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.

Petralia Cropped exterior

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.

Clairemont - Transitional

Turn Your Basement into a Guest Room

Many homeowners search for ways to add value to their homes, and maximize the usable space. A finished basement can be a wonderful way to do both of these things. In fact, a full basement effectively doubles the square footage of your home. While many people think of the basement as a perfect area for storage or emergency shelter, it is possible to transform your basement into a comfortable and welcoming space for guests in your home.

For many reasons, basement spaces are often cooler than the rest of the house.  They often don’t get heat from the sun like other parts of the home, making the basement a very viable living space. Bedrooms need a window for egress, so they’ll need to be located at the perimeter.


Additionally, you’ll want to double check your waterproofing. Most basements are already waterproofed, but if you’re going to spend time and money finishing yours, you’ll want to reinforce and double check to make sure water won’t be an issue.


Once you’ve taken care of the behind the scenes work, it’s time to think about walls and floors. Thick carpet can create a soft, welcoming feel for guests as long as moisture isn’t a problem. If you’ve got a bit extra to spend, heated tile or wood floors can be great for adding warmth to a naturally cooler space. The cooler ambient temperature is welcomed in most areas except sleeping quarters. No one likes waking up to a cold floor on bare feet.

Wall Finishing

Finishing the walls may require new drywall, or it may just be a matter of a coat of paint. When choosing paint colors, choose welcoming serene colors that complement the rest of your decor. Consider cool colors, because even if you’re going with neutrals, a blue undertone can be very soothing.

Basement Lighting

Many basements lack natural light, and creating a well-lit, warm feeling space can take some creativity. Wall sconces and recessed lights can be great options, especially in a basement where space is limited. Bedside lamps, hanging lanterns, floor lamps and ceiling fixtures can all be great options. Your lighting choices will depend greatly on the specific use of the different rooms in the basement.

Renewal Design-Build is located in Decatur, GA and provides remodeling and renovation services throughout the greater Atlanta area. We are a full service design-build firm with a focus on projects that start at $50,000.

Call us at 404-378-6962 to discuss your upcoming project and swap ideas. Together we will create the best basement area for your home and make it come together beautifully.

Historic Decatur - Modern Craftsman

Opening up the Bathroom with these Great Ideas

This may sound like a crazy notion, but when you are looking at redesigning and renovating your bathroom, you are not relegated to just function. Often times, people think of the bathroom as something of a necessity and do not tie it together with design protocol. It shouldn’t be an afterthought of your interior design flow, and in the case of a master bath, you should take special consideration about how you can open it up and create a little oasis for yourself and your spouse. No matter what the goal is, take a moment to consider a few things before you hire a renovation company to do this type of work for you.

Master Bathroom with Sliding Doors

New Doors

The first thing to consider is the entrance. Sure, a solid door is nice, but what about thinking outside of the box? Barn doors, sliding doors, mirrored options, or glass sliders, can all take a page out of the visual design books and give you a master bath that is right out of the pages of a high end magazine. You are not relegated to just one type of solution here, even though most people just think within the confines of a box. Think outside of it, and you’ll not only open up your space by a bit of square inches, you could gain square feet as a result.

The Tub and the Shower

Master Bathroom Shower & Tub

These don’t have to be connected. You could have any number of tub options, and for those who like to relax, you can have a soaking, illusionary floating spa tub with a fireplace if you like. For showers, you could have enclosed, open, or simple options that are outside of the norm. If you don’t have the space, then a compact design can be utilized, but you really shouldn’t think that you have only a handful of ideas to consider when renovating a master bath. When you discuss this with one of our designers, you will find that we can definitely help spur your creativity and build something amazing.

The Toilet and Sink

Sinks, toilets, bidets, and much more can be installed in a master bath, and tying it all together with the fixtures, doors, tile, backdrops, mirrors, lighting, and more should be considered. It’s easy to overlook all of these things since tubs, showers, and doors can sometimes take precedence. However, sit down with one of our experienced designers and a member of our construction crew and you’ll see that there’s an expansive array of solutions that you can work with in order to get a brand new bathroom.

