Luxury Renovations

Rightsizing – What’s the Ideal Home Size for Your Family?

Rightsizing – What’s the Ideal Home Size for Your Family?

It’s likely that you’ve heard of upsizing and downsizing in homebuying, but have you heard of “rightsizing”?  The act of rightsizing is basically just what it sounds like – building a home that’s the right size for your family or reconfiguring your current home to make the best use of your existing space. There are several factors to consider when determining the ideal house size for your family…

Household Composition

There was a time when the general thinking was that the perfect house size for a household of four was a four-bedroom home. A bedroom for Mom and Dad, a bedroom each for the kids and a spare room for when company came to visit. But with more and more multi-generational families coming into the mix and a greater number of parents seeking the privacy that a master-on-main affords them, traditional thinking has given way to more innovative home designs that include things like dual master bedrooms, a large bedroom devoted to more than one child with built-in bunkbeds or an entire floor devoted as a guest or teen suite. If building a custom home, talk about your current family’s composition, but remain forward-thinking. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average length of time a family stays in a home is 10 years. A lot can change regarding your family composition over the course of a decade – from adding new family members to inviting an aging parent to move in to college-bound children moving out.

Collective Personality

Does your family love its together time, or does everyone crave their own quiet space in the home? Are you a family who loves to entertain guests, host friends and family overnight or do you prefer to keep to yourselves? Your answers to both of those questions can impact your ideal home size. You may be that family who loves its together time but doesn’t really entertain others – meaning you could probably get away with a smaller home. However, you could fall into the other end of the spectrum – a family who appreciates space, but also loves to entertain – meaning you’ll need more room to spread out. For families who like together time and regularly invite others to join in the fun, an open concept design on the main level might be the ideal move for you.

Family Interests

This is another area where entertainment plays a major role. For one, if you like to entertain – chances are you’ve shared that “gene” with your offspring. If you have teenagers who like to host their friends at your house (the COOL house), you may want a dedicated space for them where they can watch YouTube or play video games on the big screen. This could be an upstairs bonus room, a space in the basement or a room you’ve never even imagined. A family of movie buffs may benefit more from a media room or home theater than they would a formal dining room. A health-conscious family may prefer an upstairs gym not far from their bedrooms for early morning workouts or a room in the basement where it’s quiet. If your household is full of family members who like to pamper themselves, you may want to put more of an emphasis on number of bathrooms and bathroom space. And if you have a home full of aspiring chefs, kitchen space and configuration is a major consideration.

Existing Property or Starting from Scratch

You’ll also want to determine whether It’s time to move or if you plan to stay in your existing home and simply “reimagine” it. Starting from scratch with a set of blueprints to your dream house can be exciting – allowing you a rare opportunity to create the interior and exterior of your new home with a custom builder using things like family composition, collective personality and family interests as your guide. However, that endeavor can be expensive and time-consuming. If you love your current neighborhood, your kids have lots of friends there, it’s a short commute to work and the schools are good, why move? A great renovation company can help you redesign the exterior and interior of your home to fit many of the same specifications outlined above. Live on a slab in a one-story home? That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re limited to existing space. Pop-the-top renovations are growing in popularity, where the roof is removed, and a second story is added to create TWICE the amount of space that existed before. This will require you to live off-site while the renovation is ongoing, but – if done properly – it’s well-worth the hassle.

Budget

Last but certainly not least comes the amount of budget you have to work with to get your custom home or renovation project off the ground. You may want to speak with your lender first to get a general idea to how much money you can access, then speak with a custom builder or renovation company to discuss your vision and hear their ideas. They can pull together a proposal that will give you a better idea of what your vision will cost. OR you can share your budget with them first and they can tell you what is doable and what may have to wait. If a custom home just isn’t in the cards, make a list of the things you want in your next home and explore up and coming communities to see who can get close to your vision AND budget. More and more builders are incorporating “flex spaces” into their floor plans – allowing you the flexibility to use spaces the way they’ll see the most use. If your family is small and doesn’t really entertain, do you even have a need for a formal dining room?

