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Sunflower | Kitchen Remodel

My client, new to Santa Fe, enlisted me to provide design direction and manage their project as a contractor liaison. It was imperative that I be able to support their commitment toward a non-toxic remodel process and home. They requested that all materials used during the process be:


  • Free of chemical additives, with low to zero off-gassing properties

  • Unscented

  • Sustainably sourced


Creating a Cleaner Indoor Environment


We began by meeting with a home environment consultant to establish all of the important parameters that must be taken into account when selecting products. Then I launched into a period of extensive research, compiling material and product recommendations for my clients that worked within the parameters we’d established with the consultant.


Throughout the project I oversaw the budget, managed timelines, communicated with both vendors and skilled laborers; all while troubleshooting any issues that arose. As this project occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic, an extra amount of vigilance, flexibility and creative sourcing was necessary to maintain timelines and stay within budget.

Sustainably Refreshing the Open Concept Kitchen


The nearly 30-year-old home was outdated, and the open concept kitchen needed significant improvements. To begin with, the existing Saltillo tiles were showing extensive wear and tear, so we replaced them with natural hardwood flooring. In order to do so, we had to ensure that the subfloor, underlayment, adhesives, and even the cleaning products used, met stringent low/no VOC requirements.


The kitchen cabinets were also showing their age. We repaired them and gave them a facelift using Zero VOC primer and paint. This approach was both economical and timely when compared with fabricating and installing all new cabinetry, and the selected color coordinated beautifully with the existing decorative wall tiles.


The open concept dining area on the other side of the large room was visually tied to the kitchen by painting the wood trim around the kiva-style fireplace to match the blue cabinets—creating a much more cohesive feeling to the space. We added new lighting through-out the room and removed a low-hanging pot rack above the island which was obstructing the sight lines between the kitchen and dining room.


Finally, for sanitary reasons, the island's butcher block countertop was replaced with quartz, as was the old sink and faucet.

Efficiently Dealing with Past Damage


Due to past water damage in some of the rooms, we hired a remediation company to ensure all signs of moisture were properly eliminated. This required that the home be entirely repainted, and we had to update the vanity cabinetry in three bathrooms—carefully coordinating the color selection to the existing tile work. New window treatments, and the installation of natural fiber carpeting in the bedrooms and office, helped create a feeling of freshness and cohesion throughout the house.


Finished On Time (Even in a Pandemic)


As was so common during the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chain issues proved problematic. So, we sourced furniture from local consignment shops to avoid excessive manufacturing timelines, and we were flexible in scheduling subcontractors when appliances were delayed (and arrived at different times).


It was a great day when everything had finally arrived and was in place so that we could install my client’s beloved art collection. In the end we were still able to have everything in place and ready for use by the holidays, keeping closely to our 90-day project timeline.

Before Remodel
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