Tile It On: These Kitchens Put Stylish (and Sustainable) Tile in the Spotlight
Sustainable tile offerings are so plentiful now that it’s downright irresponsible not to consider an Earth-friendly finish in your kitchen. Here are some of our favorite tiles—and how some of our favorite designers are using them
Justina Blakeney’s Bar
When the Los Angeles-based interior designer and Jungalow founder Justina Blakeney took on the conversion of a 1920s garage into a casita (pictured at top) for her and her family, she was committed to re-using the existing structure and repurposing as many materials as possible. The hundred-year-old floors and ceilings were salvaged by stripping and sealing them. The kitchenette was crafted from wood from torn down walls, doors, and reclaimed high-school bleachers, all putting a new spin on an old structure.
Styled by Time
The cabinet doors were made out of the original barn-style garage doors in the space. The wood was cleaned but not painted over, as the natural patina of the cabinetry was aesthetically appealing.
Blakeney chose Granada Tile to make a custom eco-friendly cement tile for her casita project.
The wooden shelf in the space is made from reclaimed wood that used to be high school bleachers.
The pendant lamp and rug are vintage pieces.
Get the Look
Robin and Cathy’s Tahoe Cabin Kitchen
Heath Ceramics owners Catherine Bailey and Robin Petravic have spent the last seven years transforming their humble 1973 cabin in Tahoe into something of a showcase of Heath’s latest collections. In addition to being an interior that inspires, it’s also a great example of sustainable kitchen remodeling. Very little waste was produced by refinishing rather than replacing, and all the tile was made locally at Heath Ceramics in San Francisco, in the company’s near-zero waste facility that fires the tile at a low temperature to save energy.
Paint, Don’t Replace
Cabinets were updated by painting them with Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray.
Reduce, Reuse, Refinish
The original wood countertop was simply refinished.
Keep It Local
The tile is Heath Ceramics’s Dual Glaze Rectangle tile in Paprika Blend.
Save Your Energy
Power-sipping Energy Star appliances were chosen.
Elana’s Hawaii Kitchen
When Elana Jadallah and her partner Aaron took on their remodel in Hawaii, they were committed to creating a unique, beautiful space using locally sourced, low waste, and repurposed materials. When they did ship items, they tried to source from responsible suppliers like Fireclay Tile, a B Corp certified company. The result is a kitchen that has much less of an impact on the planet than traditional renovations.
Open shelving was made from salvaged, local Jacaranda wood.
The tile is from Fireclay Tile, a certified B Corp—66% of all its materials are recycled, they offset 100% of their carbon creation, and everything is made in the United States.
“There was a problem when they installed our countertop. It was the company’s fault so they offered to cut us a new slab. Renovations create too much waste, so we decided to work with the team to mend the imperfection and keep the original slab. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”
Tips from Elana
Worth The Splurge: “Opt for custom pieces made from reclaimed material instead of prefabricated pieces.”
Shop around Town: “Seek out recycled materials or reclaimed/second-hand materials. We opted to adorn our open shelving with thrifted pieces from around the island instead of buying new.”
The Art of the Display: “We have glass jars for all of our pantry items that we buy in bulk–you can bring your own container to fill and avoid any wasteful packaging.”
Tile’s Bright Future
These tiles all meet a standard of sustainability such as longevity, manufacturing, or materials.