atlanta renovations

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!

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.

Top Five Trends for Home Construction in 2018

Top Five Trends for Home Construction in 2018

Whether building your home from the ground up or reimagining your current home with some well-chosen renovation projects, it’s always a wise move to consider the latest trends in home construction. While timelessness NEVER goes out of style, in order to add to the wow factor or benefit from years of trial and error to find what works best – there’s a lot to be said for incorporating the latest looks and reaping the rewards from the most recent advances in home construction. While the trends abound from the interior to the exterior to the inner workings for 2018, here are just a few of our favorites from the team at Highlight Homes…

1)      Homes are Getting “Smarter”:  There is a growing trend toward “smart homes” in new home construction AND in renovations. Whether seeking an awesome security system, a way to control the A/C and electricity in your home with a touch of your mobile phone, a complete home sound system to fill each room with music or all of the above (and so much more), a Smart Home system is undoubtedly the way to go. To learn more about Smart Homes and how Highlight Homes can help, keep reading…

2)      Construction is Growing “Greener”:  If the environment is important to you and you hope to do your part to protect the planet, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are a number of ways to do just that when constructing a new home or incorporating a home renovation to your existing home. From using green home construction practices and incorporating low energy and water consumption elements such as energy-efficient appliances, Low-E windows and low flow toilets, you will be taking effective measures to limit your family’s carbon footprint. Keep reading to learn what else Highlight Homes does to take green construction to the next level…

3)      White is the New Black: For several years, crisp white kitchens have really made a comeback. What we’re witnessing lately is that trend spreading beyond the heart of the home to encompass other living spaces. White adds an air of tranquility and communicates CLEAN and REFRESHING. Mix it with Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018 – Ultra-Violet – 18-3838 for an air of romance. All colors go beautifully with white if you’d like to add some color. And while we’re on the subject of color, be prepared to see lots of warm, rich colors in accents – from an accent wall to furniture. We’re also seeing a blend of both high contrast (a bold grey wall with pure white wainscoting) or tone-on-tone (where the wall and millwork are painted in the same exact hue) in living spaces – so go with whatever feels “right” to you!

4)      Industrial and Vintage Reign Supreme: From treated concrete floors and countertops to show-stopping industrial light fixtures and deep trough sinks, the “industrial age” rages on in interior design. We’re also seeing a mix of vintage finding its way back in. The vintage feel of subway tile, claw-footed tubs and romantic wallpaper prints are definitely making a very cool comeback.

5)      Textures Take Over the Interior: From highly textured wall treatments – like brick and reclaimed wood – to velvet furnishings and woven accent pieces, surfaces that have a visual and tactile interest are gaining favor among interior designers, home buyers and homeowners.

Long story short, 2018 is going to be a lot of fun! The race is on for the incorporation of technologically and environmentally cutting edge practices and elements paired with a throwback in design using clean colors, industrial and vintage components, and a variety of highly interesting walls and furnishings – making design, construction and the ultimate enjoyment of your new (or newly remodeled) home more rewarding than ever. Contact the talented team at Highlight Homes to help you incorporate any or all of the trends listed above in your custom home or whole home renovation in 2018. To get started, simply call us at 678-873-9234, email us at info@highlighthomesga.com or fill out our convenient online contact form and someone will be in touch with you shortly!  To learn more about Highlight Homes and view our online gallery of work, please visit www.highlighthomesga.com.