Hard at Work
For the household appliances, Kearney took to Miele's environmental philosophy. The company's energy-saving dishwasher cuts down on the amount of water and detergents used. It's also mostly made with metal for easy recycling -- although that won't be necessary for a while. Each of Miele's appliances, including the family's oven and food warmer, is designed to last at least 20 years.
All of the wheatboard cabinets with wood veneers were custom-designed to keep clutter (and the recycling bins) out of sight, a principal concept in feng shui. And since the owners are 5-foot-11 and 6-foot-5, they designed the countertops taller than normal to increase the ergonomics of the room. "People told us not to do this because it would affect the sellability of the house," Kearney explains. "But we tempered it for who we are, our idiosyncrasies, and our lifestyle. And that's what makes this house comfortable."
Kearney couldn't find nontoxic fabric shades. In the kitchen, she opted for ones made of bamboo, reed, and grass from Hunter Douglas.