Category Archives: All Posts

Three Current Trends in Kitchen Appliances

We all love our kitchen cabinet storage possibilities. Whether it’s a new dual-level silverware tray drawer, an Aventos-lift appliance garage, slotted storage spaces, or a fancy retractable spice rack, we love the conveniences that the trends in cooking tools now provide. Just as these trends improve efficiency in the kitchen, technology advances and procures new ways to look at and utilize kitchen appliances. Here are a few of our favorite kitchen appliance trends:

Microwave drawers provide easy access for the whole family

1) Microwave Drawers

An improved way to hide your microwave is through the microwave drawer. Instead of having a unit take up valuable counter space, a microwave drawer is aesthetically pleasing and places the unit under the counter.  The microwave drawer runs on tracks that extend out, which allows you to pick up your dish in one quick move, rather than reaching up above the stove for a hot dish. This is great for kids who might not be tall enough to reach a microwave above the stove, as it brings the appliance closer to their level, and provides a way to lock unsupervised access.

Custom built-in refrigerator blends with cabinets

2) Custom Fridge Look

If your current refrigerator does not compliment the style of your kitchen, hidden appliances may be a trend for you to consider. Built-in appliances allow you to customize your refrigerator to match your surrounding cabinets by using custom panel inserts! Whether you have a bottom-freezer and side-by-side configuration or separate refrigerator and freezer units, the objective of built-ins is to give you the option of utilizing front panels on your unit for a sleeker, custom look. 

You also have the option of a counter-depth model for your refrigerator unit. A counter-depth refrigerator will offer the same upscale built-in look without protruding 5-8 inches out from your cabinets. Counter-depth refrigerators come in bottom-freezer and side-by-side configurations, but they also allow for French door models to be utilized as well!

3) Updraft Exhaust is better than a Downdraft

More and more people are looking to transition their kitchen to either a more contemporary looking space or a modern farmhouse vibe, made popular by Fixer Upper star Joanna Gaines. A question that tends to pop up as you remodel is whether an updraft range hood or downdraft vent would be better for ventilating your kitchen. This all depends on your needs, kitchen space, and ultimately your preference. Updraft exhaust is the most effective for venting smoke, removing odors, and allowing particulates to follow the updraft into the vent. This will help in keeping your kitchen cleaner as well as venting more heat when cooking with gas, frying, or grilling. Additionally, the unique style of an updraft exhaust hood will provide your kitchen with its own sense of character and charm.

Appliances are constantly changing as technology improves, and these are just a few options in the ever-expanding field. When you are revamping your kitchen, consider what investing in a few quality products will do to enhance not only your cooking but your overall kitchen experience. Don’t be afraid to step out and try something new and improved! We would love to help make your dreams become reality, because allowing us to help transform and revamp your kitchen space you’ll not only add more character to your home, but ultimately enrich your life in the process!


Considering remodeling your kitchen? See our Kitchen Remodeling Services for info on how we can help you achieve the perfect kitchen for your home.

4 Tips for Getting Organized this Spring

It’s that time of year again! Warmer weather means the itch for spring cleaning and organization has begun, and we are here to help. How you organize your space is defined by your home’s personality and day-to-day lifestyle routines; however, we’ve outlined a few unique options as well as some tried and true methods to help you obtain and maintain order in your home, and here’s how:

1. Begin the Purge!

The first step in getting your home organized is going through each individual room. Decide what is essential and what is just taking up space. Take this opportunity to start the deep cleaning you’ve been itching to do. As you purge, set limits on what to keep. An item not used for the past 12 months has gone through all four seasons. It’s time to toss it or donate it. Once you’ve finished purging, take stock of what storage you have and what new storage you might need for each room, both long-term and short.

