Remodeling Tips from the Pros – Orlando Sentinel

Give your home fresh appeal with innovative color palettes, mixed metals and fixtures fit to bejewel any room

Long before the hype of HGTV, Keith Vellequette was flipping houses as a hobby. In fact, he had such a knack for it that friends — and friends of friends — started hiring him. Before long, he had his own business.

Today, KBF Design Gallery, with a showroom in Altamonte Springs, is a turnkey remodeling service. “People tend to get overwhelmed when they are remodeling a home with all the choices and decisions they have to make. That’s where we come in,” Keith says.

And by “we,” he means his whole family, from his wife, Melissa Vellequette, who does the books to his two adult children. They’re all actively involved. “I was working here while I was in college and the rest happened organically,” says his daughter Ashley Sheaffer. “I started chipping tile with the tile guys, following around the cabinet installers, and emptying trash cans,” Keith’s son, Adam Vellequette, says.

The close-knit team works in tandem in the showroom where clients can sort through a bevy of samples representing a range of styles. Tiles, backsplashes, bathroom fixtures and faucets are all on display to help jumpstart the remodeling thought process.

THE FOUNDATION FACTOR
One of the best places to start when you’ve decided to remodel is with your floor. “The floor is the main driver of a home’s look,” Keith points out. “Having cohesive flooring is one of the most valuable things you can put in a home.”

From floor to ceiling and from kitchen to bath, the floor is the foundation of any design. At the start of a project, the type of flooring recommended is based on the preference of a warm or cold floor temperature. For those wanting a cooler feel, porcelain that mimics wood is popular. For a warmer touch, rectified wood porcelain tiles, installed close together with monochromatic grout, deliver a look that resembles a natural wood finish. It’s all about creating a seamless design.

CLEAN-CUT KITCHENS
That seamless look also flows into the kitchen, where open floor plans have become the backbone for design. “We’ll open up major walls to create an open floor plan. It’s a look that will always be in style,” says KBF designer Melissa Obar.

Another popular feature, the kitchen island, which serves as a centerpiece, is getting even more attention these days. “The island can be designed as a statement piece of furniture,” Adam says. “That makes the kitchen feel more custom and less like a cookie-cutter design.”

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