High Ridge Ranch - Burleson Design Group, the Hill Country Architect


By Mary Webb.

Photography by Cole Hairston.

Walls lined with recycled wood from old barns help create a farmhouse-style kitchen.

Environmentally friendly choices for the kitchen encompass the use of wood from sustainably grown and harvest species of trees, as well as products and components manufactured using energy-efficient, non-toxic materials and methods.

Another option - reclaiming old wood - was incorporated into a kitchen designed by architect Rick Burleson.  The owners wanted their new home to be built using sustainable principles and they loved the look and effect of the recycled barn wood, which has been used to line the walls throughout the kitchen and living area.  This salvaged material, which is more than 100 years old, is available in a wide variety of colors.  Before use the timber is washed, leaving an uneven coating of the original paint color.  For this kitchen, the owners chose boards in a muted shade of red.

In contrast to the rich, strong wall linings, cabinetry in the kitchen is made from untreated alder, a sustainably grown wood.  Doors and drawers are paneled, in keeping with the farmhouse style of the room.  Limestone, which is naturally occurring stone in this region, was used for the columns on the corners of the island.

The walk-in pantry is behind an old screen door found at a local flea market.  To keep the pantry cool and utilize the natural light, it has no ceiling of its own, but is open to the vaulted kitchen ceiling.  Stained concrete provides a sustainable, structural, and practical floor finish.

"Where possible, we have incorporated local materials in the kitchen," says the architect.

"Another part of sustainability is the efficient use of space," he says.  "So we have designed the kitchen in an alcove at one end of the great room, with an island separating the two areas.  This means that if an extra countertop is needed in the kitchen, someone can work on the other side of the island, and effectively borrow space from the great room."

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