Thursday, April 23, 2015

Why We Want To Redo Our Homes

Why do we redesign our homes? Why do we feel the need to renew, refresh and remodel?
Imagine this: You're a homeowner. You love your home...But there are a few things you'd like to change about it. Does this sound familiar? For most of us this scenario is no stretch of the imagination. This is our everyday life!
Maybe you're running out of storage, or maybe the storage you have is all wrong for what you need to store! This might make the house feel constantly cluttered and lead you to constant feelings of stress because you can never keep up with the mess.
Maybe you love to cook and entertain, but the home you fell in love with in the perfect neighborhood in the perfect school system has an itty bitty kitchen that was designed with no workspace and no room for guests. You feel shut-in when you use the kitchen and when you have people over you have to miss out on the fun to prep the food and drinks.
Or maybe you have an old bathroom that is starting to slowly deteriorate. First it was the cracking caulk and the shower floor that just never looks clean. Then the tile grout is crumbling and the old hideous wallpaper is finally starting to peel in places. Every morning you wake up to this ugly space and every night it's the last thing before you go to bed. Using your master bathroom leaves you feeling aggravated instead of refreshed and ready.
So why do we remodel? 
It's not just for aesthetics It's not just to keep up with the Joneses. We remodel because it makes our lives better.
Home is where the heart is; and this is more than just a over-used cliche. When our home is in order, our hearts and our brains are in order. We are able to stop stressing over the clutter, the outdated fixtures, the peeling wallpaper and we are able to live our lives to the fullest in the spaces that we love!
You don't remodel because you want to spend your days worrying about trendy backsplash tiles or the best convection oven; you remodel so you don't have to

Using your own kitchen, your own bathroom, should be effortless and enjoyable. Is that how it is in your home? Tell us on Facebook:AK on FB

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Which Layout Is Right For Your Kitchen

  We frequently talk about the fact that each kitchen is as unique as the family that uses it. No two kitchens are ever the same! But there are common design principles and ideas that guide most of AK's kitchen designs. From galley kitchens to U-shaped, L-shaped and everything in-between, our remodeling team can tailor each kitchen space to your unique needs. Here are some basic kitchen design recommendations based on your space:
  •   In a kitchen broken up by several doorways, the solution might  be an island-based layout that divides the
    AK Kitchen Design
    kitchen space into five zones: cooking, food storage, baking, breakfast, and meal prep/clean up. Using this design idea, wide foot-traffic lanes throughout the space promote easy movement to and from the kitchen, as well as around the island.
  • The "L-shape-with-island" layout has become popular in contemporary design. The configuration can accommodate a long island while enclosing the kitchen on only two sides, leaving the room mostly open to adjacent living areas. A long L trades the traditional work triangle approach for widely separated zones -- one for cooking, one for prep/clean up, and one for food storage. The island acts as a way station -- an intermediate stop between zones.
  • An L-plus-island layout is the epitome of efficiency and simplicity. The island sink, range, and refrigerator
    AK Kitchen Design
    can form a perfect right triangle, allowing the cook equal access to the three main kitchen elements.

  • A basic U-shape layout combines galley efficiency and intimacy with the openness of contemporary plans. One hardworking wall could hold the refrigerator, cooktop, and a wall oven. A sink sharing a second wall with the dishwasher, forms a convenient cleanup zone.A two-level island would complete the kitchen, providing prep space for the cook and an eating/beverage bar for guests.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Home Painting Tips From A Color Expert

  David Oliver has become known around the world as the creative director of Paint & Paper Library, finding commercial success with his practical range of Architectural Colours; a complementary colour-by-number system for ceiling, cornice, wall and woodwork, using chromatic colours of a similar tonal weight. The color maestro, David Oliver, shared his favorite tips for picking the perfect hue in your home with Veranda magazine. David has a background in Fine Art and studied at the National Art School in Sydney. He has exhibited in Dublin, Madrid, New York, Sydney, Stockholm and London. He is also well known for his fabric and wallpaper designs! Here's what David said about painting your home to WOW not bore. 

Choosing THE Color

Choosing a paint color is one of the most difficult aspects of decoration to get right, as it has as much to do with the light source as the pigments used, and neither is constant. Using sample pots can help you avoid expensive mistakes, but you need the patience of an oyster to see how the color and light change from wet to dry and during the day and at night.One method I find helpful is to paint the inside of a wooden storage or cardboard shoe box. This helps predict how a particular color will change in a room with the different kinds of light throughout the day.

