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Home Renovation Blog

What makes a kitchen “high-end”?

Every home has a kitchen, and they’re all as unique as the people who live there. When designing our kitchens, it is very common to put a little of ourselves into the design, finishes, and fixtures but what distinguishes a high-end kitchen from a regular one? Where is that line drawn? If you’re wondering if your kitchen is on the high-end, here are seven elements that you can look for in your own space or maybe even upgrade if you want that high-end kitchen.

Kitchen Countertops

This is about the look almost as much as the material your counters are made of. Whether you choose quartz, granite, concrete or some other material, the look of the counter is what will make your kitchen look high-end. A good, solid material will add almost endless value to your kitchen. So when you’re renovating your kitchen, this is an area to invest in.

Kitchen Island

An island in your kitchen not only adds extra counter space, but it can also provide more space for entertaining guests. Islands are an area people tend to gather around, so this is a place you can put out food or treats for your guests. If the space allows for it, putting in an island will add high-end value to your kitchen.

Walk-in Pantry

Families eat a lot of food, and if you like to entertain or throw parties, then you need even more food storage. No one wants to store things in the basement, or have to lug things out of the spare bedroom - so what better way to store all that extra food than in a beautiful, custom pantry? You can add custom shelving and storage components that suit your family’s needs, and change them as you grow. A pantry – especially a walk-in one – has high-end written all over it.

Wine Cooler

Who doesn’t enjoy a great glass of wine after a long day, or having a couple of glasses with friends? Adding a wine cooler to your kitchen not only adds value but also makes it look classier. A wine cooler can be considered a luxury appliance, which makes your kitchen look better while providing you with a perfectly chilled glass of wine any night of the week.

Wine coolers often come with two sections so you can seperate red wine bottles from the white wine bottles.  They also give you the ability to have one section cooler than the other so you can have chilled white wines, and cellar temperature reds.  This investment is perfect if you wish to get into collecting and enjoying wine.

Wood Floors in Kitchens

Traditionally kitchens have seen tiles as the flooring used, but more and more kitchens have hardwood placed. This is typically the same flooring as what’s used in the living room, dining room and other areas of the main floor. Having the same flooring consistent throughout the main floor makes it look much more open and high-end.

Natural Kitchen Lighting

The more natural light you can add to your kitchen the higher-end it will be. Neon, or LED, lighting may look harsh and can make the space look unnatural and cold. Using all the windows you can – or even open up more spaces for natural light – will give your kitchen a very cozy, warm feeling.

Kitchen Appliances

This is maybe the best way to make your kitchen high-end. Stoves, fridges or dishwashers have a variety of finishes to choose from. Consider options like double ovens, six burner gas ranges and built-in fridges. Investing in top of the line appliances not only makes your kitchen look high-end but you’ll enjoy the better quality investment you’ve made for years to come.

High-end kitchens don’t have to look the exact same, but the components that make up these kitchens are very common. With a little effort and some design, you can make your kitchen high-end with your very own personal touches.

Serving the Burlington, Oakville, Waterdown & Hamilton area, Artisan Contracting offers kitchen and whole home renovaitons. Contact us today for a free consulation!

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High-End Renovations

As homeowners contemplate the various renovations that can improve the look and feel of their home, they quickly discover that not all renovations are created equal. One of the fundamental questions that might be asked is how likely will I be to get a return on my investment if I embark on an expensive renovation, and which is highest on the list.

There is no easy answer because what a homeowner may decide on depends on several factors, including the choice of project, the materials used and value of other homes in your neighborhood.

Some choose to invest more in high-end renovations because you love your house and plan to live in it for a long time while others while want to recoup what they invested. If you are in the former group, a kitchen or bath renovation will be top on your list.

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, kitchens and bathrooms can be the most costly to renovate, but more likely to pay for themselves over time. Additional renovations, like adding a family room or master suite also tend to fare well when resale time rolls around.

