Monday, July 30, 2012

School Lunch Ideas For Busy Kitchens

 This time of year many busy moms and dads find themselves printing out cafeteria menus, mulling them over, and then hitting the grocery store to stock up on school lunch supplies! If your child helps to pack their own lunch, dedicating some cabinetry space or a pantry shelf to displaying their options may help with your kitchen organization & avoiding the "what do you mean 3 fruit snacks and a granola bar is not a lunch" argument. 

  The internet is full of school lunch ideas, for the Paleo diet, vegetarians, picky-eaters and time-crunched parents...someone has written a list for it all! There is still nothing better than sharing ideas with your friends, so here are some of our favorite ideas for school lunches and our wishes for a wonderful new school year!

Sandwiches Can Still Be Cool

Try A "Laptop" Lunch
  •  The simplest and healthiest foods look extra-yummy when they're tucked inside colorful little compartments. That's the idea behind Laptop Lunches, the company that sells these cute plastic sets (starting at $21; We filled the containers with a protein, some fruit, a vegetable, and a small treat -- all in perfect-size portions for kids 5 to 8.

    "All Dressed Up"
    * 1 cup bow-tie pasta salad with veggies
    * 1 cup baby greens salad with 2 tablespoons low-fat dressing
    * 3/4 cup watermelon
    * 2 fig cookies
  •  Find this and lots more lunch combo ideas on - It's the best resource we've seen for thinking "outside the (lunch) box!"

Think DIP!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Remodeling For Retirement: Remodelers Aim for Aging Boomers

By / Source Bloomberg Business Week

   As the oldest boomers turn 65 at a rate of about 10,000 a day, their homes can challenge stiff joints and waning eyesight. A Harvard University study suggests recovery in the remodeling market will be driven in part by contractors making improvements to help individuals go about their routines within their own homes. So-called age-in-place retrofits should provide a “particularly strong” source of business for the 650,000 remodelers in the U.S., two-thirds of which are one-person ventures, according to the report...
   Older, established homeowners are also often better able to foot the bill for upgrades, says Sal Alfano, editorial director of Remodeling, a business magazine directed at professional contractors. “Boomers with higher incomes and home values often pay cash for these projects,” he says. “As they continue into retirement, a significant percentage are going to want to update their homes and make them trendy. It looks like they are set for one final remodeling binge over the next 10 to 15 years.”
    AK has been helping those looking to remodel for growing families, aging parents and every change in-between for over fifteen years in the Atlanta area. The only constant in life is change, and our homes need to keep up with our lives! We're happy to share universal design and aging-in-place information with you on our website here: Accessible Design

Monday, July 23, 2012

Atlanta Custom Cabinets: Former Showroom Pieces For Sale

Storage Unit

We Know You Have Great Taste

These pieces could fit right in at your place

It's official. We're out of space! We have to get rid of some of these fantastic items from the AK warehouse, so we're bringing the sale to you! Many items are surplus from our remodeling projects or display items from a former showroom - all are high quality pieces in great condition.
These are just some of the bigger / combo items we need to move; if you'd like to get on the list to receive a full inventory of the other "for sale" items (bathtubs, windows, doors, fixtures, sinks, etc.) please email us and we'll be sure you are amongst the first to get your hands on these: Email AK

For All Items: Contact us for additional measurement info, to make an offer or to purchase.
AK accepts credit cards via PayPal, you can see our policy on our website.
View Our Full Cabinet Inventory
Cherry Cabinet Display For Sale

Dynasty by Omega Cherry Display

Perfect for a basement bar or in-law suite, these semi-custom cabinets are real Cherry with a sable stain in the Artesia door style. The interior of the cabinets have space-saving rollouts and the exterior has many upscale touches including half pilasters. The granite on this set is Verde Butterfly with an Ogee Edge. Looking at the image, the left side of the (upside down) U is 50", back 98" and right 68".
Like this one?
Maple Cabinets For Sale

Dynasty Maple Honey / Coffee Glaze

A breakfast bar? Butler's pantry? This symmetrical piece has hundreds of uses - without or without the decorative hood. It's Dynasty by Omega, Danville door maple cabinetry with Absolute Black granite. The granite has a 30" cutout for a cooktop which is for sale separately. The set is 63" long, 28" deep and the base is 25 1/2" high.
Like this one?
Maple Custom Doors For Sale

Dynasty Natural Maple With Custom Concave Doors

A amazingly unique piece could provide ample storage to a small corner space! This Vail door with natural stain can pair with whatever other woods you have in your home. The left side is 65" and the right side is 64". The granite is a high-end Blue Pearl with Beveled Edge.
Appliances not included.
Love this one?
Kitchen Island For Sale

Pewter Island With Exotic Tigerwood Top

This cabinetry island is high-end and high-style. It's constructed with a 39" peninsula cabinet, the Tigerwood top has a large and dramatic Roman Ogee Edge. It is truly a one-of-a-kind and could spice up any kitchen in need of additional prep or storage space.
Loving it?
We Saved Two Of The BIGGEST Sets For Our Website...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An Alternative To Traditional HVAC Systems - Mini-Split

