Transformation Tuesday: 90’s to Now

The Background: A family from the UK frequently visited the Bradenton area for their annual vacations. After spending year after year trying to find a place to rent, they finally decided to purchase a permanent vacation home. Their new home had great space and functionality, but the fixtures and overall design style were outdated. Knowing that they wanted to eventually remodel both bathrooms and their kitchen, they made the decision to start with their master bathroom.

The room itself was quite spacious and included most of the wants you’d desire in a master bath; a double sink vanity, walk-in shower and jacuzzi tub. Aside from the obvious outdated designs of the space (tile, cabinets, etc), the family also wanted to remove the over-sized tub since it didn’t get much use and they preferred to add functional storage.

Outdated Master Bathroom Outdated Master Bathroom

The Solution: After learning more about the wants and needs of our client, we recommended choosing products and colors that would brighten the space and make it feel spa-like. In conjunction with removing the jetted tub as the client requested, we removed all existing items right down to the studs.

Once the room was cleared out and ready for its face lift, we laid glazed porcelain floor tile in a horizontal direction, which made the room feel larger than it already was. Following the floor tile, we installed a white shaker-style double sink vanity with soft-closing drawers. In completing the vanity, we laid a blue recycled glass countertop and secured the new chrome faucets.

With the existing tub no longer there, we used the open space to build out a wall cabinet, which provided the client with additional storage they were seeking.



In the shower, we stacked sterling grey subway tiles on the wall and laid a stone-like tile on the floor. In completing the shower, we installed a Moen rain showerhead and a frameless glass swing door.DSC_3841

As we put the finishing touches on the project, Amerock pulls were installed on both the vanity and wall cabinets and a coat of Sherwin Williams “Rock Candy” was put on the walls.

We are happy to report that the client loved their bathroom transformation so much, that they later hired us to do their guest bathroom and kitchen also (those pictures to come). Let us know your thoughts on this beautiful bathroom remodel, we’d love to hear from you!

Transformation Tuesday: Kitchen Functionality at its Finest

White doesn’t have to be boring and this kitchen is the perfect example as to why.

The Background: This family of four used their kitchen for everything, or at least they tried to. Aside from being aesthetically outdated, there were some functionality issues our client also wanted to address. The appliances were located in different locations throughout the kitchen, some being on the opposite side of the others. This was problematic when it came time to cooking because you would have to run around the island to get from point A to point Z. With the narrowness of the kitchen and the odd shape of the island, there was also limited seating around the island.

Before Kitchen Remodel

Outdated Kitchen

The Solution: Knowing that the kitchen was the “go to” place to do homework and gather, we needed to create an open-concept space where the family could be together without stepping on one another’s toes. Aside from tearing out the entire existing kitchen and installing all new everything, we redesigned the layout to accommodate some structural changes.

First, we re-framed the existing wall where you previously entered the laundry room, and then created a new entry elsewhere. Following this, we re-routed electrical and plumbing to move the refrigerator from one wall to another and to move and fit the dishwasher within the island itself. Next, we re-positioned the microwave to sit next to the fridge and added a range hood. With the island serving many purposes, we redesigned it to be approximately three times as large as the original, and include a double-bowl, stainless-steel under-mount sink.

While the entire kitchen was a complete transformation, what really made a difference was removing the wall and planter shelf, which separated the kitchen from the living room. By doing so, we provided the family an open-concept feel and allowed for practical seating and entertaining room.

Transitional Open Concept Kitchen

Open Concept Kitchen Remodel

The Fine Details: Our client went with antique white maple cabinets and a cherry stain for the island, along with Amerock satin nickel knobs and pulls. Kashmir Gold granite was installed on both the island and countertops, and an off-white colored subway tile backsplash was added as an accent. Other unique features also included in this remodel:

A Pop Up Electrical Outlet on the Island- This is a great feature for the kids to plug in their electronics while doing homework. The shape is discreet and compact, which made it a must-have for this kitchen remodel.

A Disposal Button on the Counter- Most disposal buttons are either under the sink in a cabinet or an arm’s length away. To make things easier for the cook in the house, we installed a disposal button right next to the sink, along with an Insta-Hot prep faucet.

Insinkerator Insta Hot Prep Faucet

Pull-Out Cabinet Organizers- A pull-out spice rack is a fairly common request, however more and more of our clients are seeking deep, pull-out drawers (in place of standard cabinets), as well as pull-out pantry systems.

