Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Kitchens For Busy Families: Black Stainless Steel

  KitchenAid recently introduced the first ever black stainless steel appliances! Black stainless steel makes a bold addition to any kitchen. The soft, brushed metal of the black stainless is offset by chrome details and satin-textured handles. The premium color of KitchenAid appliances is stated to be a softer, warmer alternative to traditional stainless steel. Designed to blend with other black and stainless appliances, it makes a bold statement and complements the kitchen design.
KitchenAid.com
  KitchenAid offers a PrintShield™ Finish that resists fingerprints and smudges, your appliances will stay as stunning as ever. LG quickly followed suit and is offering a black stainless that is coated with a darker hue and topped with a protective coating, the LG Black Stainless Steel Series makes every appliance fingerprint and smudge resistant. A dry cloth is all it takes to bring back its original luster. 
LG Black Stainles  
   Black stainless makes a great option for busy families who want a more contemporary look than black or white, with less maintenance than stainless steel.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Is Now The Time To Refinance For Remodeling?


   World events rattled the markets last month and interest rates dropped noticeably. In the last few weeks, Zillow reported a 132% surge in refinance requests through its online mortgage marketplace, while the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly measure of application volume showed the highest level of refinance applications since January of 2015.

   Refinancing can be a way to cut monthly payments, if rates fall considerably below a homeowner’s original mortgage rate. It can also help in other ways, enabling homeowners to pay down debt more quickly on a shorter-term loan or tap into equity for home improvements and other needs. And available equity has grown in recent years, thanks to rising home values.

  Homeowners who have been dragging their feet about refinancing still have time to act. Zillow experts predict that rates will likely stay below 4 percent for the remainder of the year. And according to the most recent consumer credit access survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the rejection rate on refinance applications has dropped in the last year, indicating that credit is easier to get.

  Could this be the right time for you to refinance and use some home equity to put towards renovations


   According to the New York Times recent article, Astrid Hanenkamp, 45, was pleasantly surprised to find that she could do significantly better than the 4 percent fixed-rate mortgage she carried on her two-bedroom co-op in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of West Harlem. After making a casual inquiry with Jordan Roth, a vice president of Guardhill Financial Corporation in Manhattan, who helped with her purchase loan in 2012, Ms. Hanenkamp, a fashion designer, is planning to close on a refinancing next month with another 30-year mortgage, at a rate of 3.375 percent. Even after taking out a little cash from her equity for a bathroom remodel, she expects her monthly payment to drop from about $1,100 to around $980.

   Talk to your preferred mortgage professional or have a look at AK's home improvement loan information to make your first step towards refreshing your home!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Enough Already! Alternatives To "Spa" Bathroom Remodels

   
The closet doors that once hung in the Old Executive Office Building were originally all wood-paneled. But DC native Darryl Carter replaced some panels with glass so he could reference his wardrobe more easily. Photos of Carter's home by Christopher Shane.
The closet doors that once hung in the Old Executive Office Building were originally all wood-paneled. But DC native Darryl Carter replaced some panels with glass so he could reference his wardrobe more easily. Photos of Carter's home by Christopher Shane.
Vintage Showpiece
master bathroom
The entire second floor consists of a master suite- bedroom, sitting room, and bathroom- that ends in this airy soaking room overlooking Rock Creek Park.
master bathroom
Carter built the niche in his shower hoping to find the right sculpture. He already owned the marble horse—one day, it dawned on him that it was perfect for this pedestal.
master bathroom
Bringing a piece of furniture, like this secretary desk and chair, into a bathroom warms up the space. Photo by Christopher Shane.
master bathroom
Carter’s gas fireplace keeps bath time toasty and the setting regal.

Feminine, Not Fussy
master bathroom
Shine on: The antiqued-gold mirrors are by Uttermost, the sconces by Hudson Valley Lighting. Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg/Case Design Remodeling.
master bathroom
Soak it up: The freestanding bathtub is “Amiata” by the British manufacturer Victoria & Albert. Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg/Case Design Remodeling.

Clean Living
master bathroom
Pianura’s minimalist wall-mounted bathroom systems, such as the one in this Reston bathroom, feature built-in lighting as well as cabinet doors that revolve 180 degrees to maximize storage space. Photo by Angie Seckinger/Boffi Georgetown.