Long story short, no one knows better than you what’s the best size for your “home sweet home.” Working closely with a custom home builder (like Highlight Homes) or skilled renovation company (also Highlight Homes) is a great way to determine not only the appropriate size of your home, but also the most beneficial uses of your living spaces. The Highlight Homes’ team welcomes the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the home of your dreams – whether that’s a brand-new custom home or a complete renovation of your existing home. We can design to your specifications, offer our own suggestions or find an existing plan that’s the ideal fit for your needs and wishes. To learn more about Highlight Homes and our signature design-build method, please visit www.highlighthomesga.com. Once you’re ready to get started, contact us at 678-874-9234 or info@highlighthomesga.com.

Highlight Homes Makes a SPLASH in Brookhaven

Custom Builder and Renovator Unveils Latest Pool and Pool House Additions

At Highlight Homes, exceeding the desires of our clients is always our number one goal. In addition to the rewards that come from seeing the tears shine in their eyes and the broad smiles that light up their faces when their completed renovation or custom home is revealed, making them happy means that they’ll refer us to others and – sometimes – they’ll even call us back for a new project. That was the case for the Buie Family – who purchased one of our custom-designed renovated homes in Brookhaven just last year. They hoped to extend their gathering spaces outdoor and called upon the Highlight Homes’ team to completely reimagine their existing rear yard by creating a luxury retreat just outside their backdoor. The result was a stunning pool and pool house addition – just in time for summer!

Their new lounge pool comes complete with a lap lane and hot tub with stunning tile surround. The adjacent pool house offers a kitchenette with full size fridge/freezer combo for poolside refreshments, space for seating or dining, a flat-screened TV and full bathroom where bathers can shower off and change out of their wet swimsuits. The pool house – fashioned to reflect the same farmhouse-inspired design of the main house both inside and out – also features an extended covered front porch, perfect for the placement of several tables, cozy outdoor seating and/or a grill. Flooring and accent wall in the main space inside the pool house give the appearance of reclaimed wood, while the bathroom features a gorgeous blend of Moroccan mosaic tiles and shiny subway tiles in a show stopping black and white color story.

From a tropical poolside oasis with an intown address to an Italian villa-inspired outdoor kitchen and dining pavilion in the suburbs (and everything in between), the Highlight Homes design-build team welcomes the chance to help you up the WOW! factor on your outdoor living spaces. To schedule a no-obligation consultation and have a Highlight Homes representative assess your outdoor living space options, contact us at 678-874-9234 or info@highlighthomesga.com. To learn more about Highlight Homes, our signature design-build method and our award-winning custom home/renovation capabilities, please visit www.highlighthomesga.com.

We do interiors, too!  Take a peek inside both our Interiors AND our Exteriors Galleries!  And keep checking back as we continue to add exciting new projects!

Things are Looking Up: Pop-the-Top Renovations

Things are Looking Up: Pop-the-Top Renovations

We’re sure you’ve heard the phrase: “We’ve got nowhere to go but up!” That concept certainly rings true with homeowners who own structures that don’t allow for expansion beyond their home’s existing footprint. To grow the current size of their home, there truly is no other option but to go UP. Therein lies the inspiration behind a growing trend in pop-the-top-renovations, which – in the simplest terms – involve the removal of the roof on a one- or two-story home and the incorporation of an additional floor.

Three Great Reasons to Consider a Pop-the-Top Renovation:

  1. Add Square Footage to Your Existing Home: Are the kids getting too old to share a bedroom? Tired of hearing family members fight over who gets to take the next shower? Not enough room to comfortably entertain guests? Just imagine what adding an extra floor could do! You could add a couple of bedrooms with dedicated bathrooms, flanking a large central media room where everyone can gather together to watch movies or play video games. If the master bedroom is on the first floor, moving the kids to an upper floor may provide you with the privacy you didn’t know you were missing. Giving everyone a dedicated space and more room to spread out can do wonders for family harmony.
  2. Reimagine Your Home’s Interior: Not only can a pop-the-top renovation add some much-needed square footage to a home, but it can also provide an opportunity for the complete reimagining of your home’s interior layout. In certain areas of Metro Atlanta that are experiencing a resurgence in popularity – such as Chamblee, Brookhaven and Decatur, just to name a few – there are more than their fair share of mid-century ranch-style homes. What was a popular layout in the 1950s and 1960s may not work as well for modern families. You can turn cramped spaces on the main level into an open concept design, convert a galley kitchen into a gourmet showplace with large kitchen island, combine two existing bedrooms for a sprawling master on main and so much more!
  3. Transform Your Home’s Exterior: With the addition of an entirely new floor to your home, it goes without saying that the look of your home’s exterior is going to change. Take advantage of this opportunity and change the façade to something that not only appeals to you, but that will add major curb appeal when and if you ever decide to sell. Add elements of a craftsman home, infuse some European components, jump on the farmhouse craze or take it in a more traditional direction – just to name a few. The possibilities are virtually endless – giving you a rare chance to completely transform the home you know into something that you LOVE!