Defining The Doorways
Doors can be treated in the same way as paneling. If there's molding on them, then they can be painted in three different tones. I generally like for doorways to be darker or in a different material than the walls. They could be glossy, they could be veneer, they could even be painted three different darker shades. Doorways mark the transitional zones of the house, so when you define them in this way, it helps you navigate your way through the house.
Subtle Variation Of Color

A subtle variation of color is an effective way of uniting all the architectural elements of a room. It's more visually pleasing than when everything is painted in the same color, and it gives the architectural elements on the walls more detail. So with my paints I like to use the palest shade, No. 1, on the ceiling, No. 2 on the molding, No. 3 on the trim and No. 4 or 5 on the walls. The real beauty of this system is its prescriptive simplicity and creative versatility. It can be applied to any period or type of architecture. My color scales can benefit anyone, from experienced designers to individual homeowners who are addicted to color and passionate about paint.

Using Dark Colors
I like for baseboards to be darker than the floor and walls. My personal preference is completely dark, even black. A lot of people worry about darker colors making a room feel smaller, but in fact, I find the opposite is true—that darker colors help blur the boundaries of the room and create a sense of infinity. The boundaries, particularly at night, tend to disappear into the shadows.

Paint The Hidden Places

Sometimes there are colors you adore but haven't quite found the courage or an appropriate place to use. Why not use them to paint those places or surfaces usually hidden from everyday view, such as the inside of your kitchen cupboards or cutlery drawers? It will make a refreshing change from the off-white color usually used through habit or conformity.

Friday, February 27, 2015

4 Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Trends That Will Never Go Out Of Style

Here are four design ideas and trends that are home features that will never go out of style. When making the decision to remodel your home, consider these ideals. Incorporating some or all of these will keep you satisfied with your home for a long, long, LONG time! 
1. Clean & uncluttered Clean, uncluttered spaces are always en vogue for kitchens and remodeling, think about how to store equipment and supplies in dust-free areas (like drawers or cupboards) and allow countertops to be relatively free. For both rooms, create a good space to store and keep cleaning supplies as well. This area should be easily accessible yet not so easy that small children can tamper with the toxic supplies.
Kitchen Remodel By AK
bathrooms. These are the rooms we associate with hygiene, so it’s important that they don’t harbor dust-collecting tchotchkes. 
2. Neutral palettes Every homeowner wants to incorporate their favorite colors into their kitchen and bathrooms and this is easy to do with colorful walls, linens, and decor. But to get the most longevity out of these renovations, choose fairly neutral colors for the expensive elements like countertops, cabinetry, flooring, backsplash, and appliances. Understandably no one wants a plain vanilla room, so think about using interesting textures or patterns with neutral colors. Or use neutrals from opposite ends of the color spectrum, like ivory and chocolate brown, or white and charcoal grey.

3. Energy efficient appliances More and more, homeowners are interested in appliances
Kitchen Remodel By AK
that look good and save energy costs. Focusing on refrigerators, microwaves or ovens that offer good long-term value is important. So are low-flow water fixtures or on-demand water heaters. Look for the EnergyStart logo when shopping for appliances and talk to your contractor about other ways to save on your monthly energy and water bills.

4. Maximized spaces The layout of your kitchen and bathroom should be functional and space should not go to waste. Design for efficient movement within the rooms and good placement of storage. Invest in pull-out drawers or hidden storage spaces – it will help fit more into the space and keep everything organized. Don’t get hung-up on the actual size of the kitchen or bathroom; whether or not a room is functional has more to do with layout and design than the amount of square footage.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

4 Ways To HURT Your Home Value

   Most of our blogs talk about ways that you can improve the value of your home. However, there are a few things that you can do that will actually decrease the value of your home. Some of the things that can devalue your home are beyond your control, such as your neighbor’s property going into foreclosure, so why take the risk of bringing the value down even further. Make sure that the changes or renovations are smart and will pay you back when you sell your home.

  • Going over the top with your home improvement in a neighborhood that
    will not support it is a common mistake. An example of this would be installing a $20,000 in-ground 
    swimming pool behind a $60,000 house. An appraiser cannot give the full value of the improvement because your home cannot be valued drastically higher than the other homes in your area.
  • Closing off the front porch is another mistake that homeowners make when updating their homes. If you think that gaining an additional room by closing off the porch will increase the value of your home, think again. Potential buyers may see this as a turn off if they’re interested in the area and the people in it. A closed-off porch prohibits easy interactions with the neighborhood. If you want to enclose it, consider screening it or enclosing a portion of it while leaving the rest open. 
  • Having an above-ground pool after you’ve made the decision to put your
    house on the market is a sure way to bring down the asking price. (This is a big "DUH!") Most homebuyers will see it as an eyesore that might be too much to manage. Above-ground pools are hard to keep completely clean and are a potential breeding ground for mosquitos. By removing the pool and re-grading the yard you’re actually adding to the value of your home when it comes time to sell.
  • Most people fancy themselves as part of the DIY movement, but when it comes to big projects in your home, it’s best to leave them to the pros. Homebuyers can spot a sloppy job a mile away. What you save in renovations, you will lose when it comes to sell. Plus, going with a professional can help you make good choices, because they usually know what’s popular but not too trendy as to look dated in a few years.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Is This The Year You Go Gray?
    You know we've talked about gray being the new hot neutral, and we've recommended it for your bathroom remodel. But the popularity of gray knows no bounds! And we know why. Gray is calm. Gray is chic. And gray works well in so many styles and plays well with other colors.