Pull Out Spice Rack

Pull Out Drawers

Pull out Pantry System

Hard to believe it’s the same kitchen, right? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Transformation Tuesday: A Coastal Oasis

The Background:

With this condo only being five years old, it wasn’t necessarily outdated as much as it just didn’t fit the lifestyle of the owner. The master bathroom was poorly laid out with a large tub which the client did not use, a tiny shower tucked behind the door and a lack of storage.

Before Remodel

The Solution:

We suggested turning the existing shower area into a linen closet and adjusting the original plumbing for the tub to accommodate a large shower.

DreamMaker Elevation Drawing

We capped and eliminated the plumbing in the original tiny shower and converted it into a closet. We then framed new walls for the larger shower, installed valve and fixtures for a hand-shower.DreamMaker Remodel

DreamMaker Remodel

In the shower, we installed a stone look 13” glazed porcelain tile on the walls with oyster color grout and a mosaic glass accent. The same tile in 4” was used on the shower floor and in 20” on the bathroom floors.DreamMaker Remodel

Plywood vanity cabinets with a bank of soft close drawers were installed, which provided more practical storage the owner was looking for. These were topped with Cold Spring 3CM granite. The client chose a Kohler under-mount porcelain sink and brushed nickel faucets and hardware to complete the look.


Custom Kitchen Remodel

Transformation Tuesday: A Chef’s Kitchen

The Background:

Our client had a beautiful home on the water, but the kitchen was outdated and not set up to accommodate entertaining. The client enjoyed cooking and wanted an open space to prepare meals and relax with friends at the same time.

Longboat Key Kitchen Before Remodel

Longboat Key Kitchen Before Remodel

Before Kitchen

The Solution:

We removed an existing wall that separated the kitchen and laundry room and relocated the washer and dryer to a nearby closet.

Kitchen Remodel Progress

Kitchen Remodel Progress

To be consistent with the décor of the rest of the home, cherry wood cabinetry was selected with stainless steel hardware. The client also chose porcelain tile flooring that resembled the cherry wood cabinets, as well as a butternut glass/stone mosaic for their backsplash wall.

We had to run new electrical, plumbing and gas lines to accommodate for a new gas range, as well as create an opening through the attic for the hood range ventilation.

After installing the stainless steel appliances, we installed appliance panels to match the new cabinetry. Lastly, black galaxy granite was installed on the countertops with a stainless steel undermount sink and fixtures.

Fine Details

The Finished Product:

DSC_4522x Weiss 7


Transformation Tuesday: A Light and Airy Kitchen

Like most remodels, most homeowners make the decision to move forward with a renovation when the space is completely outdated or doesn’t function as well as it might have when they first moved in. For this client, in addition to updating the aesthetic appeal to their kitchen, it was important to lighten up the space to feel bright and airy.



In fulfilling their dreams of a sunny and inviting kitchen, we created a lighting plan, which consisted of removing the existing soffit and fluorescent lights, and installing new drop pendants, can lights and LED under cabinet lighting.

Our client felt that the existing wood panel on their island peninsula was also darkening the space, so they asked us to remove it and apply new drywall. While this isn’t a request we get often, we have to agree that it was the right move in this situation.

Moreover, we removed all of the old cabinets and installed new Showplace cabinets, including multi-level uppers to convey more visual interest. This aesthetic feature was especially important to our client, as the kitchen opened up to the living room.

To maximize all storage opportunities, our client chose pull-out shelves in their pantry closet, a trash pull-out, as well as a designated bread drawer.

After the cabinets were installed, we laid a Kashmir Gold granite counter top with a half bullnose edge and arranged a biscuit-colored subway tile backsplash. In completing this project, new stainless steel appliances were put in their place and Amerock hardware was fastened to the drawers and doors.



Kitchen Remodel



The Right Way to Install a Backsplash

It’s probably safe to assume that we’re all pretty familiar with what a backsplash is; you know…the space situated between the top of your counter tops and the bottom of your upper cabinets or shelves? To a designer, this is prime real estate to add in an aesthetically appealing accent tile, but to the average person, this space is an eye-sore that is only good for collecting pasta sauce splatter and teeny-tiny crumbs.

The real question is, if this eye-sore isn’t working for us and we know we want to update the space with something a bit more “pretty,” how do you decide what will look best? Do you hang your child’s latest artwork and your favorite recipe cards? Or, do you install a backsplash? And, if you do install a backsplash, what material and pattern (if any) do you choose? As you can imagine, the decision is not so black and white.

