Beyond the Barbecue: Your Guide to Better Outdoor Living

Summer is upon us and if you’re like other southeastern PA homeowners, you can’t wait to soak up the endless days outside with family and friends. But is your outdoor living space ready?

At Custom Craft, we go above and beyond the simple backyard barbecue spot by creating next-level outdoor entertainment spaces that can be used all year round. From expansive composite decks with entertaining space to outdoor dining and upper-level decks, we love to stay on top of the latest trends in outdoor living.

In fact, we recently sat down with Shawn Thome, a system designer from our audio/visual partner World Wide Stereo to get the inside scoop on how to turn up your outdoor entertainment levels this summer. Here’s what he recommends:

Outdoor TVs

There’s nothing quite like watching the big game outside with friends or enjoying a movie in the fresh air on a warm summer night. Outdoor TVs are a great way to have a permanent setup outside that’s safe from the elements and equipped with a screen that lets you see the picture clearly, even on sunny days.

All outdoor TVs have rubberized internal components that protect against moisture. However, there are differences when it comes to how bright you need your screen to be. Depending on where you plan to hang it, you can choose brightness levels that work in shade, partial sun, and full sun.

Is there an ideal place to mount outdoor TVs? Shawn says with preparation, anything is possible. Whether you’d like it above your outdoor fireplace, hanging from a beam, or attached to the siding, there are ways to hide wiring for a clean look. Of course, this is much easier to do during construction, and Shawn says it can save a lot of time and money to get your audio/visual crew involved right away when you start planning your new space. 

Amplified Audio

Whether you decide to include an outdoor TV or not, having a quality audio setup in your outdoor living space will elevate your gatherings from fine to fabulous. Anyone can bring out a Bluetooth speaker, but for a more immersive experience, Shawn suggests using multiple speakers around the entire deck, patio, or yard. This way, everyone can clearly hear the music or sound from the TV without needing to turn the volume up and upset the neighbors. Have a pool in your backyard? Consider a landscape system that has several satellite speakers so you can easily hear music and have a conversation at the same time.

If you don’t like the idea of bulky speakers all around your beautiful backyard, don’t worry. Shawn says there are multiple styles of speakers that blend right in — from planters that house real flowers, to stone-shaped lawn speakers and systems that mount to the ceiling. This way, the only thing your guests will notice is the amazing sound. 

Luxury Lighting

Besides a sweet sound system, Shawn says there’s no faster way to transform your backyard into a resort-style oasis than a thoughtfully executed lighting setup. Illuminating your garden, pool area, deck, or water features makes your space interesting and inviting, and allows you to enjoy it better at night.

To protect against the elements and conserve energy, outdoor lighting uses special wiring and is often put on a timer. This way, the lights will only be on when you need them (and you’ll never forget to turn them off).

Whether you’d like the dramatic aesthetics of a Disney theme park or the soft lighting of a quiet garden, the amount of lighting you bring in is completely up to you. Not quite sure how bold to go? World Wide Stereo will give you a trial setup so you can try before you buy. Just be careful — Shawn says once people see how amazing their illuminated yard looks, it’s very hard to go back!  

Patio & Sun Shades

The final elements Shawn recommends in your outdoor living space are patio shades. Shades can be customized to fit in your patio or deck to add privacy, keep bugs away, and filter in sunshine and breezes so you can enjoy the great things about being outside and keep out what’s not so great. Roller shades can go up and down (sometimes using a motor!) to quickly and easily adjust according to your needs.


Make your yard an extension of your home, with exciting updates that will guarantee you have an unforgettable summer. Contact us to get started! 


Summer Soundtrack: The Best Local Live Music Spots

Even after you’ve upgraded your yard with the incredible sound systems suggested in our outdoor entertaining blog, there’s nothing like live music — especially in the summer.

Luckily, our area offers plenty of great venues to experience it. Here are some of our favorite local spots to catch live tunes:

Letting Loose in Lansdale

In downtown Lansdale, Round Guys Brewing Company on Main Street is a microbrewery that also features live music on its spacious outdoor patio. From local singer-songwriters to small rock and funk bands, they bring in a diverse lineup of acts to perform. You can sip on one of their craft beers while taking in the music and enjoying classic pub foods like pizza and sandwiches. 

Hang out in Hatfield

The East End in Hatfield is a lively bar and grill that hosts live acts on its outdoor patio during the summer months. From rock and pop covers to acoustic duos, the rotating lineup features local bands and musicians. It’s a great spot to enjoy some tunes while indulging in delicious pub fare like burgers, wings, and tacos.

Pop a Cork in Perkasie

For a picturesque outdoor setting, head to Bishop Estate Vineyard and Winery in Perkasie. They have a large open field with a gazebo stage that hosts local and regional musicians every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Pack a picnic, buy a bottle of their award-winning wine, and spend a relaxing summer day listening to live music while enjoying the beautiful vineyard views.

Listen to Songs in Sellersville

The legendary Sellersville Theater is a can’t-miss venue for live music lovers. While it’s an indoor theater, they open their doors to the street during the summer, allowing you to enjoy the shows from their outdoor patio area. From national touring acts to local favorites, they bring in an incredibly diverse lineup of musical performances spanning genres like rock, blues, folk, and more.

Dine & Dance in Doylestown

For a truly unique experience, check out Puck Live in Doylestown. This restaurant and entertainment venue hosts ticketed concerts in their outdoor garden area — and the quaint downtown area offers plenty of shopping and dining.


With so many fantastic local options, there’s no shortage of opportunities to experience live music this summer in the Lansdale area and beyond! From laid-back brewery and vineyard settings to lively bars and upscale concert series, you’re sure to find the perfect vibe to suit your musical tastes — just remember to check with each venue before heading out.   


Beating Summer Boredom for Teens & Tweens in Lansdale, Fort Washington & Beyond

School’s almost out, and that means it’s time for some summer fun! If you’ve got teens or tweens at home, you’re probably already hearing the familiar “I’m bored” refrain. Never fear — we’ve assembled an awesome lineup of activities, whether you’re in Lansdale, Ambler, North Wales, Souderton, Oaks, or even Doylestown PA. After all, we’re not just remodeling basements and kitchens in this area — we live here, too!

Here are our top picks for summer adventures — just remember to check availability with each organization.

Get Outdoors & Get Active

Take advantage of the beautiful weather and hit the trails. We love Evansburg State Park and Fort Washington State Park but check out for advice on which trails to hit (or avoid!)

 We’re also fans of Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, where you can go ziplining or gem mining for an all-ages outdoorsy adventure.

