Choosing the Right Cabinets for Your Kitchen

While remodeling your kitchen, choosing the right cabinets can be one of the toughest decisions to make. Choosing the right size, style, and type of cabinet not only impacts the overall functionality but also the aesthetics of your kitchen as they are the first thing guests notice when walking into the kitchen.

Remodeling the kitchen can be a costly venture. If you are moving to a new city, or bought a new house and wish to remodel your kitchen, you should seek advice and guidance from experienced remodelers who will help to guide you through the process and material selections.
For starters, here are some tips on how to choose the right cabinets for your kitchen.

Define the Budget

Kitchen RemodelBudget plays an important role in making the right buying decisions for your kitchen. The very first step can be to think about the quality of the materials and styles you wish to include in your kitchen. If you are completing a gut remodel, some costs can be saved by opting for stock cabinets versus custom. Custom cabinets are made to order and tend to be more expensive than stock. A second cost saving option is to not replace a section of cabinetry, and instead in its place hang open shelving to house your dishes, glassware, or other decorative kitchenware.

Choosing the Right Style

There is a plethora of design styles for homeowners to choose from when it comes to cabinetry. Flat panels, shaker, glass front, and raised inserts are among the most popular. The functionality of cabinetry is a huge consideration as kitchen design moves forward with technological advancements.

Use of Appliances and Gadgets

Cabinets can also be used to house smart kitchen appliances such as LCD screens, charging stands, smart speakers, and kitchen appliances. Some smart kitchen options provide high-end audio systems to be installed on flat or raised panels, giving both entertainment and voice command functionality. Smart lighting controlled by in-wall controls or directly through your cell phone can also be installed underneath cabinetry or inside so it is triggered to turn on when a cabinet door or drawer is opened.

If you are in the Chicago area and considering a kitchen remodel, maintenance, and repair for your home then contact Areté Renovators today at (773) 610-4551 to schedule a free consultation.

Most Common Bathroom and Kitchen Complaints

Kitchen and Bath Remodeler

Home remodeling projects can inject new life into your living space while providing a boost to the property’s value. Homeowners undertake remodeling projects either to solve an existing problem within their kitchens and bathrooms or to change the overall layout, which changes the overall dimensions of the house. In either case, it requires careful planning and the experience of skilled home renovators to make it all look as fresh as new.

Amongst the many reasons to start a remodeling project, there are usually some complaints homeowners wish to fix with their existing bathroom and kitchen layouts. Here are some common ones:

Unplanned Layouts

When a house is built, it is usually made to the first owner’s specifications and their goals and furnishing ideas are more than likely different from the new owners. Therefore, when remodeling occurs, those small decisions made by the original owner might bring big headaches for current owners. For instance, the kitchen might be smaller than expected. There may be little space available to install new appliances or put an island in the kitchen, leading to an increase in costs and labor. In a bathroom, there might be limited space between the sink and shower.

Not Enough Natural Light

Many homeowners increase their privacy by removing windows from their kitchens and bathroom areas. For remodelers and new owners, it may create a problem because it robs your kitchen and bathrooms of natural light and makes it more difficult to install new windows and blinds.

Hiring Incompetent Contractors

In order to reduce costs, homeowners may hire remodelers and contractors who lack experience and are eager to impress with aesthetics and price rather than function. Therefore, it is important to go through your contractor’s portfolio and hire those with good references, reviews, and a proven record of completing the tasks on time and budget. A skilled remodeler will help overcome current mismatched designs and ensure that only licensed trades are used.

Hygiene and Molds

There is a high chance of mold growing in damp areas – both in the kitchen and bathroom. Due to lack of awareness from slow hidden leaks or other plumbing issues, homeowners neglect to address mold issues, which may lead to health issues like coughing, asthma, and the occurrence of allergies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly provides guidelines to ensure homeowners remove all traces of mold during a remodeling process and especially before selling their home.

If you are in the Chicago area and considering a remodel, maintenance, and repair for your home then contact Areté Renovators today at (773) 610-4551 to schedule a free consultation.

Tech Bathroom Design Trends

A bathroom is one of the most frequently used spaces in any house. As the age of Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), and 5G is almost here, homes have transformed from just being a humble abode to being a modern living space with plenty of innovative technology at the home owner’s disposal.