2. Categorize

Now that you have decided on what items to keep, it’s time to categorize. Try to get an entire room done in one sweep. Completely clear out whatever space needs organizing and place items into their own separate storage containers. Open baskets or clear bins work well for this. Organization will demand a system of grouping, and the easiest options to base this on are “common use” and “occasion”. The things you use on a daily basis should be the easiest to access, so keep them somewhere eye-level, or at least in plain sight. Occasionally used items are better suited for high shelves, whether that be in-room, garage shelving, or in the attic.

3.Put Dead Space to Use

Finding a place for everything can be difficult, but incorporating built-Ins into the space inside walls, under stairs, and those awkwardly shaped corners can be great for storage. Built-ins can also add a nice accent to almost any room in your home, including your entryway. You will likely require some help from a contractor, but the order it brings to your life is well worth it.

Within the kitchen, dead space often comes in the form of a corner cabinet, the very back of the pantry, or a seldom-used part of your countertop. Products such as a lazy-susan style cabinets, pantry drawers, and pull-out spice racks can provide organization and easy access. Adding a built-in appliance garage can give unused counter space purpose, while cookware and trash can drawers can keep everything orderly and out-of-site.

4.Eliminate Clutter

Clutter has a way of creeping back in when we aren’t looking. Entryway tables, countertops, desks, kitchen tables, bedside tables, etc. Each one of these is a flat surface, a surface that seems to be a catch-all for whatever is in your hands. Consider what those items are–keys, mail, coats, bags–and make sure they have an appropriate place. When everything has a home, you can run through one-handed and be done cleaning up in less than 15 minutes.

Take a little time to think about how the clutter got there and what habits you need to change. Creating a system for everything, from laundry to clearing your email inbox, can help keep the chaos at bay.

One last note

If you’re not sure whether a room seems cluttered, take a picture so you can view it from different angles. This will help you determine what might look like clutter from a visitor’s point of view and give you a push to eliminate whatever looks disorganized.


Atlanta Design & Build’s HOMEStyle System helps uncover long-term needs you may not have considered. Addressing issues such as storage from the beginning can help keep you organized.

Essentials of kitchen lighting

The Right Way to Light a Kitchen

The kitchen is a central, multi-functional part of your home. It is the space where busy lives intersect, from weekly rituals of meal planning, meal-prep, and cooking to the sorting of the mail, random middle-school science experiments and the hosting of dinner parties. The right lighting in an area as versatile as the kitchen can be essential to the general atmosphere of the room, and that versatility calls for layers. A kitchen has the option of three different layers of lighting: ambient, task, and accent.

Ambient Lighting:

Whether the kitchen is blessed with an abundance of natural lighting or lacking in the general window department, ambient lighting is a great way to cast the main source of light. Focus on the ceiling along the main kitchen areas; the higher and brighter you place the fixtures, the more light will fill the kitchen space. This will give a warm, casual glow to the space. General lighting options can range from recessed lighting along the ceiling to hanging chandeliers, flushmounts, or pendant lights. 

Task Lighting:

A kitchen is an active space; there are counters for preping food, a stovetop for cooking, cabinets to maintain storage needs, and maybe even an island for extra workspace. This tends to ask for a more direct lighting in certain areas. Here is where task lighting comes in. Cabinets have a tendency to create shadows along the counter space as natural lighting wanes throughout the day. Adding task lighting along the underside of the cabinets can solve the shadows on countertops and around the pathways in the kitchen. Common options call for the use of strip lights or evenly spaced puck lights. 

Accent Lighting:

Accent lighting in kitchen after remodel by ADB.

Accent lighting can help bring depth and creativity to your kitchen. Adding sconces to the walls or showcasing art with cleverly placed spotlights can create mood lighting in certain areas of the space. Thoughtfully placed lights inside a china cabinet can allure guests with the shine of your best dishes. Toe kick lighting can be used around the prime lines and angles of the kitchen, whether that is under the lower cabinets along the kitchen or a centrally placed island. This can illuminate the kitchen floors in a warm glow that gives a welcoming feeling to guests or to the occasional late-night snacker. There is even the option of installing accent lighting along the insides of cabinets and drawers, which can brighten the darker corners of storage spaces. 

