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2017/2018 North Fulton_03 26 2018

North Fulton CommunityProfiles Magazine 2018

Now for the Fun Part! By

Now for the Fun Part! By Lisa Mowry After months of finding your new house, it’s time to figure out the right decorating and remodeling projects to make it wonderful. Is there anything more intimidating than an empty house? The possibilities are enormous, but nobody wants to spend money on the wrong priorities—or last year’s trends. We’ve asked the experts to help homebuyers get started on making their new home everything it can be. Remodeling Dale Contant, president-elect of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and owner of Atlanta Design & Build (, offers his expertise: Which areas of the house do homebuyers typically approach you to remodel as a top priority for them? Contant: Kitchens and master bathrooms are by far the most popular for every size house. Baby-boomers want any older home they’ve purchased to have fresh kitchen and bathrooms, floors and paint. As far as other projects: basements are another key area to update, as well as other bathrooms in the house. Do you recommend that homeowners try to do as much as possible before moving in? Contant: It makes for a good transition to have the floors refinished or carpeted, new paint, and any areas that desperately need updating to be done prior to moving in. It’s a lot harder to do with furniture in place and living through the mess; if you remodel before you move in, there’s less inconvenience and it can be done faster. What are some trends you’re seeing in kitchens and baths these days? Kitchens: We’re seeing that homeowners are removing walls and making an open floor plan. They seem to prefer a larger, single level island rather than the multi-level ones from past years, with stone or quartz countertops. We also see more upgrades in appliances than from previous years, and the popularity of farmhouse sinks. Master bathrooms: Bathrooms these days are featuring a much larger shower, often with a “curbless entry,” large format tile, heated tile floors, and frameless showers. We are also adding more freestanding soaking tubs, and linen cabinets. What about outdoor you see that as a popular area of the house for Atlantans to remodel or upgrade? Contant: With such a great spring, summer, fall and even winter in Atlanta, we can use the exterior areas of our home year-round. What we’re seeing a lot of: screen porches with fireplaces and TVs, fancy decks, hot tub areas, outdoor kitchens, waterfalls and serene landscape features, fire pits, and exterior fireplaces—all sorts of ways to link the outdoors and indoors. This built-on screened porch has it all: stone fireplace, vaulted ceiling, and wiring for an outdoor TV—plus an adjacent deck to get a little sun. Photos courtesy of Atlanta Design & Build; photos by Brian Reeves of Perfect Day Photos. Decorating Joann Kandrac and Kelly Kole make up Kandrac & Kole Interior Design (, voted one of Atlanta’s top interior design firms by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. They are frequently featured in magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens. Their thoughts on decorating with a plan: What are some of the first steps homeowners should take to go about decorating their new house? Kelly Kole: Having just gone thru this process myself (after living in a house for 18 years) I would advise homeowners to begin the process by ruthlessly purging. Only keep the things that are of quality and that you love; sell or donate the others. Once you are dealing with an inventory of only the items you really love, start thinking about how they can be reused in different rooms. It’s fun to give new life to a piece of art, a table or chair by putting it in an entirely new space. I took photographs and measurements of my remaining inventory and then started to assign pieces to rooms. Once I did this, I knew where I needed to fill in pieces. Do you have any general guidelines to help people start the process, such as identifying favorite colors? Joann Kandrac: I know some designers say to start with the rug, others choose fabrics, others have a different set of factors. One of my favorite ground rules is to select a palette based on a favorite piece of art. If you had a piece of art in the family room in a previous house, maybe now it will work in the master bedroom, for instance. Take the opportunity to reinvent your existing pieces in different parts of your new home. What do you think are some exciting trends and opportunities in these areas of the house? Foyer: Joann: This is a place you can make a tremendous visual impact and one good way to do that is with wallpaper. It is making a big comeback and a foyer is a perfect place to incorporate it. Another opportunity in this area is to have fun with the flooring. Examples might be to mix marble and wood in the same room, or use flooring in a chevron or brick-style pattern. Living room: Joann: Make this room a true room to live in; gone are the days of the “too nice to sit on” furniture and the museum-like furnishings. Make this room comfortable and cohesive to family time, not a room that is only “for show.” Dining room: Kelly: Formal dining rooms are not as common as they once were. Some homeowners are turning their dining room into a more multi-functional space – such as also a library, music room, or craft room. For those homeowners who still want a dining room, we are seeing a trend toward a more casual area. One way to accomplish this is by using a mix of seating options. We are designing these spaces with a mix of wood and upholstered chairs, benches and banquets (like a small sofa made to cozy up to a dining table). Also, a large interesting chandelier can transform a dining room. Most chandeliers we see in clients’ homes are too small. Family room/TV room: Kelly: Our clients are busy families, so the fabric choices we make are very important. We are selecting Sunbrella and Crypton fabrics in many of our projects. These fabrics are traditionally known for their indoor/outdoor qualities but the patterns, colors and softness have come a long way. They are durable and easy to clean, which appeals to everybody. We are also designing family rooms that appeal to everybody in the family—such as a quiet reading corner, a small desk to work at, a pub table for games, or a large, deep sofa for curling up in front of a movie. Kitchen: Joann: Incorporating bold and oversized light fixtures can update your kitchen in a big way. Storage is another game changer for functionality in a kitchen. In terms of cabinetry, it’s handy to incorporate trash/recycling pullouts, rollout drawers, spice pullouts and even special storage for dog bowls/food. Powder room: Joann: This is the space where company can close the door and really take it all in. Even though this is probably the smallest room in the house, it can have the most impact. The use of a graphic wall covering or an intense paint color for the ceiling is one clever way. Painting this room a dark color is also a great way to add drama and it does NOT make the room look smaller. 24 CommunityProfiles >> 2017

Master bedroom: Kelly: Normally the last room that our clients decorate, the master bedroom is really one of the most important spaces for homebuyers. We are enjoying designing with “smart furniture” these days-- bedside tables that have a built in night light under the table, hidden drawers for iphones/ipads to charge, or headboards that have a hidden panel with an LED reading light. We are also layering windows with custom linen panels but then using a black out cellular shade underneath--a big hit with the teenagers! Home office: Kelly: With technology becoming smaller and more efficient, a home office can be a light-filled corner of a room, a renovated closet, or a portion of a laundry room or butlers pantry. We are also seeing trends towards wellness and ergonomics in the office - standing desks, adjustable smart chairs (where you can adjust the height, the lumbar and the arms) and LED lighting that is easy on the eyes. They gave the dining room a new look with slipcovered chairs and a more casual light fixture with some size to it (the previous one was wimpy). Photos courtesy Kandrac-Kole and photographer Emily Followill. “We were able to use about 40% of this Atlanta family’s previous things for their new house,” says Kelly Kole. To upgrade the family room, they painted the built-ins a soothing gray, and livened up an existing sectional with new pillows and rug in colorful hues. Photos courtesy Kandrac-Kole and photographer Emily Followill. SPECIAL OFFER! ITEX CONNECT • TRADE • SAVE 770.817.4839 FREE ESTIMATES BENCHMARK ROOFING SYSTEMS. LLC Georgia’s Favorite Roofing Contractor and Remodeling Specialist We are your Local Roofing Company!! An innovative and dynamic roofing contractor with superior service and customer SATISFACTION. Proudly serving Cherokee, Cobb, and Forsyth Counties. Benchmark Roofing Systems is proud to be a provider of Certainteed, G.A.F., Atlas, and specialty ties, metal and more. Benchmark Roofing Systems is also a licensed and insured roofing contractor that you can trust! CommunityProfiles >> 2017 25