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Like most people, you’ve probably dreamed about having the perfect house. Maybe you’ve dreamed about having a picket fence and a beautifully landscaped yard. Or maybe you’ve dreamed of having the perfect chic, urban pad that showcases your sophistication. Whatever your dream house looks like, you want a place that is inviting and makes you want to be there. The best way that you can make your dream home a reality is making the interior and exterior design of your home look and feel just the way you want it. But how do you go about doing that? Here are a few tips:

Incorporate Natural Elements

One of the trendiest things you can do nowadays is incorporating natural items into your décor. Raw materials such as wood, slate, cotton, wool, and teak can all give you an earthy, relaxed feel in your home. Another great way to incorporate natural elements is by adding house plants. This makes your home feel like a natural paradise. Not only can plants significantly add design value to your home, but there are also some house plants like the snake plant that can purify the air. According to Gulley Greenhouse & Garden Center, because of their purifying qualities, having plants like these around your house can help lower stress levels and reduce mental fatigue while you’re in the house.

Take Advantage of Natural Lighting

Incorporating natural light into your home is a creative way to make the atmosphere seem lighter and more positive. In order for natural lighting to be successfully infused with home design, almost every design of the new home needs to be considered. This includes such things as the form and design of the building, the proper arrangement of windows to allow natural light in, the ability to reduce glare and an interior design plan that is optimized for all the benefits of the natural light. Also, according to Helius, well-lit work and living spaces are associated with improved mood and productivity. If the design of a room doesn’t allow for much natural light to come through, consider adding some exterior lights outside a window to simulate it and still give you the brightness you want.

Use Eye-catching Design Elements

No one wants to live in a place that is boring or depressing. Eye-catching design elements can add that extra sophisticated touch to a room that makes it feel not only chic but also homier. From spiral staircases to bamboo floors to an ultra cozy reading nook, these elements are sure to make your residence the most beautiful one on the entire block. Letting one or two eye-catching elements as the center of attention in the room can totally transform it. You can even personalize design elements like door handles and cabinet knobs to add a more individualized touch. Adding things like these will make your home a place you’ll want to be more often.

One thing is for certain. If you follow all of these design concepts you are sure to have a home that you can be proud of. Your dream house will not just be a residence—it will also be a refuge.

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As a business owner, you realize that having appropriate security equipment is important for all of your assets. The last thing you want is to be the victim of a break-in or theft, not to mention the fact that having a security system lowers your insurance rates. However, there is no question that security systems have a tendency to stick out like a sore thumb. How do you make them seem less tacky? Luckily, there are many strategies that you can utilize in order to help make your security systems blend in better. Consider some of the following examples of why and where to install security cameras.

Wires

Interestingly enough, this section should actually be called “Wires — or the Lack Thereof”. Leaders in the industry are increasingly cutting the cord in favor of wireless devices, and for good reason. Wires are generally very cumbersome, and they can definitely be an eyesore. Moreover, these wireless security cameras are a lot more flexible than the traditional wired option. Perhaps one of the best things about these wireless cameras would be the fact the footage is secured. This means that your recordings are all saved to the cloud, so even if a would-be thief takes your monitor for good measure you will still have the video ready to access whenever you need it.

Panels

With an advanced security system, there will no doubt be a control panel associated with it. Again, these things can stick out like a sore thumb. However, some of the ways you can make it blend in a bit more would include painting the same color as the rest of the interior. Some people conceal the control panel entirely with a canvas print. Another idea is to include some knick-knacks along with the control panel in order to make it match better.

Cameras

There are ways to make your cameras line up with the decor of your area much better than in normal situations. Some methods would include hiding cameras in recessed lighting features, placing the camera among books and consider planning ahead. A recessed lighting feature is a design where the lights are actually placed in the ceiling. Obviously, this is an ideal area to place a camera simply because it would be hidden, and it would completely blend in with the rest of the surroundings. When you have the camera among books, it usually means that you either arrange the books to help the camera blend in or you make use of a fake book with a camera inside. There are many companies that make this type of camera. Finally, there are home decor specialists that can advise you on the best areas to place security cameras. Sometimes planning ahead with one of these experts can go a long way in helping you have a safe and secure location that still has a lot of eye appeal.

