One Great Room

By Carol Tisch Photography by Lori Sax & Greg Wilson April 1, 2009

Green Cuisine 


When they purchased a dated, 1950s Forest Lake ranch house two years ago, Patricia and Barron Schimberg decided they would transform the place into a dramatic testimonial to contemporary green design. They whipped up a handsome kitchen that lives up to that vision. Patricia, an interior designer and owner of Morrison Design, and Barron, an architect and principal of The Schimberg Group, did not want a new home because of their commitment to sustainability.

"We were drawn to the community because of its spacious lots and to the house because of its modern lines," Patricia explains. "The concept for the home is open plan; the kitchen is very visible, so we wanted it to be beautiful in its simplicity yet practical enough for our two young boys."

Schimberg salvaged the kitchen’s original cabinet boxing and oak floors but used state-of-the-art sustainable cabinet facing materials, stains and durable commercial-grade products with low environmental impact. Though the kitchen represents Patricia’s artistic vision, both she and Barron share the cooking. "My husband thinks he’s a better chef, and I’ll leave it at that," she jokes. "I’m grateful that he does cook, and that’s all I’m going to say."

Bar stools, 1,

from Casa Italia at the International Design Center in Estero, are sturdy, kid-climbable, and covered with commercial-grade leather that’s tough enough to hold up to extreme wear. Appliances inherited from the home’s previous owners were replaced with energy-efficient fixtures, 2, by Wolf, Sub-Zero and Miele, the stainless steel repeated in artist Michael Aram’s sleek drawer pulls, 3. Warm oak cabinets, 4, use certified green wood doors, no VOC stains, and upper door insets of Designtex’s recycled resin panels, all installed by Quality Cabinet Recovering over original cabinet boxing. Dramatic oversized pendant lights, 5, from Bee Ridge Lighting use aluminum (from recycled stainless steel) formed into slats to create an interesting lantern effect around tubular frosted glass. The Schimbergs considered more interesting and greener options for countertops, but ultimately nothing proved as practical and durable as granite, 6, in Colonial Gold, given a new look with overall honed finish. The kitchen’s primary splash of color is the vibrant over-the-sink backsplash, 7, of recycled glass subway tile by Mirage in a unique palette of reds and earthy browns, from Tile & Stone Collection.

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