The Kitchen

While the kitchen has always been the heart of the family and most popular room, the total cost of kitchen renovations varies widely. According to Home Advisor’s Chief Economist Brad Hunter, the average cost nationally to remodel a kitchen is $21,668.

But he also adds that replacing appliances with new updated models, installing granite countertops, designing and installing custom cabinets, flooring such as tile, recessed or under counter lighting or center island, a kitchen remodel can run upwards of $40,000 to $100,000 or more.

Mid to Upper-Range Kitchen Remodel

Here are some examples of what you might expect to find in a mid to upper range kitchen remodel.

  • A total rework of the space that includes moving everything, such as the kitchen sink which means new plumbing, electrical, air ducts and so on.
  • Professional-style appliances, such as a 48-inch built-in stainless steel refrigerator to the 48-inch cooktop with grille and double convection ovens.
  • A custom island for food preparation and counter with seats.
  • Custom cabinetry that fits the design of the kitchen for both beauty and functionality.
  • Designer hardware such as antique knobs and handles, pricey but worth it since you’ll use them constantly.
  • Wood flooring, porcelain tile or a stone floor for a stunning finishing touch.
  • Stone counters and backsplash such as quartz or natural stone material such as granite.
  • Lighting is an important part of the renovation whether it’s under-counter, recessed or hanging fixtures.

Mid to Upper-Range Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom remodels provide some of the highest resale returns on investment, but they don’t come cheap and can take time to complete. Therefore it is essential to gather and plan your bathroom remodeling ideas ahead of time and find the right contractor for the job.

Here are some examples of what you might expect to find in a mid to upper-range bathroom renovation.

  • A new bathtub, walk-in shower, or Jacuzzi for a touch of luxury.
  • New cabinets, either premade or custom made to fit the design of the room for beauty and functionality.
  • Countertops such as stone or natural stone material such as granite.
  • Porcelain, stainless steel or stone sink/s set into one/two vanity cabinets.
  • Faucet/s and other plumbing fixtures.
  • Toilet or addition of a bidet for style and comfort.
  • Lighting fixtures for a bright yet welcoming setting.

Artisan Contracting can help

For an enjoyable, high-quality renovation experience, Artisan Contracting can help you get through the stress and worry about your upcoming project. You’ll love our work, and we’ll help you make smart, informed decisions about your renovation. 

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How to Make Your House Brighter

You’ve bought the house of your dreams surrounded by large mature trees. You consider this place your heavenly oasis with lots of shade on hot sunny days, right?  Unfortunately after you move into your new castle, you discover that all of those big trees cast a dark shadow over the house. The interior is darker than you remember when you were wandering through it initially. Now what do you do to brighten up your beautiful new home?

Fear not, because there are many ways that you can transform that darker interior into something of a showplace you will treasure for many years to come.  Using both natural and ambient light is one of the fundamental ways to design a home’s interior. However, there are many other simple, or elaborate, solutions that can make a real difference for making your home brighter.

Using light intelligently is essential to crafting a home that’s the very best it can be. Setting out to transform your space and designing a lighting plan can seem daunting, but there are many solutions that can make a real difference.

Windows, Doors, Skylights

Adding windows will brighten any home, especially if you have a cross section of different exposures. Kitchens and living rooms are the most obvious and popular locations, but staircases and landings are also a practical choice to bring in more light. Southern exposure will bring in morning light while western locations will offer afternoon and sunset light.

If you find that your entryway is dark, installing a front door with an upper window glass pane or glass panels will certainly enhance the look and brightness within your home. The light coming in will give more depth to the interior and help to flood light down the hall, most often to the kitchen.

Another option is to replace interior solid doors with glass or French doors that provide not only light, but a see-through effect to expand the feel of lightness and brightness within the home. French doors provide a way for rooms to share light and to avoid shutting rooms off. You could even install a solid wood with inserted pane glass panels or a solid door with five-pane sidelights for distributing light in the house.

Installing skylights will do wonders for any dark area.  Whether it’s in the kitchen, living room, hallways or even the bathroom, you get a floor and disbursement of light that surely brighten up any darkened area. Skylights bathe a room in natural light that is both functional and visually appealing.