Hidden Cameras

Of course, another way to help your surveillance camera would be to simply hide it outright. Besides being a good match for your decor, a hidden camera will also often result in increased productivity from your employees, simply because they realize they might be under surveillance. Moreover, a hidden security camera can also be a good theft deterrent and can help your guard against the possibility of false harassment claims. Just think — all of these benefits, and it comes with an unobtrusive setup too!

Boutique Security Cameras

Another way to make your security camera fit with your interior design would be to simply focus on the design of the security camera itself. Indeed, you might be surprised at the wide selection of cameras that are available on the market today. There are designs available for almost every taste and budget, including such types as aerodynamic designs, cameras that are tied to your phone, cameras that are in various shapes and cameras that are designed for outdoor use.

As you can see, there are cameras out there that will fit everyone’s needs. These cameras will not only match your decor, but they will become an immense asset to your business and help you protect against a variety of unfortunate events. Just shop around and you are sure to find the right camera for your needs.

We create custom door pulls to give your home to exact aesthetic you’re looking for. Contact us today with your idea!

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As the cost of energy rises, savvy homeowners are always on the lookout for more ways to cut down their energy costs while reducing their carbon footprint at the same time. One great way to do this is by making your home more environmentally friendly. Below, we’ll explore three ways in which you can reduce your home’s energy use while still staying comfortable.

Install a Smart Meter

Smart meters are wireless utility meters that transmit your energy usage data directly to your utility company instead of requiring workers to go to your home each month to check your usage. They also allow you to get a much more accurate and in-depth idea of your energy consumption. The detailed feedback smart meters provide can allow you to adjust your energy consumption to lower your energy bill. Smart meters also benefit the environment by reducing the need for utility companies to produce more electricity than is needed since they can get a more accurate idea of their customers’ energy needs. By no longer having to drive out to homes to get energy readings, utility companies are also reducing their carbon emissions, benefiting the environment over time.

Install Mini Windmills

The popularity of home wind turbines as a reliable source of clean energy is growing steadily, and many homeowners are installing mini windmills on their property to help supply or supplement their home’s energy efficiency strategy. Wind varies in terms of its presence and strength, but that doesn’t change the fact that when it is harnessed, it can provide lots of energy benefits. A home-sized windmill is a small investment that will pay for itself many times over in both energy cost reduction and environmental benefit. By installing a mini windmill, you can reduce your family’s reliance on the utility company, and if you choose to connect it to the grid, you can even sell your excess energy, benefiting your community and making some money in the process.

Insulate Your Home Properly

One of the best ways of making your home more environmentally friendly is by using as little energy as possible. A great way to do this is by making sure your home is properly insulated. A properly insulated home will lose heat much more slowly, meaning your heating system won’t have to turn on as much to keep it at your set temperature. Even if you don’t want to bring in a professional to check your home’s insulation, you can reduce the amount of energy lost by checking for air leaks, double glazing your windows and even adding an area rug to reduce heat loss through hardwood floors.

These three tips are a great place to begin your journey towards an environmentally friendly home. By choosing to make your home more energy efficient, you’ll be able to reduce your monthly energy bill as well as helping to make our planet a better place for us all.

Check out this other great article for more home improvement ideas!

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Moving to a new home is one of the greatest experiences of your life as it represents a fresh beginning for yourself and your family. If you are moving into your first home, it presents you with an opportunity to put roots down in a community. Regardless of whether this is your first, second, or third home, you have to consider what you will keep during the moving process.

How Long Will You Live There?

If you are planning on living in your home for a long time, it may be a good idea to invest in items that will last for as many years as possible. For instance, it may be worthwhile to leave your old couch behind in favor of a new sectional. It could also be worth your while to buy a new kitchen set or riding lawn mower to make yard care easier.

Of course, if you are only staying for a short while, it may not make sense to spend money on items that might not fit in your next place. This may be especially true when new furniture can make your move more expensive.

How Hard Will it Be to Move?