At the end of the day, the options we discussed here today are just things to think about as you plan your remodeling project and consider opening up a bathroom in your home. It’s not something that should be taken lightly, but rather part of a larger solution with the help of one of our incredible designers. A meeting with our designer and build team will help you in terms of creating visual design flow through your bathroom and bedroom, and outstanding value in case you ever want to sell your house in the future. Don’t go DIY here; let the expert designers and builders at Renewal Design-Build handle this one.

Contact us today!

Druid Hills - Modern Kitchen

Are You Looking for Custom Kitchen Design in the Atlanta Area? Let’s talk!

Atlanta Modern Kitchen

Custom kitchen design can be daunting, the sheer variety of design options, material options, color options, and more options, options, options! Find a designer and builder in the Atlanta area who is willing to help you work through all of the options to help you find the best products for your kitchen. We’re glad you stumbled upon our blog today, because that’s exactly what we enjoy. We have been in the business of creating custom kitchens for homeowners in the Atlanta area for many years. We have the experience you need and plenty of references to share. Let’s talk details!


Custom cabinets are absolutely the way to go when you’re truly going to customize your kitchen. Your local hardware or home improvement store will likely have a section for custom cabinetry, or you can look for someone to custom build cabinets for you. The decision is ultimately yours. Let us know if we can help with this process in any way.


Marble, quartz, granite, and formica are very popular countertop options. Marble is, of course, the more expensive choice. Granite is less expensive but a very popular material. One thing we do want to bring up is that quartz is very quickly becoming a favorite among people who design and build custom kitchens.


Hinges, doorknobs, cabinet and drawer door handles, and faucets should all be made of a similar material with a similar finish. This really helps pull the overall kitchen design together at the end of the project.

AppliancesKitchen Appliances

Stainless steel appliances were number-one again in 2014 as far as new appliances are concerned. In fact, the second runner up was a massive 63% behind stainless steel in terms of popularity. So as far as trends go, stainless steel appliances are still the most popular. They look great in any type of kitchen from traditional to modern, and seem to hold their appearance much better than black, bone, or white appliances.



Kitchen lighting options are pretty overwhelming for most homeowners. We often recommend LED lighting because it is more energy efficient and produces a true color light. This means your paint colors will look richer, and you’ll see more detail in most finishes.


Kitchen paint colors vary from homeowner to homeowner. We saw some pretty unusual finishes in 2014 that ranged from dark walls and white cabinetry to brightly colored walls with dark cabinetry. Neutral gray was a very popular choice for kitchens as it works well with most accent colors.  We always recommend collecting images you find online or in magazines so you can get a good idea of what your finished custom kitchen will look like. Use those images to tell us exactly what you love about each image.

Window Treatments

Many homeowners are choosing to streamline their entire kitchen. They’re using built-in appliances such as the range, oven, coffee maker, and microwave. They’re turning away from traditional curtains and moving toward other window dressings such as window sun screens. As we said before, options, options, options!

Local Builders Know Local Trends

Just because you follow a local trend doesn’t mean your custom kitchen will look just like your neighbor’s kitchen. Trends and cookie cutters aren’t quite in the same category. Some trends are fleeting while others are enduring. Call us at 404-378-6962 to discuss local trends and ideas on how to truly customize your kitchen.


Bathroom Remodel Tips to Add Functionality and Style

Bathroom Remodel Tips to Add Functionality and Style

Remodeling a bathroom can be stressful even for the most organized and laid back homeowner. One way to keep your bathroom remodel under control is to go into it with a bathroom remodel checklist. Start your list at least 3 months before the remodel project is to begin. That way we can see what you want, where you want it, and how you want it to look. Here are some helpful tips for helping your bathroom remodel run as smoothly as possible.

Budget: Create a budget and stick to it. Knowing how much you want to spend on your renovation will guide your decisions in things like tile and fixtures. Once you’ve figured out what you can realistically spend, factor in labor, and then decide where you want to splurge and where you might be able to save. It’s perfectly okay to purchase cheaper flooring so you can buy more expensive furniture or hardware, for example. Choose your splurge items carefully, because you can get carried away quite easily!

