Photos by Darren S Higgins, DH Photography
ALAN ABRAMS HAS been building green for decades, starting with a modest adobe he built by hand in New Mexico. The motto of his Maryland-based company, Abrams Design Build, is “sustainable design for intentional living.”
Abrams likes to test green in his own kitchens, including his Sligo Creek Hills condo. He took the room down to the studs and removed the wall between kitchen and dining room, creating a pass-through and bar. All the original materials from this “total gut job” were donated to the Rebuild Warehouse. Then he built his new kitchen back up. Through a creative combination of salvaged materials and carefully specified new ones, he created a warm, eclectic look that complements the rest of the condo. Abrams chose a minimal number of new cabinets, and fleshed out the storage with recycled-wood open shelving and IKEA hanging bars. The Executive cabinets are GreenGuard- and FSC-certified; they contain no particleboard, and the adhesives and water-based finish contain no VOCs. Energy-efficient lighting and appliances round out the choices that help Abrams’s new kitchen meet even his own high standards for sustainability. The refrigerator is Kenmore’s most efficient. Abrams bypassed models with exterior ice and water dispensers, calling them “energy hogs.” He chose a Capital range (with no “vampire” electronic module to suck energy), and a passive hood that works by convection—no fan required. The Bosch dishwasher is one of the quietest, most water-efficient available, and the Moen faucet is WaterSense-certified.