Some things just aren't feasible to move. For instance, a television that weighs 200 pounds may be better suited for the curb instead of your new home. Appliances such as a washer, dryer, or refrigerator may also be better left in your old place instead of hauled to your new home. How hard something is to move increases the cost (and increases the tip, too). Therefore, keeping larger items where they are could make a move less expensive, which could leave more money to invest in new items.

How Large is the Home?

In some cases, bringing that old mattress or couch can be an ideal way to furnish a guest room or office space. If you have a favorite chair or recliner that only like to sit in, you can enjoy it in your basement man cave or in your sewing room without bothering anyone else in the house. That being said, if your home is too small, getting rid of large or cumbersome furniture can free up a lot of space in your new home and you won’t have to move it.

It may seem tempting to bring as little as possible with you to your new home. Although that would make the moving process easier, it could mean leaving behind items that you want or need in your new home. Prior to moving, be sure to spend time developing a moving plan that meets your needs and your budget.

Make your new home feel unique and customized for you with custom made hardware and fixtures! First Impressions is here for just that purpose.

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Home appliances have come a long way. Once, functionality reigned supreme. Then came the sunset orange and avocado green appliances of the 1970s. Later decades saw a return to features as a selling point. Now, in the 2010s, form and function have come together in a very harmonious way.

Whirlpool Black Steel Refrigerators

There was a time post-1970s when almost all refrigerators looked the same. They were all white and people bought fridges based on function. Today, the features offered in home refrigeration are better, and so are the aesthetic choices.

Black steel refrigerators by Whirlpool make a stylish addition to any kitchen. They look sleek and modern. They're also fingerprint-resistant. Fingerprints were one issue that plagued early generations of stainless-steel appliances, but that has largely been eliminated. The neutral black color of these fridges complements any decor.

Runtal Electric Wall Panels

Electric wall panels have always stood out, but not in the best way. They are typically a drab grey metal. They break up the clean look of a wall. Some architects and designers make efforts to place them where they're easily hidden, behind a sliding door or in a utility room.

Runtal electric wall panels are different. With high output and a sleek profile, the durable flat-tube design can either accentuate a room's architecture or disappear into the room's existing interior design. They are great fits for open spaces, like lofts. They can be made to blend in with brickwork or even shiplap-type boarding.

The Breville Smart Oven

The Breville Smart Oven has changed the way people think about countertop ovens. It marries the convenience of a countertop oven with great convection heating technology. These appliances can accommodate a 13-inch pizza or six slices of toast. They can reduce cooking times by up to 30%. The neutral brushed stainless-steel exterior coordinates well with any decor.

Beam Central-Vacuum Inlet Covers

Central vacuums can be a great choice for some homes. Families with pets and children find that a central system makes it much easier to keep the house clean. Beam central vacuum makes the aesthetics of their systems a priority, offering inlet covers in white, bisque and even various metallic finishes. This range of selections makes it easy to coordinate a central vacuum into the decor of your home.

Household appliances don't have to present obstacles to good design. Technology has made it possible to integrate them seamlessly into home interiors. New textures, colors and features have brought form and function together like never before.

A great way to make your kitchen as pleasing as possible is to update the cupboard handles and hardware. Let First Impressions International give you any and all of the door and cupboard hardware you need!

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When building a new house or commercial property, the construction process can often be a time-consuming process due to the amount of work and steps involved for any type of project. Although it's important to provide clients with a timeframe on when the work will be completed, delays are common and can be expected in most situations. Here are a few factors that often delay the construction process to ensure that you are prepared for a few surprises along the way.

Safety

Safety precautions are known to delay a build. It is crucial to prioritize the safety of the workers over working quickly to avoid potential accidents and injuries that can occur due to the type of labor involved. The client's safety and that of construction employees is an especially important consideration when it comes to commercial construction. After all, any injuries encountered in your business exposes you to bad press and litigation. You can avoid this by working with a dependable contractor with a proven safety track record, but know that this will make the build take longer.