Lighting plays an important key in how you view and interact within the kitchen. By adding layers of different lighting throughout the space, you can create a different atmosphere for each and every occasion. Whether you overlay ambient lighting with task lighting, or accent lighting with a hint of ambient lighting, these layers of lighting will only add to the appeal of the kitchen. 


Check out our kitchen gallery for more examples of the right way to light a kitchen.

ADB Wins Three CotY Awards for 2018

Atlanta Design & Build was honored to receive three 2018 Contractor of the Year (CotY) Awards from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), Atlanta chapter. Each year, NARI-Atlanta members enter their completed projects in 29 residential remodeling categories. A diverse and impartial panel of judges selects the CotY winners based on select criteria for each category and recognizes the exceptional results of the projects entered with these prestigious Awards.

This year’s elegant CotY Awards Gala took place on December 11, 2018 at the W Hotel in Atlanta with a sold-out attendance. Chip Wade, Emmy-winning HGTV personality and Atlanta native, was the guest emcee who made the evening special for everyone in attendance.

Atlanta Design & Build won CotY Awards in the following categories:

1. Residential Bath $25,000 to $50,000
2. Residential Kitchen Over $150,000 with Team entrant Schuon Kitchens and Baths
3. Whole House over $1,000,000 with Team entrants Pella Southeast–Atlanta and PMC Building Materials 

We are so proud of the hard work our team puts in to each project we have the opportunity to transform. Contact us today about working together on your home remodel in 2019!

Residential Bath $25,000 to $50,000. Read more about this project.

Whole House over $1,000,000 with Team entrants Pella Southeast–Atlanta and PMC Building Materials. See all project aspects in this 4 part series transformation.

Residential Kitchen Over $150,000 with Team entrant Schuon Kitchens and Baths

Our client’s kitchen had fallen out of style and had a cramped feel. The homeowner wanted to impart a more stylish look keeping with the new homes being built near their neighborhood.  

The 1990s kitchen featured odd angles, limited cabinet space, inadequate work areas and congested walkways. The style was transformed with a large 54” x 108” Island, stunning granite countertops, new high-end appliances, superior Mouser cabinets, walk-in pantry, handcrafted copper exhaust hood, and custom garden window. Removing walls transformed this kitchen into an open, inviting space with greater capacity for entertaining, better traffic flow, maximum storage and expanded work areas.

Welcome Caio to the ADB Team

photo courtesy of Holland Reid Photography

Atlanta Design & Build gives a hearty welcome to our newest employee, Caio Nunes. We are very pleased to have him on our ADB team!

Caio (pronounced Kyle) is originally from Brazil. Construction has been his passion since childhood.  For the past 14 years, he has honed his skill and expertise working with hardwood flooring.  

Caving in North Georgia

Caio and Sydney Contant met through friends and have known each other for 10 -11 years, right around the time she started working for ADB. His quiet demeanor brings to mind the adage, “still waters run deep”.  Sharing many common interests; sports, the outdoors, working with their hands and carpentry, to name just a few, their friendship continued to blossom culminating with their wedding in June, 2017.  When ADB’s recent hiring need arose, we looked no further than our own backyard to find the needed team member. 

Caio has been working as a Carpenter Apprentice since October. His construction background and skillset equip him to be an asset to the team.  “My work with ADB involves helping the guys,” Caio explains. “I learn as I go, hands-on. I want to take it slow and learn everything completely. I eventually want to get my license to be a carpenter, but I also want in-depth learning from experience, not just book learning. I haven’t yet worked with ADB long enough to stand back and admire a project from start to finish, but at the end of each day I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. This work is my calling and I enjoy doing it so much!”

Caio appreciates the professionalism of ADB, and also likes the family environment. He notices that Dale Contant is very considerate of his workers and treats them like a part of his family.

