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DreamMaker Remodeling Tips

Artist at DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen

Ryan Jahr

Meet Ryan Jahr. Ryan joined the DreamMaker of Ann Arbor team five years ago. He now serves as lead carpenter, but has an exceptional talent for graphite drawing.

When Lead Carpenter Ryan Jahr isn’t using his hands for a remodeling project, he is constructing masterpieces of his own. Ryan is a skilled artist with a knack for pencil sketches.

Ryan’s artistic journey began he was a young boy. His mother would bring home various art contest applications and give them to Ryan to do for fun.

“I guess I just wanted to win,” Ryan laughed.

Such contests revealed Ryan had a genuine talent for art. As he continued drawing, Ryan’s work started gaining recognition from others. When he was just 8 years old, people would accuse Ryan of tracing his pictures or having his father do them for him. Despite that, Ryan continued doing what he enjoyed.

Owners of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Ann Arbor

This Ryan Jahr drawing depicts the owners of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Ann Arbor, Lee Willwerth (left) and Bob Ender.

Nowadays, most of Ryan’s art is done with graphite – drawn only with pencils and paper. He enjoys capturing fine details and making them “as real as possible.” Ryan sketches sports and people because of the realistic elements and attention to detail they require. One such drawing hangs in the office at DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Ann Arbor. The illustration is of co-owners Bob Ender and Lee Willwerth. The staff loves the portrait, but Ryan chuckles about it.

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” Ryan said, “I just did it.”

In Memory of Michigan Coach Bo Shembechler

In Memory of Michigan Coach Bo Shembechler

Inspiration comes to Ryan in the form of current events – what is happening around him and what is popular. For example, Ryan’s favorite drawing he created is of Bo Shembechler, a former head football coach at the University of Michigan. Ryan sketched the illustration as a tribute to Shembechler after he died in 2006.

Ryan has an eye for accuracy, both at the drawing table and on the job.

“The way I work in the field – very organized, neat and precise, that’s how my drawings have always been,” said Ryan.

When Ryan isn’t on a DreamMaker job, he enjoys taking his career home and working on his own house. Ryan is also an avid golfer and enjoys spending time with his two sons.

We shudder at the thought of wood-paneled walls, linoleum floors and avocado-hued kitchens. We scoff at the orange shag carpeting and head-spinning, patterned wallpaper. But most of all, we hope we don’t make the same mistakes. Today, many people are remodeling their homes in order put the styles of the ‘70s to rest for good. But how do we learn from the past to prevent future generations from asking, “What were they thinking?” It all boils down to discerning the difference between remodeling and redecorating. Relative to one another, redecorating is easy. Swapping out the throw pillows, hanging a new (or old) art piece on the wall, and buying a few small kitchen appliances are simple and relatively inexpensive ways to keep up with current trends. Remodeling, in contrast, is defined by changing the very form of something. It is the 180-degree alterations, large-scale home improvement, and jaw-dropping before and after photographs that enhance our lives. Remodeling is turning a house into a home. While remodeling and redecorating often go hand-in-hand, it is important to distinguish the two when consulting a remodeling company. Decorating will follow remodeling, so put the embellished rugs away and focus on the foundations with these helpful tips:

  1. Remodeling vs. redecorating

    Someone must have thought this was a cabinet trend to stay. What do you think?

    Today’s trendy is tomorrow’s tacky. Turquoise may be the new black, but that doesn’t mean it should be the only color on your mind when picking out new counter tops. Settle for decorative accents instead and stick to functional over funky.

  1. A place for everything and everything in its place. Think functionality. Sleek and minimalist is aesthetically appealing, but is it conducive to your storage needs? Ask “does this layout fulfill the basics functions of this room?”
  1. Resale. If you plan on living in a home indefinitely, take full artistic license and be as quirky as you would like. Most of the time, however, that is not the case. Whether it’s upsizing, downsizing, or relocating, selling your home is not uncommon. When you do, be confident your remodeling efforts are reflected in the value of the home.

Although it is important to personalize the modifications, ensure that this significant investment is also long-term investment. For more common remodeling mistakes and helpful hints, click here.

A tiled countertop holds a basin with a faucet resembling an old pump.

Rich earth tones complete the design of this master bath.

When remodeling your bath or kitchen, a good designer is a must! The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) agrees.

There are so many benefits to hiring a designer to help with your next remodeling project. Designers hear over and over from their clients: “I never knew that was even an option to consider!”

The services of a professional designer usually represent about four percent of the total project budget, according to NKBA. Their expertise saves time and money as well as assuring a more valuable, satisfying outcome!

A good designer will help you translate your vision and assist you in all of your needs. You may not even know you have left out important aspects of your design.

Remodeling your kitchen or bath is one of the most important investments you will make to your home. Often, home hunters will make a decision based on the kitchen and master bath. So, if you are planning on selling, a good designer can only help increase the value.

Certified designers are held to high standards. They are tested and certified much like public accountants or financial planners. Many have completed undergraduate education in design and also have taken extra seminars to gain extra certification.

Designers are experts in their field and can recognize the importance of making your dream a reality. They can also come up with the most budget-friendly option to help you stay on track during your remodeling process.

A designer not only will help you save money but also time. When you have a career and little time left for designing or redecorating, a designer can save you a lot of guess work. They also can provide you with options so you don’t have to start from scratch.

A designer brings so many benefits. DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen has several certified designers ready to help you with your remodeling experience. Contact your local DreamMaker today and create your own dream bath or kitchen!

National Association of Home Builders
National Kitchen & Bath Association
National Association of The Remodeling Industry
Remodeling Big 50
NAHBR Remodelers