Accent Lighting: How to Brighten Up Your Atlanta Home

One of the most important things to consider when designing your home is your lighting scheme. There are three main types of lighting: ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. Ambient lighting provides the area’s general lighting. Task lighting is reserved for specific purposes. Accent lighting is often used to emphasize a part of your home’s decor or to add visual interest to a room. The following are a few examples of how accent lighting can be used throughout the home.

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Focal Points
Accent lighting can be used to draw attention to different objects around the home. For example, you can use track lighting in your walk-in closet to showcase different parts of your wardrobe. You can also use wall sconces or even recessed lights to draw attention to a sculpture, a painting on your wall or the fireplace in your living room.

Accent lighting can also be added with no other purpose but to add ambiance. For example, you can install accent lights underneath your kitchen cabinets to help increase your décor’s ambiance. Consider using recessed lighting around your living room to supplement or act as an alternative mood to your ambient lighting. Use different fixtures to add visual interest to architectural areas or smaller spaces, such as a breakfast nook or reading area.

Accent lighting can be used outside of your home as well. You can light up a pathway by adding accent lighting to your sidewalks or you can hang lights from your roof overhang, or place them around your yard to highlight trees, bushes or flowers. Not only does adding accent lighting here make it easier to see where you are going, it also provides your home with added curb appeal.

For additional information about implementing accent lighting into your home renovation, feel free to contact Renewal Design Build.

Need Instant Curb Appeal? Think Shutters!

If you are taking a second look at the exterior of your home and trying to determine some fantastic methods to improve on the curb appeal, one solution can be found in shutters. Shutters can be either decorative or functional, but they make the exterior of a home look complete.

Decorative shutters are made to simply bring attention to the windows and add a homey feel to the house’s facade. The material is typically lightweight but durable for easy installation and a long life outdoors.

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Functional shutters are a great way to not only beautify your residence but also provide an added layer of protection in the event of severe weather. Residential shutters have a long history of being used to control the interior temperature of a home and safeguarding the occupants and possessions within.

Functional exterior shutters can be closed over windows immediately, producing a physical layer of protection against harsh elements. Regions with high winds are especially fond of this form of shutters.

Being able to close outside shutters also provides a great way to lock up a home that is going to sit vacant. The use of shutters is often preferential to placing unsightly boards across windows for many homeowners.

Closing shutters over windows also delivers an obvious barrier to both light and outside temperatures. The way that shutters are created enables the resident to open the slats to control the flow of air without suffering the harsh, bright sunlight.  This can help regulate the temperature within your home during sunny summer days as well, potentially saving money on energy bills.

Shutters come in a variety of materials, including vinyl and wood. Vinyl is typically reserved for decorative pieces because of the large selection of colors that are available. Wood shutters are most commonly associated with the functional forms used by homeowners.

If you need to improve the curb appeal of your Atlanta home, contact Renewal Design-Build at 404-378-6962.

The Wonders of an ENERGY STAR Certified Refrigerator

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When we work with homeowners on green home renovations in Atlanta, one of our first suggestions is to replace old appliances with Energy Star Certified counterparts. Something as simple as replacing your old refrigerator with an Energy Star certified refrigerator can save as much as $1,100 over the refrigerator’s lifetime. This is just one of the wonders of a refrigerator that meets Energy Star certification requirements.

A Positive Return on Your Investment

While Energy Star certified refrigerators may cost more initially, you’re guaranteed to receive a return on your investment. Energy Star promises homeowners will recoup the extra money spent – and then some – within a reasonable amount of time through energy savings.


Out with the Old

Did you know 61% of Atlanta homes were built prior to 1960? Many homes have been passed down to newer generations with well-maintained infrastructures and appliances intact. However, appliances were considerably less energy efficient prior to the 1990’s. If you own a refrigerator that’s more than ten years old, you’re spending a minimum of $200 more on energy than you need to.

Reduce Energy Consumption

Energy Star certified refrigerators are guaranteed to use 15% less energy than models that aren’t certified. They use 20% less energy than standard refrigerator models that meet minimum government requirements for energy efficiency. That is a significant difference in energy usage and therefore energy costs.

To maximize energy savings and minimize your carbon footprint, consider the following:

  • Read the EnergyGuide label carefully to compare energy use with other models.
  • Top-mounted freezer models are 10%-25% more efficient than other models.
  • The biggest savings are gained by refrigerators in the 16-20 cubic feet range, so don’t buy more fridge than you need.
  • Ice makers and door dispensers use 14%-20% more energy.

Green home renovations are a great way to update your home and reduce your carbon footprint. Make an appointment for a Renewal System Solutions energy assessment to learn more ways your home will benefit from energy efficient modifications.


Consider Adding a Breakfast Nook to Your Kitchen

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If you’re considering making a few improvements around your home, then consider the option of renovating your kitchen in order to provide you and your family with a breakfast nook. A breakfast nook is a fantastic addition to any kitchen that has the space available for it.

There are a number of reasons to consider putting a breakfast nook in your kitchen. It’s nice to have another option when it comes to dining that’s not as formal as the dining room. Many breakfast nooks will be built using banquette seating against the wall, complemented with a couple of additional chairs. One of the advantages of banquette seating in a breakfast nook is the fact that it will help save as much space as possible. You don’t necessarily need extra chairs if your family is small, which will keep the breakfast nook out of the way. This doesn’t mean you can’t style it to fit your home’s design. Choose the cushioning for the banquette seat, the table, the chairs and perhaps even a chandelier or a pendant light to fit your design.

The nook can serve as the social hub of the house offering a great place for casual dining, homework, or crafts.  A breakfast nook could be the perfect addition to your home’s kitchen. For more information about Atlanta home improvement, please visit us at Renewal Design-Build online.


The Function of a Mudroom for Your Atlanta Home

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It’s important to keep the entryway of your home clean and clutter-free, both for the safety of people entering the house and to give a good first impression to guests. However, entryways can often get very dirty, especially in winter and spring, when Atlanta is more prone to rain and pollen. If you are interested in keeping your home clean and your entryway inviting, then you should consider adding a mudroom to your home.

mudroom is a space that acts as a barrier between the outdoors and the indoors. It’s easy to track in mud, dirt, and leaves, and a mudroom will help keep that mess from spreading to the rest of the home. The following are a few renovations that you can make to your entryway to turn it into a mudroom that will still leave a positive first impression on guests.

  • Seating – Place comfortable seating in your mudroom, preferably something that has storage space beneath it so that it can serve more than one function. This will allow you and your guests to sit down and remove or put on shoes.
  • Shoe Tray – Have a shoe tray near the doorway to keep any water and mud on your shoes from spreading throughout the mudroom.
  • Umbrella Stand – This allows you easy access to an umbrella and gives you the chance to put it away without having to leave it open to dry out.
  • Hooks – You can never have too many hooks in a mudroom. This makes it easy to hang up coats, backpacks and accessories immediately without having to rummage through the nearest closet.

If you want to renovate your entryway to serve as a mudroom, be sure to take a look at our portfolio. We at Renewal Design-Build would love to help improve your Atlanta home!