In this post, we will focus on innovation, new technology, and design trends you can use in your bathroom.

Touchless Faucet and New Sink Design

Tech Bathroom Design TrendsAs bathroom designs are changing, so are faucets. Gone are the days when homes used to have a traditional faucet on/off and temperature control knobs. In today’s market, you can purchase a touchless faucet that is also smart enough to sense ideal water temperature settings.

To set the touchless faucet further apart from others on the market are the models that incorporate a built-in hand dryer for added convenience. Similarly, sink designs are also evolving. You can reach out to an experienced renovator for contemporary bathroom designs.

Amazon Alexa For Your Bathroom

Voice control has changed the way we live, communicate, and share information. Amazon Alexa is one such device that can come in handy when speaking of new trendy bathroom designs. You can use Alexa to control the lights, the shower, and the water pressure in your brand new modern Jacuzzi. You can use the Echo or Echo Dot for the same purpose. More simply, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your favorite music while taking a bath.

Verdera Voice Light Mirror

Kohler Konnect now offers a fully hands-free experience with its Verdera Voice Light Mirror, which has Alexa pre-installed. The Verdera Mirror can transform how we use our bathrooms. Temperature control, light control and voice-activated commands will surely add a new dimension to a modern-day bathroom design; moreover, the Verdera is not your ordinary bathroom mirror. It offers a premium cabinet space to effectively store your toiletries. Another innovative feature of the Verdera Light Mirror is its ability to auto-sense and control the brightness of the lights within the mirror. With new technology and voice control devices, your bathroom will never be the same again. Investing in new trends is the best way to add value to your property.

If you are in the Chicago area and considering a remodel, maintenance and repair for your home then contact Areté Renovators today at (773) 610-4551 to schedule a free consultation.

How to Choose Your Flooring

Picking FlooringIf a flooring overhaul is on your home improvement project list this summer, you first must learn about the different flooring options at your disposal. Having your children and pets running around the house would mean choosing a flooring material that’s durable, long-lasting, and requires low maintenance.

The ideal flooring material for a home with children and pets is a material that does not require replacement every 3 to 5 years. Follow these top tips from leading technicians when choosing the right flooring for your home!

Which Area of the House Requires Flooring

Picking the right flooring material is nothing short of a challenge when you don’t have any previous experience or professional guidance. The first step is to determine which part of your home you will be renovating.

If you wish to replace your bathroom flooring, the most durable and water sound options would be porcelain or ceramic tile or marble and stone. These materials have high to medium water absorbency and better longevity when exposed to water for long hours. Hardwood, engineered hardwood, porcelain, and ceramic tile make for great kitchen floors due to their durability and natural tendency to resist staining.

Consider your Overall Foot Traffic

Durable flooring in high-traffic areas is a must! It is also important to consider maintenance. Carpeting in a high traffic area of your home may not be an ideal option as it will require regular cleaning to remove dirt and staining. Hard surfaces are highly recommended due to low maintenance of cleaning and durability.

Your Flooring Budget

Knowing your budget is an essential element for choosing the most appropriate flooring material. Laminate, hardwood (and engineered hardwood), and tile all come in low, mid, and high-end ranges to fit within your budget limitations. Always account for more square footage than you actually need to have extra stock on hand should major damage occur.

Hire an Experienced Professional

Many people prefer hiring a contractor for flooring rather than taking it on as a DIY project. Even if you have some knowledge about flooring and the materials you will need to use along with different equipment and tools, it oftentimes more budget and time effective to hire an experienced professional. Speak to an experienced contractor who will not only guide you but will also understand your project and needs.

If you reside in the Chicago area and are considering remodeling, refinishing your hardwood floors, or installing a new floor, contact Areté Renovators today at (773) 610-4551 to schedule a free consultation.

Is Summer the Best Time to Remodel Your Kitchen or Bathroom?

If you’re in the process of planning a total kitchen overhaul or a minor bathroom remodel, this summer may actually be the perfect time to turn those renovation plans into a reality.

Everyone looks forward to the summer months for vacations and sun, but it’s also a good time for kitchen and bath remodeling. The last thing you want to do in the sweltering heat is an attic bedroom, so turn your thoughts to a kitchen or bath remodel instead and find an experienced remodeling and home maintenance service provider who will help you achieve your dream.

