Home » This sustainable kitchen remodel maximizes efficiency


A Mar Vista kitchen remodel by Sato Architects is showing how even tiny post-war tract houses can be made sustainable. The original 1,000-square-foot house home had never been renovated or updated. With a limited budget, Sato Architects transformed the kitchen by adding just 75 square feet and reconfiguring the nearby dining room and living room into an open concept floor plan. The completed renovation features all new finishes and appliances.

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The idea was simple but ambitious — create a new floorplan for the main living area and build a sustainable new kitchen all while employing best practices to reduce the remodel’s environmental impact. To achieve this, materials were donated and reused as much as possible, and new finishes were selected for their sustainable attributes.

Related: Pixie Retreat: Behind the scenes in a raw commercial kitchen

Two images of a home exterior.

Rapidly renewable materials such as bamboo, cork, and Kirei board were used throughout the project. Salvaged Kirei board makes up several accents and the locally-made cabinets. Meanwhile, the flooring features cork and bamboo. Each material’s durability and recycled content factored into decision-making.

Left, a kitchen remodel showing two counters on either side of a fridge. Right, a kitchen remodel showing two counters on either side of a doorway.

To conserve energy, windows and doors were replaced with dual-paned low-E glazing. With a small budget, the architects focused on areas with maximum environmental impact. Appliances and heating systems were also selected for efficiency, and LED lighting was installed. Richlite cladding made of recycled paper and resin on the exterior and high R-value insulation contribute to the project’s energy efficiency.

Outside a kitchen remodel showing wood floors and stools at a bar.

The adjoining deck connects to overhangs to reduce solar gain, and the garden outside is all drought-resistant or edible. Each thoughtful feature pulls its weight as part of this remodel.

Two images showing a garden outside the home by the kitchen.

Thinking about a sustainable renovation project of your own? Use the Mar Vista project as inspiration for creating a more eco-conscious space with efficient appliances, sustainable building materials and minimal environmental impact.

Explore more about this project via Sato Architects. Additional images are also featured on Dwell.

+ Sato Architects

Via Dwell

Photography by Brandon Shigeta



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