Remodel While the Sun Shines
Summertime Home Fix-Ups
ARA Content
(ARA) - Summer often inspires the desire to remodel. Warm breezes blow through the windows to dry fresh coats of paint, and backyard picnics offer relaxing respite between projects. But beyond the weather, a shifting economy is also causing homeowners to remodel and make repairs.  

Among those remodeling are younger buyers looking for chic, affordable housing. The Millennial and Gen-Ex generations are relocating to the suburbs to find affordable ramblers and split-levels to rehab and redecorate, according to consumer research firm Iconoculture. And, there are plenty of homes to fix up: Nearly 18 percent of all homes in the United States were built between 1970 and 1979; another 16 percent were built between 1980 and 1989, with many yet to be remodeled, the National Kitchen & Bath Association reports.  

The downturn in the housing market is also impacting the kinds of products homeowners are choosing to use. For example, renewable materials and energy-efficient products for kitchens and baths have risen in popularity, while economic concerns among homeowners have resulted in a decline in the demand for high-end features, according to findings reported in the American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey.  

Whether you live in a cozy cul-du-sac or an ultra-cool urban loft, a few well-chosen summertime kitchen and bath fix-ups can make a big difference in the look of your home while making it more pleasant to live in, especially if you plan to ride out the resale market and stay put for a while. Many fix-ups can be done efficiently and affordably. For example, instead of investing in a full-fledged kitchen or bathroom renovation, consider upgrading the cabinetry in an up-to-date style. Manufacturers offer a variety of new choices to create a custom look without the custom price.  

"Cabinetry is one area that allows you to create an upscale look with relatively little investment. This is especially important to first-time home buyers looking for ways to combine good value with fresh, modern designs that reflect their personal style," says Cathy Hitz, group brand manager for Aristokraft Cabinetry.

Change your cabinetry, change your life

Complement a traditional or urban-style home with a "blank canvas" cabinet design that can endure over time so you can continue to remodel as time and budgets allow. For example, the simple lines of the Teagan cabinet style from Aristokraft can embrace a variety of textures and finishes to emphasize both elegant and bolder styling as your overall design theme evolves.  

No room for a pantry in your new home? Squeeze in storage for kitchen items using ingenious pullout cabinets. For example, vertical base pullouts, available in 3- or 9-inch widths, can offer a storage solution while making the most out of every inch.  

Declutter your kitchen counters with clever cabinetry components that let you keep things out of sight yet still find them. After all, with social lives brewing, families or pets waiting, and stomachs rumbling, the last thing you want to do is ask yourself, "Where did I leave my keys?" A wall message center can be added to the end of a line of cabinets to keep small items at the ready. Hidden inside its 3-inch-deep compartment is a magnetic white board, key hooks, pencil holder and fixed Plexiglas fronted-shelves to keep things secure.      

Cabinetry can also bring trend-forward storage options to the bathroom, transforming it into a style and organization showplace. For example, white cabinets can bring fresh, updated charm to the bath. A style such as Ellsworth Laminate, with its vintage vertical lines, crisp corners and precise grooves, adds timeless appeal. This style also has a bead board shaker center panel and a square-style overlay, bringing versatile style vibes to the bath.

Update the bath with organization features as well. For example, corral your hair dryer, make-up, beauty and cleaning supplies in a vanity 35-inch base super cabinet. This double door organization solution offers plenty of space for the biggest storage ideas. Another space saver called a vanity linen closet with removable hamper includes a glide-out wire basket covered with a stylish canvas liner to hold laundry items.      

As you remodel your home this summer, one way to evaluate environmentally responsible building materials is to look for cabinets certified through the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) Environmental Stewardship Program. The program recognizes cabinet companies that use environmentally responsible materials, recycle wastes and use low-emission coatings.  

For more information and ideas from Aristokraft Cabinetry, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent






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