Don’t forget gyms! The Ambler Area YMCA and Lifetime Fort Washington offer swimming, sports, fitness classes, and camps to keep teens active.

For a bigger adrenaline rush, check out the HUGE aerial adventure park at Hellerick’s Family Farm


Embrace Arts & Culture

Get your teens’ creative juices flowing with music lessons at Ambler Arts & Music Academy or the Color Me Mine painting studio in Montgomeryville. You can also catch live music, shows and performances at local venues like the Ambler Theater or Act II Playhouse.

Experience Community Events

Our area hosts tons of fun community festivals and events all summer. In Lansdale, don’t miss the Founders Day celebration, First Fridays, and summer concert series. Over in Souderton, check out the kid-friendly events listed on Eventbrite like arts & crafts, magic shows, and more.

Enjoy College Prep

The summers before high school are the perfect time for college prep. Penn State Abington offers a Kids and Teen College with camps covering everything from forensics to public speaking to graphic novels — a great way for tweens and teens to get a taste of college life.



With so many awesome options for outdoor recreation, arts and culture, community events, college prep, and family attractions, your teens and tweens won’t have a moment of boredom this summer!

Sunny Bites and Starlit Nights: Your Essential Guide to Lansdale-Area Outdoor Dining

As the flowers bloom and the weather warms up, we’re all eager to get back to one of our favorite pastimes — enjoying a meal outside in the sunshine. Here at Custom Craft, we’re not only about creating beautiful home spaces, but we’re also avid supporters of the local flavor and community spirit. We’ve missed the outdoor dining scene just as much as you have, and now it’s time to get back to the patios and gardens that make our meals special. We’ve rounded up the coziest, most delightful spots for you to savor a peaceful meal or immerse yourself in the lively buzz of our town. 


Whether you’re hankering for some down-home American eats, craving the zest of Mediterranean fare, or looking forward to uncorking a bottle of wine under the open sky, we’re with you. Let’s embark on this tasty journey and explore the best of outdoor dining — because no matter how much you love your remodeled kitchen, it’s nice to let someone else do the cooking for a change. Here’s to shared meals and shared moments in our little slice of paradise!

1.     Blue Bell Inn, Blue Bell, PA — A place rich in history, serving up American classics, creative cocktails, and a choice wine selection. Its spacious outdoor patio is versatile, fit for family nights out and romantic dates alike (pictured at top). 

Outdoor Dining

2.       Arpeggio B.Y.O.B. Spring House, PA This spot is all about the joy of pairing your favorite wine with Mediterranean-inspired dishes and incredible pizza, all enjoyed on a lovely covered patio. 

3.       Fireside, Ambler, PA — If you’re looking for a comfy spot to enjoy some American dishes outdoors, Fireside’s quaint patio is where you’ll want to be. It’s ideal for a laid-back meal in the open air.

Outdoor Dining 2

4.       Gypsy Blu Bar & Restaurant, Ambler, PA — With heaters, a fire pit, lots of space, and the best martinis around, this place knows how to make outdoor dining cozy and fun. Check out their website for live music nights. 

Outdoor Dining 3

5.       Joseph Ambler Inn Pub & Restaurant, North Wales, PA — For an outdoor dining experience that comes with beautiful views and a diverse menu, this is the spot. It’s elegance meets relaxation in the best possible way.

6.       Redstone American Grill, Plymouth Meeting, PA — Here you’ll find a comfortable outdoor seating area and a menu that’s sure to please everyone. It strikes the perfect balance between casual and upscale dining.

7.       Free Will Brewing Co., Perkasie, PA — Beer lovers, rejoice! Enjoy a fantastic selection of craft beers in a chill outdoor setting, where there’s always something new to try. Stop by on a weekend for live music and food trucks!

Outdoor Dining 4

8.       The Copper Crow, Horsham, PA — A modern take on American cuisine awaits you here, with fresh cocktails and dishes that range from light bites to hearty flavors, all enjoyed in a vibrant outdoor setting.

9.       Stove and Tap, Lansdale, PA — The chic spot boasts a great variety of inventive and tasty food and drinks in a surprisingly sophisticated atmosphere, right in the heart of Lansdale. 

We recommend checking out their websites or giving them a call for the latest info on menus, operation hours, and outdoor dining options. Each of these places brings something special to the table — be it their food, the atmosphere, or the unique way they bring our community together outdoors. We hope this guide helps you find your new favorite spot to dine under the stars or the sun. Happy exploring and eating in our wonderful neighborhood!Top of Form

Bringing the Outdoors in: Refreshing Your Home Using Biophilic Design

With spring right around the corner, many Montgomery County homeowners long to get back outside, feel the sun’s warmth and reconnect with nature. Staying closed up inside all winter can make anyone feel weary and claustrophobic — after all, it’s in our DNA to feel calm and connected when we’re in the great outdoors.
But what if you didn’t need to wait until warmer months to experience the natural environment? What if you brought nature into your home to enjoy year-round? This idea is called biophilic design, a growing movement we’re excited to participate in. In this blog, we’ll explore this captivating design philosophy and its benefits, and unveil practical ways to incorporate it into your home.

What Is Biophilic Design?

Biophilic design aims to reconnect humans with nature indoors and is inspired by the innate human draw towards the natural world. Stemming from the Greek word “biophilia,” meaning love of nature, biophilic design aims to reconnect humans with nature in our modern buildings and cities. This could be as simple as bringing in more houseplants or as involved as adjusting the architecture of your home to incorporate more organic shapes.

Benefits of Biophilic Design

Biophilic design can be aesthetically pleasing and a good match for certain style preferences, but incorporating nature in your home goes beyond good looks. It can foster:

Better Health: Studies have shown that experiencing nature has several therapeutic effects, including reducing stress levels, lowering blood pressure, elevating mood, and balancing circadian rhythms.

Better Productivity: Biophilic design is not only embraced by homeowners but also by businesses and schools seeking to boost efficiency and innovation. Exposure to nature has been shown to improve attention span, creativity, cognitive performance, and employee satisfaction.

Better Sustainability: It’s no surprise that designing with nature in mind is also generally good for the environment. Materials in line with biophilic design tend to be more sustainable since they are often minimally processed and renewable, and opting for natural light reduces the use of electricity.

The Three Pillars of Biophilic Design

To create spaces that foster well-being, improve productivity, and promote a sense of tranquility, biophilic design relies on three fundamental pillars.