  • Make the most of the natural light available such as using mirrors to bounce light around the house. Mirrors add depth and help to increase the amount of light in a space. This simple addition can be very effect in long, dark halls or flights of stairs. Place the mirrors in relationship to windows or lamps for full effect.

Curtains & Drapes

  • Consider hanging airy, lightweight and see through curtains or drapes to bring more light into your home. You can even consider doing away with curtains entirely. Today, there are many selections of pull down Mediterranean-style shades or Mediterranean-style shutters in pale wood or a neutral painted finish that can provide natural light without compromising privacy.


  • You can use colour to help make the appearance of any room look brighter. Consider using a combination of a pale hue with a darker shade for an effective look of brightness against a contract of shade. This will make the room look more expansive and brighter.
  • The type of paint that you choose also has a big effect in determining its outcome for a lighter appearance. A simpler matte finish reflects light more efficiently. It offers a warmer, more subtle impression and ensures that the eye is drawn to the features of the room instead of the walls. Finish off the makeover by adding colourful, clean-lined looking accessories like patterned pillows and cushions.

Put it all Together

Making your home brighter doesn’t have to be a burden or break the bank.  By adding additional light, using either natural or ambient, then finishing off with the right paint colours, furniture and accessories, your home will look bright and inviting.  It will become the beautiful environment that welcomes you and your family home every day.

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Top 3 Returns on Investment Home Renovations

Although completing home renovations can be costly, time intensive and stressful, doing so can pay off big time when it comes time to sell your home! However, not all renovations provide the same return on investment (ROI), so it's important to consider which ones are the best to do.

Listed below are the top three renovations to complete if you’re looking for the best financial return.

Your #1 Home Renovation ROI: Kitchen Renovations

As the most used room in a home, a kitchen plays a pivotal role in a family’s day-to-day life. It’s no surprise then that a kitchen renovation can provide a homeowner with the biggest return on investment compared to any other room you remodel in your home! On average, you can expect to recoup 60-80 percent of a kitchen's remodeling cost.

Kitchen remodels have a reputation for being costly, especially if you're considering high-end upgrades like custom cabinetry and granite countertops. But if you’re looking to get a good ROI without breaking your bank, there are some relatively easy remodel ideas to complete.

Painting your kitchen cabinets and changing up their hardware, or finding a new countertop and backsplash is a great place to start.

There are many other affordable options available on the market today that look expensive, but have a much different price tag than the luxurious material. For example, composite, butcher block and even some laminates can create a great impact without having granite’s high price tag.

Upgrading Your Bathroom Can Pay Off!

After kitchen renovations, bathroom renovations are the next best remodeling investment to complete. With the average bathroom remodeling resulting in a return on investment of 60-70 percent, this small room is a relatively easy one to result in a big profit!

Like kitchens, bathrooms do not need to be completely renovated to result in a profitable ROI. Painting the walls, changing out the hardware, and updating your vanity, flooring or fixtures are relatively easy renovations to complete in this room.

With the popularity of green initiatives, upgrading your toilets to be more energy efficient can be a great selling feature, too.

General Cosmetic Improvements Can Result in a Higher Selling Price

Doing something as easy as updating your home’s paint colours can go a long way when you go to sell your home! Other general improvements to complete before listing your home include adding window treatments, upgrading fixtures, completing landscaping, redoing your deck and cleaning your carpets.

Completing minor improvements while keeping costs to a minimum are a great way to improve your home’s appearance and receive a larger selling price.

Artisan Contracting Can Help You Receive a Better ROI on Your Home!

Take the stress and headache out of completing your own home renovations and trust the professionals!

For over 35 years, Artisan Contracting has been completing beautiful, functional remodeling projects throughout the Burlington and Oakville area. As the area’s most trusted contracting team, Artisan Contracting can complete home renovations that will result in a better selling price for your home. Contact us today for more details!

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