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Universal Design

Universal DesignUniversal design is the concept of creating a home that accommodates everyone living within the household, consequently making things safer, easier and more convenient for everyone regardless of age. Universal Design goes further by recognizing that there is a wide range of human abilities. Everyone, even the most able-bodied person, passes through childhood, periods of temporary illness, injury and old age.

Designing a kitchen that is barrier free is desirable. Cabinets with pull-out shelves, kitchen counters at several heights to accommodate different tasks and postures are other examples. Bathroom upgrades that enrich functionality are also on the up rise.
Universally Designed products can have an eye-catching value. A designer must also appreciate that the usability of a product can be influenced by its appearance. Individuals tend to find designs easier to use if they look easy to use.

Universal Design is not a design style or trend. Rather, it is an approach to designing that can be applied to any design style or trend.
Ackard’s professional design team will help you create a home that is not only stunning, but has considered every household member’s needs and likes.

Renovation Trends for 2015 Part One

Renovation-Trends-for-2015-before-and-after-300x222With January gone and spring in sight, have you been thinking about re-modeling? Choosing what to do can be difficult but the key is to follow the trends that will offer timeless appeal and a sound investment.
There is an emerging housing trend showing that more people are opting to renovate their existing homes rather than moving into a new one. They love their existing communities, mature neighbourhoods and convenient access to familiar amenities.

Contemporary design is forefront and in high demand. Clients, when planning their re-modeling, want to create a clean, uncluttered serene space. “Keep it simple but beautiful”
A traditional style home can be transitioned to a contemporary feel by changing cabinet doors to flat, and finishings that demonstrate a cleaner look.

Homeowners enjoy their “creature comforts”, that is to say features that look and feel good. Some examples include air conditioning, 2-sided fireplaces, heated floors and lots of glass to bring in the outdoors.
Should you retain or replace? Customers are considering options such as re-staining existing railings or cabinets. Replacing flooring only where needed is more common today. Brick exteriors are painted to update rather than tearing it down.

Ackard’s design team can provide you with the most current unique ideas to transform your home giving you the results you will love.

Renovation Trends for 2015 Part Two

Whether renovating or building a new home, one of today’s trends see homeowners not just looking for comfort, but also health benefits in regards to product choices. Information on the selections that are available for consideration is readily accessible to today’s consumers.

Oil rubbed bronze finishings, cast bronze sinks, copper pendant lighting, and metal railings are examples of a very strong trend for this year. Clients appreciate the artistic design that these mediums of heavy metal bring to their homes.

Although there isn’t one winning colour, current trends show that light blues and greens are increasingly popular. Looking at design accents in magazines such as “home decor & RENOVATIONS,” or checking out retail stores that sell bath towels are ways to foresee what the hottest colours are or what is up and coming even before they are obtainable in the paint stores.

Building an outdoor wood-fired oven or having one installed in your home is part of a growing trend towards doing things in the old way. More than that, however, wood-fired cooking is about the experience – about slowing down, reconnecting with food, with nature and with others.

Ackard’s team will provide you with the most current creative trends and expert designs. Visit our website and give us a call to experience the results you will love.

Cabinet Trends

As a custom home builder and renovator, Ackard Contractors is constantly researching new products to ensure that our clients are receiving the utmost up-to-date trends and latest improved designs.
When designing kitchens, we want our clients to not only have a space that functions well, but will also reflect their specific needs and tastes.

Today’s kitchens are favoring a streamline look that features large windows with minimal uppercabinets. Open cabinets are popular for customers who desire items within reach. Flat panel and shaker style cabinet doors are easy to maintain and provide a timeless style. Soft close hardware for both cabinet doors and drawers offer a slam proof solution along with pull out pantries both full height and half height.

Colour is trending towards light, bright and timeless white or even warm gray tones. Textures such as distressed finishes or top glazing add character and are a desired must have. Universal design or “aging in place” design is becoming more common. As homeowners get older and plan for future retirement, they can continue to live in their home safely and independently.

Ackard’s team will provide you with the most current creative solutions and expert designs. Visit our website and give us a call to experience the results you will love.

Selecting a Colour Scheme for Your Home

Selecting a colour scheme for your home can be an intimidating task. With countless options available, where does one start?
We recommend you select flooring and cabinetry first, as colour selection is more constrained and challenging. Once decided, choose an inspiration piece; it can be a piece of artwork or perhaps a photo of a beautiful space that you’ve come across. Select colours from your inspiration piece that emulate how you want to feel in the space. Light neutral colours offer a fresh airy feel, whereas darker neutrals give a more cozy feeling. How much natural light do you have in the room? If you have limited natural light, selecting the same colour scheme a few shades lighter can create the same desired effect.

