Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The 6 Things You Must Include In Your Bathroom Remodel

   Bathroom remodeling is still the number one top requested, most searched and most executed home remodeling project this year! Hanley Wood even found that 58% of those planning a renovation in 2014, were planning a bathroom renovation. That's a huge number considering the hundreds of possibilities that exist for home redesign and remodeling! But what are these 58% of homeowners putting in the new bathrooms? 

By AK Renovations
#1 - More than four in ten are taking the tub OUT of the master bath!  Large showers have a great appeal to all ages! Over-sized walk-in showers with seating and even accessible design components are becoming more commonplace than the exception. Whereas many thought the tub was a must for resale value, even some realtors are now saying this old rule no longer applies.

#2 - Still in the shower, young homeowners have a rain shower on the list while older homeowners request a hand shower. What can you learn from this? Multiple spray options are key!

#3 - Frameless shower glass. Though this carries a slightly larger price tag than it's framed counterpart, frameless glass gives even a simple shower a high-end, custom look. It opens a shower area like adding a window does to a room. 

#4 - Water closets. Surveys show these are neither a "must" or a "don't" - but goodness knows a comfortable place for the toilet is of great importance when planing a bathroom remodel. Take the time to go over the pluses and minuses with your contractor of all the options your space can offer.

#5 - Lots of lighting! Whether it's a large glass block window in the shower, etched glass behind the tub or even a chandelier, sconces and an LED showerhead... several light sources are needed in one bathroom. Not only for things like dressing, makeup, etc. but also for safety and visual appeal of the space.

#6 - In the end, it's all about the upgrades. When those 58% of homeowners were asked WHY they wanted to remodel their bathroom, the majority of them said it was to upgrade their fixtures and features. Keep this in mind when you're deciding on your remodeling budget. If you don't put in what you really want now, are you going to regret it in 3 years when you're itching to renovate again? 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Are You Afraid Of The Dark? Black Kitchens Are The Hottest Trend!

As the ubiquitous all-white kitchen starts to look sterile, designers are thinking inky—with dark cabinetry, appliances and accessories

   Knockout Black. Down Pipe. No, these are not the latest craft cocktails; they're the names of some of the surfaces and colors that are leading kitchens into a new Dark Age. And we're talking about more than just granite countertops or a wall splashed with chalkboard paint. Referencing butler's pantries as well as Art Deco and steam-punk styling, designers are beginning to abandon the all-white Parisian patisserie color scheme—the prevailing millennium palette—for dramatic kitchens infused with smoky hues like charcoal gray and licorice black.

   "It's definitely a sophisticated, decorated feel," said Christopher Peacock, founder of Christopher Peacock Home, a Greenwich, Conn.-based high-end manufacturer of custom kitchen cabinetry. "It says, 'been there, done that' to those who still own a white kitchen."
    "I hate white kitchens," Joe Lucas, a Los Angeles interior designer, declared. "A deep lacquered color makes a small city kitchen look amazing and, in an expansive kitchen, dark shades help ground the space." For a client in Hermosa Beach, Calif., Mr. Lucas used Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball, a rich gray paint that the company said has more than doubled in sales within the past four years.

   "People aren't afraid of the dark," said designer Maria Stapperfenne, the 2015 president-elect of the National Kitchen & Bath Association. While natural wood cabinetry has made inroads against the all-white look, too—injecting a warm, organic quality into kitchens—she noted a rise in espresso and ebony stains on cupboards and in dark oil-rubbed bronze and black iron for hardware.
    Led by the recent popularity of trophy stoves such as the black-enameled cast-iron models by upscale European manufacturers AGA and La Cornue, American appliance companies are also embracing the dark side: Viking offers its VGR 7 series ranges in black and graphite gray and, this fall, Jenn-Air debuts the $8,499 Obsidian, a stainless steel refrigerator with an anthracite interior.
   "Younger consumers don't want the Tuscan stone or flowery French country kitchen their moms had," Ms. Stapperfenne added. "They're seeking out nontraditional, even industrial materials, with a more masculine flavor for kitchens that can accommodate multiple cooks."
Timberland Cabinets

