Thursday, March 28, 2013

Online Warehouse Sale

Custom Cabinetry Pieces - Available Now

 It's not often a custom design/build firm can offer custom cabinets ready for sale & install, but AK has a few unique opportunities...
Get instant gratification, not months of construction!
Contemporary Maple CUSTOM Cabinetry - Upper Cabinets Only!- $750.00
solid slab & concave curved doors
Staggered Cabinets Sized As Follows: Uppers - W18x36H (LH), W21x42H (LH),  Bow Front 12" Deep / 48 Tall, W21x42H (RH), W18x36H (RH)

Traditional Maple Honey Wood With Coffee Glaze  - AVAILABLE WITHOUT HOOD - $500.00
Upper Cabinets 15"W x 42"H / Base Cabinets 27" Deep x 30" H With 2, 3" Angled Flutes
symmetrical set with many uses
Omega Cabinetry Butcher Block Island With Antique Cream Base - AVAILABLE!! - $995.00
50"x27" - 37.5" Tall
high-end unique & stunning piece could fit in anywhere

Sometimes the work we do leaves us with extra items or "discarded" items that are still in fantastic shape! Take a look at some of what we have.
... Other Items Available...
Marble Dining Table With Chairs - 39Wx70L - $1000

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lead Poisoning: Not A Thing Of The Past

  You undoubtedly know OF lead poisoning, but you most likely don't devote much of your day thinking about it. Imagine now if you had two children who were poisoned by lead during a home renovation, and suddenly the issue becomes very real to you. 
  Each year in the United States 310,000 1 - 5 year-olds are found to have unsafe levels of lead in their blood. Lead poisoning can lead to a variety of health problems in kids, including decreased bone and muscle growth, poor muscle coordination, damage to the nervous system, kidneys, and/or hearing and more.
  These facts are all too personal for Tamara Rubin. She reached out to AK to share her story:

"Hello, my name is Tamara Rubin and I wanted to personally thank you for being RRP certified!

I'm the Executive Director of the Lead Safe America Foundation (LSAF); I'm also the mother of two children who were lead-poisoned during a home renovation. LSAF is based in Portland, Oregon (where I live now and where my children were poisoned.)

By being among the first wave of American contractors to invest your time, money and effort to become RRP trained and certified, you are in a position to-in a real and fundamental way-be 'part of the solution rather than part of the problem'!

As you likely know, childhood lead poisoning is, contrary to common belief, actually still a huge public health problem in this country. The cause of this problem is primarily ignorance-a lack of knowledge and education on the part of homeowners & landlords, and often a lack of proper training and consistent observance of lead-safe work practices among the nation's many (uncertified) contractors working on older homes and buildings.

...My personal advocacy site has more than 200 pages of resources for parents and homeowners with questions:


Tamara Rubin
 Executive Director
 Lead Safe America

AK is an EPA certified renovator!

Do You Have A Home Built Prior To 1978?

You can see more about Tamara &Lead Safe America, watch their trailer here:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Grow Your Own Food IN Your Own Home

 Kitchen Gardening

   We just love kitchens - from design to function - everything about them! Your kitchen can be much more than a place to cook delicious food, you can grow your own food there too. These 66 foods can be grown in containers - no garden space required! Pretty amazing, right? Imagine going right to your kitchen or patio for avocados, papayas, limes and kale!

 Tree fruits - including apples
1. Apples
2. Kumquats
3. Avocados
4. Blackberries
5. Blueberries 
6. Pomegranate
7. Cherries
8. Figs
9. Pears

Citrus fruits

Citrus trees in particular are said to be good for beginning gardeners and are easy to grow indoors, so don't let inexperience or lack of outdoor space stop you from enjoying fresh-picked, hyper-local fruit.
10. Dwarf oranges
11. Grapefruit
12. Tangerines
13. Meyer lemons
14. Limes

Tropical fruits

Tropical fruits can also be surprisingly easy to grow indoors, even in non-tropical climates. Such as...
15. Bananas
16. Pineapple
17. Papaya
18. Guavas

The real surprises

19. Hops—yes, as in the "spice" ingredient in beer. Turns out they're easy to grow!
20. Aloe Vera
21. Strawberries
22. Tea (well, herbal tea)
23. Quinoa!