Bathroom and Kitchen Remodel

Why Summer

  • The benefit of natural lighting
  • Fewer major holidays to compete with
  • More workable daylight hours
  • Convenience
  • Ventilation

Kitchen Remodel

Preparing dinners during a kitchen remodel is more convenient during the summer months when you can use the outdoor grill. Summer will also most likely give you more dates and times for your projects. Families spend more time outdoors during the summer months, making it a perfect time for a remodel.

Ventilation also is better in summer when you can simply open your windows.

Summertime light allows for the brightest conditions to clearly view countertops, cabinetry, and paint in natural light. Longer days in the summer allow for more daylight for more working hours.

Bath Remodel

Using summer for a remodel keeps you and your family out of the house or by a pool with friends during construction. This allows a skilled remodeling professional to give you the bathroom you’ve always wanted, like having increased storage and improved lighting. Being able to open your windows to the summer air allows for chemical smells to dissipate more quickly and allows sealants to cure faster. It’s also an easier time for plumbers when they are not busy with cold-weather issues like frozen and burst pipes.

Both kitchen and bathroom remodels add the most value to your home, so take advantage of summer and start now. Go away on vacation or visit your summer home and come back with a new kitchen or bath. It’s a great time to revamp your home – whether you need repairs, extra cabinets, or new appliances.

Summer is a great season for many things – why not add a kitchen or bath renovation to your summer plans? If you are in the Chicago area and considering remodeling, maintenance, and repairs for your home, contact Areté Renovators today at (773) 610-4551 to schedule a free consultation.

How To Add Interest To A Kitchen Or Bathroom With A Backsplash

Kitchen RemodelingIf you’re looking to add more interest to your kitchen and bathroom, then you have come to the right place. In this post, we will help you find inexpensive ways to make both your kitchen and bathroom pop. Choosing the right backsplash is the best way to highlight your personality. Speak to an experienced remodeler who can assist in finding the right backsplash for your bathroom or kitchen. Here are some tips that will help make your backsplash a focal point, without spending a fortune.

Pick the Right Material

Today, you will find tons of materials to make the perfect backsplash for your kitchen or bathroom. You can choose:

  • Stainless steel: A perfect choice for your kitchen and bathroom because it’s durable, a breeze to clean up, and, depending on your taste, you can choose different finishes.
  • Concrete: Concrete is the right material for you if you are looking for versatility and durability. Concrete backsplashes come in different colors and the best part is you can shape them in any way you wish.
  • Marble: Marble backsplashes are perfect for both kitchens and bathrooms. Marble is slightly more expensive than other materials on the market, but marble gives you class, beauty, durability, and freedom to choose any design and style.

Other materials you can use are granite, tiles, glass, and travertine.

Perfectly Balance Everything Together

A backsplash will add style to your bathroom and kitchen, but you will need a renovation expert to come up with a perfect balance between the floor, countertop and the backsplash. Renovators can install the backsplash in such a way that it doesn’t appear as a separate part of the kitchen or bathroom space.

Choose the Right Design

With the right design, a backsplash can transform your old, traditional-looking kitchen into a new and contemporary one. Ask an experienced remodeler to help you come up with a customized design that will give your kitchen and bathroom a fresh remodel. The design should be based on the material you’re using to create a perfect finish. Professional kitchen and bathroom designers will walk you through the process of designing and choosing the right materials. Don’t treat the backsplash as a Do-it-Yourself project. Consult with experts to save time and money.

If you are in the Chicago area and considering adding value to your home by adding additions to your home then contact Areté Renovators today at (773) 610-4551 to schedule a free consultation.

Real Estate and Design: 2019 Trends

Real Estate and DesignI confess: I am an interior design addict. The materials. The textures. The layout. The planning. It’s always a journey and when everything is complete, there’s no better feeling.

One of the best parts about being a real estate agent is walking into home after home and seeing how design trends evolve. You start to develop an eye for how design affects real-life living, and you also know what buyers are looking for. It’s also a good profession – aside from being an actual designer or builder – to feed that interior design fix!

With the spring real estate market running full-force in Chicago, sellers and buyers are paying close attention to the world of design. Smart sellers know that upgrades can pay off, and motivated buyers are recognizing the equity they can build with post-closing renovations.

