Renovations, especially kitchen upgrades, are always a hot topic with my friends and clients. I am on several discussion boards on Facebook and recently the topic came up again. I linked them to my last post and they were very thankful. So I thought I’d take any new suggestions and enhance the original blog post. Kitchen renovations can completely change the look and function of a home, and since they can be expensive, homeowners want to make smart decisions that they will want to live with for a long time.
Since kitchen renovations can also be one of the best home upgrades you can make in terms of real estate resale, it makes sense to me to make the changes you need to make in order for your home to really work for you and your family. Additionally, I work with builders and always work to keep on top of the trends so they can included them in their home designs.
I’ve put together some of the most popular “must-haves” and hope you can find some ideas or inspiration here!
Farmhouse sinks: There is a lot of discussion (and differences of opinion) about whether homeowners prefer a large divided sink or a single basin sink, but either way, a big, spacious apron front or farmhouse sink seems to be a favorite and enduring choice. I personally love the deep single basin stainless and my builder has been using the white farmhouse like what is pictured below. Tell me your preferences!
photo credit: signature hardware.com
Beverage station: keeping the family hydrated during Atlanta’s long (some would say 9 month) summer season without having the refrigerator opened constantly is the challenge that an independent beverage chiller solves. Whether a built-in undercounter refrigerator or a free-standing wine cooler with room for sodas and juice, a beverage station keeps everything accessible and at the right temperature.
photo credit: houzz.com
Double dishwashers: Southerners love family dinners, and they love entertaining, but there’s nothing to love about running out of space in the dishwasher at the end of the night and having to hand wash a pile of dishes. Homeowners are loving the option of a second dishwasher that is capable of keeping up with ALL of their dishes.
Extra ovens: which extra oven works for you depends on your lifestyle and cooking preference, but an extra oven is a must for kitchen renovations. Steam ovens for the serious baker, convection ovens for the home chef , or hybrid microwaves are all popular choices (and the microwave can live in its own drawer in the lower cabinet to make snack time easier for kids.)
photo credit: lewelectric.com
Under cabinet or countertop plugs: with the trend in high end backsplashes like quartz or marble, people are opting for less visible plugs either as power strips under the cabinets or built into the counter as flush or pop-up outlets. We all know you can never have too many outlets in the kitchen and these options fill that need without breaking up the lines of a gorgeous luxury backsplash.
Drawers, drawers, drawers: and I’ll add, pull-outs in general whether for garbage and recycling or for racks for baking equipment and especially for pantries!. Cooks are tired of scrambling blindly in deep cabinets looking for the right size lid for a pot or an ingredient hidden behind boxes in a pantry and are opting for easily accessible drawer and pull-out storage.
photo credit: pinterest.com
photo credit: house.com
photo credit: homebunch.com
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Appliance garages: with families investing in appliances that they use everyday but don’t necessarily love seeing on the countertop (think Vitamix and Keurig coffeemakers), appliance garages are getting bigger and taller. I’m even seeing them as part of a counter-level cabinet with adjustable shelves where you just close the doors on the practical but not beautiful appliances once you’re done with them.
photo credit: thisoldhouse.com
High-end faucets: We all know, accessories can make or break an outfit so one of the most used elements in the kitchen should not be an afterthought! Faucets are also a place where function and design really come together and there are so many beautiful options out these days that can really make your kitchen sparkle.
Gold, brass, and copper facets are a bold trend that’s popping up more and more.
photo credit: desiretoinspire.com
Like that classic strand of pearls, traditional styles can complete the look of your kitchen in an understated but elegant way.
photo credit: any flow.com
Sleek, modern designs make a statement in a minimalist kitchen.