The non-surprises

24. Tomatoes
25. Summer squash
26. Other squashes, like acorn and pumpkin
27. Hot Peppers
28. Sweet peppers
29. Cucumbers


30. Small cantaloupe
31. Jenny Lind melon 
32. Golden Midget Watermelon


Just about any herb grows well indoors—just be sure that if you're going to do any container-sharing, you do your research first about which herbs co-habitate well together. (Some will hog water, for example, and leave the others dried out.)
33. Basil
34. Oregano
35. Parsley
36. Rosemary
37. Chives
38. Catnip
39. Thyme
40. Sage
41. Parsley

Leafy Greens

42. Kale
43. Mesclun greens
44. Spinach
45. Swiss chard
46. Lettuces (plenty of options there, from micro-greens to head or loose-leaf)
47. Mustard greens
48. Collard greens
49. Arugula

Root Vegetables

50. Carrots
51. Beets
52. Potatoes

Other healthy-sounding stuff

53. Sprouts
54. More sprouts: mung bean and lentil sprouts
55. Wheatgrass
56. Kohlrabi
57. Turnips
58. Rutabagas
59. Celeriac
60. Parsnips
61. Jerusalem Artichoke
62. Sugar snap peas
63. Rhubarb (not ideal in a container, but it can work)
64. Mushrooms (again, more tips online if you look)
65. Pole Beans
66. Asparagus,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

AK Announces New Service For Prospective Homebuyers

New Professional Design Service

  AK receives many inquiries from prospective homebuyers and their real estate agents interested in getting a professional opinion on the renovation potential of the house they're hoping to buy. These days many homebuyers are finding great homes in great neighborhoods at great prices, but the houses might not contain everything they hoped to find. Whether the kitchen is outdated, or the deck is in desperate need of attention or an addition is needed - an AK professional can help!     

   A pre-purchase home remodeling consultation is slightly different than the consultation you would receive if you were already living in the home and were starting a project immediately. During your pre-purchase appointment an AK professional will tour the space with you, take measurements, talk with you about your hopes for you new home and your goals for your potential renovations. Shortly after your appointment you will receive a professional estimate for the renovations discussed during your appointment. 

 Find Out More Here:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Top 10 Springtime Yard Tips

  One of our most favorite things about spring and summer is that your home feels like it grows in size! Now your living space includes front and back yards, patios and decks; whatever you have this is the time of year we like to make the most of it! We addressed prepping your home for spring last week, but we have not forgotten about all the work that the yard requires this time of year!

 § Fertilize all your perennials, shrubs and bulbs
§ Clear away leaves from perennials. If leaves get too thick in one area, they can smother emerging perennials
§ Remove winter-worn foliage. Cut down any old leafs and prune off dead wood from any trees or shrubs
§ Work on your lawn, aerating and fertilizing, fill in the dead spots to make sure weeds don’t grow.
§ Enrich your soil in your planting areas and apply 2-4 inches of new mulch on your garden beds and trees
§ Start weeding, pull new weeds as they come up and use herbicides to kill of persistent weeds
§ Start your vegetable seeds indoors

 Want to know what grows best where you live? Check out Better Homes & Gardens: Gardening By Region