  Are you dreaming of a remodeled bathroom like these? From classical to modern, Mediterranean to rustic - when selecting the feel of your new bathroom the options are endless. Even if you think your update is a simple one, a design professional from AK with 20 years of experience can help you plan and complete your project most effectively. In conjunction with our vendors and partners your bathroom remodel can be addressed in a turn-key fashion. AK Atlanta Bathroom Design

 Images: May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Atlanta Remodeling Trends: Paradigm Shifters

"Trends" is a common keyword searched online; when it comes to remodeling and home design, many trends come and go. There are also new ideas and advancements in home design that are called a trend when they first emerge, but in reality, they are ideas or materials that shift the industry as a whole! These so-called trends are so much more lasting and significant. These can impact your quality of life, comfort and health. These are trends we want to look at today...

Trend No. 1: Technology Integration And Automation

You’re probably seeing this trend almost everywhere in your life right now. Your phone syncs
There are many home automation options on the market now
automatically with your car to play music through its speakers and take calls hand-free. You scan your energy bar’s wrapper into your fitness app to add its calories, protein and carbs to your daily counts. You watch TV on your tablet while riding in an Uber car that you summoned with it, too.

It’s not surprising that this digital integration and automation trend has extended into the remodeling realm. There are ovens that are controlled remotely from your phone, outlets that include USB ports along with standard electrical receptacles, countertops and medicine cabinets with built-in chargers, home security systems and much more Jetsonian excitement to come. 

Some of this isn’t really new. Home automation has been around for a while, but it is now becoming far more mainstream and user friendly. Image courtesy of myenergymonster.com


Trend No. 2: Healthy Home Living

How many times in the last 24 hours have you heard the term "Clean Living?" Beyond just the food
Alpharetta Master Bath Remodel
we eat, healthy living is ranked as one of the major remodeling goals of millennial parents in a recent survey. This has spurred the growth of products like hands-free faucets and toilet flushing, steam ovens and steam showers.

All of these innovations are aimed at taking the best care possible of yourself and your family. Stress management is part of that equation for many, and the reason why amenities like steam showers are experiencing double-digit growth. And there's nothing like a functional, organized home to reduce it's owners' stress; this is one of the major reasons we hear from our Atlanta remodeling clients as to why they want to renovate!

The focus extends beyond products into space planning and design. There has been growth in home fitness rooms, wellness centers to accommodate medicine and vitamins in the kitchen or bath, a major emphasis on spa-style master baths and an overall focus on using materials that are less toxic for humans and pets alike. Healthy living trends are likely to expand as more millennials become homeowners.




http://www.akatlanta.com/upload//GreenKitchenArticle.jpg
Trend No. 3: Sustainability

Here's another word we hear a lot these days! There is a strong connection between the healthy living and sustainability trends. There are also overlapping benefits. If, for example, the paint you use is healthier to breathe, it’s also healthier for the planet. Hands-free faucets reduce the spread of germs in your kitchen and bathrooms.

AK offers a line of FSC Certified cabinetry, we've used sustainable materials like concrete and recycled glass on kitchen countertops and we help our clients design kitchens that make recycling and even composting easier!



Trend No. 4: User-Centric Design

Perhaps it’s our smart phones and tablets spoiling us into wanting every area of our life to be personalized and user-friendly. This has certainly been the approach to home technology. Just about every control pad you operate today — whether it’s cooking or showering — has been influenced by Silicon Valley to be friendly and customizable. 

User-focused design extends into many other trends as well. For example, aging in place and accessibility are becoming must-haves for many.

The user-focused trend also shows up in the growth of low-maintenance materials. Engineered stone tops that are easy to clean and never need to be sealed have become the most popular in the industry, surpassing granite in designer surveys. There are faucets with spot-resistant finishes, upholstery fabrics and carpets with ever-stronger stain resistance and self-cleaning toilets. User-focused equals convenience for time-challenged homeowners.

Trend No. 5: Contemporary And Minimal
Alpharetta Family Room Remodel

Low maintenance carries into unfussy styles that not only look cleaner but are actually easier to keep clean. Sleek cabinet fronts without elaborate molding or heavy hardware look more contemporary and fit better into modern multitasking lives. Contemporary is the dominant style being uploaded by designers online.