   Kitchens are now "absolutely gender-neutral," said Mark Hanna, a partner at Leeza Surfaces, which developed a proprietary glass countertop, Kool Glass, in Knockout Black and a gunmetal shade called Shock Black. "Black is sexy," he said. "And the kitchen has clearly become a cool place for the man of the house."
    Yet women are also drawn to dark kitchens. For the actress Cameron Diaz, designer Kelly Wearstler paired ebonized floors with deep emerald-green cabinetry. And New York architect Richard Sammons, a partner in the firm Fairfax & Sammons, created a kitchen for the actress Liv Tyler in an eggplant shade so deep he calls it "bible black." He used the same hue for the cabinetry in the Greenwich Village townhouse he shares with his wife.
    "Dark materials create atmosphere," said Mr. Sammons. "They are a corrective antidote to the antiseptic quality of the 20th-century white-enameled kitchen or the 'professional' stainless steel kitchen so recently in vogue."

    Dusky kitchens let appliances and hardware shine, said John Day of LDA Architects, which designed a black, Art Deco-inspired kitchen for a modern shingle-style home north of Boston. The firm used fumed oak floors and maple cabinets finished with a satin-black European conversion varnish. A stainless steel range and nickel pendant lights, along with white Caesarstone back counters, act as tonal counterpoints. "The kitchen did not get a lot of natural light and was used mostly at night," said Mr. Day, "so we just decided to embrace it."
    Sometimes just a touch of black can transform a kitchen. In a historic apartment, New York designer Fawn Galli painted the wainscoting black and added wallpaper in an inky, overscale lace pattern above it. "It made an uneventful kitchen exciting—not smaller but cozy and memorable," she said of the steam punk-influenced look. "These days, the kitchen is a real decorated room, rather than just a functional space, and black is the new white." Acknowledging that it's not for shrinking violets, Ms. Galli allowed: "Yes, black is badass. There's no way around it."
Get More Information About Kitchen Remodeling & AK Complete Home Renovations

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Life Inspired Tile

Walker Zanger
 We're very excited about Walker Zanger's new lines of tile! Some of our most acclaimed remodels include
Walker Zanger tile. It's classic, eye-catching and completely timeless. Take, for example, the new Duquesa collection: These handpainted tiles, draw on influences as disparate as Italian textiles, Portuguese ceramic tiles, Moroccan mosaics, Egyptian wood inlay and Chinese decorative screens. Each tile is handpainted on a cream background, creating a rich vintage look that fits a home with historical roots or brings gravitas to a newly constructed space.

  You've seen how prominent large prints have become in fashion and home furnishings, and now Walker Zanger can bring them in to your home's hardscape in an elegant way.

Stone Mosaic
Chevron :
Finish: Honed
   The Tangent Collection is a complex line of simple tiles. We think these stone mosaics are going to be top requests for our Atlanta bath remodels!
  The release of a new line inspired by Robert A.M. Stern architects is set to be released this fall. We're looking forward to seeing the amazing shapes and textures that this line will offer. We think it will be ideal for contemporary or traditional kitchens and baths!

Friday, September 5, 2014

10 Reasons To Remodel Instead Of Move

  In 2012 AK first tackled the growing trend of remodeling versus moving. During the downturn many families that had planned to move, decided it was worth investing in their current home and creating the spaces of their dreams. This movement is still on the upswing today as families prioritize building roots in the community and neighborhood.

   Find out why remodeling might be the right choice for you:

1Sales potential

The external appearance of your home is important for raising the value and sales potential. Fresh paint, clean shutters, a new roof and neat landscaping are simple ways you can enhance curb appeal if you're looking to sell.