Friday, March 8, 2013

10 Tips For Spring Cleaning

  Warm weather makes you want to open the windows and let the fresh breezes in! But what if after a winter inside, your home doesn't feel as fresh and clean as the spring air? Spring time traditionally means your home is due for that once-a-year-scrubbing to rejuvenate your indoor spaces as nature does the same outdoors.
   AK likes these 10 tips to help you do an all-over home cleaning that will have you feeling refreshed and revitalized inside and out! 
  • Freshen window treatments: Take down and launder washable fabric treatments. Custom drapery be taken to the dry cleaner. Dust draperies in place by lightly vacuuming them with a brush attachment, gently tugging drapes to open the panels. Blow dust off wooden blinds with a hair dryer set on cool, or wear a pair of soft cotton gloves treated with non-wax furniture polish and wipe the slats with your fingers.
  • Wash the windows: Vacuum the inside panes, sills, screens and the window frame, especially the corners with a vacuum dust brush and crevice attachment. To clean windows, use a squeegee with a sponge attachment. Start at the top right corner and drag the squeegee to the left, drying the scraper after each pass until finished.
  • Rotate & Flip Mattresses: While you're at it, wash dust ruffles, have the bedspread dry-cleaned and vacuum the box spring. You can neutralize urine odors by dampening the spot, then rubbing in borax. Let it dry before vacuuming. Or, deodorize the mattress with a sprinkling of baking soda. Let sit for a few minutes, brush clean, and then vacuum. 
  • Scour The Stovetop: Tackling this heavy-duty chore is a three-step process. First remove fossilized food from grates, knobs and drip pans by soaking them in hot, sudsy water to loosen the grime. Then clean the crusty area underneath the burners where crumbs and drips collect by sucking up what you can with a vacuum hose. Scrub and clean the cooktop grids, knobs and drip pans, and the sub-cooktop area, with an old toothbrush and a degreaser.
  • Clean & Empty Fridge: Pull out all of the contents, tossing anything past its prime and storing the rest in a cooler. Wipe down and deodorize shelves and walls with a warm water and baking soda solution (1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 quart of water). Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum all dust bunnies and dirt. Clean the refrigerator gaskets with cotton swab sticks dipped in a solution of sudsy water with a dash of bleach. 
  • Clean Out Kitchen Cabinets: Remove the contents one cabinet at a time, tossing out expired herbs, yeast, baking supplies and foods that have gone unused for the last year. Wipe down shelves, and replace torn or worn shelf paper and dingy dishtowels. Find tips for organizing your kitchen cabinets here: Cabinet Organization Ideas
  • Beautify The Bathroom: Send your shower curtain through the washing machine with a little bleach to rid mildew trapped in the folds. Remove the gunk that collects in shower-door tracks by wrapping a toothbrush with #000 fine steel wool and wedging it back and forth. Spray with a glass cleaner for a finishing shine.
  • Replace Batteries: Adopt your annual spring cleaning as the best time to replace the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon-monoxide detectors. Any dust can be removed with the vacuum's brush attachment. Test flashlights and inspect pressure gauges on fire extinguishers so that your home is emergency-ready.
  • Clean & Replace Filters: Outside air-conditioning units, clothes dryers and refrigerators all have filters that need to be cleaned regularly.
  • Polish Pots & Pans: **Great Tip** Banish scorched-on residue on stainless steel pots and pans with this trick: Rub the bottom of the pan with a paste of automatic dishwashing soap and water. Let sit overnight and wipe clean in the morning.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Steam Showers: The Heat Is On

Sauna By AK
   Steam showers are commonly referred to as one of the most luxurious elements of a bathroom design. Once only available at high-end spas or exclusive steam rooms, a steam shower is a smart investment for a homeowner looking for a private retreat. When designed and built properly a steam shower can provide a unique daily rejuvenation. Since ancient times, steam therapy has been used around the world to improve and maintain good health and beauty. Turkish baths, Native American sweat lodges, Finnish saunas, and Japanese steam rooms are just a few examples of cultures that have recognized the power of steam.
   According to Debbic Kacic, LMT, the benefits of steam go beyond the comfort and relaxation; "steam baths...induce 'artificial fevers'...As your temperature rises, your body's natural response is to perspire. As perspiration evaporates, the body cools down again. However, in a steam bath, the increased humidity blocks evaporation. You still sweat and as your pores open, the body purges itself of toxins and other wastes. When your body temperature reaches from 101-103 degree, it's a signal to your immune system to swing into action. Most pathogens that enter the body can't withstand the high temperatures so your elevated body temperature either destroys or weakens them. Your pulse rate speeds up from 75 beats a minute to up to 150 beats a minute, resulting in increased blood circulation. However, your blood pressure remains stable since the heat also causes blood vessels to expand, making way for increased blood flow. Your bloodstream carries nutrients to your skin that both enhance and revitalize it."
    Everyone knows moisture can be dangerous when not controlled, and therefore a steam shower is something that must be designed, built and cared for properly.  Porous tiles, like natural stone, can present issues when used with steam - as can fixtures not suited for the intense heat and moisture present in an enclosed steam shower. As comfort while steaming is going to be an important factor, custom benches and seats should be incorporated into the shower design. High-end steam showers also include adjustable lighting, aromatherapy, music and more. Have an idea of your steam shower wish list when you meet with your contractor, and don't hesitate to ask for his recommendations!