  What’s really most important in remodeling your Atlanta area home is not incorporating the latest trends; it’s choosing those that fit how you and your household live. This is why AK takes the time to learn about your goals for your renovations! The best investments are those that fit with your lifestyle, home, neighborhood and budget. The good news is that there are so many more great options to choose from today.







Get More Information About Kitchen Remodeling And AK Complete Home Renovations
         




Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ready To Remodel Your Bathroom?

 When you're ready to remodel your bathroom consider these tips from Consumer Reports: seven bathroom design upgrades that'll make you happy, and seven you may regret.

An expertly remodeled master bathroom will provide years of pleasure and comfort. But do an amateur job and you’ll be reminded of the fact every day. It’s a tricky space, unfortunately, with lots of moving parts crammed into a tight footprint, not to mention the volumes of water ready to exploit any and all leaks. Setting a budget and planning ahead are two ways to keep your project on track. (See Bathroom remodeling trends and costs.) And also take care to choose the best sink, countertop and toilet for your space. The following list of dos and don’ts will help you master the remodel, whether you do the work yourself or a hire it out.

Seven good ideas

When you’re investing in a home remodeling project, you want to make sure that the results not only please you but add value to your home and save you money on energy and water as well. These seven steps will help you take advantage of the latest design trends, technologies and products.  

Budget for the unexpected
Hidden water damage is a common problem in bathrooms, whether from a leaky shower pan or Mother Hubbard's Custom Cabinetry in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Other issues are truly hidden, for example a vent stack inside a wall that you thought you were going to knock down.

An experienced contractor will do exploratory work early in the project to sniff out as many issues as possible. “In the case of the vent stack, we’ll investigate above the bathroom to see the pipe coming up through the house,” says Petrie. But contractors can’t see through walls, so don’t expect them to catch every possible pitfall. That’s why it’s important to build a 10 to 15 percent cushion into your budget. If nothing goes wrong, you’ll have a nice little windfall.
Atlanta Bath Remodel
running toilet. “If the floor feels spongy, that’s a sign of serious water damage,” says John Petrie, owner of

Hide the toilet
A master bath that’s stylish and functional can also be discreet. That’s why it’s nice to hide this fixture away, either in its own “room-within-the-room” or behind a half wall. A piece of furniture—an armoire or dresser, say—can create the necessary barrier without the expense of a framed wall.

Do choose appropriate surfaces
Your master bathroom’s surfaces do more than just contribute to the overall aesthetic. They also take lots of abuse. Porcelain tile is a favorite among designers, for use on the floors and walls alike. “You can find some versions in the $5 per square foot range that look like natural stone,” says Petrie. He recommends larger tile sizes to minimize grout lines, easing the upkeep. That might mean 18-by-18-inch tile on the floors and 12-by-12-inch on some or all of the walls, perhaps transitioning to 6-by-6 tiles on the diagonal with a glass mosaic transition strip.

Porcelain is also a popular option for bathroom sinks, though it proved prone to chipping in our tests. Enamel-on-steel sinks were especially durable and stain-resistant, as were stainless steel sinks, which are becoming more popular for use in bathrooms. Solid-surface sinks are another durable option that allows the sink to be integrated with the vanity countertop and, if you like, the adjoining cove or backsplash.

When it comes to the countertop, granite and quartz have migrated from the kitchen into the bathroom, where they deliver the same durability and visual interest. Laminate and solid surface are still popular as well, and can be cost-effective options, though both scratch easily.

Splurge on the shower
The empire of the Roman tub is officially over. “People started to realize that they could count on one hand how many times they actually used the tub,” says Petrie. “We’re now using that space to create larger showers, often with his and her showerheads, body sprays, and even steam generators.”

To create this sensual experience, you’ll need a shower stall that measures at least 4-by-6-feet, larger than the 3-by-3-feet box that used to be standard. If you can take the stall up to 5-by-7-feet, you may also be able to do away with the door, since the showerhead(s) can be directed in a way that the spray doesn’t reach beyond the shower area (an L-shaped design is helpful). This will eliminate a sizable expense, especially if you were planning on a frameless door, which can be pricey. One caveat: Don’t eliminate the bathtub if there aren’t any other bathrooms in the house with a tub.