A pop-the-top renovation is next level remodeling and involves many structural engineering elements. It must first be determined that your home is a good candidate for a pop-the-top renovation. It must have a solid foundation and strong “bones” upon which to build an entirely new level. If new load-bearing walls must be incorporated for additional support, it’s vital that you’re working with a renovation company that specializes in both structural engineering and architecture. Atlanta’s premier custom home builder and award-winning renovation company – Highlight Homes – is proud to offer both of these specialties in our extensive list of services.

We’ve seen a number of pop-the-top renovations from concept to completion – always with stunning results. We welcome the opportunity to add your home to our list of gorgeous pop-the-top renovations. If your existing home is located in Metro Atlanta and you’d like to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our team members to determine whether or not a pop-the-top renovation is a viable option for you, please contact us at 678-874-9234 or info@highlighthomesga.com. To learn more about Highlight Homes and view our gallery of custom homes and luxury renovations, visit www.highlighthomesga.com.

 

 

Homeowners Showing Serious Inclinations Towards Renovations

Homeowners Showing Serious Inclinations Towards Renovations

“I LOVE MOVING” …said no one ever. While the excitement that comes with making a new house your own and the enjoyment of that “new house smell” are both powerful forces, there is a growing trend in home ownership that points in a very different direction. More and more homeowners in the U.S. are making the choice to simply stay put in their current homes and RENOVATE. As a matter of fact, according to the most recent Zillow® Housing Aspirations Report, a whopping 76% of homeowners would rather spend their money on a home renovation than as a down payment on a new home. Those statistics jump to 86% for homeowners who are 55+ and to 91% for retirees.

But why stay put when there could be a bright and shiny new home in your future? In addition to a clear dislike of the hassle of moving, the 2018 Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends indicates that 83% of homeowners surveyed simply love their current home. Furthermore, 63% have no plans of selling in the near future. For those who DO plan to move at some point, a well-planned and beautifully executed renovation is a terrific way to make their home more enjoyable in the present and more attractive to buyers in the future.

As far as the need for renovations go, the 2018 Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends also indicates that – with the average homeowner spending 16 years in their home – 60% believe their homes are in need of some updates. After all, styles change – as often do the taste levels of owners as they mature over the course of more than a decade and a half. As a matter of fact, 16% believe major renovations are in order and 4% feel a complete overhaul is needed. Of those homeowners who opt to renovate, 17 percent spend between $5,000 and $10,000; 11 percent spend between $10,000 and $20,000; and 8 percent spend $20,000 or more.

With the vast majority of homeowners paying cash for their home renovations – to the tune of 45% – return on investment is a very important factor. Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report outlines which home renovations will yield the best returns in 2019. Included among them are garage door replacement (recoup 97.5% of cost), manufactured stone veneer (recoup 94.9% of cost), minor kitchen remodel of about $22K (recoup 80.5% of cost), wood deck addition and siding replacement come in neck and neck (recoup 75.6% of cost), entry door replacement (recoup 74.9% of cost), window replacement (recoup 73.4% of cost), roofing replacement (recoup 68.2% of cost) and minor bathroom remodel of about $20K (recoup 67.2% of cost). Also on the list for recouping between 50-67% of the cost on average are major kitchen remodel, bathroom addition, major bathroom remodel, backyard patio and master suite addition.

In addition to being one of Atlanta’s premier custom home builders, Highlight Homes has a rich history of designing and realizing stunning luxury renovations. And with our solid background in architecture and structural engineering, we could virtually reimagine the layout of your home to fit your vision. If you’re among the 76% of homeowners who would opt for a home renovation above a down payment on a new home, we welcome the chance to talk to you! To schedule a no-obligation consultation, contact us at 678-874-9234 or info@highlighthomesga.com. You can also elect to complete our convenient online contact form. To view our work and learn more about our other capabilities, we encourage you to visit www.highlighthomes.com.