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Weather

It's often impossible to plan for severe weather conditions, which can occur unexpectedly and at the last minute in any season. Whether it is raining or there are heavy winds, there should be good weather conditions to ensure that the construction can continue while protecting the materials and equipment that are used. Even if construction is taking place in inclement weather, you can take steps to ensure that you create a safe worksite, such as by using construction mats in wet and uneven terrain. Taking these steps early on will help the project move along with fewer complications. In general, the time of year that the construction is taking place should be taken into account when providing clients with a timeframe on when the building will be completed. Most clients will understand that the weather conditions are out of your control.

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Unforeseen Complications

Murphy's Law states: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." When it comes to construction, it certainly applies due to the number of steps involved. Permits may not be approved on time, or there may be multiple design flaws that are discovered. Commercial contractors need to factor in the time and cost estimates of potential complications because they most likely will occur at some point.

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It is very common for there to be a holdup during the construction process due to various types of delays that can occur throughout the process. By understanding typical delays that can be expected, you can plan accordingly and have other options or solutions that are available to avoid wasting any more time.

We know how important first impressions are to customers and potential clients. That’s why we offer our custom door hardware. See what we can do for you and your business today!

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There are all kinds of reasons to undertake home improvement projects. Whether you want to increase your property value, give your house great curbside appeal, or simply change things up, you have a lot to consider. No matter what you choose to do, you can make sure it's something that feels right. Here are some home improvement tips that you need to know.

Replace Your Garage Door

You use your garage door every day, but do you ever think about how much it provides you? Marvin’s Garage Doors suggests that if your garage door is stalling or otherwise wearing down, you already know it's time to replace it. However, it doesn't have to be broken or on the brink to warrant replacing. You might find that your garage door is just looking shabby these days and would benefit from an upgrade. You can find a handsome new door that looks far better on your garage.

A new garage door can really pay off when you're trying to sell your home; people who see your garage from the street will be more drawn to the house. Make sure that you're following all the proper maintenance tips to keep your garage door durable for as long as possible.

Don't Go Overboard with the Kitchen

A kitchen remodel is worth considering, but you should be careful. Going too far can be expensive and incredibly time-consuming. Rules of Renovation recommends to take a look at any houses selling in your area and do your research on what those homeowners did with their kitchens. It might give you a good idea of what upgrades to focus on. A less-is-more approach is recommended. Look to investing in backsplashes and countertops instead of adding islands. Leaf through different design plans for kitchens and see which ones would best suit your needs. Even if you're not completely overhauling your kitchen, you can still give your current one some pizazz. For example, changing out all of your kitchen cabinets and drawers knobs and handles can greatly improve the overall look of a kitchen.

Add a Finished Basement

Your basement can be so much more than a place to store items. It can be a destination for socialization and recreation. Think about what you might want out of a finished basement. You might make it a man cave with television and mini-fridge. It could also become another family room. Your finished basement might soon become the most popular room in the house. Construction Pro Tips explains that it may feel like a lot to do, but if you make sure to put in a few hours each week into your basement, it will eventually become all you have planned and dreamed.

Home improvement is an ongoing process. Once you get started, you can keep going with breaks in between projects. Being able to plan out your projects means that you'll be better able to avoid making mistakes. Keep yourself in check with your home improvement projects, and you'll be able to give your property a new and improved look.

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Metal roofs are becoming more and more popular for many reasons. If you need to repair or replace your roof, it’s worth taking the time to learn more about the advantages of metal roofing over tile and asphalt shingles. Along with the practical benefits such as saving money every year and being eco-friendly, metal roofs are very attractive and come in a variety of colors. Since it lasts for years, a metal roof can increase the value of your home. There are so many other reasons to choose metal, starting with metal roofing often ends up being less expensive in the long run.

Lots of Colors and Textures to Choose From

With the huge variety of colors and textures that are available in metal roofing, you can stand out from the crowd or blend in with your surroundings. For example, a vibrant teal blue is unique and gives attractive curb appeal. Color is the trending component of both indoor and outdoor home décor. Earth tones are no longer considered the must-have roofing color option. If you love the appearance of clay tiles, wood, slate, or asphalt shingles, then you can have the best of both worlds, as metal roofing comes in several tile and shingle options.