Outside of work, Caio still enjoys sports, and camping.  He especially enjoys spending time with Sydney.  Having purchased their first home, Caio and Sydney Nunes are planning to raise chickens in their backyard.  Even more exciting, they are now anticipating the arrival of their new baby boy. They are elated at becoming parents.  Dale and Keely are also thrilled to be first-time grandparents.  We look forward to sharing pictures in our January edition of our eNewsletter, HOMEStyle Online.  

Marietta Lake House Transformed | Part 3

Redesigned Upper Level Interior

Previously, we featured the dock and boathouse and home exterior of the gorgeous lake house project that our Atlanta Design & Build team recently completed. Moving inside the home, you will get to experience the amazing redesign of the upper level interior. Our clients envisioned wide-open spaces using beautiful craftsmanship, natural materials and simple lines modeled after Gustav Stickley and the Arts & Crafts movement. They desired intricately designed cabinetry, furniture, and fabrics that harkened back to the day when honest, genuine craftsmanship was trendsetting.

Kitchen before and after

Our clients looked to Atlanta Design & Build to come up with some ideas and solutions that would open up the interior space in their home, bringing in lots of light and breathtaking views. “The home’s existing upstairs interior desperately needed updating—it was frozen back in a 1970s-1980s style,” commented Dale Contant, ADB President “The space felt dark, closed in, and the homeowners could not take advantage of the beautiful views of the lake.” 

A glass solarium that previous owners added to the back of the house, had water leaks and structural issues.  ADB removed the solarium and replaced it with an expansive addition. Several of the original walls in the upstairs living room were removed and the space was connected seamlessly to the new addition. The upstairs was transformed into a substantial great room that measures 24×37 feet long. This spacious room accommodates dinners and entertaining for family, friends, or business associates with ease.  

Massive windows that soar 19 feet from the floor to the ceiling ridge of the great room provide amazing views of the lake. Our team removed the roof from the main living room and installed skylights as well as clerestory windows adding to the ambiance of under-stated grandeur.  Box beams of hand-hewed reclaimed wood give the ceiling special depth and character. 

At our clients’ request, the flooring was constructed of authentic reclaimed wood from old barns. After removing the original flooring of 2 1/2 inch-thick solid brick pavers, ADB built another floor upon which to install the beautiful pine flooring. All of the Victorian pine millwork and trim was finished on site with each piece precisely ripped to the various widths as required. 


A huge, open, Isokern double-sided vented fireplace – their largest size available – with an all-natural stone surround was installed. The team first had to remove the existing two-story high, solid masonry fireplace before they could build the new fireplace. “The fireplace mantle was a solid reclaimed oak beam and our client requested lights and outlets in the mantle,” explained Jamie Franks, Sr. Project Manager. “So we chiseled out places in the back of the solid block of oak for the outlet, transformer, main control, and wiring for a touch switch. This was a new procedure for our team, and we are very proud of our accomplishment.”


ADB opened up the kitchen so it now offers wonderful views of the lake while the homeowners are preparing meals. The handcrafted ceiling beams were designed in the Craftsman style. Custom cabinets were tastefully crafted from quarter-sawn oak and include special Stickley-style details. SubZero and Wolf appliances are faced with matching wood panels so they blend into the cabinetry. Quartzite countertops with a honed finish, natural stone backsplash, and the custom vent hood set off the kitchen beautifully.


“Dale was wonderful from the very beginning in helping us believe that all our ideas could actually be achieved, no matter how complex or complicated,” expressed our clients. “And Jamie, the project supervisor, was amazing with additional remodel ideas and wood craftsmanship details. Our favorite aspect of the finished project is the beautiful great room!”

Review the earlier features of the dock and boathouse, and then the home exterior here. We conclude the series by venturing inside the terrace-level to share this large project’s incredible design metamorphosis.

Sign up to receive our monthly eNewsletter, HOMEStyles Online, to be the first to receive updates from our team and gain inspiration for your next remodeling project.

after photos courtesy of Barbara Brown Photography