Brace Yourself: Consider hidden problems you may face during the remodel. If you’re doing a major upgrade, consider fully gutting your bathroom down to the studs. By getting right down to the skeleton of your space, you’ll avoid discovering hidden problems in the future that might require undoing all your hard work to fix a functional plumbing or electrical issue.

Design Meets Functionality: Design for a balance of functionality and style. Think about the look you want, and try not to get overwhelmed. You may have a certain feel that you’re drawn to for your room, or you may have fallen in love with a specific design feature and choose to build your design around that special faucet or antique mirror you found.

Design and Decorate for Now and Later: Consider adding features like a built-in bench seat in the shower and grab bars in the shower and by the toilet. You may not need these features yet, but if you plan to live independently well into your old age, you will need them later. Ask us about remodeling with a few ADA Compliant features for your Golden Years.

Renewal Design-Build is a Decatur, GA based design-build firm. We provide remodeling services to homeowners in the greater Atlanta area. We have a proven track record and we can provide referrals on request. Our most enjoyable projects are often our most challenging, because we strive to meet all of our clients’ needs and wants while maintaining a fully functional home.

Call us any time to discuss your bathroom remodeling ideas. Let us know what you think about the tips we gave in this post. We enjoy hearing your ideas as well. Together we can create a truly unique bathroom to suit your current and future lifestyle.

Morningside - Transitional Craftsman

Choosing the Perfect Countertop for Your Atlanta Area Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodeling options are often overwhelming. The sheer number of cabinet, countertop, hardware, and flooring options often makes homeowners take a step back and question whether they really want to remodel their kitchen. Renewal Design Build in Decatur, GA has experience with the types of countertops listed below and many more. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options!

Granite: Granite is the most popular choice of countertop material for many homeowners. It offers a high-end look, increases the value of your home, and provides one of the most durable food preparation surfaces. Granite is a natural material, and no two countertops are the same. This makes it difficult to match multiple slabs for a uniform look throughout the kitchen while simultaneously increasing the unique appeal. Granite must be sealed regularly in order to maintain a flawless surface.

Honed Granite: Honed granite countertops are a twist on polished granite countertops. Honed granite provides a soft, matte finish instead of the highly polished glossy appearance of traditional granite. It is resistant to chipping, cracking, and heat, and slightly more affordable than polished granite.

Quartz: Quartz countertops are practically maintenance free. They’re stain, acid, scratch, impact, and heat resistant. They are nonporous, so you never need to seal them the way you do natural stone countertops. Quartz is the second-most popular countertop material; closely following granite.

Laminate: Laminate countertops are the most inexpensive option. The resurgence in popularity of laminate can be attributed to the low cost as well as to new patterns that resemble natural stone, wood, and many more high-end materials. Laminate is not heat resistant, but it is a cost effective way to try out different finishes every few years if you get bored easily.

Wood: Wood countertops provide a rustic, cottage style appearance. You absolutely must maintain a proper seal on the wooden countertop to keep it sanitary for cutting meats. Wood countertops are very heavy duty, very sturdy, and heat resistant.

Marble: Carrara or Calacatta marble is extremely beautiful and durable. The timeless appeal of marble provides a high-end appearance and works well with most types of modern kitchen decor. Marble’s smooth, cool surface is great for working with pastry and chocolate. It is on par with granite as far as cost is concerned. Marble can scratch easily and is susceptible to household stains.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel countertops aren’t only intended for restaurant kitchens. Stainless offers a beautiful, modern look with clean lines. It’s extremely easy to clean and does not promote bacterial buildup. Many restaurants use stainless steel countertops because it is the most hygienic countertop.

Glass: Glass countertops are sleek with clean lines and a very glossy appearance. They’re very sturdy and may be cut into any shape. They’re a little more expensive then more popular options. The nonporous surface creates an easy-to-clean, stain resistant, hygienic countertop workspace.

As you can see, there are many countertop options. Many kitchens even mix countertop materials, such as wood and granite or marble and quartz.  An experienced designer can help you select the best countertop materials to suit your particular design and lifestyle.