Air switches for garbage disposal: from gorgeous faucets to the mundane necessity of garbage disposals…but the air switch makes the disposal so easy to use and is virtually invisible mounted next to the sink.
photo credit: houzz.com
Clean lines, pleasing proportions: while the feeling of a fresh kitchen renovation is hard to beat, keeping the look fresh for a long time is key. Opt for clean, crisp lines and neutral colors in your built-in elements while getting trendy and experimental with your accessories for long term renovation satisfaction. And pay attention to proportions to maximize your island, peninsula, and cabinets for the kitchen’s footprint.
photo credit: hwiblog.com
I’ve never hear anyone regret getting as large a kitchen island as their space allows. Islands seem to be the center of the home where everyone gathers, whether it’s getting the kids breakfast in the morning or a fun gathering of friends.
Surrounded by large private estates, exclusive neighborhoods, and the Chattahoochee National Forest, this rare listing includes just under 3 acres of pristine, private land with incredible potential.
Located in an enclave of large estate properties in unincorporated Cobb County, you’ll have easy access to the new Braves Stadium and low Cobb County taxes whether you choose to create your own large estate (the property is zoned to allow horses) or subdivide the lot for up to 3 homes.
The beautiful Rivers Call neighborhood is a stone’s throw away, as is the Windy Ridge Office Park, so the property offers unparalleled privacy with easy access to work, entertainment, and shopping.
This rare piece of land is actually two subdivision lots with additional land purchased later covered with mature trees and a beautiful and private natural setting.
Bring your builders! There are a house and stables on the site but the property is being sold for land value. Please take a look at the details on my website and give me a call to set up a viewing!
1268 Timberland Drive SE, Marietta, GA 30067
Overview Lot/Land; 2.96 acres; 4 br house on lot; stables; zoned for horses; sub-dividable for up to 3 homes
I’m really pleased to be featured on Atlanta Agent Magazine’s “Who’s Who” list of top-performing realtors this year! I appreciate every client who entrusts me with the task of finding or selling their home and could not have gotten where I have without you!
Tina Hunsicker, a 15-year industry veteran, has followed her successful first career in financial services and client relationship management with a smart, data-driven approach to Atlanta’s luxury real estate market. Her analysis, thoughtful pricing strategies and financial acumen have taken her to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chairman’s Gold Circle as a representative of the top 2 percent of agents internationally. She is a recipient of the Atlanta Board of Realtors Phoenix Award; has been recognized as one of the association’s top 10 Realtors; and has certifications in new construction and relocation with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties Luxury Collections Group.
A Pittsburgh native, Tina attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she received a degree in marketing and economics before working as a certified cash manager for a number of major banks, including BNY Mellon and Security Pacific Bank. Later she leveraged that experience into a business development position in Ernst and Young’s corporate finance group and then a financial services consulting position with KPMG. After transitioning into real estate, she has consistently sold an average of $12 million annually, with peak years at $25 million in sales.
Tina’s foundation in banking has been a tremendous asset in understanding what a significant investment a home is, and how important it is to find her clients a property that will give them a significant return on their investment. But it is really Tina’s personal touch that has brought her success on her terms. Understanding that a home purchase is as much an emotional decision as it is a financial one allows her to listen to her clients’ needs and help them prioritize and think creatively to get them the right home for their lifestyle. Whether it’s a first-time homebuyer looking for a townhome, empty nesters looking to downsize, or a family looking for a spacious home near their desired schools, Tina’s attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile have built her a loyal and growing clientele.
Tina describes her son as her motivation and biggest fan. She is active in his school life, sports and hobbies, and is grateful to have transitioned and built a career that allows her the flexibility to be an active single mother and full-time real estate professional. The family is also active in their community, Vinings, where she was a board member with the Vinings Historic Preservation Society, and worked with the “Silent Train” campaign to improve quality of life. She is also a frequent participant in other community enrichment projects.”