Sources: Zillow Media Room – Press Release “Americans Would Rather Renovate than Buy a New Home
2018 Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends
Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost vs. Value report

Unifying the Interior and Exterior of Your Home

Unifying the Interior and Exterior of Your Home

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is Home.” ~ Gary Snyder

With Spring just around the corner, the promise of the return of green leaves to the trees and flowers to flower beds fuels the desire to get outside and play. No matter the time of year, there is a growing trend among homeowners and home buyers to infuse elements in their homes that create an undeniable connectivity between the great indoors and the Great Outdoors. Premier Atlanta builder and renovation company, Highlight Homes, is pleased to present a list of ways you can do just that in the design of your custom-built home or the renovation of your current home.

“Time to Spare” Room

Why merely add a new room to your home or integrate a flex space to the design of your custom home when you COULD create a space that’s all about relaxation, reflection and reverence of the space beyond the walls of your home. From a screened porch that allows for three-season enjoyment to a sunroom that provides a space to enjoy the outdoors all year round. This is a space where you can drink your morning coffee while watching the birds play in the birdbath or enjoy a nightcap while counting the stars.

Windows of Opportunity

Windows aren’t merely intended to let the light shine into your home or be opened to let the fresh air in. They can be reimagined as veritable works of art where the world beyond your windows serves as the palette. If you have a private backyard that serves as a particularly pleasing backdrop, you can open the frame a bit by creating a wall of windows – blurring the line between where the inside ends and the outside begins.

Feathering Your Nest

Another way to bring the outdoors in is to infuse elements of the natural world throughout your interior design. Use lots of interesting houseplants throughout at a variety of levels. Incorporate wood in your flooring, timber beams, accent walls and interesting furniture pieces. Include stone in your countertops and fireplace surround. Then enhance the sense of nature by adding wall art, throw pillows, rugs and décor that fit your color and design themes, but are inspired by the natural world. These might include birds, butterflies, dragonflies, horses, flowers, the ocean and so much more. Choose something personal to you as your central theme so it has real staying power and holds meaning.

Outside Looking In

Of course, the BEST way to extend your living spaces outdoors is to ADD an outdoor living space that could very well become your favorite “room” of the home. This might include a covered patio or deck with an outdoor hearth, pool with a cabana, outdoor kitchen with inviting seating, an old-fashioned playhouse with swing set, and so much more! Just imagine creating a space where you feel comfortable telling the kids to go outside and play, but “be home by dark” (‘cause they’re already home)! The memories you can make together in this space are virtually limitless, so whatever you create, make sure it’s the right fit for your family.

Highlight Homes welcomes the chance to help you incorporate one or all of these outdoor-focused enhancements in your new custom home or luxury renovation. To learn more about Highlight Homes and our signature design-build method, please visit www.highlighthomesga.com. Once you’re ready to get started, contact us at 678-874-9234 or info@highlighthomesga.com.

19 Design and Construction Trends for 2019

19 Design and Construction Trends for 2019

It’s a new year full of new possibilities! As one of Atlanta’s premier custom homebuilders and renovation firms, Highlight Homes places an emphasis on staying on top of the latest design and construction trends – and occasionally setting a few trends of our own! With 2019 now underway, we take pride in “highlighting” the top 19 Design and Construction Trends for the new year…