1: Nature in the Space

The first pillar of biophilic design involves incorporating tangible, real-life elements of nature into your home. You could use natural materials such as wood, stone, or glass, bring in a plethora of houseplants, or consider building out large or numerous windows to maximize natural light. Other ideas include:
  • Water features, like a trickling fountain
  • Minimally processed or raw materials that emphasize natural features like woodgrains
  • Indoor herb gardens or green walls Incorporating natural decorative items like shells, stones, or driftwood

2. Natural Analogues

The second pillar of biophilic design focuses on manufactured items that emulate patterns, textures, and colors found in nature. By mimicking natural elements such as sunlight, foliage, and organic shapes, homeowners can evoke a sense of calm and balance. Here are a few examples:

  • Neutral paint colors
  • Wallpaper, tile, or countertops with a nature theme or pattern
  • Natural fabrics and materials like cotton, hemp, linen, or wool
  • Circular or organically shaped furniture like tables, mirrors, rugs, and other decor

3. Nature of the Space

While the first two pillars focus on the materials, colors, and textures in your home, the last is more about how you set your home up — the layout, architecture, and orientation. The goal here is to design your home in a way that evokes a similar emotion that you might have while taking refuge in or exploring nature. Think of the excitement you had as a child escaping to a secret spot in the woods or climbing into a treehouse, or the peace you feel seeing and hearing ocean waves crashing to shore.
A nature-based retreat in your home could be a cozy reading nook by the fireplace, a well-designed bathroom with a spa-like, walk-in shower, or a fabulous sunroom streaming with natural light and filled with cozy furniture.

Ready to Bring the Outdoors In?

Incorporating biophilic design principles into your home remodeling project can be a wonderful way to freshen up your space, boost your mood, and stay environmentally conscious. By embracing nature and blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces, you can create a sanctuary that nourishes the mind, body, and soul. Contact us to learn more about how we can bring biophilic design principles to life in your home.
level 1 bold kitchen

How Bold Can You Go?

Has your starter home become your forever home? Maybe you love your home’s location too much to move. Or, if you’re like many Montgomery County homeowners, limited inventory and rising interest rates may have stalled your plans to move somewhere bigger and better. As more families decide to stay where they are, a new trend has emerged to keep spaces fresh, interesting, and personalized — going bold.  Bold personalization happens when we make a home design decision that goes against the grain and steps away from staying safe or neutral. Some may be ready to dive into the deep end with a unique look in every room, others would rather just dip a toe in with one small space, and many homeowners fall somewhere in between. In this blog, we’ll explore options at each level so you can decide how bold you’d like to be.  

Level 1: Barely Bold

level 1 bold kitchen
There are many reasons why homeowners don’t like to take big risks in design choices — perhaps a louder dynamic doesn’t fit their personality, they don’t have the budget for drastic changes, or maybe they’d like to resell in the near future. If you find yourself in this category but still want to incorporate a few tastefully bold choices, here are some ideas for you:

Unique Lighting

Statement lighting pieces are a relatively easy way to impact the look and style of your home. Pictured above are fun, textured lights from a recent remodel in Doylestown. Aptly named “urchin” pendants, they bring a splash of fun and personality to the kitchen. Best of all, homeowners can easily swap them out if they want something different.

Statement Tile

Whether in the kitchen or the bathroom, many homeowners incorporate statement tiles in their design. It could be as subtle as a contrasting pattern in a shower niche or a vibrant, geometric work of art behind your stovetop. Whatever you choose, your wall tile could be the perfect opportunity to be (a little) bold.   

Welcoming Wallpaper

That’s right, wallpaper is back. If you miss playful patterns on your wall, wallpaper in a smaller space such as a powder room or home office could be the just-right touch of personality you’re looking for.  

Level 2: Fairly Bold

level 2 bold living room
This next level is for homeowners who are ready to make more of an investment in their design decisions. In this category are ideas that may involve small structural changes, could cost more, and are more difficult to change. If you’re feeling confident in your design style and are staying in your home for a while, these are for you:

Ceiling Treatments

Looking for some next-level bold options? Look up! Exposed beams, coffered or tray ceilings, or even a dark, bold paint color, as in this Plymouth Meeting remodel, draw eyes upward and create a sense of grandeur. 

Creative Countertops

Countertops with dramatic veining or unique patterns are strikingly beautiful and an investment you’ll keep for a good amount of time. We’re seeing a lot of sparkling gold veining, as well as fluted or waterfall styles that make islands truly eye-catching. 

Colored Cabinets

Tired of playing it safe with wood-stained cabinets? Go bold and paint them a rich, vibrant color. Your kitchen or bathroom will benefit from the visual interest and a unique touch of personality.

Level 3: Maximum Bold

Ready to be extreme? The last level in bold personalization gets into more extensive structural changes, design choices that could be controversial for future homeowners, and changes that usually require a large investment. These aren’t for everyone, but for some, they’re exactly what’s needed to make a home truly their own.  
bold kitchen

Nontraditional Fixtures & Features

Standard, safe fixtures and features will always be popular. After all, they’re popular for a reason: most people like them! Those willing to take a bolder approach, however, could opt for an oversized or curbless walk-in shower instead of a bathtub, indulge in their own personal sauna, or carve out space for a specially designed cigar room in their basement (all real-life elements from Custom Craft remodels!). 

Structural Statement Pieces

When your home’s focal point is part of a structural element and requires a construction crew, you know you’ve reached top-level bold. Structurally bold remodeling choices include raising your ceiling height, installing floor-to-ceiling windows, or even bringing in a larger-than-life or dramatic decorative range hood to capture your guests’ attention.  


Part of what determines how bold design choices are is how many are in a single space. Take the above example of our steampunk kitchen project — any of these design choices by themselves may not have registered as extremely bold. But combining the stunning backsplash, dramatic granite countertop, cool copper piping and trim, tongue-and-groove wood ceiling, and unique lighting makes for a one-of-a-kind, ultimate bold look.  At the end of the day, your home should reflect your personality — especially when you know you’ll be there for a long time. If you need help deciding how bold to go, our team is here to help. Our knowledgeable designers spend lots of time asking questions and listening to clients, taking cues from the rest of your home, and factoring in your budget to come up with solutions that meet your needs. Contact us today to get started with a consultation! 

The Kitchen ‘In’ List for 2024

Happy 2024! As we begin the new year, homeowners in Montgomery County and beyond are wondering about the latest trends in home design. The good news? Many of the trends we’re seeing have stayed steady in recent years. This means that, unlike the fleeting, gnarly trends of the ’80s, when you upgrade your home with these elements in mind, you’re creating a timeless space you’ll be satisfied with for years to come. Here are the top kitchen trends we’re seeing and how they’re likely to evolve in 2024.