  Maybe we were feeling hot, but this article caught our eye as a great alternative to new HVAC for home additions or areas of an existing home that have a hard time staying cool (or warm!) The article was posted by residential design company, LG Squared, you can check them out here:
  They call this type of heating and cooling "on demand", or "pay as you go" in reference to ducted or ductless mini-split systems. Ductless air conditioning can be the perfect solution for sunrooms, room additions, computer data rooms, small offices, garage conversions and more!
   LG Squared writes, "Everything about these systems are variable, efficient, quiet, great for good indoor air quality, and extremely effective. What more would you want in an HVAC system? Contrary to what you might be thinking, or know, these systems can and DO work in all climate zones. They’ve been used in Europe, Asia, Canada, and South America for decades, and have proven themselves to be reliable. HVAC companies rave about how few call backs and/or repairs that there are with these systems...  
   Generally, they are at least 30% more efficient than conventional systems. Their official efficiency ratings (where above 16 is considered good) range from 16 – 26 SEER at full capacity, but they rarely run at full capacity (lower capacity allows for higher efficiency). So, real world SEER values are in the high 20′s, and low 30′s." Check our LG's full article by clicking here.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Amazing Uses

Have any vinegar in your cabinets? Did you know it's great to help cook a better boiled egg? How about bleach, or WD-40? Read on the get some new cleaning tips & tricks using everyday household items in brand new ways!

Amazing Uses For WD-40
Protect A Bird Feeder: To keep squirrels from taking over a bird feeder, spray a generous amount of WD-40 on top of the feeder. The pesky squirrels will slide right off.

Get That Stuck Ring Off: A short burst of WD-40 will get the ring to slide right off. Remember to wash your hands after spraying them with WD-40.

Kill & Repel Bugs: Keep a can of WD-40 handy, and when you see a roach, spray a small amount directly on it for an instant kill. To keep insects and spiders out of your home, spray WD-40 on windowsills and frames, screens, and door frames. Be careful not to inhale the fumes when you spray and do not do this at all if you have babies or small children at home.

Remove Gum From Hair: Simply spray the gummed-up hair with WD-40, and the gum will comb out with ease. Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area when you spray and take care to avoid contact with the child’s eyes.
(Readers Digest)

Amazing Uses For Bleach
Plastic Cutting Boards: mix 1 TBSP of Clorox Regular-Bleach with one gallon of water, soak prewashed cutting board 2 minutes, drain, air dry.

Wooden Cutting Board: mix 3 TBSP Clorox Regular-Bleach per gallon water, pour solution over prewashed cutting board, stand 2 minutes, rinse with 1 TBSP Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon of water. Do not rinse or soak overnight.

Cut Flowers: add 1/4 teaspoon Clorox Regular-Bleach to each quart of water used in your vase to extend the life of your freshly cut flowers.

Amazing Uses For Vinegar
Clean the hoses and unclog soap scum from a washing machine. Once a month pour one cup of white vinegar into the washing machine and run the machine through a normal cycle, without clothes.

Keep a garbage disposal clean and smelling fresh. Mix one cup of vinegar in enough water to fill an ice cube tray, freeze the mixture, grind the cubes through the disposal, and flush with cold water.

Prevent misty spots on glassware. Place a cup of white vinegar on the bottom rack of the dishwasher, run for five minutes, then run though the full cycle. A cup of white vinegar run through the entire cycle once a month will also reduce soap scum on the inner workings.

Deodorize a stale lunch box.Soak a paper napkin in vinegar and leave it inside the closed lunch box overnight.

Prevent cracked hard boiled eggs. Add two tablespoons of white vinegar per quart of water before boiling to prevent the eggs from cracking. The egg shells will also peel off faster and easier.

Unclog a shower head. Unscrew the shower head, remove the rubber washer, place the head in a pot filled with equal parts vinegar and water, bring to a boil, then simmer for five minutes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Like Comparing Apples & Oranges

  If you've been searching for a contractor, or Atlanta remodeling company to work with, you may have noticed many companies have at least one thing in common. Free Estimates!  It's quite common for remodeling professionals to offer Free Estimates! of the renovation work you're looking to have done. It sounds like a good deal, and when it's free, what's the harm in getting a couple of different estimates to see how they stack up?
   In a world of FREE it can be hard to know if there are any major differences between estimates. When searching for professionals to work on your remodeling project you may have unknowingly (or knowingly) contacted a contractor, a design firm, a handyman and a design/build firm. Even if what you told each and every one of these companies was absolutely identical it is certain that that their estimates of the work to be done will be completely different.     
   AK Complete Home Renovations is a design/build remodeling firm. Our estimates are not going to be the same as the contractors, the handymans and not even another design/build firms! Let us tell you a little about AK's free initial estimates:
   AK's budgetary estimate is based on what you, the prospective client, tell us you want and the design and materials discussed during your initial consultation . All the allowances included for the work to be done are based on historical averages of actual costs from our last 17 years of business; then they are adjusted for current material and labor costs. An AK estimate will include every aspect of the project. For example, if you need a sink we don't just give you a quote for the sink! We include changing out the drain piping, waterlines, clamps, shutoff valves, etc. It's an all-inclusive quote!
   What separates an AK estimate from nearly every other is that our allowances for materials are intentionally quite healthy (large) so the customer shouldn't expect to see an increase in their budget unless they make a change to the quoted materials.
AK does NOT give you the LOWEST price, we give you the RIGHT price!
    While some companies may tell you the lowest possible price in order to make their estimate more attractive, AK is more interested in your long term satisfaction. If you find that what you want does not match with what you want to spend, AK will be happy to revisit the estimate with you and make suggestions for scope or product changes that can help to get you where you need to be!