Brush
Above: The Iris Hantverk Pan Brush is $26.30 at Finnish Design Shop.

Other Accessories

Typhoon Homewares Typhoon Farmhouse Kitchen Scale
Above: The Typhoon Farmhouse Kitchen Scale is $40 at Food52.
Bormioli Rocco Fido Canning Jar
Above: Throughout the kitchen, bulk goods are stored in various sizes of Bormioli Fido jars. Here, the Bormioli Rocco Fido Canning Jar is $28.99 for a 3-piece set on Amazon.

For more kitchen design with ideas to steal, see our posts:

N.B.: This post was first published on Remodelista on Oct. 4, 2022.

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