Consider water efficiency
Showerheads, toilets, and faucets have all become more water-efficient in recent years, thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency’s voluntary WaterSense program, which labels products that are 20 percent more efficient than federal standards. Our tests have found many WaterSense winners, including low-flow showerheads that deliver a satisfying pulse while meeting the flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute. “You can even have a rain showerhead these days that’s low-flow,” says Petrie.

As for toilets, several WaterSense-qualified models that use just 1.28 gallons per flush make the recommended list of our latest toilet Ratings. That could save the average family of four 16,000 gallons of water and more than $100 per year if they’re replacing older, inefficient toilets, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Choosing a faucet with an aerator can reduce the water flow in your bathroom sink by 30 percent or more.

Make room on the vanity
Since grooming is the main task at the vanity, it’s important to have plenty of surface area to put things down. While the his-and-her double sink configuration has been popular in the past, it often makes sense to have a single sink and more counter space. “Couples I work with usually realize that the second source of water is less important than the additional countertop,” says Carolyn Cheetham, president of Design Works by Cheetham in Alberta, Canada. Besides maximizing the counter space, opting for a single sink vanity saves you the expense of the second sink and faucet. And eliminating a set of plumbing expands the available storage space inside the vanity.              

Provide adequate ventilation and light
Moisture not only breeds mold and mildew, it can take a toll on finishes and painted surfaces. A bathroom fan is the best defense. Guidelines from the National Kitchen and Bath Association call for a ducted system that’s at least 50 cubic feet per minute, though you may need twice as much ventilation if the space is larger than 100 square feet or if you plan to install a steam shower. Consider a humidity-sensing unit that will automatically turn on and off depending on the amount of moisture in the air.

As for lighting, the goal is to bring different layers of illumination into the room. A ceiling fixture is suitable for general lighting, but it will cast shadows on your face when you’re seated at the vanity. That’s why you’ll also want sconces or other vertical fixtures mounted on either side of the vanity. Some medicine cabinets are available with vertical lighting strips.

The shower and toilet should also have a dedicated task light, such as a recessed canister light. Consider fixtures that use LED bulbs. Many provided bright, even illumination in our lightbulb tests with the promise of 50,000 hours, though they do cost more. Remember to put the fixtures on dimmer switches so that light levels can be adjusted depending on the mood and task at hand.

Seven costly mistakes

Avoiding these seven common goofs could save you thousands of dollars on the project, especially if you’re planning an upscale remodel. You’re also likely to enhance the comfort, style, and efficiency of the finished project.     

Don’t rush the process
Now that you’re committed to the idea of a new bathroom, you probably want it done tomorrow. But Design by Orion in Kansas City. Depending on the size and scope of your bath project, you should spend several weeks to a few months on the planning process. If you don’t have a Pinterest account yet, consider one. This website lets you keep a digital ideas file of inspiring images you find on the Internet, say for tile styles, favorite fixtures, and clever designs.

As you plan the space, try to come up with a design that keeps the major plumbing lines in place. Moving the toilet from one wall to another will mean relocating a 3-inch drain line in a home, which can cost thousands. “If you can keep the toilet, shower, and sink where they are, you’ll save significantly on the project,” says Petrie.           

poor planning is the leading cause of cost overruns on these projects. “Nothing is more expensive than doing things twice,” says Elizabeth Goltz, owner of
Don’t skimp on skilled labor
The do-it-yourself approach can be an effective way to trim costs, but it’s best to focus on the front and back ends of the project, say, ripping out the old tub during demolition and handling the finish painting. Leave the more complicated installations to professionals, ensuring they’re highly skilled. “A good tile setter can make a low-cost tile look expensive,” says Goltz. “On the flipside, you could spend a fortune on tile, and a bad tile layer will make it look cheap.”

Given how many trades are required for a typical bathroom remodel—plumbers, electricians, tile setters, cabinet installers, and more—it pays to find a top-notch general contractor to manage operations. Meet with at least three contractors, preferably those you find through word of mouth. Make sure the person you settle on has an up-to-date license and insurance, including workers’ compensation. And scrutinize the contract; it should list every product down to the model number and finish. And don’t automatically go with the lowest bid.


Don’t cut corners on key materials
Another common mistake is cheaping out on those items that get the most use. Lifetime warranties that cover leaks and stains have become more common on all but the cheapest faucets. PVD (physical vapor deposition) finishes resisted our best attempts at scratching them, but drain cleaners can stain them slightly. Chrome was also pretty durable in our tests, but can be scratched if you rub it with a heavy-duty scouring pad.

