A Chef's Green & Serene Kitchen

A Chef's Green & Serene Kitchen

Name: Kim & Joe Decker (executive chef of Wildfire Restaurant)
Location: Wilmette, Illinois
Years lived in: 12 Years Owned
Who else lives here: 2 kids

Designed for a local executive chef and his family of four, this kitchen was intended to be a true chef's kitchen – but rather than be flashy, the space was to be green and serene. The back of the house is now flooded with natural light, the room dotted with natural materials and there are fun rustic highlights such as a reclaimed barn door, antique furniture and a wood burning pizza oven.

The Decker's needed something more and hired architecture firm, Nathan Kipnis Architects, to create an eco-friendly addition. The existing kitchen was too small, and did not provide an 'eat-in' area, therefore, the kitchen was expanded longways towards the backyard, continuing the existing central hallway, with a built-in desk terminating the end of the hallway. Space for high-end and commercial grade appliances was provided, including the chef's must have indulgence, a Woodstone wood burning bake oven (that makes great pizzas!). An octagonal breakfast room extends off the kitchen providing both an open view to the kitchen as well as a clear view of the backyard where the family plays ice hockey during the winter. Lastly the exterior was entirely re-sheathed with new fiber cement siding and trim, roofing, chimney stone veneer and the rear and side decks were rebuilt in with beautiful and durable Ipe wood.

Significant green elements include the replacement of all existing down lights with LED bulbs, concrete counter tops in both the office nook and kitchen, eco-friendly Neil Kelly Cabinets, high efficiency windows, non-toxic paints and finishes, American Barn Company sliding door and reclaimed wood column, antique and salvaged furniture, a white 'cool roof' at the addition, foam and rockwool insulation, and cement fiberboard siding.

AT Survey:

Our style: Eclectic, simple and casual.

Inspiration: Belgium style with a little ethnic flea market thrown in and natural colors.

Favorite Element: The coziness and brightness of the breakfast room, the cubbies in the mudroom, having a pantry and the sliding barn doors.

Favorite Green Element: The connection between the countertops and the brick wood burning oven surround. Also, the sliding barn door and salvaged barn wood wrapped column.

Biggest Challenge: Getting the wood countertop installed correctly! Also, never enough room for all of our books, and no one good space for our piano.

What Friends Say: They love how comfortable it is, and they love the wood burning oven.

Biggest Embarrassment: A room on the second floor!

Proudest DIY: Installing the ice rink in the backyard.

Biggest Indulgence: When we find something we like, we find a way to get it &mdash we're not good at comprimising on furniture or accessories.

Inspiration: Magazines and books.

Dream Source: Parisian flea markets.

Future Goals: Organize the garage and enjoy our new space.

Advice You'd Give Someone Who Wants to Green Their Home: Do your research, give yourself enough time to exhaust all possibilities and leads. New items are constantly being introduced.


Appliances: Wolf oven, SubZero refrigerator, WoodStone wood burning oven, Bosch dishwasher, Sharp microwave drawer

Furniture: Lucca Antiques, Michael Del Piero, Restoration Hardware, antique stores, Crate and Barrel, Keith Decker Furniture, Sawbridge Studios

Plumbing Fixtures: Shaws Fireclay Sink, Shaws/Rohl Faucets

Tile, Countertops & Cabinetry: Fireclay Tiles, Squak Mountain Stone countertops, Walnut Countertops, CaesarStone coutnertops, reclaimed brick tiles and Neil Kelly Cabinets.

Accessories: Old mercury bottles, vintage glass bottles, Simon Pearce vases & candle holders.

Lighting: Cree LED lights, 2Modern pendants, Michael Del Piero chandelier

Rugs and Carpets: Rouzati Oriental Rugs

Paint: C2 LoVo paints

Flooring: Oak strip flooring, recycled content Porcelain tile

(Thanks, Kim & Joe!)

Interested in sharing your home with Re-Nest? Contact our editors through our Green Tour Submission Form.

(Images: Rachel Wray)

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