Beverage Center
  1. Better Beverage Centers 

Beverage centers continue to grow in popularity year after year. Our clients love the idea of a one-stop area where guests and family members alike can help themselves to a drink (or two!) without interfering in the high-traffic zones of the kitchen. In 2024, look out for stations that go beyond the typical wine and cocktail supplies and include high-end coffee items like Nespresso machines, specialty syrups, and grinders.

Warm Stained Wood

2. Warm, Stained Wood

Custom Craft Senior Designer Julie Novak Stafford often recommends incorporating stained wood to make kitchens feel warm and inviting — especially when the majority of the cabinets have a painted finish. Homeowners can incorporate stained wood within their center islands, in floating shelves, or even as a statement butcher block countertop.

Charging Drawer

3. Top-Notch Tech

In the era of smart homes, we’re placing a premium on tech integration. Designer Grace Arndt believes in the mindful placement of smart devices and seamless incorporation into the kitchen’s design — and it all starts with uncovering how clients live their lives and use their spaces. From smart refrigerators to intelligent lighting systems, high-tech innovations aren’t just convenient; they’re an integral, personal part of the modern kitchen experience.

Calm and Convenience

4. Calm & Convenience

During the pandemic, homeowners began to place great value on serenity and simplicity in their homes. Although most people are now back to their busy lives outside the home, the appreciation for a soothing, convenient environment is here to stay. Added storage, improved layouts, and innovative lighting are just some ways to make a home centered on tranquility and wellness.


5. Organic Design

Designer Brittany Murray sees bringing the outdoors in as another prevailing theme in 2024. Homeowners are opting for large windows that flood the kitchen with natural light, as well as organic finishes like stone and wood that create a harmonious connection to nature. Natural colors further enhance the kitchen’s organic appeal.

Textural Movement

6. Textural Movement

Brittany also notes that with warm, neutral colors trending, many homeowners are looking for ways to incorporate more visual interest and dimension into their homes. Textured design elements such as a geometric backsplash, veined countertop, or open shelving are all effective ways to use texture in the kitchen. 


Pendant Lighting

7. Pendant Lights

It’s safe to say that statement lighting in the kitchen will continue to trend in 2024 and beyond — particularly in the form of larger-than-life pendant lights. Oversized pendant lights add a touch of drama and elegance, turning the kitchen into a space where functionality meets artistry.

Decorative Hood

8. Decorative Range Hoods

Everyone needs a range hood to keep their kitchen air fresh and clean, so why not have fun with its design? In 2024, look for range hoods made from various materials, shapes, and sizes. Whether cleverly concealed to blend in with the cabinets or designed to be a fabulous focal point, range hoods will remain an essential part of kitchen design.

Multitasking Island

9. Multitasking Islands

 In the past, many kitchen islands were crafted like a bar, with seating on one side and the chef on the other. Going forward, we’re likely to see islands becoming more like (or even replacing!) the dining room table with seating all around. Islands have also evolved from simply a place to prep food to becoming the ultimate storage opportunity for a clutter-free kitchen. Best of all, homeowners don’t have to compromise on looks, as many islands sport furniture-style legs, waterfall countertops, and other stunning design elements.

Gold Finishes

10. Glamorous Gold Finishes     

Gold and bronze accents continue to make a bold statement in kitchen design. From hardware to sinks and pendant lights, gold finishes add a touch of glamour and sophistication, elevating the space’s overall aesthetic.

Looking to update your kitchen with some of these timeless trends? We can help. Contact us to learn more about bringing your kitchen into 2024 and beyond.

Dining Room

Easier Entertaining in 2024: The Top 5 Trends to Consider

Is entertaining more in the new year on your list of resolutions?

Whether your plans include casual backyard barbeques or sophisticated soirees, there are plenty of ways a remodel can make entertaining easier — and a lot more fun. Here are just a few remodeling trends set to make 2024 your best entertaining year yet!

Vanity in RelishPlayful Powder Rooms


Let’s kick things off with a small-yet-mighty room that’s often overlooked but can make a lasting impression on your guests — the powder room. As the smallest room in the house, the powder room is a great place to experiment with bold, unique, or playful elements. For example, we painted this furniture-style vanity a bright, cheerful “Relish” green to stand out as an eye-catching statement piece. You may also consider vibrant wallpaper, a striking mirror, or even a dramatic sink to give your powder room some pop. Adding a touch of luxury with high-quality fixtures and finishes will ensure that your guests leave the powder room with a smile.

Wet Bar in Dining RoomDining Room Wet Bars

Upgrade your dinner parties by introducing a wet bar into your dining room. Like a dry bar, this addition provides a convenient spot for drinks and adds a touch of sophistication to your space. The difference is in the plumbing — a wet bar can also house a mini/wine fridge, an ice maker, a sink, and even a dishwasher. Consider including glassware storage right at the wet bar so glasses can be washed and put away without being transported into the kitchen. Incorporate stylish cabinetry and elegant

countertops to create a convenient corner that seamlessly blends with your dining area. In this Harleysville remodel, we installed the same stunning tile backsplash from the kitchen in the dining room bar area to provide cohesion and a beautiful focal point. Now, homeowners can effortlessly transition from a cozy dinner to a lively gathering over drinks.

AfterLarge Kitchen Islands With Seating

As the heart of every home, the kitchen is also the hub of social activity. Take your kitchen to the next level by installing a large island with seating. This versatile feature serves as a practical food preparation station and convenient storage hub, while also providing a central gathering spot for guests. Imagine hosting a cookie-baking party where friends and family can enjoy each other’s company around the spacious island while mixing, rolling, and decorating! We’re guessing that’s exactly what the family in this Maple Glen home is doing — in fact, the island is large and functional enough that our clients decided they didn’t need a dining table anymore!

Outdoor LivingOutdoor Extended Living Spaces

Bring the party outdoors by creating an inviting outdoor entertaining space. Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue or a cozy fall gathering, an expanded deck provides ample room for seating, dining, and additional amenities. Enhance the ambiance with outdoor lighting, comfortable furniture, and perhaps even a fireplace for those cooler evenings. Your deck will become an extension of your home, offering a perfect setting for any celebration. This partially covered deck was crafted just outside the homeowners’ kitchen, making outdoor dining a breeze.