Colors include vibrant reds and deep blues as well as natural copper, stainless steel, and titanium. Metal roofing offers a vast variety of colors compared to shingles, and homeowners are happy to express their individual style. Some tips for choosing the best color for your home include:

Choose the right color for your location. Lighter colors tend to keep the indoors cooler. If you want a dark color, then you can have it coated with a substance that allows it to keep the indoors cool and save energy.

Chose a color you can live with for years. As your new metal roof may last for up to 50 years, be sure you look at each color on your short list of colors in a different light as a color will look different in bright sunlight or on a cloudy day.

Be sure to check if there are any neighborhood guidelines in your area before selecting a color.

Eco-Friendly

Metal is considered the most environmentally friendly, sustainable roofing material available today. The roofing contains 25 percent recycled material, and at the end of its life, it is 100 percent recyclable. Asphalt tiles also still rely on crude oil, maintaining dependence on fossil fuels. While they can be recycled, they contain chemicals that are toxic to the environment. Metal is much lighter than asphalt shingles, so homes can be constructed with lighter materials.

Affordable

Although it's more expensive than common asphalt shingle initially, metal roofing often ends up being less expensive in the long run due to shorter install times and greater durability. It also offers a greater return on investment. According to the Department of Energy, a metal roof reflects sunlight, reducing the demand for cooling by 10–15 percent and in some cases even 25 percent. This means it takes less energy to keep your house the right temperature, provided there are no air leaks around windows and doors.

Another reason metal roofing often ends up being less expensive in the long run is that it is storm-resistant. It is not as vulnerable to wind, hail, or fire as other roofing is, and some home insurance companies offer a discount for homes with metal roofing. In many cases, the cost of the metal roof is recouped when the owner sells the house. It adds that much value to your home.

Metal Roof Myth Buster

One major myth is that metal roofs attract lightning. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Lightning will strike the tallest object because it is seeking a path to the ground. A metal roof is not grounded, so it is in no more danger from a lightning strike than a shingle roof. However, one benefit is if lightning does strike a metal roof, it will disperse the heat throughout the roof and be much less likely to result in damage or fire.

Clean

Metal roofs stay clean and are not affected by the growth of fungus, moss, and mildew. Metal roofs are easier to clean than other roofing materials. They also resist other things that attack wood and asphalt roofs. Moss and fungus can shorten your roof's lifetime by half and look unattractive in the process, thus damaging curb appeal. This is an especially important feature if you live in a wooded or moist area or are surrounded by landscaped gardens. These conditions contribute to moss and fungus growth on everything, including your roof.

The same is true for rodents and other small animals. They will not be able to damage a metal roof and dig their way into your home.

Fire-Resistant

Metal roofs are naturally resistant to fire. They do not require any fire-resistant treatment that may wash away after some time. Almost every house has a risk of fire if not from a natural source such as a wildfire or lightning strike then from a neighbor’s house that is on fire. When sparks land on a metal roof, they cannot start to burn because the roof is non-combustible.

In addition, if a fire starts inside your home, a metal roof reduces the chance your roof will collapse. Heavy tiles and shingles will almost certainly collapse and, in many cases, firefighters will not go into a house that has a high risk of the roof falling. Metal gives you better protection and peace of mind.

If roofing that may last for 50 years with very little maintenance and may even help reduce your energy bills sounds like something worth having, then metal roofing is the right option for your new home or next roofing repair. When you do plan for a new roof, metal roofing offers a wide variety of colors and types that look like Spanish tile, asphalt shingles, or even wood. But you are not limited to just earth tones. Metal roofing comes in various shades of blue, green, red, gray, and more. Do you want a lightweight roof that looks like heavy, slick, slate shingles? Metal is the answer.

If you’re looking for other ways to spruce up your home, make sure to check out First Impressions. Having memorable door handles and entrance ways sets the tone for the rest of interactions from that point on!

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It's been said that a person's home is his/her castle, and there are certain things that you can do to make your home have the right feel to match your personality. Considering all five senses when furnishing and decorating can give your home a more immersive feel.