Tile is another material that you touch and feel each day. While you can find quality options for $5 per square foot, super cut-rate tiles may have slight size inconsistencies. The results will be crooked lines that make a bathroom look shoddy.

So where can you save? Light fixtures tend to perform the same across most price points—it’s the high design that costs more. You might also find that opting for a basic finish on faucets and fixtures saves you hundreds of dollars without compromising quality. And you definitely don’t need to blow your budget on a luxury toilet, like Kohler's $6,390 Numi, with its motion-activated lid and built-in bidet. Those are cool features, but toilets costing as little as $300 delivered the best flush in our tests.                                

Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
You may be the picture of good health today, but you can’t predict the future. What you can do, however, is ensure that your bathroom will serve you and your loved ones regardless of your abilities by following the basics of Universal Design (i.e. aging in place). “It is absolutely coming onto people’s radar, even younger clients,” says Alan Zielinksi, president of the NKBA.

And you don’t have to worry about ending up with an institutional look. Many universal design features are now part of mainstream bathroom design. For example, the larger shower stall that’s in favor today offers easy access and universal use, provided it has a zero-threshold and a built-in seating platform. “The bench is also a nice place for an able-bodied women to sit and shave her legs,” says Cheetham. Regarding toilets, so-called comfort-height models that are easier to get on and off of are now just as common as standard-height models. Even grab bars have enjoyed a design upgrade; many now match towel bars and other accessories. And they’re not just for the elderly. Grab bars make it easier for pregnant women or young children to get in and out of the bathtub.

Even if you don’t incorporate every element of universal degisn into the bathroom now, it’s worth putting in the structural framework, such as blocking in the walls for future support bars. Make sure your contractor makes a drawing of the wall so that you can find the blocking if, and when, the time comes.

Don’t forget to factor in water use
Bathroom fixtures have become more water-efficient, especially if you choose WaterSense-qualified models. But the trend toward tricked-out showers, often with his-and-her “shower towers” that might include multiple showerheads and body sprays, will likely result in your water and energy use going up. It also means your bathroom’s existing drain and plumbing lines might require an upgrade. “You may need to resize your water lines from half-inch to three-quarters,” says Petrie, an upgrade that can add hundreds, if not thousands, to your project.

Thirsty fixtures may require you to upgrade your water heater as well, say, from a unit that holds 50 gallons a day to one that holds 80 gallons. That could cost you another $1,000 or so—figure on roughly $2,000 if you choose one of the energy-efficient hybrid water heaters that Consumer Reports' test have found to be good long-term investments.

Don’t buy products online without seeing them in person
Going online is great for researching products and design ideas. But materials and finishes aren’t always as they appear on your computer screen. That blue-gray quartz vanity top might be more blue than gray in real life, or the light fixtures that look understated online could overwhelm your actual space. That’s why we always recommend visiting a showroom or design center before you buy. While you’re there, you may even get the showroom to meet or even beat the online price.

Don’t forget about storage
Running from the shower to grab a towel from the hallway linen closet gets old—and cold—fast. A closet inside the bathroom is ideal, though an armoire or even just a simple chest can handle the essentials. And a medicine cabinet is still the best place for your various health-care and first-aid essentials.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Houzz: Top Atlanta Remodeling Trends



Farmhouse entryways. Stripping away the need for fancy flourishes or decor for decor’s sake, farmhouse style gets at the root of function. That’s why the style makes sense for mudrooms, where simplicity in storage and durability in materials are paramount.

Fireplaces and fire features. New advances mean you can have all the ambiance without the smell or hassle of traditional wood-burning fireplaces. Plus, fireplaces are making a comeback as living room focal points in lieu of the dark void of a TV screen.

Mixing modern materials in the kitchen. Looking for something a little more lively than white cabinets and granite countertops in your kitchen? Consider mixing several modern materials, finishes and colors. Butcher block countertops get broken up with soapstone near the stove and Carrara marble on a nearby baking station. These mix with olive-green cabinets and stainless steel appliances for an eclectic, sophisticated look. See more Atlanta kitchen trends here

Punched-up white kitchens. White kitchen walls and cabinets — and even countertops in many cases — is a trend that will continue for years to come. To avoid a too-sterile look, however, many designers and homeowners are learning to punch up an all-white space with smart, colorful details through tile, floor-to-ceiling bookcases, raw materials and more. See a beautiful white kitchen in Alpharetta here

Sunrooms. A sunroom is a top dream space for many homeowners. Even those who don’t have the luxury of having — or adding — one, are finding ways to carve out a special sun-drenched corner in their homes.

