The Concept of Circular Design in Kitchen and Bath Projects

Published: April 12, 2023

This article was originally posted April 12, 2023; it was updated April 25, 2023.

On this week’s From the Tap podcast, I spoke with Laurence Carr, whose New York City-based eponymous design firm blends beauty, function and sustainability in its projects. We talked about circular design in our industry and how it relates to kitchen and bath projects.

She started by telling us the definition of a circular economy, which aims to eliminate waste and pollution by changing several things, including how we make new products and materials. In this circular model, they have a closed-loop lifecycle, meaning they are reused, recycled and/or upcycled into new products and materials.

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For Carr, environmental and personal wellness have always been important, as she grew up with that mindset. Since then, she has learned the negative impact the built environment has had on our planet. Our industry, in particular, needs to take responsibility for this impact, and the designer shared some ways to do so when creating or renovating residential kitchens and baths. In both spaces, it is commonplace for her firm to include elements that are better for the environment and that can improve human wellness.

In the bath, Carr proposes hydronic gradient heated flooring because it is more energy efficient than forced air and keeps the air cleaner. She also noted some high-quality alternatives for countertops, tile and flooring that are more sustainable than common raw materials.

In the kitchen, the designer pushes for smart technology that can control appliances, lighting and window treatments. She says this makes a dramatic difference in energy usage and adds to personal convenience. She also noted certain kitchen and bath brands with sustainable commitments.

In terms of her clients, Carr says she is not shy about educating them on why her firm chooses healthy materials and sustainable brands. Designing a More Circular Future is trademarked on her website, and she hosts the “Chez Laurence” EarthXTV series, which is all about the concept of circular design.

For more advice from Carr on creating circular design in your clients’ kitchens and baths and to hear her ideas on getting their buy-in, watch the full video above or listen to the podcast on SpotifyGoogle PodcastsApple PodcastsPandora and other outlets.

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