So what is happening in the world of design these days? Let’s take a look:

The Kitchen

The heart of the home is often the focus of a renovation plan, and for good reason. It’s the heart of the home, and there are so many ways to combine innovation, personality, functionality, and beauty into one room.

Color: While white isn’t necessarily out of style, trends are changing and color is being integrated back in, especially with cabinets. Whether it’s a dramatic pop of color or a more subtle hue like stone, we are definitely seeing an emergence from all-white cabinets.

Mixing Vibes: A fresh kitchen is a hit on everyone’s list, but even with modern updates, we’re seeing eclectic combinations like sleek lines with vintage-inspired tiles. It softens the modern edge and appeals to a wider audience.

Storage: More important now than ever. We have a lot of stuff, but we don’t want to see it. Smart design incorporates concealed and clean integration in kitchen designs. And drawers. Love drawers.

Hardware: This is kitchen bling. You can be subtle or you can go for the Wow Factor. Pewter and gunmetal are the new trendsetters. Brass and gold still offer a punch of drama and warmth to a cool-toned palate, and matte black makes a bold statement.

Materials: Think wood, stone, jute. The kitchen is becoming more connected to earthy materials. And the juxtaposition of warm wood with a sleek white countertop is on point.

The Bath

Also quite the eye-catcher, an updated bath is important because it can become the home’s peaceful serenity or dramatic statement. And either design can be spectacular.

Storage: Wall-mounted ledges are where it’s at. No one wants to see all 37 products you use every day (you don’t even want to look at that every time you walk into the bathroom!).

Materials: Concrete and wood – one cold, one warm – are both being integrated into bathroom design. They complement each other and make the space feel sleek and cozy.

Tile: All the way up. Extending a tile backsplash from the counter area throughout an entire wall is a big statement. And a good one.

Hardware: Mounting a faucet on the wall means you have a sleeker sink line (especially because all of your 37 products are in the wall-mounted ledge!). If you have storage somewhere other than under the sink, you could also expose beautiful piping – like brass – for a fresh, vintage-industrial look.

Heated Floors: Because Chicago winter.

Throughout the Home

Liza Balistreri CahillPatterns: Geometric patterns aren’t necessarily a new trend, but they are becoming more commonly used, especially with tile. Keep it edited, meaning a bold pattern looks best paired with simple accents. Choose one side of the shower, the floor of the foyer, or a wall of a stair landing. Even small spaces can have a big impact.

Wall Texture: Wallpaper also isn’t new, but texture is really making a comeback. Did you have a stylish grandma and a handy grandpa who put up warm, natural grass cloth on the walls of their den? I did. And I still have to run my hands over that rich texture anytime I see it. Love it.

Basements: After kitchens and bathrooms, basements become a priority for adding value to any home. Especially in Chicago, square footage in any single-family home is maximized with a finished basement. A smart remodel will include space that can be flexible: family room/kids play space/media room and extra bedroom/office/workout area. Including a bathroom is becoming a must along with those heated floors. (Who likes cold feet? No one!)

Ultimately, whether you’re a seller preparing to list your home, a buyer ready to tackle a renovation, or an owner looking to enjoy some upgrades, knowing where to start is an important first step. Once you know what design trends speak to you, you can find the right builder who is keen on those trends, has access to design experts, and knows how to use quality materials. And of course, make sure they are also self-confessed design fanatics!

Liza Balistreri Cahill is a broker with Compass in Chicago who loves everything about real estate: scouting the market for that perfect property, being a concierge-level resource for her clients, and developing relationships with those in the industry.

What to Consider When Remodeling Your Chicago Condo

Lincoln-Park-ProjectIf you have been contemplating renovating your Chicago condo, there are many variables to take into account. Whether you are considering just a bathroom remodel or a complete gut rehab, you need to do your due diligence before getting to work to ensure the job is done right. Below we included some of the more important things you should consider when remodeling your Chicago condo:

Look at Renovating in the Winter

The basic principles of economics tell us that demand drives prices. This is also true for materials such as cement, lumber, and other materials that may be required to remodel your condo. Though your renovation plans should not solely be set around when material prices are the lowest, it could be something worth considering.

Take Time to Assemble a Winning Team

It’s very important to hire the right contractors when taking on such a large project. Looking at things such as their online reviews is a key indicator as to what time of work they do, how reliable they are, and if they are capable of taking on a job of this scale.