  1. Green Construction – As a company that places a HUGE focus on environmental-friendliness (and always has), we’re particularly happy about this trend. From smart homes to a focus on energy efficiency in appliances, windows, doors and more, we don’t see this trend going anywhere but UP!
  2. Waste Reduction – Going hand-in-hand with Highlight Homes’ focus on Green Construction, we – and now many of our friends within the industry – are placing a greater emphasis on waste reduction by streamlining processes and recycling. It’s good for everyone involved – the builder, the client AND the planet.
  3. Project Management Solutions – Highlight Homes is pleased to partner with Co-Construct, a secure, easy-to-use online service that allows our clients to make selection decisions, approve change orders, reply to messages, check progress information, review project files, and more. Communication is key to a smooth project!
  4. Sunrooms and Outdoor Living Spaces – Homebuyers and home owners are showing an ever-increasing desire to infuse a connectivity with the outdoors in their homes through exterior living spaces and the addition of sunrooms.
  5. Open Kitchens – Creating a sense of “dinner theatre,” more and more kitchens are opening up to the family room. Not only does it emphasize the home’s spaciousness and seamless flow of the floor plan, but it also encourages interactions between the inhabitants of those two often occupied living spaces.
  6. Home Office – With the growing popularity of remote workers/telecommuters, the concept of a home office or study is seeing a resurgence. Just imagine closing the office for the day and only commuting a few steps before spending the rest of the evening with your family as opposed to an hour or more on the interstate each day.
  7. “Pop the Top” Renovations – This is one of our personal favorites, when a ranch home is converted to a two-story by simply removing the existing roof and creating an entirely new level – virtually transforming the look and layout of the home to fit the needs of the family who lives there (or will live there).
  8. Two-Tone Cabinets in the Kitchen – Designers are becoming increasingly more daring in their color schemes – often selecting a different color for the island than what is featured on the walls. There is also a trend towards using one color ABOVE and another color BELOW the counter.
  9. Multi-Purpose Kitchen Islands – From storage and seating to meal prep and service, there are a number of very good functions for this mainstay of the modern kitchen. Don’t merely settle for a permanent fixture with a countertop – consider all of the great ways you could use that space. Love wine? Consider adding a wine cooler underneath next to a wine rack. Enjoy catching up on the day’s events while preparing a meal? Extend the countertop out so there’s plenty of space for seating underneath so family members and guests can pull up a stool while you work your magic.
  10. Focus on Minimalism – Clean lines rule the day in 2019, along with uncluttered spaces and smart use of space. Get rid of what you don’t need or stow it away out of sight for a simple yet sophisticated look.
  11. Accessories that Make a Statement – However, when you DO add an accessory or two to a space, make it count. It should be eye-catching – like an accent colored end table or a bold piece of artwork.
  12. Eye-catching Lighting – More than merely serving a purpose, your light fixtures are another way to really make a statement and draw the eye. Great lighting that adds to the appeal of a room is a smart investment.
  13. Open Shelving in the Bathroom and Kitchen – With a movement towards minimalism, there’s a growing trend towards open shelving among the cabinets found in bathrooms and kitchens. Be careful to keep these shelves uncluttered for a more appealing appearance.
  14. Eclectic Blends – More and more designers are enjoying a “no rules” leaning towards the concept of interior design. We’re seeing a lot of eclectic blending of styles including BoHo, Modern, Industrial, Farmhouse Chic, Traditional, Rustic, European-influences and more.
  15. Mixed Metals – Just as décor is seeing a blend of different styles, there is also a growing trend towards the mixing of different metals. Rather than merely seeing nickel door knobs, drawer pulls and faucets throughout the home, we’re starting to see a blend of gold, copper, bronze, silver, brass and industrial-inspired metals like matte black steel and more burnished metals.
  16. Tasteful Textures – In order to keep a minimalistic look from being boring, many designers are adding texture in upholstery, rugs, accents and even walls.
  17. It’s All in Black and White – Shades of white on walls and trim juxtaposed against bold black kitchen cabinets are witnessing a rising popularity. Not only do these two colors work well together, they also invite POPS of color in artwork, accessories and accent pieces. Jewel tones are increasingly popular and work beautifully against both black and white.
  18. Comfort Cavalcade – It’s all too easy for a minimalistic look to seem uninviting. That’s why there’s an emphasis on including comfy, cozy and inviting furniture for your living spaces. It’s entirely possible to provide seating that looks refined but also communicates “relaxation.” Don’t merely purchase furniture for its visual appeal, give it a test run and try to imagine spending long binge-watching sessions there.
  19. Pantone Color of the Year: Living Coral – Pantone – THE authority on color for the fashion and décor industries – has announced its color of the year for 2019. Drum roll, please…. It’s Living Coral (Pantone 16-1546). The company describes it as “An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.” It’s a great addition as an accent color in accessories for the home and plays beautifully against white walls, as well as greys, greens, blues and other warm pastels.

Highlight Homes welcomes the opportunity to help you incorporate one or more of the trends listed above in your next renovation project or custom home. We invite the opportunity to start a discussion with you and can be reached at 678-873-9234, info@highlighthomesga.com or via our convenient online contact form.  To learn more about us and take a peek inside past Highlight Homes’ projects, please visit us at www.highlighthomesga.com.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

What Makes a Great Room Great?

What Makes a Great Room Great?