Sounds

In the modern world, there are artificial sounds wherever we go. Since you can't stop your heater or pump, for example, whenever you'd like, you can be smart about creating an audio-environment that's soothing. First, you can position seating areas away from large appliances so that their sounds don't seem as loud. Double-paned, storm or double-glazed windows can go a long way in blocking out road noise. Also, you might think about how you can use artificial sounds in your favor. White-noise machines may offer some comfort by humming gently in the background. Quiet background music is great for setting a mood.

Source: CertainTeed

Smells

Smell is an extremely strong sense, as certain smells can be tied to strong memories and emotions. Your home should have a personalized, multilayered smell that is unique to you. Cleaning your place regularly can prevent a mustiness from overtaking everything. Some people prefer to use natural materials, like vinegar and essential oils, in their routine. This may eliminate the strong chemical odor that can sometimes come with harsh cleaning supplies and it can leave a soothing scent behind. The bathroom, kitchen sink, garbage disposal, bedding, and upholstery can all be places where scents can sink in. Further, you can use indoor plants to clean your air, create your own scent-filled jars and simmer water that's infused with citrus and herbs to fill the house with multilayered smells.

Source: Dimensions

Touch

When you choose hardware for your cabinetry, remember to think about how those pieces will feel and look. When deciding on furniture, test pieces out to determine whether you can truly feel comfortable with those items. Just like people prefer different types of mattresses, certain types of dining chairs and couches can vary in terms of the experience they provide.

Taste

We all have to eat every day, and stocking up on healthy foods can contribute to your overall well-being. Ideas for maintaining a healthy diet include pouring snacks (like crackers or chips) into smaller bowls to limit how much you eat, making a list of items to buy from the store to prevent impulse purchases and prepping balanced meals on the weekends to make sure you're eating well during the busy week.

Source: Free in Ten Years

To set up your home to be a great escape from the outside world, consider all of the senses. Little decisions can work together to make a big difference.

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When constructed properly, a bathroom can be a place for everyone in the family to escape and relax after school or work. It can also help increase a home's value and provide an attractive marketing tool when you are ready to sell the property.

Your Bathroom Can Be a Sanctuary

Parents of small children generally don't have a lot of time to themselves. They also don't have a lot of places to hide when they need a break. However, a parent can take sanctuary in a bathroom that has heated floors and a large tub to soak in. Adding jets to the tub can help relieve aching muscles or add another layer of comfort to the space.

There are a lot of things that can make a bathroom a sanctuary unique to the home. If your bathrrom is cluttered, it can get in the way of relaxing. A minimalistic design that makes things like candles and music easy to find and use can help this. If you are worried about getting rid of things, start small. Consider finding other places to store things that are important to you and storing things you don't use often. Large windows that look out on a natural wonder can also make a bathroom feel like a retreat space, provided they still give you much-needed privacy.

Should You Hire a Pro or Opt to DIY?

One of the key questions to ask before renovating a bathroom is whether you should hire a professional or do the work yourself. The benefit of doing the work yourself is that you can save money. However, a professional can often do the job a lot faster.

Talking to remodeling experts can help you to visualize what's doable, both for your home and your budget. That alone may be worth giving a pro a call, even if you plan on doing the job yourself. In some cases, you may want to do some of the work yourself while delegating other tasks to a contractor. This can be an ideal balance between saving money and doing the job safely. Hiring a designer to help you see a vision through can also be money well spent.

Impress Your Guests

When guests come to town, they want to stay somewhere comfortable and inviting. While they don't necessary expect luxury accommodations, they want to enjoy the time spent in your home. This may mean providing a beautiful space where they can get ready in the morning. You can accomplish this by adding a double vanity or a spacious storage closet to put their towels and other toiletries in. Even small things like having ultra-plush towels, spa supplies, or additional small mirrors can make even the smallest bathroom feel luxurious.

Aside from the kitchen, the bathroom is an ideal place to focus your time and money during a remodel. It can make the home more functional as well as more valuable when it comes time to sell. You can get inspiration for your finished product by talking to contractors or by doing research online.

If you are looking to remodel your bathroom to make it match your dream design, don’t forget about getting custom knobs and pulls. Check out what we have to offer here. If you have questions, contact us today!