Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How To Design And Remodel A Home For All Ages

  Ninety percent is an astounding statistic in any capacity; just try and get ninety percent of people to agree on much of anything and you’ll be even more surprised by AARP’s independent living survey. 

  According to Elinor Ginzler, AARP’s nation expert on independent living and aging issues, nearly ninety percent of older Americans want to stay in their current homes as they age. It sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Simply staying put where you are. 

  But what happens when you or a loved one lose your mobility? Arthritis, osteoporosis, heart conditions, muscle cramps, diminished eye sight…all unfortunate but possible medical conditions that should be discussed not only with your doctor – but with your CONTRACTOR!

    Not just any contractor either, a certified aging in place specialist also known as CAPS. Surprisingly, despite the overwhelming number of people who wish to stay in their home as they age, relatively few are properly preparing for the future of their home and their lifestyle. 

  The CAPS designation is the only national training course that trains remodelers how to design and execute aging in place modifications. The old fashioned clinical look of flimsy white plastic shower seats and obtrusive aluminum grip bars is not at all how aging-in-place home modifications have to look. CAPS professionals are first and foremost design professionals; they know how to incorporate necessary elements seamlessly into an overall design. A visitor to a home designed this way would likely not even be able to identify the items put in place for the home’s aging residents.
            The process can be started simply by making some easy changes. See what you can do right now by visiting AK's Universal Design / CAPS page and reviewing the tips and checklist:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Can Your Kitchen Cabinets Be Painted?

  The right cabinet color can transform your kitchen, or bathroom's, look. And because replacing
cabinetry can be expensive, a fresh paint color could be the best bet for your budget. But before you start in on this seemingly simple DIY, first consider the cost of possibly replacing them altogether, and how that coordinates with your short- and long-term objectives.

   If function is a big problem in your kitchen, a fresh coat of paint will do nothing to fix that. In that case you might want consider saving the cost to do a full remodel later on. But if your cabinets are just old or outdated but otherwise in good shape, and you're just craving an updated aesthetic - consider painting them!

   Painting your cabinets doesn't mean you have to do a bright or trendy color. (You can even change a white or bright cabinet to look more like traditional wood.) So what kind of cabinets are best for painting? How can you tell if your cabinets are in good enough condition to paint?
AK's professional painting partner, Summer Strother, owner of Faux by Design, answered this and more frequently asked questions on our website here: Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wash, Dry, Repeat: Design A Great Laundry Room

Did you know, Americans spend more time in the laundry room than in the bathroom: an average of eighthours a week, collectively doing some 35 billion loads of laundry a year. And yet, while bath design has evolved into a discipline of its own, and the space into a bona fide retreat with soothing soaker tubs, the laundry is often relegated to a basement, separated from the life of the home.

Increasingly, though, homeowners are creating laundry rooms that are as integrated as a bath or the kitchen. They can even be in a bath or kitchen.  A first-floor laundry room can serve as a command center—a nook near the family room, where parents can keep an eye on the kids while folding, or off the back door, where it can double as a mudroom, home office, or hobby area. On the second floor, stackable, whisper-quiet front-loaders can tuck into a hall closet, just a balled-up-shirt-toss from the bedroom.

Here's a laundry list of some key elements to creating a well-designed, well-functioning laundry room:

  • Task lighting, such as under-cabinet strips, illuminates specific work zones. Ambient sources, like natural light or a ceiling fixture, brighten the room
  •  A utility sink multitasks as a hand-washing station, a place to soak soiled sports gear, even an area to pot plants.
  •  Hanging racks provide a place to air-dry delicates and hang shirts straight from the dryer. Choose a steel bar, a retractable clothesline, or a fold-up rack.
  • Counters of varying heights suit different jobs. A raised surface atop front-loaders is perfect for folding, while a 36-inch height is the norm at a sink. 
  • Cabinetry can hide detergent and cleaning supplies, as well as an ironing board, pull-out hampers, and sliding utility rails.
  • Water-resistant materials, such as concrete counters and stone floor tiles, are durable and easy to clean. A laminate top and ceramic tile are thrifty alternatives.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

33 Unbelievable Home Renovations

Friday, February 7, 2014

Alpharetta Bath Remodel - Times Two!

These are the OLD outdated bathrooms in this beautiful Alpharetta home that AK has just begun to renovate! The homeowner is looking for a new look and new function for their master bath and their son's bath.
Take a look at these spaces full of possibility.
What would you do if this were your home? What style? What look? What fixtures?