What is a Picture Worth?

You see a beautiful image on Houzz and it catches your eye. You’re contemplating a remodeling project, so decide to contact the company and possibly include them in your bid process. One of the first questions you should ask is,

Who designed this project?

The person that created that picture you saved in your Ideabook is more than likely a professional designer, someone with years of design education and experience.  That layout you admire in the photo was developed after many client meetings and trips to their

 home before pencil ever hit paper… and it was created specifically for that client.

That picture is worth a lot of personal hours. Don’t you deserve that attention?

Your Happy Place?

JMAY0254For the last child living at home, my current philosophy on bedroom maintenance is … close the door.  So I was a tad surprised last weekend when my youngest daughter pulled into the driveway and proceeded to unload storage containers and hanging systems from Target out of her SUV.  Offering up a heavy dose of smirk and one eyebrow raised at her, she responded, “What?? I’ve got to get organized!” Amazing. Even the evolving brain of a teenager reaches the point of wanting to bring order to chaos.

In the adult world, bringing order to chaos is one of the best things about designing spaces.  I fantasize about some of the laundry rooms, home offices, pet grooming stations, and incredible family storage projects we have done.  I remember guiding hours worth of groups through a grand remodeling project AKB played a part in with its gorgeous beamed ceilings, balustrade and banister in the upper gallery, super sizedLaundryAKB_003 fireplace… and the mudroom.  The mudroom was where everyone stopped and stared.  They envisioned, like I did, what it would be like to live there.  An elaborate family locker system with closed and open cabinetry for storage, pegs for hanging coats, backpacks and sports bags, seating and shoe storage, extra large washing tubs, floor drain, hose system and adjacent laundry room… all there to cater to the pets and people and their comings and goings.  If your happy place is an organized place, we can help.

Couch or Kitchen… My Analogy

Wolf, Sub Zero, Dacor, Miele, LaCanche, AGA, Aske, Bosche, Le Creuset, Staub, All-Clad, Shun, Wusthof.. a random list of high end kitchen items. Is their price worthy of their performance? Multiple reviews over ten renovations for my own personal spaces, I conclude that there is no lack of argument for or against many of the choices I have made. The one thing that gains the most favor, other than resell name brand recognition is performance quality. When investing in cabinetry, this is critical. I use the following analogy:
You’re hunting for a new family room couch. Comfort and style are at the top of your list. Price tag is key. Maybe your husband is a big guy and your kids are young. You have two dogs. Your couch will take heaps of abuse and you know it. At least you have options for cleaning the couch, and you can check these furniture steam cleaner reviews, so there isn’t really an excuse to make about stains or a collection of dog hair. The difference in your next step is critical. Bought cheaply and treated poorly, you will be disappointed to see the sagging springs, cracked joinery and flattened fillings in a very short time frame. Poor construction is just… poor construction.

Cabinetry is No Different. The sweet widow whose builder installed her lovely white kitchen cabinets lasted less than four years after renovation. Cabinetry sagging off the wall, drawers that were crooked closing- not what she was expecting. Moral of the story? She is happily entertaining again after we took care of her.

Daily Use!

Daily Use

Design Wisdom

AKB_MMC_SmallYou can pour through as many online sites and magazine resources as you want… share “boards”, “like” images and create folders of photos. Nothing replaces the services of a knowledgeable designer. In our industry, meeting you, hearing your story, seeing your space and knowing the cabinetry product , doesn’t add to your bottom line. It gives you the best cost effective measure… a little thing called Design Wisdom.

What & If…



Two of the most non threatening words in the English language. But to borrow from a recent old movie I watched, if you put the two together, they have the power to really get you thinking.  I enjoyed a recent FB post of a friend who took a picture of her steaming pot of dinner because she was enjoying a cold evening at home cooking in her new kitchen, custom built for her. She posted “Everything I’ve ever wanted right here right now”. I loved it. Reminds me that life is too short not to make hay while the sun shines!28-im-Image_Lacanche_conseil-8828

One Stop Shop…

I have noticed over the last seven years at AKB that in the design business, initially contacting an architect or a builder regarding a renovation is just as typical as reaching out to a trusted designer.  It has been rewarding to see that many of AKB’s repeat customers are “greenlight” clients.  They want and TRUST us to do it all.  (Spoiler Alert: AKB’s owner is a board certified architect.)

Design, Demolition, Installation.  AKB can offer an all-inclusive approach involving fine cabinetry, countertops, flooring, fixtures, sinks, hardware, lighting, paint & more.  We enjoy an excellent working relationship with many of the area’s building professionals and suppliers and can professionally and personally refer a MENU to our clients to easily choose from… keeping them in the driver’s seat, out of the stress zone and our eye on the quality of the finished product.


Corner of Euclid and Lafayette Avenue

Corner of Euclid and Lafayette Avenue

Someone on Your Side

Bathroom & VanityEveryone needs to feel comfortable during the time consuming and inconvenient disruption of a home renovation. The hassle of the myriad of decisions becomes overwhelming to even the most prepared home renovators. STOP STRESSING! Engaging the services of a professional kitchen and bath designer does NOT mean additional costs to the homeowner, it just means professional results.

Invest wisely… or why go through the pain of renovation?

Wine Storage

Beyond the outside aesthetics, cabinets are graded on three things: the box, the shelves and the drawers. Often we hear from clients after seeing our professional renderings, “I can probably get something cheaper from XX”. Yes. You can. But the cautionary tale is the “Unused Newly Installed Version” vs. “Your Family’s Daily Abuse”!

Cabinet prices are wide ranging and directly correlate to materials and construction methods. Choose particleboard, melamine and stapled drawers and that is exactly the “performance” you should expect after a couple months of your family’s use.

A kitchen renovation is a fantastic way to add value to your home. Whether you are in the mood for a revamp, or already have your heart set on moving out, you should never compromise where the quality of your remodeling work is concerned.

A good friend of mine recently purchased a gorgeous new home in North Carolina and he would never have been able to sell his old property without first completing some major renovation work in his kitchen.

Once his kitchen was complete, finding a new property was an absolute breeze. The last time we spoke he told me to pass on the message that you too can learn more about New Homes in Charlotte NC, by heading to essexhomes.net.

So, what are you waiting for, get your kitchen renovation started now, and you too could soon be the owner of a brand new home.

And remember, it is always worth coming in and chatting with a designer at AKB, where Quality Matters.

Party in the kitchen!

The holiday party plan involved a bar in the back hallway, platters of cheeses and fruits, tartlets and a presentation of roasted vegetables and dip stationed around the great room.  Shouldn’t have bothered… after an hour of trying to shoo guests out of the kitchen, we gave up and moved everything to where they wanted to be, the kitchen!  A beautiful custom kitchen with an island (or double island!) is the perfect place for family and friends to enjoy.

Shop Local!

Keep the grass “blue” in Central Kentucky and choose AKB for your new kitchen or bathroom. We are a small locally owned business providing design services and custom cabinetry options. Our most popular cabinetry supplier is an hour outside of Lexington, KY!