Wet BarKitchen Beverage Centers

No entertainment space is complete without a well-equipped beverage center or bar. Create a dedicated area for mixing drinks, storing glassware, and showcasing your favorite spirits. Consider sleek shelving, a built-in wine cooler, and a statement backsplash to elevate the aesthetics of your bar space. Glass cabinetry with built-in lighting is the perfect way to display your stylish stemware while keeping it neatly stored away. A beverage center ensures that guests can easily access their favorite refreshments, keeping the party flowing seamlessly. As these Lafayette Hill homeowners discovered, it also makes the perfect spot for all your coffee or espresso-making accessories.

As you host your family and friends this holiday season, keep track of the elements in your home that could be improved to make your life easier. With a little help from Custom Craft, next year’s parties will be unforgettable. Contact us today to bring these trends to life and transform your house into the ultimate entertainment destination.

Bio Block

Green Home Remodeling: Transforming Your Space With Environmentally Friendly Updates

Sustainability is more than just a trend — it’s become a way of life and an important responsibility, prompting many homeowners in Montgomery County and beyond to seek ways to make their living spaces more eco-friendly.

Whether you’re motivated by a desire to reduce your carbon footprint, lower energy bills, or simply live in a healthier environment, there are numerous updates you can make to your home that are both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally responsible. As a forward-thinking home remodeling company, Custom Craft is here to guide you through some of the top environmentally-friendly updates you can consider for your next project, as well as practical advice to keep in mind on your journey to a greener home.

How to Build a Better Home

When we sat down with Custom Craft designer Grace Arndt to discuss Barbie Dreamhouse features available to those of us in the real world, she mentioned that sustainable design was at the top of her Dreamhouse wish list.  We loved this so much that for this month’s post, we asked for her take on what it means to build a green and healthy home. Here are some of her ideas:

Find the Right Fit

If sustainable remodeling is a priority, finding a home remodeler who shares your values is essential. When interviewing potential remodelers, ask about their eco-friendly efforts. These could be anything from the materials they have available to the ethical vendors they work with.

Bio Block

At Custom Craft, one of our cabinet suppliers is Kahle’s Kitchens — a company that goes above and beyond to ensure they strictly follow environmental protocols and implement waste-eliminating and recycling initiatives. According to General Manager Scott Fair, one procedure that distinguishes Kahle’s Kitchens from other suppliers is the reuse of leftover materials. Any scraps of wood and debris they have on hand are collected, ground up, and compressed into BioBricks — two-pound pellets that can be used in wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, or campfires instead of traditional cordwood. These BioBricks are used to heat the Kahle’s facility and are available to the community.

Once you’ve found a remodeler who can help you achieve your green goals, Grace also suggests communicating these goals to your designer because they “will put the extra effort into helping you reach them. Your achievements will be their achievements. It will be a team effort.”

Remember to Reuse

Before throwing anything away, reuse what you can. For example, an old vanity could be relocated to the garage or basement for a unique storage area. If you can’t reuse an item, try to find someone else who can. If your cabinets, doors, or existing furniture are in good shape but not working with your design, donate or sell them so they’ll be reused elsewhere. You never know when your unwanted items could be someone else’s treasure.   

Celebrate the Small Changes

Remember that small victories are victories nonetheless, and most of the time, little steps lead to big changes. It might not be in your budget to install solar panels on your roof, but upgrading your thermostat or swapping out that leaky basement sink could be much more attainable. Any step in the right direction should be valued and celebrated.

Sustainable Living Upgrades

With those ideas in mind, let’s dive into specific upgrades you can make that will go a long way to building a more efficient home:

Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors

One of the most effective ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency is by upgrading your windows and doors. Replacing old, drafty windows with energy-efficient models can significantly reduce heat and air conditioning costs. Look for windows and doors with ENERGY STAR certification to ensure they meet strict energy efficiency standards.

Smart Home Technology

Invest in smart home technology that allows you to monitor and control your home’s systems remotely. This can help optimize energy use, reduce waste, and create a more comfortable living space. Smart thermostats, lighting, and shower systems are just a few examples of how you can make your home smarter and greener.

U by Moen

Eco-Friendly Materials

To her earth-conscious clients, Grace suggests starting remodeling plans with environmentally-friendly materials and letting those items set the stage for the all-over look and style of the space. She also encourages her clients to invest in materials that are lasting and can be locally sourced, even if the price point is slightly higher. Some examples of eco-friendly materials include:

  • Bamboo, cork, reclaimed, or recycled flooring
  • Recycled glass, solid surface, or recycled quartz countertops
  • Low-VOC and zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and finishes

Prioritizing sustainable materials like these in your home design sets the foundation for greener living and a healthier lifestyle overall.

Insulation Upgrades

Proper insulation is essential when maintaining a comfortable and energy-efficient home. Upgrading your insulation can reduce heat loss and gain, making your home more energy efficient. Living in an older home? The U.S. Department of Energy suggests getting an energy assessment that can tell you how well your house is insulated and where improvements can be made. If you need more insulation, look for materials made from recycled or renewable resources, like cellulose or spray foam. This improvement will likely pay for itself within a few years, even in newer homes.

LED Lighting

Switching to LED (light-emitting diode) lighting is a small change that can yield big results. LEDs are highly energy efficient and have a longer lifespan than traditional incandescent bulbs. They come in various styles and colors, allowing you to customize your lighting to match your home’s aesthetic.

Incorporating these environmentally-friendly updates into your home remodeling project will create a more sustainable and energy-efficient living space. Not only will you contribute to a greener future, but you’ll also enjoy the benefits of reduced energy bills, improved comfort, and increased property value.

Custom Craft is here to help you achieve your eco-friendly renovation goals. Contact us today to start your journey toward a greener, more environmentally responsible home. Together, we can make a positive impact on our planet, one remodel at a time.

What’s in Your Barbie Dreamhouse — And Could It Be Reality?

Barbie’s Dreamhouse may be a  bit  over the top. Or is it?

Thanks to new materials, reduced pricing, and designers’ creativity, our clients are already living in the dream house — although perhaps a little less pink. From slides for stairs to outdoor kitchens and in-home elevators, the Dreamhouse’s fabulous features are becoming a reality for more and more people. We sat down with Custom Craft’s newest designer, Grace Arndt, to get her take on the dreamiest items Bucks and Montgomery County homeowners are asking for in their newly designed homes.

Basement Remodels: Entertainment Central

If Barbie had a basement, it would surely be all about entertainment. It’s no different for our clients. For many homeowners, dream basements include full bars, big-screen TVs, and theater rooms with specialty lighting and luxurious seating. These homeowners in Schwenksville have the ultimate entertainment setup behind their bar, with open shelving, LED lighting, and even an embedded sound system perfect for choreographed dance parties. If Skipper ever gets tired of staying in her treehouse, we’re sure Barbie would also include a bedroom for guests to stay overnight, with a convenient full bathroom nearby.

