Recycled Home Products

Little to no maintenance required

Photography by Mara Kuhn and courtesy of Sandy Sutton

Photography by Mara Kuhn and courtesy of Sandy Sutton

Dear Sandy,

My husband and I plan to do some updating on our kitchen this spring and we have become confused about a couple of products that we are hearing about for countertops.

Most of the homes I go in have beautiful granite tops and some even have marble tops, but we have seen another kind of granite on these home improvement TV shows that has us wondering if this is the way to go. It looks like this is just laid down on whatever surface you already have; is that right?

Also, we want to focus on Arkansas services and reclaimed products that are good for our environment (we are huge Leo DiCaprio fans!).

Other than countertops, what products do you use that are good for our environment?

And please make sure to give us a Spring-themed recipe for us to make when this is all said and done. I appreciate your work and always enjoy your articles and the recipes.


Dear Lisa,

You guys are like so many right now, wanting to get started on spring cleaning and spring projects of all kinds. We are currently very busy helping a lot of people get organized and get their projects on schedule.

I am happy that you want to use Arkansas services. It is very important to me that we focus on this as much as possible and we have a tremendous amount of talent in our state.

Let’s talk about countertops first. I actually just installed a new counter at the Arkansas Symphony Designer House in the wet bar area and it is totally gorgeous! I contacted Granite Transformation owner Paul Kroger to do the work.

The bar area was seamless — I mean, literally, no seams. With this product you can do up to a 4-foot-wide by 10-foot-long piece before having a seam.

FittingProcessThe new top was installed directly over the old tile countertops. This way you avoid the tear out and all the dust and mess that comes with that, and it was 100 percent recycled beer bottles. How appropriate for a bar!

The beauty is there and it has a lifetime warranty so you are sure to enjoy the ease of maintenance (none). It is nonstaining and non-porous and has a lot of colors and patterns.

I use this product also in bathroom transformations — showers and tub area, as well as countertops.

Another great product that I suggest is here locally at CJ Horner Co. and that is the Anderson window with the recycled frame made of reclaimed wood fiber and PVC polymer that is fused together. Rich Horner introduced me to these beautiful and efficient windows and has given me the materials to share with my clients.

These windows are not only beautiful but they block thermal transfer neatly 700 times better than aluminum to help reduce heating and cooling bills and, since it does not use wood preservative treatments, it reduces VOC emissions and will not fade or blister. These windows resist rot and decay, which means no maintenance in the future.

These products are an investment, but if you choose wisely you will bring not only beauty and function to your home but returns on your investments.

Now that I have shared two of my favorite products I will share an incredibly delicious Springtime Salad that will please everyone.

I don’t have precise amounts for the salad; I judge by the number I am feeding.ASK THE DESIGNER
• Halved red and yellow cherry tomatoes

• Fresh green beans, snapped into bite- size pieces
• Pickled red onion slices
• Arugula

• Ricotta cheese
• Salt & pepper
• Olive oil
• 1/2 cup pine nuts
• 1 cup fresh basil leaves
• 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

In a bowl, make a mixture of the halved red and yellow cherry tomatoes, fresh green beans, snapped into bite-size pieces, pickled red onion slices and arugula.

In a food processor, blend a tub of ricotta cheese with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil to thin it a little. Spread on platter or serving piece in the middle.

Toast 1/2 cup pine nuts in oven
In processor, add one cup fresh basil leaves, 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, salt and crushed red pepper to taste, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Blend until smooth.
Toss the salad ingredients and pile on top of the ricotta cheese mixture. Drizzle with dressing and top with the pine nuts.

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