In pursuing his first LEED-certified home, some kitchen choices were obvious for designer Phil Kean. Those included 100 percent recycled drywall, Energy Star appliances, an electric induction cooktop, and rapidly renewable bamboo flooring and siding.

But Kean and company also took other inventive measures to keep it green. They specified custom cabinetry made from low-formaldehyde plywood with low-VOC stains, and they had it made locally to eliminate excess emissions from shipping. “Green was our top priority; it governed every choice we made,” Kean says.

The result is a space that feels modern and natural at the same time. Dark-stained cabinets provide high contrast against white countertops and stainless steel. But the effect is then softened with natural honey-blonde bamboo flooring, which extends onto the island, giving the island the appearance of “growing out of the floor,” Kean says. Green never looked so good.

Entrant/Builder/Designer: Phil Kean Designs, Winter Park, Fla.; Interior designer: CRT Studio, Winter Park