Kitchen Remodels: Culinary Creativity

Chef Barbie would definitely dream of specialty features many Custom Craft clients already have in their space. Topping Grace’s list are functional items that are discreetly hidden yet easily accessible, like hidden pantries, built-in microwaves, and downdraft range hoods that come up from the countertop when needed. Oversized sinks with double faucets or even a second sink for a drink station may once have been luxurious but are now more popular. Of course, Barbie would settle for nothing less than top-of-the-line appliances like a smart refrigerator with a built-in TV or a large, professional-grade range and cooktop.

Bathroom Remodels: Luxe Retreats

What would Barbie have in her Dreamhouse bathroom? Grace is guessing a spacious zero-threshold shower, a deep free-standing tub, or maybe both. She’d also need a vanity table with great lighting to put on her makeup, heated floors, and a smart shower system so she could control the water temperature right on her phone. All of these features are common asks for Custom Craft projects.

Bedroom Remodels: Where Dreams Begin

While Barbie’s magical wardrobe may never become a reality, a well-designed walk-in closet with custom shelving (including plenty of shoe cubbies, of course!) comes close. Today’s homeowners enjoy large beds, lots of windows and natural lighting, and unique touches like exposed beams or pitched ceilings in their bedrooms. To make things extra dreamy, Grace suggests including an attached space such as an office or even a sitting area with a coffee bar to ease into your day.

Bonus Spaces

The bonus spaces in Barbie’s Dreamhouse, like the pool or party room, are what make it so special and are some of the most memorable spaces for our clients as well. Grace has loved designing:

  • Video game rooms with specialty seating, large TVs, and beverage refrigerators
  • Amazing offices with floor-to-ceiling shelving
  • Home libraries with rolling ladders
  • Laundry rooms with dog washing stations and gorgeous farmhouse sinks

And, although no one has requested a giant pink slide from the second floor to the pool (yet!), Custom Craft has built some fantastic outdoor areas like this covered deck that Barbie would be sure to approve of.

Every day, homeowners are discovering that dreamhouses aren’t just for Barbie — and that features they thought were out of reach are surprisingly obtainable. So don’t put your dreams off any longer. Contact us, and see how we can help!

Powered vanity drawer

Top 10 Storage Solutions for 2023

Was home organization on your list of New Year’s resolutions? Keeping your home clutter-free reduces stress, simplifies your daily routine, and makes it easy to stay tidy and ready for guests. The best way to organize your home is to set yourself up for success with the latest storage innovations. Here are ten simple but effective solutions for your Montgomery County home.

Kitchen Storage

 Of all the rooms in your home, your kitchen might have the most items to store — from cooking and cleaning supplies to bowls and bakeware. Fortunately, there are ways to make it easy to keep your heart of the home organized. Here are a few examples:

spice holder

Spice Holder

Straighten your spices without taking up room in your cabinets with a mounted spice holder! A rack like this is easy to install, looks great, and is fully adjustable to fit any cabinet setup.

Ultimate Pantry
Ultimate Pantry

Ultimate Pantry

Many items get stored in the pantry, so making the most of your space is important. A swing-out pantry allows smaller items, such as spices, cans, and dry goods, to be stored in front, while bulkier items like appliances, mixing bowls, and roasting pans can be kept in the back. Best of all, whatever you need will be easy to access with no shifting around required.

Under sink

Under-sink Pull-out

When cleaning your kitchen, the last thing you need is to be rummaging through the darkness under the sink for your supplies. With an under-sink cabinet pull-out, all your cleaning essentials will be within reach.

Knife Drawer

In-drawer Knife Divider

Many of us are used to keeping our kitchen knives in a butcher block on the countertop, but that’s not ideal when work space is limited. An in-drawer knife divider may be the perfect solution. With this feature, countertops stay clear, and knives stay organized, secure, and easily accessible.

Bathroom Storage

Bathrooms are usually the smallest room in the house but they house many of our everyday essentials, leading to cluttered countertops and chaotic closets. Here are a few ideas to bring order back to your bathroom:

Hidden step stool

Hidden Stepstool

Stepstools are a must-have in any home with young children, but they use a large portion of floor space. A great alternative is a hidden step stool that can be pulled out when needed and easily tucked away under the sink when not.  

Powered vanity drawer

Powered Vanity Drawer

Not only does this drawer keep hairdryers and flat irons neat, organized, and out of the way, it also has a built-in power strip — making it incredibly easy to get ready and get on with your day.

Bedroom & Laundry Room Storage

Guests may not frequent your bedroom and laundry room, but keeping these rooms clean and organized will ensure your day runs smoothly and help you get out the door on time. Consider options like:

pull-out hamper

Pull-out Hamper

Tired of airing your dirty laundry? Clothes hampers are always necessary but seldom pleasant to look at. Pull-out hamper drawers are a perfect solution to keep your laundry tucked away but still easy to grab and toss in the wash.

Pull-out Necklace Holder & Tray Dividers

It happens to the best of us — you’re getting ready to head out for the evening and have the perfect necklace in mind. But when you take it out of your jewelry box, you find a tangled ball that will take forever to straighten out. With a pull-out necklace holder, each piece has a spot, keeping them tangle-free and easy to find.

Turn any drawer into a spacious jewelry box with a tray divider. You’ll have all your options in plain view and keep your valuable accessories safe and organized.

Set yourself up for success with home storage solutions. Need more ideas? We can help. Contact us ­to find out how to keep your home tidy this year and many more to come.


Master Holiday Baking with these Creative Kitchen Remodel Ideas

Whether you’re looking for easy DIY ideas or long-term kitchen remodel projects for holiday baking, this blog post has you covered. 

cookiesThis holiday season is sure to look very different from years past, as families continue to practice social distancing and limiting indoor events that could promote the spread of COVID-19. 

With this in mind, instead of inviting family in for a holiday meal, use our current circumstances as a chance to send treats out! It’s never been a more perfect time to share your favorite cookie or treat with those closest to you and let them know you care.

If you are a first-time holiday baker, it may seem overwhelming to prep your kitchen for a large quantity of baked goods. However, there are some easy ways to make your space more functional. If you’re a holiday baking pro, on the other hand, perhaps you’re thinking about that kitchen remodel you’ve always wanted to transform your space into the perfect at-home bakery. 

Either way, in this blog post we share some ideas to turn your kitchen into the perfect place to create delicious treats that will spread lots of holiday cheer!