    Will you go gray this year? Would you consider using gray in your kitchen remodel?

 Gray can be prominently used for cabinetry, countertops, tile and other flooring. Have a look at some of these design ideas for incorporating this trending neutral into your kitchen:

Get More Information About Atlanta Kitchen Remodeling & AK Complete Home Renovations

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Ultimate Guide To 2015 Bathroom Trends: The 6 Hottest Ideas In Bathroom Design

  2013 and 2014 bath design focused on sustainability and doing more for less. Now in the world of Atlanta design and remodeling we’re starting to see a focus shift. In 2015 bathrooms will address a more personal element: how our rooms make us feel. It may sound silly, "how does the bathroom make you feel?" But considering the fact that the bathroom is often the first room you walk into in the morning, and the last room you walk out of at night - how your bathroom makes you feel can be a very integral part of how you feel in your home overall.
   Some of the bathroom remodeling trends that AK predicted for 2014 (uptick in tiling bathroom walls, custom showers overtaking tubs and the use of the color gray) are sticking around for 2015. But in case you missed any of it, or want to know some new bathroom design trends and ideas for the new year we compiled a list of AK's 2015 Bathroom Trends. Here goes!

  • Feature floor tiles. In the past the focal point of a bathroom was often the vanity, countertop or even the fixtures. Rarely - RARELY - ever was it the bathroom floor! Why? We think this year it's the year of the floor! Not since black & white checkerboard tile was hot has the floor seen so much focus.  Whether the focus is a pattern or a color, floors are going to shine this year!
  • Geometric tiles - On more than just the floor! Geometric patterns have been all over home design for the past year and a half. But now they are being considered a modern classic and infused into more permanent design features, like tiles. As we predicted last year, many homeowners are finding it functionally desirable and aesthetically pleasing to tile partly or fully up their bathroom walls - particularly in small spaces.
  • Custom Water Control. Say goodbye to basic shower and basin faucets - even our previously trendy "Rain Head," and say hello to smart, user-friendly bathroom fixtures. These include thermostatic mixers; mixers that control multiple water sources, touchscreen-operated showers that give users more control over the flow, mix and temperature of water, and much more.  In this Kohler shower pictured the user can control the water, light, sound and steam from a single location. Speakers, Rain LED overhead faucets with Chromatherapy LED's and Aromatherapy Scents are also included. 
  • Bathrooms that reflect the rest of the home. No one wants to walk out of their modern minimalist kitchen into a Provencal cottage living room. Similarly, no one wants to walk out of their rural chic bedroom into their dated 1980s bathroom. While bathrooms may usually remained closed to the view from other rooms in the home, the bathroom should none the less reflect the same style and taste as the rest of the house. Looking at the bathroom as an integral room that deserves attention and good design, as opposed to a space to be tolerated and sanitized has given rise to beautiful bathroom designs in the last 5 years. As well as elevating bathroom remodeling to the #1 remodeling project around the country! We don't think this new mindset is going anywhere in 2015.
  • Gray. Calm. Cool. Collected. These are just some of the feelings that are customary to associate with the color gray. It's also perhaps the trendiest neutral out there right now. In the 80s and 90s we turned the beloved beige. Today, we're twisting the idea of a basic palette with a little black edge and turning to gray! Gray is simply a more elegant neutral. It gives depth to subtle colors and makes bold tones pop.  In the bathroom, be sure to use a flat paint or matte finish items so the color looks organic instead of industrial!
  • Quartz Countertops. While you may have heard the brand name "Sile Stone" being tossed around as the new intruder into the granite market - you may not have realized this is just a brand of engineered quartz. With low maintenance, high durability and literally endless color choices, quartz countertops offer an excelled alternative to natural stone countertops. Here in Atlanta, we can usually find a granite to fit any style and any budget. But as the desire to customize our bathrooms grows, so will the utilization of various brands of quartz. Bold colors, marble knock-offs and thicker "statement" slabs will be 3 main reasons people flock to quartz this year.

Dreaming Of A Newly Designed Or Remodeled Atlanta Bathroom? 
Where To Start: