Ranch Curb Appeal

Increase the Curb Appeal of Your Older Ranch Style Home

Today we’re going to talk about several ways we can help you update the exterior of your older ranch style home and increase the curb appeal.

  • Front Porch – Everyone needs a great front porch! It adds so much character to the home and makes it feel so inviting. It also gives us an amazing starting point for a decorative entry door with surrounds.
  • Gables – Add character and a craftsman style appeal to your ranch home by slightly remodeling the attic to install gables. They don’t necessarily need to be in a useful area, although we can generally make the attic useful if we add gables to expand the wall height.
  • Gable Roof on the Front Porch – A gable roof on the front porch adds a lot of appeal to any style home. We love using angles that help add interest to the entryway of a home.
  • Wooden Safety Rail on the Front Porch – If your current safety rail is metal, opt for wood for a softer, more appealing appearance.
  • Decorative Entry Door with Surrounds – A new entry door can do wonders for the exterior of your home. Traditional entry doors for a ranch style home were solid panels of either wood or fiberglass and covered with a glass storm door with a screen at the bottom. Sound familiar? Let us show you some amazing door options that will truly make a big difference in the appearance of your home.
  • New Windows – Windows are one of the best things you can do for the appearance of your home. Not only can new windows make a dramatic visual difference, they can also increase the energy efficiency of your home saving you money on your power bills.

Ranch style homes are very popular throughout many Decatur and Atlanta area neighborhoods. We want to make it our mission to help as many homeowners realize their home’s full potential as possible. We truly see the diamond in the rough when we see a lot of local ranch style homes.

In addition to the great ideas listed above, we would like to mention the landscaping. We don’t do the landscaping, but we can offer some great ideas. If you’re ready to remodel the exterior of your ranch style home to improve the curb appeal, or if you would like to talk about a whole home remodeling project, give us a call at Renewal Design-Build at 404-378-6962 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.

Inman Park - Historic Craftsman

What Kitchen Design Style do You Prefer?

Kitchen design is not one sided and does not trap every homeowner into a generic style. As you look at designing your kitchen, make sure your voice is heard and your ideas are followed. Your unique kitchen design style will speak volumes and make a positive impression to others when they visit.

Tell us what you like in a kitchen. Do you prefer one style over another? Today we’re going to go over several different styles and discuss how they’re different.

Druid Hills - Modern Kitchen
Modern – The modern kitchen has a lot of matching pieces. The kitchen isn’t just about cooking; it’s about giving people the ability to learn, share, and communicate as a family. You’ll see elements like flat-panel door styles, overlay cabinet designs, simple hardware on cabinets, and a lack of ornaments, fixture embellishments and more in a modern style kitchen. Think sleek, well lit, and clear when you think modern kitchen design.
Inman Park - Historic Craftsman


Craftsman – The Craftsman style is interesting in that it focuses on function and rustic elements. Wood grains that are clean, unpainted, and natural; cabin themes and deep oaks are what you may see in a Craftsman kitchen. Look for simple lighting styles; there are no visual stand outs that take away from function and style here, but rather simple with a light touch. Counters with natural stone, tiles that complement, and tile backdrops that blend seamlessly with counter tops all work well in the craftsman style kitchen.

Druid Hills - Classic Transitional


Traditional – “Traditional” elements can vary from area to area, but you’ll find some interesting elements here in Atlanta. Look for architectural finger prints along windows, range hoods, and molding around various components. Decorations can create interesting elements as well including cabinet doors, varnishes, and colored accents alongside backdrops, backsplashes and the like.

Photo Courtesy of Houzz

Farmhouse –
Farmhouse design is definitely an interesting concept in terms of kitchen design. Look for white to be the color of choice for many cabinets, walls, and backsplashes. The sink will be a stand out here. Butcherblock countertops are an excellent option for farmhouse style kitchens because they offer a natural appeal with excellent functionality. Open shelves, and glass cabinet elements let you see dishes and pieces that otherwise would be hidden, giving this a more vibrant feel.

Photo Courtesy of Houzz

Industrial – Here is a concept that can sometimes be mistaken for modern. Industrial kitchen design utilizes stainless steel for appliances, countertops, and other areas. Lighting fixtures may be described as steampunk. Look for open floor plans, high ceilings, multifunction countertops with seating, and large sinks in an industrial style kitchen. Think very expansive, as function is paramount, but not without large open space and concepts that look more at home in a restaurant than your average family home. This is a tough one to pull off at times, but can be done with the right attention to the minor details.

While you can change the cabinets and appliances, there’s so much more to a kitchen remodeling project than just throwing around a sledgehammer and coating new walls with paint. Your custom kitchen must be functional whether you want to entertain or you simply want to have something inspirational for when you cook. Your remodeled kitchen doesn’t have to fit into any specific mold. It has to fit your needs and your individual tastes.

Druid Hills - Modern

Ideas to Consider When Remodeling Your Ranch Home in Atlanta

A lot of homebuyers in Atlanta are looking at ranch style homes for the simplistic beauty and curb appeal they offer. They are trying to fit the idea of their dream home into a reality that is going to allow them to get very specific details. Often times, however, you will find that your dream home is not so simple to connect with the existing sales options. If you have settled into a home and over time grow to dislike certain aspects, you’re not alone.

Many people come to the realization that they’ve settled. Don’t panic, however, look at a few ideas that can completely change your home’s overall layout, use of square footage, and more. Focus on several ideas that are going to help you gain the upper hand. The following are some ideas that are going to pay off dividends when you consider how to use the set pieces to your advantage.

Druid Hills - Modern


Open Up the Floor Plan

The first major thing that you have to look at is the floor plan. Use the square footage that you have to the fullest by remodeling the most-used areas of the home. Break down non essential walls, allow for more foot traffic areas, and maximize your square footage by opening things up. Too often, living spaces in ranch style homes are closed in and compartmentalized to try and shoehorn more bedrooms or bathrooms, and that could proof stifling. Instead, open things up, have free flowing lighting and windows so that you can create natural spaces for entertaining, living, and more.

Expand the Kitchen

The kitchen in a ranch style home can feel claustrophobic at times because it is surrounded by four walls and maybe a couple of doorways. If you are dealing with a limited amount of space, consider changing the area by opening things up. Change the flooring, the cabinets, get new appliances, and even add accent pieces to the backdrops. Change the counter tops, the sink, and even build a bar or island if space allows. Reconsider the space so that you have more work areas, and easier access to storage and more.

Lenox Park


Paint That Changes Visual Design Flow

Another way that you can focus on remodeling without going overboard is to look at paint options. Step outside of the traditional, and focus on complementing your flooring design. If you are truly going to make changes, change the flooring as well. Go from carpet to hardwood or hardwood to a nicer carpet, and contrast the colors with your walls and accents. Look at precision paint that works with the window treatments, shade, and natural light that can be blended together.

Overall, you have a lot of choices to consider when remodeling a ranch home in Georgia. Don’t just settle for simple elements; focus on larger options within your budget. You’ll be surprised with what you can achieve if you look at the aforementioned elements, and get a helping hand in regards to design. Sometimes the changes you need to make your home more compelling, starts with remodeling the square footage you have.

Morningside Transitional Modern

Is Your Attic Providing All of the Functionality it Can?

Attic Gym

Sometimes, when you realize that you need more living space, the basement is the first spot that comes to mind. Instead of working your way down, why not look upwards to provide the additional room you need. Your attic space is capable of so much more than humble storage. In fact, in design terms, your options are limited only by the square footage you have to work with. Aside from added space, there is the bonus of increased value of the home if you should decide to sell it at some point.

Before Getting Started

Like any other home renovation, a loft conversion requires realistic goals and some planning. Some loft conversion ideas are not workable due to the ceiling height. Plus, there might be a few structural obstacles that will cramp your style. An initial assessment will tell you just what you will be able to achieve. You may have to factor in a roof adjustment, provided it is within the reach of your budget. You can also consider lowering the ceiling in the room underneath the loft to give you the space you need.

Important Considerations

No matter what type of conversion you are going for, you will have to plan carefully.  First, the plans must be compliant with local building codes. Then you must think about the changes that will make the space comfortable. Insulation will be a key factor, as what is suitable for a storage area might not work as well for a bedroom or a comfortable room for personal space.Morningside Transitional Modern

The converted loft space must have adequate lighting and ventilation. While you will be installing lighting fixtures, some natural light is always a good idea. If possible, install a skylight so that the space will always have a warm, inviting feel. We also recommend dormers in some attics because they increase valuable, usable space as well as providing an excellent natural light source and a window for ventilation.

Installing stairs for loft makeovers can be challenging in some homes because of limited space, but with the right contractor, you will end up with a creative staircase that works in the available space. Let us show you some of the ways we can design your attic and the access point to it without resorting to an attic door and potentially-dangerous ladder.

Design Ideas

Ultimately, your changes depend on your needs, and the needs of your household. Bedrooms are probably the most common attic makeovers. If you have enough room, you can put in a bedroom with a small bath. You can also convert the space into an entertainment area, or a playroom for kids. You may simply need space to organize storage for items that you want to keep in a climate controlled storage area. Search the Internet for design ideas and color schemes that may work for you.

Give us a call if you unsure about your lofty goals. We can tell you what will work, and whether your ideas are too far outside your budget range. We are experts at home remodeling, and we will transform your attic into a beautiful space you can enjoy for many years.


Redesigning the Master Bathroom in Your Home

There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when you want to upgrade the interior of your house. You may not want a complete overhaul, but there are points of distress that need a change… now. Oftentimes, people want to upgrade their bathrooms to include some of the newest technology in bathroom design. There’s something grand about changing out the bathroom, especially when you have a great deal of square footage like that of a master bath. If you aren’t thrilled with your master bathroom right now, there are several things that you can do to get things a bit better. Finding the balance here is not too difficult, if you look at several specific ideas.

Changing the Paint Colors and Style

The first step to redesign here is to look at changing the paint. Don’t just settle for a coat of a new color. Think about expert techniques that can stripe, align, or completely change the depth of the room. Contrasting colors in a very specific manner, with a creative brush stroke could very well give your home a whole new look and feel. This goes beyond color, so don’t settle.

Historic Decatur - Modern Craftsman


Sliding Doors

Does your existing bathroom door swing into the bathroom and hit whatever is behind it? Choosing a sliding pocket door can change the way you look at the entrance to your bathroom. Pocket doors are often seen in space-saving attempts, or perhaps the opening of a walk in closet, but you can paint, and put these up in a very interesting framework. Adding a pocket door or other type of sliding door such as Japanese doors could very well change the way that you enter, and leave the bathroom.


The Luminous Skylight

Natural lighting can add a touch of elegance to your bathroom. The luminous skylight solution can add natural lighting and even additional ventilation if you’d like it to open up at an angle. Done right, this can definitely add a nice touch to the interior of your bathroom, and save money on lighting solutions overall.

Smarter Storage

Another grand solution to consider is that of storage. Mixed use cabinets, fixtures, and even countertops can all be used here. You can definitely change things up if you’re short on space, utilizing multipurpose storage solutions. However, if you have the square footage, you could always add additional space, or even a closet solution. Smart storage is definitely one of the many elements that you should not miss out on here. Let us show you how we can help you make the most of vertical storage options that you may not consider while planning your bathroom remodeling project.

Luxury Elements

Consider a new tub, a new steam shower, a sauna, heated flooring, and even lighting options that are sure to wow. This includes warming floor tiles, and under cabinet lighting as to not disturb anyone if you go to the bathroom late into the night. Luxury elements can tie together the master bath in a visual manner, but also allow for a bit of practical relaxation.

Don’t limit your bathroom remodeling ideas to the normal changing of walls and furniture. Let us show you some amazing ideas for remodeling the bathroom to suit your lifestyle while providing some much-needed luxury. Contact us today!

Morningside - Transitional Craftsman

Why Your Current Kitchen May Not Be Enough and What You Can Do About It

Whether you buy a home or build one from the ground up, you may find that as your family grows your need for space increases. One of the areas where this tends to be most apparent is the kitchen. A small kitchen is especially inconvenient if you like to entertain guests now and then. You will find that a lot of bottlenecking occurs, especially if you have to open the fridge door while others are moving around. Sometimes, a compact kitchen looks neat or fits with the design of the house. In more practical terms however, less is definitely not more.

Reworking Your Design

Once you realize that there are space limitations you are off to a good start. Two of the key points to keep in mind are the layout and accessibility. After you come up with a rough plan, you can start to think about lighting. The next big item will be storage and the choice of kitchen cabinets. For a truly modern kitchen, you should consider installing an island. This will give you so much more flexibility and not just in terms of design, but also with your storage and meal preparation. Take some time to think about where you will put all you appliances. You may be surprised to learn how changing the placement can improve the flow of your kitchen space.

Morningside - Transitional Craftsman

Reclaiming Exterior Space

Naturally, designing a better kitchen should not mean sacrificing space inside your home and making other areas feel cramped. So if you want a bigger kitchen, you will have to look to the outdoors. If your home has a porch adjacent to the kitchen, this can make your remodeling plans a bit easier. Convert this space to expand the kitchen, as this might be easier than removing an entire wall and putting in a new foundation. We would, however, need to ensure the structural stability of the new kitchen addition before proceeding with the remodel.

Improving the Features

A kitchen expansion project will call for alterations to the placement of lighting fixtures and the installation of new ones. Adding recessed shelves can make your new kitchen even roomier. Inset cabinets are becoming more popular as they help to create a sleeker look, and make more effective use of space. If you are planning for a bigger kitchen, take the extra step of modernizing the space in the process. We will call in an electrician as needed to ensure all of the work is up to code and properly and efficiently done.

Druid Hills - Classic Transitional

At Renewal Design-Build, we can assess your kitchen space needs and help you come up with the right plan for a renovation. Small changes are not enough when your kitchen is too small. You need a comprehensive plan for improvement, and a contractor capable of delivering on that plan. Allow us to show you some amazing ways to renovate your kitchen and make the most of the surrounding living areas.

Decatur Loft

Modern Sink and Toilet Options for Your Bathroom Remodel

Decatur Loft

The modern bathroom remodel is one of the best things that you can do for your home. No matter what the purpose of doing this is, you’re going to find that the finished product can be nothing short of stellar. When done right, you are going to end up with a solution that has a positive impact on the way you view your home. Whether you want to raise the value of your home, or you’re just tired of the bathroom you have, a remodel is just the ticket to revitalize things and get the pieces you want. Consider a few elements of modern sink and toilet options, as you fix things up.

Space Saving Solutions

First and foremost, you will want to gut your bathroom and then look at it from a square footage perspective. Many homes have small bathrooms, and it’s usually function before fashion. However, here’s an opportunity to create an outstanding layout of design and functionality. Consider a few space saving options like mixed purpose storage, hidden storage, and even incorporation of utilities with drawers, counter tops and more. You can easily factor in multi-use storage compartments to elevate the square footage you have. Just think outside of the box here.

Sinks and Toilets

As for the luxury of sinks and toilets, you can easily focus on several options. For instance, the sinks can either be recessed or you could go with a modern bowl design that sits above the counter top. Tie this together with specialized fixtures for an elegant look.

The toilet can be elevated to new standards as well. This is an easy to overlook piece. You can either go with standard white porcelain, or you could have a colored solution. Black toilets are not too out of the ordinary. However, if you want to really change things up, look at the color solutions that come with toilets, you’ll be surprised.

The Bidet

For those that want to use a bidet, it should be noted that in American bathrooms, it’s not the norm. However, if you’re going for luxury, this is a solution you want to add to your space, if you have the square footage to do so. These are hard to put into place with a tiny space, so you’ll have to really work out the puzzle pieces if this is part of your mandatory design flow.

At the end of the day, your modern sink and toilet options need to flow with consideration of your square footage. When you are remodeling, focus on the notion of a blank canvas, and see what set pieces you can put together to complement the overall visual design flow you want for your bathroom.

Ranch Curb Appeal

Creating an Open Floor Plan in a Ranch Home

Petralia Cropped exterior


The ranch home – a stellar solution for those who are in the market to purchase a home. While this is a great option, there are many people that feel a bit confined with how these are laid out. It’s interesting how they are put together as they are more functional than design heavy. That doesn’t mean that they can’t look elegant, but often, the components are confined to maximizing the square footage, and cutting rooms off to create single use domains. Sectioned off areas can be good, but if you want to expand or at least give the illusion of a bit more space, you’re going to want to pursue the option of opening up the floor plan a little. There are some distinct things you can do to make this happen, and it starts with opening things up.

Creating New Multi-Use Rooms

The first thing that you may want to look at is how to transform certain rooms. In ranch style homes, things can become compartmentalized. That’s not conducive to the modernism that comes with open layouts. One way to ensure that you are able to align the two is to create an open kitchen. Opening things up with a window, counter, secondary island, or multi-use area can really give you an opening. Modern trends such as eat in kitchens and nooks are gaining popularity, and this doesn’t cost a great deal to do. Starting with the kitchen is a great idea, as it gets a lot of traffic, and could definitely become a highlight of the design protocol you want to achieve.

Druid Hills - Modern

Changing Design Schemes

Knocking down walls, opening up lighting solutions, adding windows, skylights, and more can usher in new light for your rooms. This opening can also give you a bit of a detracting point if you do not think about changing up the visual design flow. When moving forward with opening up your floor plan, consider new paint, new window treatments, and different accent pieces that play with that new lighting source. You’re going to find that a bit of paint and some new accents can give you a more open ended feel. This doesn’t have to cost a great deal either; it’s just a matter of playing with the pieces and changing up simple color palettes.

Getting Inspired

There is no “one size fits all” answer to opening up ranch home layouts. When in doubt, look for modern interior design and renovations online. You’ll be surprised how you can change out the square footage, use more of the set pieces, and create lasting impressions for your home with just a few changes. Start with the kitchen, open it up for multi-use, and then work throughout the compartments of your home, moving forward. You’ll find that over time, your inspiration can create lasting results here.

Should You Move or Renovate?

Buckhead - TransitionalIs your home bursting at the seams? Need more space for the kids, an aging relative, or a home office? Before making a decision, we recommend determining your overall budget and making a pros and cons list for both options. Make sure to consider these details while making your decision:

Reasons to Renovate

  • Established life – You love your neighborhood, the local schools, your neighbors and your commute to work, but you want to update or expand your home.
  • Good Bones – Your house has good bones but you want to modernize and customize your interior to best suit your family’s needs and wants.
  • Customization – Customize your home to reflect your family’s style by renovating. You may want to add extra work areas and storage space, open up the kitchen to an adjacent living space, or create a better kitchen layout for cooking and entertaining. Our designers will work with you to create a space that meets your needs, while helping you to select finishes and materials that represent your individual tastes.
  • Room to expand – If you believe your home has room to expand upwards or outwards, consult with a design-build expert to check your city’s latest zoning restrictions (height, distance to property line, yard dimensions, etc…) to ensure you have adequate space for an addition.
  • Empty Nesters – Your children have grown and left the home and you are ready to update your home to fit your new lifestyle.  Consider hiring a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) design-build firm to make your home accessible for the long term.
  • Greener home –  Renovating your home to improve its energy and water efficiency can help you save on energy bills, increase personal comfort, and minimize your home’s impact on the environment.  Also, tax incentives and rebates are often available for these upgrades.
  • Avoid stress and expense of moving – the inconveniences of having a house on the market and the expenses you might incur such as repairs, staging to sell, realtor fees, home inspections, movers and utility startup fees.
  • Boost home value – if you plan to stay in your home for a few years, you may recoup a good percentage of your renovation costs.  Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost Vs. Value report for Atlanta puts recoup rates at 67% for a major kitchen renovation (mid-range) or 59% for an upscale version, 64% for a mid-range bathroom remodel or 60% for an more upscale bath renovation, 69% for two-story additions (mid-range project), and 70% for basement remodels (mid-range project).