There is no better time than the holiday season to really explore all of the elements that make a Great Room truly GREAT. Also known in many circles as the “Family Room”, it’s a room of the home where countless everyday moments happen AND where major milestones are marked. As the backdrop to all of these special occasions, special care should be given to the design and realization of this living space that sees an awful lot of living. Whether creating this space as part of a major renovation of your current home or placing an emphasis on this space in the design of your new custom home, Highlight Homes has some opinions on the matter of taking a Great Room to the Greatest Room you’ll ever know (and love!)…

The Hearth of the Home:  From the materials used to create the surround to the mantle itself, the fireplace in your Great Room should be a focal point – a veritable work of art. It should reflect your personality and sense of style, as well as complement the rest of your home. From stacked stone with a rough-hewn timber mantle to a marble surround with intricate woodwork, you can go as casual or as formal as you wish to set the tone for the rest of the room.

Raise the Roof: One component many builders use to make a Great Room feel GRAND is an open second story – opening the space up immeasurably. At Christmastime, just imagine how TALL your Christmas tree could be! If a two-story Great Room isn’t in the cards, there may still be a way to raise the ceilings to 10 feet for more of a sense of spaciousness.

The World Outside: Windows are an important element of your Great Room. If you have a particularly beautiful and PRIVATE backyard, a wall of windows may serve to make the room seem more expansive – connecting it to the world outside. If that is not the case, the addition of just a few windows to let the light shine in might be a better way to go – helping to keep the focus inside the room itself.

All the Trimmings: Woodwork can serve as the frame to the Great Room of your dreams. For a more rustic, cozy feel, you might elect to go with timber rafters. For a more traditional, formal feel, you might incorporate a coffered ceiling, crown molding and built-in bookcases.

Go with the Flow: If you always dreamed of having one of those enormous overstuffed sectionals where you and the entire family can lounge around eating popcorn and watching a Christmas movie marathon, it’s important to communicate this to your builder. The layout of the room should be designed in such a way to accommodate your vision – from the placement of the sectional to the location of the TV.

The Ground Beneath Your Feet: Choice of flooring can serve to enhance this space, as well. If you elect to go with hardwoods or tile, you’ll want to invest in throw rugs to soften the space and make it more inviting. The addition of carpet will make it more welcoming to bare feet, but be aware that spills in this popular space are a very real possibility – making the investment in stain-resistant carpet a wise one.

A Little Light on the Subject: Lighting is an oft overlooked design element that – when wielded properly – can result in a stunning transformation of any space. If your Great Room doesn’t get a lot of natural light, you’ll want to pay attention to the placement of your lighting. For a truly dramatic effect, invest in one showstopper fixture in the center of the room.

Color Me Happy: The choice of paint colors in this space can serve to open up the space further AND set the mood. You might want to keep it neutral and let your décor do the talking, or you may want to choose a paint and trim color that will enhance the ambiance. Gray is all the rage in home design. You might elect to paint the walls a pale gray and the trim a slightly darker gray. Gray exudes a sense of balance, formality and sophistication. Other emotions/sensations tied to color include: beige = calm, white = clean, black = edgy, brown = earthy and rustic, pink = innocent, red = passionate, yellow = happy, green = natural, blue = serene and inviting.

The team at Atlanta-based Highlight Homes welcomes the opportunity to help you transform the look of your current family room, add a Great Room onto your existing home or design a custom home on your behalf that includes the Great Room of your dreams. Getting started is easy! Simply call us at 678-873-9234 or email us at info@highlighthomesga.com to schedule your no obligation consultation. You can also elect to complete our convenient online contact form.

From all of us here at Highlight Homes, we wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday Season and all the very best in the New Year!

Dinner Theater: Spotlight on the Dining Room

Dinner Theater: Spotlight on the Dining Room

What better time to shine the spotlight on the subject of the dining room than the holidays? It’s a time when many of us flex our entertaining muscle and put the flow between our kitchen and dining room to the test. One of the MANY benefits of building a custom home or undergoing a luxury home renovation is that YOU get to call the shots where the design of your layout is concerned – often based on a blend of your wants, needs and tastes. Highlight Homes – a custom home builder and master renovator – has compiled the following list of considerations when designing the dining room of your dreams…

Occasions Take Shape: If you like to host a large group for the holidays or more intimate affairs any time of the year, the shape of your dining room is a major factor. A larger, rectangular room to accommodate a long dining room table with room enough for up to 10 to 12 guests may be on one end of the spectrum while a square space to accommodate a round table for up to 6 to 8 guests is on the other. This is your stage, so decide what shape and size works best for you and your family.