Keep it simple by using the 60/30/10 rule, meaning 60% dominant colour, 30% secondary colour, and 10% accent colour. As a general rule of thumb, the walls act as the dominant colour in the space. This helps to unify the rooms and establish a theme. To create visual interest, the secondary colour is injected. The secondary colour could be a tile shower and floor in a bathroom or perhaps the cabinetry colour in the kitchen. An accent colour adds a pop of personality to the space; it could be done in home accessories or throw pillows. Using an accent colour in a non-permanent structure keeps the space versatile and more timeless.

Ackard’s in-house designers will provide and help you with your colour selections giving you the results you will love.

Mid-Century Modern Design Homes

The preference of clients to build mid-century modern homes has become prevalent and is here to stay. The exterior style of these homes is designed with flat or hipped roofs, stone and stucco exterior finishing’s, along with an added touch of wood elements. Windows are constructed taller and grander bringing in sought after natural light. Elements of nature are brought into the interior, with natural finishes such as smooth stone tile or slabs, wood features, crowned with a fireplace that has become the centerpiece in a space that is dominated by horizontal lines. Rooms are stunning, featuring tall ceilings that may have open beams and wood features. Kitchen islands have become art pieces designed with horizontal lines such as a waterfall edge or thicker island counter top cantilever over a seating area. Adding large sliding patio doors melds the interior and patio space into one. Finally, the addition of historic furniture such as an Eames chair beautifully brings the leathers and woods into your home. These design features are today’s modern twist on mid-century design, bringing nature indoors.

Ackard’s design team can provide you with unique ideas to create your mid- century modern home with stunning results you’ll love.

Bathroom Evolution

Tbathroom-evolutionoday’s bathrooms have thrown off its previous function as a required room in our homes and evolved into a mini-retreat behind closed doors. Clients that are having their bathrooms renovated are going into the same level of detail in the bathroom as in any other room done to their homes.

People are eliminating the tub/shower combination unit and going for the super-shower – a shower
in the same space that used to fit the tub. These large showers can include a double bench, a rain showerhead, multiple sprays, and steam.

Different products are showing up in residential bathrooms that were only seen in commercial settings such as: electronic faucets and the total toilet that does everything electronically, including wash and dry.

Natural colours and materials are important for bathroom renovations. Consumers are going back to earthy looks such as stone, matte textures, exotic woods, tumbled marble, and limestone. Comfort height toilets and heat mats installed under tile floors are also a favourite. Lots of natural light along with unique lighting fixtures are carefully considered.

Storage in general is important, whether its shelves, cabinets, niches for displays, or freestanding furniture, complimented with hardware that is clean and simple.

Ackard’s design team can provide you with unique ideas creating the bathroom you will love.

Making Every Square Inch Count – I would like to do a renovation on my home.

The opportunities to create extra space in your home for storage are endless. Examples include pull out drawers built into stairs, folding ladders stored in toe kicks, desks or cabinets under a stairwell, slide out lazy susans to allow for easy access in kitchen corners, wall niches, or a spice cabinet built in the wall. Decorative columns can become a hidden pantry. Kitchen islands can have a nook area underneath for a built in paper towel holder to free up counter space. Open unused space can be easily organised by adding shelves or drawers. Incorporating linen closets in open stairway landings are also useful. Using all space as efficiently as possible is worthwhile, but it also means extra costs to the homeowner. Special hardware may be required, and the extra time it takes to build and install custom units should be considered. The key to making decisions as to what you may want is that it has to be easy to use, convenient and practical.

Ackard’s design team can provide inventive and clever storage solutions for you. Contact us for expert designs and creative results you’ll love.

Corner Windows and Floor to Ceiling Windows – I would like to do a renovation on my home.

Corner windows not only improve natural light but add a stunning design feature to your home. These windows create an attraction from outside as well as inside. With the corner invisible, the glass flows through and you experience the sense of standing outdoors while still being indoors giving the illusion that there is more space inside.

Having floor to ceiling windows also creates the feeling that you are part of the outdoors. These windows eliminate barriers and produce a seamless visual delight bringing in an abundance of natural light. Architecturally they offer a contemporary exterior feature.

A consideration when adding new windows is allowing minimum space on the lower part of the wall to run electrical as needed. Corner windows should be mulled together so that it appears as one piece and the exterior finish used should make the window appear to be one unit. This is done by the metal cladding being the same colour as the window frame.

It is also very important to have desired views when deciding on corner or floor to ceiling windows.
Contact Ackard Contractors for expert designs and creative results you’ll love.

I would like to do a renovation on my home. Wide Open Spaces

The dream of owning a home that allows you the room to accommodate get-togethers with your family and friends is something that everyone desires. Wide open spaces can be accomplished by removing walls and installing larger windows.

Choosing the same flooring throughout your newly created space adds uniformity and flow.
Vaulting gives the impression of a larger space but having a vault too high can also take away the feeling of being cozy and comfortable. Accenting with beams brings down the center of focus while still having the benefits a vault has to offer.

Ackard’s design team can provide you with unique ideas creating open spaces you will love. Visit our website to view our gallery and then give us a call.