Alure Home Improvements’ showroom has Long Island, N.Y.’s first green kitchen display. Alure designers deliberately chose a traditional look for the 12-foot-by-10-foot L-shaped kitchen in the company’s showroom: raised-panel cabinet doors finished in antique white and an elaborate decorative rangehood. “People think green has to be modern,” says Alure’s custom kitchen and bath designer Chris Zappala. “We did [this] to show green can fit in anywhere.”
The kitchen display components were chosen based on specific green attributes (see “Evaluating Green” below). Alure wanted to position itself as being at the forefront of trends while still being appealing and relevant to its clients. “More people are inquiring, but some don’t want an entirely green kitchen,” Zappala says. “They may just want an alternative to cabinets or countertops. Our job is to know what is out there.”
Designers taking visitors on a tour of the showroom always point out the green kitchen display. “Some [clients] find it fascinating,” Zappala says. “For others, it’s not their cup of tea. We gauge their response and find where their interest lies.”
The green area also includes a more modern green kitchen vignette with bamboo cabinets and a quartz countertop. “We want to show the diversity of what green can be,” Zappala says. A nearby bathroom display has a dual-flush toilet, a WaterSense faucet, and some touch-control faucets that help to conserve water.
The designers at Alure host seminars for homeowners, and Zappala uses his classes on kitchens and green products to educate homeowners about sustainable alternatives. “The main thing with green is that it has to fit in with people’s natural way of living,” Zappala says. “They don’t want to compromise. If they have to compromise, they won’t make the switch.”
—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.