Table Setting: The dining room will serve as the backdrop to a treasure trove of occasions – from gatherings with neighbors to memorable family events to countless holiday celebrations. The décor of your dining room will set the tone. Your woodwork and lighting choices can add a sense of comfort or air of elegance. A stately chandelier and coffered ceiling paired with traditional chair rail, wainscoting and crown molding serve to make the room feel more formal while shiplap walls and industrial or farmhouse-themed lighting may make the space seem more casual and inviting.

Go with the Flow: You could have the most beautiful dining room in the world, but the MEAL and the company who shares it will always be central to any occasion.  Just as you would in any successful restaurant, to aid in making each meal a success, you want a seamless flow between your kitchen and the dining space. If entertaining is one of your favorite pastimes, you’ll want to place a major emphasis on flow with your architect or designer when creating your custom home or undergoing a renovation. You might want to consider the incorporation of a butler’s pantry between the kitchen and dining room to shorten the length of travel when refreshing drinks during the meal or for guests who demand seconds.

Location, Location, Location: The placement of your dining room within the home is also key. If you crave privacy, you may want to place it towards the rear of the home, overlooking your private backyard. This placement will also prove most helpful if you are a grill master and need to have easy access to your outdoor living space.  If you want to advertise to your neighbors what an AWESOME entertainer you are, you may want to place your dining room towards the front of the home – with a large picture or bay window to frame the scene inside.

Whether an element of your custom home design or part of your luxury renovation, Highlight Homes welcomes the chance to help you realize the dining room you’ve always dreamed of having. Getting started is easy! Simply call us at 678-873-9234 or email us at info@highlighthomesga.com to schedule your no obligation consultation. You can also elect to complete our convenient online contact form.

From all of us here at Highlight Homes, we wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season!

To Renovate or Not to Renovate – That’s Not the Only Question

To Renovate or Not to Renovate – That’s Not the Only Question

To Renovate or Not to Renovate?  It’s a question countless homeowners have asked themselves over the years. Another question they ask themselves… WHICH space(s) should I renovate? In terms of older homes, all of the living spaces can begin to seem really outdated right around the same time. So, depending on your motivation to renovate – such as an upcoming move or a desire to add more space for a growing family – there are ways to determine the best renovations to pursue to fit your family’s needs and budget.

 

In May 2018, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released figures for Improvements to Owner-Occupied Homes 2018 estimates by state – also known as renovations. In the state of Georgia alone, out of 2,370,584 owner-occupied homes, more than 680K were estimated to undergo improvements. That’s more than a quarter of all owner-occupied homes in the Peach State. The average cost was estimated to be $8,007/improvement. The total amount spent on renovations in the state of Georgia for 2018 was estimated to be 5,456,000,000. So, what do all of these numbers mean…? It means that home renovations are still a very viable way to increase the value and personal enjoyment of one’s home.

 

If renovating for personal enjoyment, you must weigh your options, determine a budget and decide the best changes to incorporate to fit the collective needs, tastes and personality of your family. If renovating to prep a home for resale, it’s wise to select those updates based on return-on-investment. According to the 2018 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report for Atlanta, Georgia (www.costvsvalue.com), the top five performing projects with regard to costs recouped are:

  1. Garage Door Replacement – Cost recouped 110%
  2. Manufactured Stone Veneer – Cost recouped 109.8%
  3. Minor Kitchen Remodel (average job cost $21,230) – Cost recouped 91.6%
  4. Wood Deck Addition – Cost recouped 87.7%
  5. Siding Replacement – Cost recouped 87.2 %

Following closely behind are Upscale Grand Entrance, Composite Deck Addition, Universal Design Bathroom, Vinyl Window Replacement, Roofing Replacement, Wood Window Replacement, Bathroom Remodel (midrange), Major Kitchen Remodel (upscale), Entry Door Replacement, Master Suite Addition, Bathroom Addition (upscale), Bathroom Addition (midrange) and Bathroom Remodel (upscale) – all offering anywhere from 63.1% to 80% cost recouped.

 

Another question many homeowners ask themselves is WHO should I get to help me with my home renovation project. Whether seeking the best return-on-investment from a real estate standpoint or selecting more “fun” remodeling investments – such as the incorporation of a sprawling home theater with connecting game room, outdoor living space with swimming pool and fireplace, in-law suite with kitchen above a detached garage, finished basement with a full bar and additional bedroom(s) and so much more – Highlight Homes welcomes the chance to help you make it happen. To schedule a no obligation consultation regarding your upcoming remodeling project, contact us at 678-874-9234 or info@highlighthomesga.com. You can also elect to complete our convenient online contact form. To view our work and learn more about our other capabilities (we are one of Atlanta’s premier custom home builders!), we encourage you to visit www.highlighthomes.com.