Surprising backsplash and countertop pairings. You could play it safe with white subway tile and granite countertops, but sometimes safe is so boring. Instead, consider a different combination, such as a brick backsplash with concrete countertops or yellow ceramic tile with butcher block.



Workhorse islands. Kitchen islands provide additional workspace, but they’ve taken on so much more than that. With deep storage, prep sinks, room for seating and more, workhorse islands are becoming the central feature in modern kitchens. Want to see some inspiring AK kitchen islands?

Niche appliances. Looking for a little added luxury in the kitchen? Steam ovens promise to cook food more thoroughly and healthily than microwaves; warming drawers give cooks a little wiggle room to deliver hot meals to family and guests; induction cooktops save space and are safer for homes with young kids; and kimchi refrigerators offer fans of the popular Korean condiment a chance to make their own at home.

Deep kitchen drawers. Houzz data shows that ease of storage is the top kitchen priority during a
remodel. And while deep drawers have been creeping up to replace lower kitchen cabinets for a while now, they’re only getting better — and more affordable. Dividers and inserts let you organize any shape or size of dish, pan or utensil under the sun, and there are even clever options for deep corner drawers, and drawers under range tops and kitchen sinks.

Bidets. The separate bidet unit in bathrooms never really took off in America. But since manufacturers began creating combination bidet and toilet units. They’ve been catching on. According to Houzz data, 5 percent of renovated master bathrooms now include bidets.

Extra-large-format tile. Large-format tiles (such as 12 by 24 inches) have been making an appearance in kitchens and bathrooms for some time now, but be on the lookout for extra-large-format ones. Just how extra? Try 31 by 71 inches.

Colored stainless steel appliances. Black stainless steel is making a buzz on Houzz. In a poll, nearly two-thirds of Houzzers say they would consider the dark alternative to shiny silver metal. Not into the darkness? Head to the light with Whirlpool’s Sunset Bronze finish.

Compiled By Bernice Karnop, For the Tribune

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

7 Designer Secrets For Small Kitchens

Having a large kitchen space could be a luxury for many homeowners because most kitchens are cramped and tiny. However, you can do some changes to your small kitchen by incorporating some of these designer tricks:


1) Keep it all white. 
AK Classical Kitchen
White reflects light best, making the kitchen space look bigger. Paint the countertops and cabinetry in white so that it will look seamless with the walls and ceilings. For some depth and shadows, use recessed-panel cabinets with crown moldings.
2) Keep color contrasts in the same color value.
If you do have to add some color, maintain similar hues of the color scheme. This way, the sudden "pop" of color won't let the eyes see the shifts and breaks in the room. Like white, using similar hues can bring an expansive effect.
3) Go for a mirrored backsplash.
houzz.com
Using mirrors is an old designer's trick that can help open up the space and add more light. "Mirrors are especially useful when there is no, or minimal, natural light in a kitchen," said New York designer Jenny Wolf, according to Architectural Digest
4) Use glass doors for your cabinets. 
Glass cabinet doors gives the room depth, as the walls can be seen through it. The challenge is to make sure to keep the cabinets orderly and, if possible, color-coordinated.    
5) Have an open shelf.
AK Marietta Kitchen Facelift
If glass cabinets aren't your thing, perhaps having open shelves is better. Aside from creating an illusion of space, it also feels warmer and more welcoming. "Open shelves invite visitors to feel at home and help themselves to whatever they need. They don't have to ask where things are, or go rummaging through cabinets because it's all in plain view," said homeowner Jamie, according to Good Housekeeping.
AK Contemporary Kitchen Remodel
6) Flood the space with lights. 
Use little window treatments so that natural light is not blocked off. Add additional lighting fixtures on walls, backsplashes and countertops to open up the space.
7) Use slender furnishing.
Pick counter or bar chairs that have slim legs, or if you have a working table to use as an island, it should be long and narrow with clean lines. Ditch furnishings with thick bases, as they will make the room visually bulky.
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Text By Rachel Cruz