Find a Temporary Living Situation

When going through a major renovation of a condo, it is worth considering finding another place to stay during the project. Crews will be on site nearly everyday and if you find a temporary living situation prior to construction beginning, it will alleviate a lot of stress. This should be budgeted for and taken into account before you decide to take on a project of this scale.

Expect the Unexpected

Anytime you undertake of projects as big of a complete rehab of a condo, there will be issues that arise that are out of anyone’s control. By preparing yourself for unexpected issues that will arise, as well as budgeting for these surprises, you’ll be able to manage any increased stress that comes with renovating your space.

Talk to Your Neighbors

When you are gut rehabbing your condo, there will be contractors on-site nearly everyday. Make sure to let your neighbors know well before construction starts as this will help reduce the odds of any complaints.

If you are the owner of a condo and are considering renovating or gut-rehabbing your space, contact Areté Renovators at (773) 610-4551 today to discuss your options. We will help make your vision a reality by working with you on initial design concepts, to construction and finishes.

Helpful Kitchen Remodeling Tips for Chicago Homeowners

Chicago Kitchen Remodeling

Chicago kitchen remodelingRemodeling your kitchen may seem both thrilling and intimidating at the same time. However, if you educate yourself on the process and take the time to choose a reputable Chicago remodeler, the process can be a simpler one that comes with much less stress. Let’s check out some helpful tips that will help you plan your kitchen makeover in the best way possible.

Create a plan of attack – “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This quote couldn’t be any truer when remodeling your kitchen. You must devise a comprehensive plan and determine the scope of the project which will depend heavily on your budget. If you are working with a limited budget, you may think about utilizing existing cabinets, electrical, plumbing, and layout so you can devote a greater chunk of your budget toward upgrades and finishes. By having a very specific plan of attack you’ll increase the likelihood of completing your kitchen remodel on-time and under budget.

Select a decorating style – Selecting your decorating style beforehand will help you during the planning process of your kitchen remodel. You may seek inspiration on the internet using creative websites such as, Pinterest, or several other magazines and photo galleries. A professional kitchen remodeling contractor can help you select a perfect style that suits your kitchen space and budget. The designers at Areté Renovators will take the time to understand your needs, style, and budget, and work with you to choose finishes that will work for your situation.

Choose Appliances in Advance – You might be planning to purchase a suite of appliances for your new kitchen. We always suggest selecting kitchen appliances early on to make sure that you leave the provision for them in your design. This will promote a better flow to your kitchen if you are looking for a different layout as your appliances are a big component of your new kitchen.

Keep Functionality in Mind – While the primary purpose of remodeling your kitchen may be to upgrade the look, functionality is also extremely important when coming up with a plan. Our team at Areté Renovators will help you determine the best flow to your new kitchen to ensure that it is not only beautiful but functional as well.

If you are in the Chicago area and are considering adding value to your home by remodeling your kitchen, contact Areté Renovators today at (773) 610-4551 to schedule a free consultation. Our Chicago kitchen remodelers and design team will work with you to devise a plan to ensure that you not only get to enjoy your new kitchen, but it will add value to your home.

Prep Your Home for Winter

General Contractor ChicagoWinter is upon us – here are a few pointers to make sure you and your home are ready for the colder months ahead.

1. Inspect and replace any damaged weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows. We all want to keep the warm air in and the cold air out! Be sure to also inspect all vents, plumbing, electrical and gas lines, and all other penetrations for leaks or drafts. Don’t forget to check the attic. Majority of heat loss occurs in the attic.

2. Prune any trees that are near your home. Snow and ice will weigh down the branches and could cause them to break and damage your home, roof or gutters.

3. Install a smart thermostat. We live in the age of technology! Not only is it a great convenience to be able to monitor your thermostat while away, it will also save you a good chunk of change on energy costs.

4. Switch your fan blade rotation in winter to move clockwise. This will help pull cooler air towards the ceiling and push warmer air down. This will allow you to turn your thermostat temperature down one or two degrees.

5. When your fireplace is not in use, keep the flue closed to keep the hot air in.

6. When your fireplace is not in use, keep the flue closed to keep the hot air in.

7. Replace your furnace filter and do a test run to ensure the system is running properly.