 

Sources: NAHB – Improvements to Owner-Occupied Homes 2018 estimates by state

Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report 2018 © 2018 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2018 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.

Make Self-Improvement the Foundation of Your Home Design

Make Self-Improvement the Foundation of Your Home Design

September marks Self-Improvement Month, but that doesn’t mean you only have one month to evolve into a better version of the person you are today. Instead, take the time remaining in this month to make a list of the areas of your life where you would like to improve and start taking those first all-important steps towards the new you. At Highlight Homes, we specialize in custom homes and luxury renovations that are designed around our clients’ personal tastes, interests, wants and needs. If self-improvement is a personal goal for you, here are a number of ways that you can build or renovate your home to fit that goal…

Work Towards Wellness

According to CooleFitness.com, 15% of Americans hold gym memberships – that’s about $2.6 billion spent on fitness at the gym each year! And let’s not forget the hassle of getting dressed for the gym, driving there, leaving your valuables in a locker, waiting for your favorite equipment, driving home and showering before the rest of your day can begin. For adults aged 18-64, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) OR an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (i.e., jogging) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms). If you have a dedicated gym in your home – complete with inspiring views of the outdoors and energizing natural lights through a wall of windows, staying fit becomes a great deal easier… and more cost-effective!  Highlight Homes can incorporate a fitness space into a renovation of your existing home (by reimagining an existing room, creating a room addition or finishing your basement) or can make it an important element of your custom home design.

Find Time for Me-Time

Ask any mother of small children and she’ll tell you, the bathroom is often her place of solitude… but it’s never guaranteed. Still, it’s important for each member of the household to have a space that is dedicated to their own “me-time.” For kids, that’s often their bedrooms, but for adults who share a bedroom – you may want to have another space that’s ALL (mostly) yours. If you have that, you’re more likely to FIND TIME for that all-important me-time. If you’re an avid reader, a library with French doors or even a book nook with cozy seating may be all you need. There’s also the possibility of including a man cave inside and a “she shed” outside for the privacy we all crave to help us clear our heads and improve our moods.

Spend More Time with Family

Parents who travel for visit may crave more time with their family. The creation of spaces intended for family gatherings are essential to inspiring that together time that helps us stay connected. A home theater for the family who loves to watch movies together, a game room for board game buffs or an outdoor living space centered around a swimming pool and open-air kitchen for the family who loves the Great Outdoors are just a few ways you can go. The possibilities are truly endless and can be customized to fit your family’s collective interests.

Set Your Sights on Being the Host and Hostess with the Mostest

If it’s always been your dream to host dinner parties to die for or tailgate-themed gatherings for football season, your home design should reflect that fact. From an expansive island in the kitchen where you can set out the appetizers and a dining room where the real magic happens to a sprawling outdoor living space with bar, comfy seating, hearth and HUGE flat screen TV, if you hope to become a better host/hostess, there are any number of ways you can make your home work to your advantage. An open concept layout in the main living areas is a MUST so your home never feels cramped, even with 20 guests at any one gathering. For overnight guests, you want to make sure your guest rooms and guest bathrooms are luxurious and welcoming. Highlight Homes can help you have the home your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors would LOVE to visit – no matter the occasion!

Get in Touch with Nature

If you love the Great Outdoors and hope to work towards self-improvement through that passion, there are a number of ways that Highlight Homes can help you do just that. A sunroom or screened in porch can serve as an extension of your home, offering exquisite views even when the weather is anything but warm and sunny. Some imaginative landscape planning and a gardening shed are other wonderful ways to pursue your love of the outdoors. And – of course – dedicated outdoor living spaces are a must, whether dining al fresco, enjoying a cocktail under the stars or telling stories in the glow of your outdoor fire pit.

If you are seeking ways to pursue self-improvement through your home design, Highlight Homes would love to help you! To learn more about Highlight Homes and our process of building a custom home or pursuing a luxury renovation, please visit www.highlighthomesga.com. Once you’re ready to get started, contact us at 678-874-9234 or info@highlighthomesga.com.