2Preparing for retirement

If you're planning on staying in your home thorough your senior years, it's important to upgrade your home with age-in-place features, including replacing your bathtubs with easy step-in showers with bars and installing toilets for people with limited mobility or in wheelchairs. Find out more about how AK can help with accessible and universal design:

3Go green

Paying too much for your utilities? Replace your single-panel windows with energy-efficient windows and you can save hundreds in monthly bills. Find out how to Go Green in your kitchen:

4Home is where the heart is

And the kitchen is the heart of the home. Family and friends gather and spend most of their time here. Women think men fall in love with them because of the bedroom, but the reality is it's the kitchen. So consider installing a new stove, replacing your refrigerator or putting in new cabinets to make it more functional and aesthetically pleasing.

5Make it right

Your bathroom might function just fine, but it's always a good time to put in new plumbing, and get rid of that boring plain mirror and replace it with a beautiful framed one. Don't forget the lighting -- lighting is everything, especially for us ladies who spend so much time checking our make-up and changing our outfits.

6Your kids aren't going anywhere

Don't want to leave your neighborhood because your children have friends on the block? Do you dread the idea of having your children change schools? This is a common sentiment and probably means that you and your family won't be going anywhere until your kids are grown. So why wait 10 or 15 years to remodel? Make your home suitable for the future now.

7Embarrassment no more

aste another day looking at those avocado countertops! Are you embarrassed to invite your friends over because they might laugh at the hideous, outdated colors in your kitchen and bathroom behind your back? Putting in new countertops is easy and not very costly, so go ahead and change them! Of course your friends don't really care, but you will feel better the next time they come over for dinner.

8Your home feels stale

Your home is almost perfect but it needs a minor facelift. Paint your walls and baseboards and it will instantly feel fresh and clean. This is a great alternative for anyone on a budget.

9Make your basement usable

Are you tired of using your basement as one big storage unit? Convert it into a living space, such as a media room, or even add a closet and a window for an extra bedroom, which will add square footage and increase the overall value of your home.

10Avoid the stress of buying a new home

Searching for a new home can be stressful and time-consuming. Instead of spending months looking for that perfect home, upgrading your bathrooms and kitchen or removing that wall that's been bugging you just might be the solution.

Veronica Montelongo, A&E's hit television series “Flip This House” For


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Custom Glass Countertops: Glass ART by MAILHOT

  Glass kitchen countertops are becoming a sought after statement piece for unique kitchen
remodeling. Equally as durable (glass counters are heat-, stain-, and scratch-resistant) and as easy to maintain as stone countertops, glass countertops can cost about the same per square foot as some granite. 

  Whether the glass is translucent or colored, smooth, or embedded with texture, remodeling clients can combine glass countertops with other elements in the kitchen to make a big statement—think lighting installed beneath the counter for a backlit feel, or glass infused with bright color (aqua, turquoise and other shades of blue are popular shades) for an added artistic touch. 

  Like other surfaces, glass kitchen countertops can be custom-designed to your specifications—without seams, with a contemporary finish, or used as an accent, such as as a raised breakfast bar on an island. The benefit of glass is that the look is light-and-bright, airy and contemporary—a very different look from cold, hard stone surfaces.  Retail prices for custom glass countertops, like those from ThinkGlass, can range from approximately $200 - $400 U.S. per square foot, including cut-outs (sink, cooktop, faucets) and edge treatments. 


     The works of art below my Michel MAILHOT are beautiful examples of the artistry custom glass can display.

  Michel MAILHOT is ThinkGlass' artistic soul and Glass Master. He has explored glass thermofusion for more than 35 years. This makes him one the most experienced craftsmen of his field in North America. Michel and his colleagues will bring life to glass matter in a truly unexpected way.

   More than texture, glass under MAILHOT's talent becomes an art form. From a simple idea, he creates very large sculptures for an office, a garden or a hallway, and turns office or residential partitions into glowing masterpieces. Here are some of his magnificent works done with ThinkGlass:
Custom Glass Countertop 


Artistic glass bar with artistic edge finish, 1.5" thick   

Impressive thick artistic glass (4") with gold inserts.