As always, a referral is a great compliment, so if you know of anyone who could benefit from my expertise, I would love to talk to them. Call me on my cell at 404-931-3944 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
This is National Adoption Day and November is National Adoption Month. For me its also a special week, Thanksgiving is a time for everyone to reflect on what we’re thankful for, but to me it means a whole lot more. Here is my story:
The above pictures were from the baby home when we first met Dima at 11 months. The pictures on the right are from the court house in Kemerovo on the court date where they declated that Dima was now Chase.
Adopting one child will not change the world; but for that child, the world will change.
11 years ago my mom and I made the trip to Kemerovo, Russia to bring home my son. Attached is a story that I wrote back then for my adoption agency. This week always reminds me of that journey and ALL I have to be Thankful for. I can’t believe it was that long ago!
The Journey for Chase :
My journey to adopt a child unofficially began in 2003. I made the trip to Bulgaria with my sister-in-law to bring home her two children. From then on I had the idea that I wanted to adopt a child from an Eastern European country. Finally in 2004 when I was preparing my year-end financials, I decided I would finally be able to afford the process and had a consistent enough income to support a child on my own.
I am single. So in January of 2005 I began the process with a local agency here in Atlanta thinking they could help me through the process. By April, I had all of my paperwork done and was “paper ready”, that agency sent my dossier to one Russian Region, where it sat… Week after week I heard different reasons why nothing was happening in that region and that it would pick up any day, but by the middle of July I was getting tired of the excuses and decided to network around and inquire online to find out about what agencies had people traveling and to what regions etc. A friend recommended me to Adoption ARK (now out of business due to Russia being closed to adoptions), she put me in touch with several people who were traveling within very short times from becoming “paper ready”. I contacted Elina and she was in Russia at the time and a week later she emailed me and told me they weren’t currently working in Krasnodar (that was the region I had done the paperwork for with the other agency) since nothing had been moving there in such a long time. She also told me that she expected to have some more children available next week and to contact her that Wednesday. Well by Monday evening, I had an email with a picture of this darling little boy – Dima. I asked what I had to do, she sent me a list and I was off on recreating my dossier, and getting everything ready for his different region.
I traveled within 2 weeks to meet him, a darling little boy whose name was Dima and went back for court within 7 weeks. From beginning to end the process was under 3 months! My little guy – (now called Chase) is healthy, happy and so loved by the entire extended family. We’ve been home 3 months now and he acts like he’s been here his whole life. He gained 5 pounds in 2 months and grew 2 inches. He has already outgrown the clothes I brought him home in and understands English and Spanish (his nanny is Spanish). He speaks a few words and kisses good-bye. He is the light of my life and he has the ability to cheer anyone up. Everyone keeps saying how happy he is and he really is…
The picture of Chase in his reindeer was the first night in our hotel in Kemerovo. We had given him as much formula as he wanted and he proceeded to throw up on me! The picture in the tub was at home. The other pictures were a few weeks later when he made the trip to Charleston to meet all the family.
I still remember that week and what happened daily. My Mom and I flew out on a Saturday evening arriving in Kemerovo on a Monday morning. They immediately whisked us off to my court date which took most of the morning. Later that day there was more paperwork to do and the next morning (Tuesday) we made the journey with several other families via a van to Novokuznetsk. We had issues with the Van with fuel line freeze up and we sat on the side of the road in Siberia while they sent another van to us. By the time we got to the baby home it was afternoon. No time for a tour, but I do remember seeing this beautiful baby in a light blue knit outfit and my mother and I commented on pretty he was. It had only been a month since we had seen “Dima” but that was him. No time for a tour, we got our babies and they loaded us back into our van to head back to Kemerovo for more processing. By Thursday on Thanksgiving we were in Moscow to meet with the embassy doctor and more processing. There was no turkey to be found at any of the hotels or restaurants we had contacted. So we just ate a regular meal in the Park Hyatt Hotel in Moscow. All went well and Friday we were headed home! That’s a very abbreviated version of what happened, but as you can see it makes every Thanksgiving that much more special with the memories. Hope you have a very special Thanksgiving this year as well full of your special memories!
