Amy Bartlam / Kate Lester Interiors
A 1,100-pound, two-inch thick marble countertop surrounded by custom-made cabinets and all of the top appliances is the epitome of a luxury kitchen. But what happens to those sparkling appliances and meticulously crafted cabinets when multi-million-dollar homes get demolished or remodeled? That’s where Steve Feldman, founder of Renovation Angel, comes in.
“We're kind of like the Robin Hood of the kitchen world, we take these gorgeous kitchens that would end up in the dumpster and we make them available to the general public."
Interior Designer: Alisha Taylor Interiors Photography: Joshua Caldwell Architectural Designer & General Contractor: Andreen Group
“When I think about what happens to the kitchens, I talk about the three D’s,” says Feldman. “It’s the dumpster, which everybody knows about. It’s the devalue, where maybe your real estate agent says, ‘oh I’ll take that kitchen off your hands for $1,000 or you want to just give it to me’ and the homeowner doesn’t want it to go in the landfill so they say, ‘OK you can have it,’ and the third thing, which nobody talks about, is disappear.”
Feldman first became aware of the waste of high-end kitchens while fundraising for charity after leaving his 18-year career in radio. He found a wealthy donor to support his cause in Greenwich, Connecticut, but after she lost millions in the 2001 stock market crash, he looked for new donors in her area.
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Courtesy of Renovation Angel
“It’s Greenwich, so her next-door neighbor was the queen of Iran,” Feldman says. “I see a sign in the queen’s driveway that says demolition in progress, so I drive up to this 10,000 square foot Rockefeller mansion, and it’s gone.”
“That’s when I had the idea to earn the money for charity rather than to ask for it, by selling the kitchens, the fixtures, the appliances and the furniture that would be donated out of demolished mansions,” Feldman says.
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A real estate agent heard about Feldman’s idea and shared it with the Greenwich Time newspaper, leading to an article on his idea published in October 2001. Shortly after, he got 36 phone calls from architects, builders, designers and even hedge fund managers, who said he could come to their mansion and take pieces.
In turn, the mansion owners receive a tax deduction and free white glove labor. By 2005, Feldman was working full-time for his venture Green Demolitions, now called Renovation Angel.
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His goal with Renovation Angel is to reduce landfill waste, create new recycling jobs and to repurpose kitchens and interiors.
Elena Elisseeva / Shutterstock
“We’re kind of like the Robin Hood of the kitchen world, we take these gorgeous kitchens that would end up in the dumpster and we make them available to the general public and our luxury outlet ships nationwide,” Feldman says.
His goal with Renovation Angel is to reduce landfill waste, create new recycling jobs and to repurpose kitchens and interiors. He also kept an emphasis on his passion of charity.
Amy Bartlam / Kate Lester Interiors
“I’m a recovered addict, so we have given money to addiction recovery charities,” Feldman says. “We’ve supported charities that help foster children, educational charities, we’ve done some funding here in Scottsdale for Foothills Animal Rescue, we’ve funded designs for Designs for Dignity in Chicago.”
Interested in getting involved? Visit the Renovation Angel website to see if your kitchen qualifies to be donated.
“Our team will be back in 48 hours to say, ‘yes this is a project we’re interested in,’ or ‘no, unfortunately this kitchen doesn’t qualify,” says Feldman. “If the kitchen does qualify, we created a recycle and rebate program with Miele.”
“That means in addition to the $10,000 to $50,000 of tax and removal savings you get through Renovation Angel, Miele will give you an additional 10 percent a-la-cart on any new Miele appliance you buy if your qualified kitchen gets recycled by Renovation Angel,” he says.
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