Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hanging Fixtures: Light Up My Kitchen

   Pendant lights have been popular in kitchens for years; whether over an island, peninsula, table or even a desk. Hanging lights make a great design statement and bring vertical movement to the kitchen; they help your eye to move around the space from one element to the next.
  We love pendant lights and frequently get requests for recommendations. The pendant lights that have ridden out the trends and the other hanging fixtures that are making a comeback are all here! Check out our gallery below for some kitchen lighting inspiration.

Livex Lighting Pendant Lantern

Screw-In Brushed Bronze and Glass Cage Pendant Light 
Design Classics Lighting Art Glass Mini-Pendant Light

Crystal pendant lamp

IKEA PS MASKROS Pendant lamp
Design Classics Lighting Bronze Drum Pendant Light with Cream Linen Shade
Two Tier Capiz Like Hanging Chandelier Lamp Light
Traditional Kitchen Pendant Lighting
Angelo Antique Copper Lantern Chandelier

Which one is your favorite?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Love Carrara Marble? Hate The Price?

The Real Thing

   Then let us introduce you to a couple Carrara imposters! But these countertop surfaces don't need to go around pretending to be the popular marble, they can stand on their own merits. Besides being pretty pricey, marble is not the easiest countertop surface to care for. Though no doubt stunning, Carrara marble chips and scars and stains like crazy. These look-alikes we're about to recommend are more hearty and easier to care for. But just a warning, NOTHING is going to look EXACTLY like marble. (There's a reason Michelangelo chose it to create David)


  •     Cambria:  Torquay Waterstone Collection™
 A posh, continental feel, much like this English Riviera town itself. Understated cream complemented by swirls of gray and tan lends a chic air to any setting. Cambria is pure natural quartz. Variation in the natural stone (quartz) color, pattern, size, shape and shade are inherent and unique characteristics to be expected with this product. This does not affect the product performance in any manner. Cambria is durable and more resistant to surface damage than other stone. However, all stone can be damaged by force and no stone is chip-proof. Objects hitting edges particularly at sinks or dishwashers may cause chips. Though a minor knife slip will dull the knife and not harm Cambria, no stone surface is scratch-proof. Surface markings are more visible on monotone designs than multi-colored surfaces. Cambria is not a seamless product, seams are visible. Where there are seams the product pattern and shade can change.
  •  Caesarstone: Misty Carrera
Caesarstone quartz surfaces are the ultimate combination of nature and technology. Non-porous, scratch resistant and highly resistant to stains, Caesarstone retains its beauty without sealants or waxes and is almost maintenance-free. Ideal for any interior space, Caesarstone stone surfaces have four times the flexural strength and double the impact resistance of granite while impressively outperforming marble.
  •  Granite: Bianco Montanha / River White
Bianco Montanha is quarried from a bedrock quarry in Brazil. It is one of the most widely-used and popular granite colors for the local Brazilian market. With its soft veining on a white background, it is similar in appearance to a marble. Some blocks will have more veining and movement, while others will have less and provide a cleaner look. During the polishing process, an epoxy resin is applied to the surface of the stone to fill in any natural pits, cracks or fissures that may exist. This does not affect the durability, maintenance or beauty of the stone. It is possible for some of the more minute pits that are too small to effectively hold the resin, to reopen during other finishing stages. However, this will not detract from the overall quality or appearance of the stone. Due to the qualities of the stone, the slabs are book-matched; meaning slab one and slab two will be cut and polished to create a mirror image of each other. These are then kept in sequence, which allows for a consistent flow in pattern. As a natural stone product, it is recommended that this be sealed to extend its longevity.  (

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bathroom Remodeling Memory Book

  Something that AK likes to do for our clients is when their project is finish, we present them with a book detailing their project! We included memorable happenings, fantastic before and afters and once we even wrote the book from the pet's point of view. (See that Alpharetta Bathroom Remodel book by clicking here!)
  This time we made another beautiful bath remodeling book to thank our clients in Cumming, GA. We've made a copy for ourselves too so that future clients can get a glimpse into the real remodeling process working with AK. Have a look for yourself right here...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cold Weather Musts

  We know it seems silly when the grocery store shelves in Atlanta are cleared of bread and milk when a mere dusting of snow is predicted. But those of us in the south are not used to having to deal with the snow, ice or the amazingly low temps we're set to experience! Now is a good time to reacquaint yourself with some cold weather tips to get you, and your home, through the season safely.
Home Safety
  • Do not use candles for lighting if the power goes out. Use flashlights only.
  • Use caution with portable space heaters. About two-thirds of home heating fire deaths are caused by portable or fixed space heaters.
  • To prevent fire, place space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything combustible, including wallpaper, bedding, clothing, pets and people.
  • Never leave space heaters operating when you are not in the room or when you go to bed. Don't leave children or pets unattended near space heaters.
  • Drying wet mittens or other clothing over space heaters is a fire hazard.
  • Make sure smoke alarms are working properly and replace batteries as necessary.    
  • Have your chimney connections and flues inspected by a professional and cleaned if necessary prior to the start of every heating season.
  • Use a sturdy fireplace screen when burning fires. Burn only wood - never burn paper or pine boughs.  
Prevent Frozen Pipes
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage or in walls adjacent to the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the temperature is very low outside, let the cold water drip from faucets served by exposed pipes or pipes in exterior walls. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing because the temperature of the water running through it is above freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.
If Your Pipes Freeze
  • If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.
  • Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame. It could cause a fire.
  • You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
  • If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house. Leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it.
Your Car

  • Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full.
  • A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.