I’ve written about planning Chase’s birthday parties a few times over the years; it’s fun to stay on top of what’s available in Atlanta because not only do kids grow up fast, their interests and hobbies change as they get older. I’ve always tried to plan a theme or venue that really reflects who Chase is as a person so I’m always asking friends for recommendations or researching to see what’s new.
Last year, I wrote about Main Event on Cobb Parkway, a great indoor facility with games, laser tag, a rock climbing wall, and even a sports bar for adults. Main Event is still a favorite with Chase’s friends and I think it’s a good option to keep in mind for winter birthdays.
photo credit: 365atlantafamily.com
Another place that seems to be popular no matter the age of your child is LEGOland Discovery Center at Phipps Plaza. They have DUPLO for toddlers on up to rides for older children and all the LEGOs you could possible want to build with! They even have a LEGO box kids can jump into!
Zip lines, ropes courses, sky bridges for the gravity defying adventurer, Treetop Quest has 3 locations in Dunwoody, Buford, and a new location in Roswell. One of the cool things about this place is that the activities are self guided so once you are trained on the safety equipment, you can go through the course or zipline as many times as you want.
photo credit: classic-paintball.com
Paintball is really popular with the older kids (and adults) and can be a really fun group activity. Most paintball facilities will reserve a field for groups of 10 or more on weekdays.
Classic Paintball in Lithia Springs has 5 fields and an urban course to choose from. They also have picnic areas and pavilions for your birthday party treats.
Georgia Paintball has two fields in Acworth and Dallas Georgia. They have a castle, a western town (called Dodge City) and wooded courses and they offer packages and specials for groups at both locations.
photo credit: boxycolonial.com
For the nature lover, Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell has birthday party plans that include hiking, animal interaction, and a nighttime planetarium theme. They tailor parties for different age groups and every party package includes a cookie cake. They host a lot of great programs and events including a butterfly festival and a summer camp so they’re a great local resource for nature-loving families.
Members at the Center for Puppetry Arts can book a birthday party with tickets to a show and a party room. You can add a build-you-own puppet workshop to the party package and each guest will have a puppet to take home with them.
I don’t have as much experience with planning parties for girls but my friends with daughters tell me that their girls are really into their American Girl dolls so the American Girl Boutique & Bistro at North Pointe Mall in Alpharetta might be the perfect spot to celebrate. They even have a doll hair salon!
photo credit: huffingtonpost.com
Or if your little lady (or gentleman) enjoys a lovely cup of tea and a tower of delicious scones and cakes in elegant surroundings, several of Atlanta’s top hotels offer afternoon high teas:
Four Season’s Park 75 Afternoon Tea is available with seven day advance reservations for parties of ten or more.
For the budding artist, the Vinings School of Art right here in Vinings offers several different art class packages for birthday parties. Your child can choose the project they create and instructors will guide the guests through
This bright condo is freshly painted and ready to be your new home! Top floor unit means high ceilings and wooded views; an elevator next to two dedicated parking spots means easy in-and-out with groceries. Lots of windows and an open floor plan make the kitchen and living areas feel spacious, while a gas fireplace creates a cozy ambiance. This community is close to all the shopping and dining in Vinings but with a peaceful atmosphere at home, a great place to relax at the end of the day.
Take a look at the full listing for a complete list of features and community amenities.
Overview: 1250 sq. ft., 2 bedrooms/ 2 bathrooms
Schools: Teasley/ Campbell/ Campbell
List price: $210,000
4100 Paces Walk SE, Atlanta, GA 30339
As always, please contact me if you have any questions about this home or to set up a time to view it.
The finishes and quality of this home are those more fitting to a multi-million dollar home, however, 2095 Cooper Lake Drive is priced under a million and still boasts high-end appliances, a built-in ice maker and a custom 6k + square foot floor plan. It also offers simple access to interstates and Buckhead is at the tip of your fingers.