Reasons to Move

  • Existing house does not have room to expand and you will gain more space by moving.
  • You’d like a bigger yard or outdoor area.
  • You want to move closer to family or friends.
  • Relocating to a neighborhood with better schools, home values, commute and/or property taxes.
  • Prefer not to live through a home renovation (noise, dust, etc…).
  • Downsizing to a smaller home.
  • When adding square footage, the existing HVAC, electrical, insulation, roofing, and foundation may be affected and can add up quickly.
  • By remodeling you may price yourself out of your neighborhood and not get your investment back.

Before making the decision to move or remodel you should consult a lender, realtor, and remodeler as they might have creative solutions that can save you time and effort. Renovations can range in cost, depending on the affected parts of your home. However, multiple financing options are available for home improvements.

If you decide to renovate, do your homework and select a reputable remodeler carefully.  Renewal Design-Build is a full-service design-build firm.  Our team of designers and builders are with you from conceptual design to completed construction.  For more information about remodeling your home in Atlanta, contact us at Renewal Design-Build.

Atlanta Kitchen Remodel

Choosing Complementary and Contrasting Colors for your Kitchen

Kitchen remodels are one of the most popular remodeling projects. A kitchen can be a very personal space for many people, and is often a central hub of family activity. Hours are spent here preparing food, sharing laughter, and talking. Choosing the perfect color palette for your kitchen is a balance between what will look good and the colors that appeal to you most.

Giving your kitchen new life can be as complex as a full remodel or as simple as fixtures and paint color. The first step to finding a color you’ll love for your kitchen is to start big. Gather all the colors that appeal to you, and then narrow down your choices by thinking about cabinet color, backsplash, appliances and other fixed design elements.

Avoid Trends if Possible

While using the hot colors of the season can be tempting, if you plan on selling at some point, definitely remember to consider resale value while choosing your colors. Trendy colors are trendy for a reason, but will they still be so well liked in future years? Consider going with more neutral tones and using accents like trim, a backsplash, or an accent wall to personalize your space.

Make the Colors Work for You

Colors can really affect the mood of a space, and when you’re painting a well-used area like the kitchen it is a good idea to think about the feel you’re going for when you choose your colors. Different hues can influence everything from mood to appetite to energy level. If you want your kitchen to be a cheery space to get your day started, yellow tones might be for you. Orange is known to stimulate appetite, and blue shades encourage relaxation, and can decrease appetite.

Accentuate the Positive

Paint can be a great way to highlight the areas of the room that you like, and hide those you don’t. Highlight features you love, like the window over your sink or the custom trim around the doorway. If you love your cabinetry, choose a wall color with contrast so they’ll stand out. Call us any time if you’d like to schedule an onsite color consultation so we can help you choose the best colors for your kitchen.

Renewal Design-Build is located in Decatur, GA and provides remodeling and renovation services throughout the intown Atlanta area. We are a full service design-build firm with a focus on projects that start at $50,000. We’ve helped many area homeowners restore historic homes as well as remodel modern homes. Call us at 404-378-6962 to discuss your upcoming project and swap ideas. Together we will create the best kitchen for your home and make it come together beautifully.