Short-term DIY Tips

If you’re looking for a quick fix to make holiday baking easier, there are a few things you can do to turn your kitchen into the ideal space for turning out baked goods.

    1.    Use a rolling kitchen cart to create temporary storage that can house all of your baking supplies. By adding a kitchen cart, you don’t need to rearrange your entire kitchen, and you can stow it away in a closet or pantry when it’s not in use. (Bonus tip: find a kitchen cart with a solid surface top that you can double as additional work space).
    2.    Create a workspace. If you don’t normally keep a large section of your countertop cleared and ready for mixing, rolling, etc., clear the clutter and set a dedicated space that you can use throughout the baking season.
    3.    Use glass containers or mason jars to store smaller supplies (i.e. cupcake liners, cookie cutters, etc.), so you can see the contents of each at first glance. Consider keeping the most used items out on your workspace, and put the rest on your cart or in a cabinet/pantry where there’s extra space.
    4.    Group the ingredients needed for each baking project into their own storage space (i.e. a basket, bin, etc). This will help streamline the baking process and save time. 
    5.    Tuck away infrequently used items. As you’re reorganizing, you’ll likely come across kitchen items that you don’t often use. Don’t let them take up prime real estate for nothing! Tuck these items away for potential future use, or even consider selling or donating them. This will free up more space for baking and other items you use more frequently. 
Longer-term Kitchen Remodel Ideas

If you’re an experienced baker, perhaps you’re looking for a more permanent solution for holiday baking that will benefit you for years to come.

Create your ideal workflow
The flow of your kitchen is as unique as you are! While designers recommend creating a triangle with your sink, fridge, and stove, the rest of your kitchen layout should reflect how you will best use the space. Take counter space, for example. There may be a need for ample prep space to fit a stand mixer, roll out dough, etc., so make sure to keep things like this in mind when you’re laying out your kitchen remodel.

Get organized
No matter the size of the space or scale of your kitchen remodel, it’s important to optimize the space you have to store all of your baking supplies and equipment.

  • Dedicate an entire cabinet or large drawer (or both!) for your baking supplies so everything is one place. Ideally the location of the cabinet or drawer would be near where you plan to do most of your mixing, rolling, etc.Mier Lift
  • Build a tall narrow cabinet for storing baking trays/sheets upright.
  • Install a spice cabinet. Use it to store your sprinkles and decorative items.
  • Build a cabinet for your heavy stand mixer, so it’s easily accessible. You might even consider putting a lift in the cabinet to make it even simpler to access.
  • Consider an area – whether it’s a shelf, cabinet, or something else – to store all of your cookbooks and written recipes. Ideally this would be close to your work station.
Consider your stove(s) If you’re looking to purchase a new oven, opt for one that has a convection setting. Convection heat cooks food more evenly, so it’s perfect for most baking. The setting also does wonders for other types of non-baking cooking, like roasting. If space allows, you might also consider adding a second oven so you can bake more than one thing at a time. Pick out functional finishes and fixtures. There are a lot of ways to bring together function and style.
  • For countertops, choose a solid surface finish that is ideal for rolling out dough (granite, marble).  
  • Ever try to wash your hands after they’ve been handling sticky dough? By adding a touchless, motion-activated faucet, you don’t have to worry about getting your sink handles dirty.
  • Be sure you install ample, bright lighting, so you’re able to clearly see the treats you’re decorating. 
  • It’s critical that you have access to power in the right places, so you’re able to plug in a stand/hand mixer and other items. Not a fan of how outlets look? Add pretty outlet covers or consider hiding power access by putting an outlet in a cabinet or other covered areas.

It doesn’t matter if this is your first year or 10th year holiday baking – there are both small, simple add-ons, and larger, more permanent kitchen remodel upgrades to make your space work best for your baking needs. And even though this year may look different, you can (and should!) still enjoy your space and baking for loved ones.

If you’re ready for a remodel or have a project in mind that you’d like to discuss, we’d love to hear from you

Holiday Cookies

Remote Work Might Be Here to Stay for Many Companies. Here’s How to Build or Upgrade Your Home Office to Maximize Productivity

Even when social distancing ends, remote work will likely remain intact for many people in the coming months, as we continue dealing with the unknowns of the coronavirus and its impact on our personal and professional lives. Some have even predicted that this is the end of the office as we know it, as many companies have realized employees can do their jobs just as well from home. A new study from the Institute for Corporate Productivity found that more than half of companies surveyed plan to expand or increase flexible work arrangements on a more permanent basis. Additionally, The New York Times reported that the president of Global Workplace Analytics expects more than 25 percent of employees will continue working from home multiple days a week, which is up from fewer than four percent who did so before the pandemic.

As the workforce plans for this potential “new normal,” many will look to upgrade their work from home office setup, or build one if they haven’t already. In either case, we’ve pulled together some recommendations on creating a space that will make you feel focused, productive, and inspired.

Strategize the location and size of the space
If you don’t already have a dedicated space for an office, ask yourself the following questions. Your answers should help you determine the amount of space you’ll need and the ideal location:

  • Is there an underutilized space in your home that you could transform into an office? 
  • Do you need complete quiet? Do you take phone or video calls often? 
  • If you’re a working parent who often needs to multi-task, would it be better to set up your office near particular rooms in the house? Or closer to a common area?
  • Do you need a strong Internet connection?
  • Will you ever host clients or colleagues in the long-term future?
  • How much storage will you need?
  • Which spaces in your home have natural lighting?

Ideally, you’ll want a more secluded space to optimize your focus, but we know that may not be realistic depending on the existing structure of your home as well as other day-to-day responsibilities you have.

Choose the right lighting
Natural light is ideal. Without it, you may experience eyestrain, decreased energy, and migraines, which will inhibit your productivity and overall health. If you already have a home office that lacks windows, check out these tips to “fake” natural light. Additionally, determine the right task lighting you’ll need, depending on the nature of your work (i.e. desk lamps, light fixtures, etc.)

Decorate and personalize your space

Choose home office color schemes that will make you more productive or feel inspired. If there are certain things you like to have surrounding you – whether its photos of family, artwork, or plants – be sure to include those. If you have the space, you might also consider creating a separate spot, like lounge seating, for brainstorming or completing other tasks.

Optimize with shelving and storage
Once you’ve identified your remote work necessities, you’ll be able to determine how much storage you’ll need, whether you need to file paperwork, organize office supplies, store books, create space for a printer, etc.

Optimize for both function & ergonomics
Do you like to stand while you work, or do you prefer to be seated? Do you do most of your work on the computer or do you need space for writing/reviewing paperwork? Which materials/supplies should be within easy reach? The answers to these questions will help you determine which kind of desk you should have (there are various kinds!) and how to organize your shelving/storage. Whatever your needs are, we recommend designing your space in a way that will enable efficiency. If you spend a lot of time on a computer, select a desk and chair that will minimize neck, back, and eye strain, and position the height of your monitor properly

Prioritize according to your budget
You don’t have to perfectly outfit your office from the start; you can continue to add to the space based on your budget (and time!). Prioritize the must-haves or mission-critical elements first. For example, if you like the option to stand while working, perhaps you prioritize a standing desk over setting up a separate area for brainstorming. 

If you’re looking for more home office inspiration or seeking a home office contractor, please contact us for a virtual consultation! We can help you create a space that makes you feel inspired and excited for work. We’re also available for any general inquiries about home remodeling. We’re open and have strict protocols in place in light of the coronavirus. 


DIY Holiday Centerpiece Idea

holiday-centerpiece‘Tis the season to decorate your home for the holidays with wreaths, beautifully decorated trees and mantles—not to mention eye catching centerpieces for the dining table.

This year I wanted to add some warmth and a rustic accent to my centerpiece, so I used an old carved wooden drawer (shown here) and filled it with fresh evergreens, pods, red berries, and miniature white orchids. The arrangement is simple, fragrant, plus it adds a splash of color and seasonal flair to my table. Best of all, it was inexpensive to create. I found everything I needed around my home—and you can too.

To gather the materials for your holiday centerpiece, take a walk outdoors and look for fresh greens, berries, pine cones, and birch bark. Gather what you need then head back inside and look for a beautifully shaped bowl, and some candles, and start arranging. If the materials you need are not readily available around your home, try visiting your local farmer’s market or garden center and you are likely to discover a wonderful selection.

For more ideas, inspiration and creativity, I encourage you to visit our holiday decorating board on Pinterest. Wishing you peace, health and happiness in the new year!

Notes for Fall Decorating

With the new season bringing crisp, cool air and colorful trees, it’s a great time to decorate your home for the upcoming holidays. In addition to Thanksgiving, having a daughter with a birthday that falls on Halloween, this season has been a big time for festivities in my family. Especially when my daughter was young, when family and friends would visit, they were surprised when they first saw my decorated and painted pumpkins in colors of gold, silver and white that I used as centerpieces. Some would have monogrammed words on them with a mix of berries, pine cones, etc. I wasn’t much of an orange person so this worked well in my home.

Fast forward 20+ years later, while looking through Pinterest for decorating ideas, I couldn’t help but notice all of the photos with natural white and painted pumpkins along with a mix of natural materials like bittersweet, acorns, plants and candles. So whether you are decorating outside at your entry or creating a centerpiece for your table or a display for your mantle, the possibilities are endless. The selection is great at your local farmers market and I would highly recommend starting there. You will be sure to find a great variety of colors, shapes and sizes of gourds, squash and of course pumpkins. Not to mention mums, ornamental peppers, etc.

For more fall decorating ideas and inspiration, check out this board I put together on Pinterest. Don’t forget to follow Custom Craft Contractors while you are there.

7 Tips for a Happier Home

Feeling good and looking good go hand-in-hand. Nowhere is this more true than in our homes. When we improve our living environment, it has a major impact on how we feel when we are in our homes. Here are a few tips to get you feeling good about your home again.

1. Clear the Clutter

Don’t try to do the whole house at one time, just start with a well-trafficked room you have been wanting to get in shape. Set your timer for 15 minutes and go. Once you feel the glow of accomplishment, you’ll be motivated to tackle another room and then another. Think about how you want each room to function and make sure the things you need for those activities are at hand. Get rid of every item that’s unrelated.

2. Get Inspired

Check out websites like Houzz to see what professional designers are doing and get your own creative juices flowing. You might also consider signing up for a workshop or seminar that offers remodeling tips. Books stores also offer a variety of home improvement books and magazines.

3. Liven Your Lighting

Lighting can make all the difference in how you experience a room. Count the light sources in each room. You’ll want to have three or more per room. Add light dimmers for your overhead lighting. You’ll be amazed at how dramatically this changes the feel of the room.

4. Color Me Wonderful

Touches of color will add pizazz to any room. You don’t have to go color crazy, but a fun touch added here and there will brighten your space and add enjoyment.

5. Choose Quality Over Quantity

Whether you’re purchasing furniture, window treatments, or remodeling, get the best you can afford–even if it means you buy a little less. It’s better to get a little less of what you really want than a lot of something that you’ll be unhappy with in a few months.

6. Maintain Your Home and Your Sanity

Nagging maintenance projects can add unwelcome daily stress. Before they become bigger problems, be sure to schedule your home maintenance projects. There’s no need to do them all on the same day. Whether you will do-it-yourself, or hire a handyman, stagger the projects into reasonable segments over time. Pretty soon your entire home will be ship-shape and you can schedule time for guilt-free relaxation.

7. Explore remodeling

If remodeling your home is an idea you’d like to explore, we’d be delighted to help. Schedule a visit to our selection studio for ideas on custom cabinetry, countertops, tile, paint colors and more. When you’re ready to talk specifics, call and set up a free in-home consultation with Mike Foering. It’s a good way to find out what is feasible for your home and budget.

Custom Craft Contractors has been making remodeling dreams come true since 1982. We would love to help bring your remodeling dreams to life, as well. Give us a call at 610-584-0665 to take the first step toward a happier, more functional home.

Many thanks to C & R Remodeling for providing the inspiration for this article.

Tips For Taking Better Pictures This Holiday Season

Photography Tip for Your Next Holiday Gathering

With the holiday season right around the corner, there will be plenty of family photos capturing the moments. Our project estimator and amateur photographer, Mike Foering, offers a simple suggestion for taking better and more interesting pictures. Mike suggests composing your pictures using, “The Rule of Thirds”. It is a simple concept to implement and can result in dramatic improvements to your pictures.

In its simplest form, the rule of thirds is to imagine breaking down your photograph into thirds both vertically and horizontally (so you have 9 equal segments – think tic-tac-toe board). The rule states that if you place your subject or point of interest along one of the lines or intersection points, you will create a more balanced, visually engaging picture. Some examples include: place subject’s eyes at intersection point, locate horizon line along horizontal line, offset subject from center along a vertical line. Try using the “Rule of Thirds” in your photography this holiday season. You may just take your best pictures yet.