The stately presence of this home is best experienced while sitting on the grand front porch. Just inside the double front door is a large entry hall leading to both a formal dining room and coffered ceiling living room. The dining room is filled with natural light, a fulfillment of the original plan from Norwood Architects. Gleaming hardwood floors flow throughout the home – from the dining room through the butler’s pantry (home of the ice maker) to the incredible kitchen. The large central island resembles a piece of heirloom furniture and provides ample prep space as well as room for company to pull up a stool to the counter. Many other upscale amenities are found here including a Viking range and stove-side pot-filler.
With so many special rooms in this house to experience, the current owners wanted to make sure accessibility was never a problem, so there’s an elevator that accesses all three levels. One of the best rooms to find while using the elevator is the interior family room. It’s kind of like a sitting room for the private areas of the house. This room is located on the 3rd level in the middle of all of the family bedrooms. In the past, this room was used for middle-of-the night feedings and includes a refrigerator and sink for drinks or a coffee bar.
A coffered ceiling in the living room is just one example of the upscale finishes in this home.
The ice maker’s home is in the Butler’s Pantry.
A beautiful kitchen is the perfect setting to make memories in this wonderful home.
As you might expect in a home of this quality, the master bedroom has ample space and a unique barrel-vaulted ceiling. Additionally, a soaring ceiling in the master bathroom creates an airy feel among the raised double vanities, soaking tub, and large walk in closet.
Barrel vaulted ceilings are unique and fun to look at – and especially cool in a master bedroom.
Elegant master bath
A gated neighborhood is rare find in Cobb County, and it, along with a private street, is found here at Holden Estates. For metro Atlanta owners who travel, this secure environment is key. And traveling from this location is a breeze. It’s about a minute to I-285 (west of I-75) and about 20 minutes to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Closer to home, you’re just a stroll away from Oakdale Park, and less than a mile away to One Ivy Walk – home of many great restaurants and boutiques.
6 bedrooms, 1 half bath, 5 full baths
Offered at $849,000
2095 Cooper Lake Drive SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
As always, please contact me with any questions you may have or to see this beautiful home.
Well, my neighbors beat me to it – the bunk room, not the beach house. They took a dark room in their basement and had the builder finish it out super cute for their two girls. Each bed has a cubby-hole for a night light and whatever else the child wants to stash in there.
Obviously, my son now wants one in a boy theme. He’s at the perfect age so if I’m going to do it, now is probably the time. I imagine this will be THE place for sleepovers for many years to come! If you need the builders name or pricing, just email me and I’ll share it with you.
This condo at 123 Luckie St. is the perfect pied-à-terre for a busy working professional. Located near Centennial Olympic Park, the Westin and all downtown locations, this loft style building boasts 10 ft.+ high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows and open floor plans. The kitchen has Siematic Cabinetry and stainless appliances. It is a true one bedroom with walk-in closet, separate eating area or office and laundry room. This unit is convenient to the elevator to garage. Enjoy walking to the sports venues or CNN Center.
Listed at $147,500. Please contact me with any questions or to view this beautiful condo!
Whew! December was quite a busy month! For some reason, December has always been a good month work-wise, and this year was no exception. Of course, with a young child, there is a lot to do to prepare for Christmas. And if both of those things weren’t enough, on the 10th we converted from Prudential to Berkshire Hathaway Home Services!
Here is a nice article about the conversion from the Atlanta Business Chronicle:
Commercial Real Estate Editor- Atlanta Business Chronicle
Atlanta’s largest residential real estate company plans to make a bold move into the ultra-competitive luxury home market.
The push comes almost eight months after Prudential Georgia Realty, probably known best for new home sales in suburban Atlanta markets, was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A, BRK-B) affiliate HomeServices of America Inc.
Now we’re on to 2014 and have new listings that will be popping up soon. I’ll be posting some in the days to come, but for now, we are hoping your year is off to a great start and you are staying warm!