Regardless the look you choose for your backsplash, whether solid tile or an exotic pattern, don’t be tempted to tile above an existing backsplash.

We don’t recommend doing this:


Alternatively, we recommend removing the entire existing backsplash before re-tiling the new one. Why you might ask? In most kitchens, there is very limited space between the counter top and the bottom of your cabinets, so you want to make sure the space is cohesive and doesn’t appear visually chopped.

We do recommend doing this:


Whether installing a solid slab, field tile, or a glass mosaic, always make sure your backsplash meets your countertop to ensure an eye-catching result.

Let us not forget that backsplashes are not only limited to kitchens. We are seeing a rise in clients requesting listello accents in their showers and above their bathroom vanities.

In the end, the functionality and design appeal varies per person and it’s best to consult with a professional before making any drastic changes.


Transformation Tuesday: 80’s Bathroom

Remember the days when pink and teal were trendy colors to have in your home? It’s okay if you don’t want to admit it, but we’ve all been there.

We had the pleasure of helping one of our clients turn a very outdated bathroom into the luxury retreat they were searching for.

Our client had recently downsized and moved into a nice home, in which they planned to live in for the long term. The home was over 20 years old and the master bathroom was out-of-date and didn’t function as they desired. Fortunately however, the space seemed to be large enough to accommodate their wish list.

We relocated the vanity and water closet, which required modifying the existing plumbing and electrical. We framed new walls for the water closet, dressing closet, gym and shower. We installed concrete board on the shower walls and created a small niche for storage, built a bench for seating and refloated the floor to create the curbless entry they desired.

By removing the existing tub, we were not only able to construct a larger shower, but a built-in desk as well. We then laid sand colored ceramic tile throughout the entire bath and closet areas, as well as on the shower floor and walls. A glass/stone butternut emperador accent strip was added to the shower walls, followed by a piece of clear glass, which was installed on the half wall of the shower.Transformation Tuesday Master Bath80's bathroom transformation

We installed cherry merlot with ebony glaze vanity cabinets with soft close drawers and laid Madura gold granite on top. Per the client’s request, we installed a private storage compartment on the countertop, which included a roll up door and electrical outlet. This was especially important to the client, so they could use it as a charging station.

Transformation Tuesday Master VanityIn completing the bathroom, we installed a pocket door to provide privacy to the water closet, replaced the baseboards and applied a fresh coat of paint to the walls.

Professional Remodeler 550 List

DreamMaker Lands on Two Industry Lists

Professional Remodeler 550 List

Every year, two of the industry’s largest publications produce a list, which recognizes the largest remodeling companies across the country.

DreamMaker of Manasota earned spots on both national ranking lists. The first publication, Qualified Remodeler, ranked DreamMaker #494 on their list of 500 top remodelers. The second publication, Professional Remodeler, ranked DreamMaker #239 on their list of 550 top remodelers.

To be considered for these lists, remodeling companies must submit specific criteria including, but not limited to: total years in business, revenue, community service involvement, awards earned and more.

Remodelers included on these lists are involved in the following types of projects: kitchen and bathroom remodels, room additions, whole-house remodels, insurance restoration, design-build services and light commercial projects.

“It is a privilege to be considered for these high-profile lists,” said DreamMaker President, Ernest Gilbert. “To actually be listed is a great accomplishment and honor in which we hope to obtain every year.”

dreammaker universal design services

Five Universal Design Elements to Incorporate Into Your Home

If you’ve been considering a remodel, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard the term, “universal design.”

While universal design has been around for decades, remodeling for accessibility has recently evolved into a growing trend. Whether due to the growing number of baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) or the fact that homeowners are simply looking to fit their home for better functionality, universal design is here to stay.

Because universal design elements provide convenience and functionality benefits, the term has a tendency to be misinterpreted; leaving many to believe it’s only for those who are aging or having disabilities.

This theory is simply not true.

We’re here to set the record straight because absolutely everyone can benefit from a space that is universally designed and created to maximize comfort, convenience and accessibility.

Think back to a time when you were running late and had your hands full; using your foot to push down on a leverage-style door handle would have been much more convenient than setting everything down and twisting a door knob. Laugh all you want, but we’ve all been there.

In our experience, universal design elements are often not requested unless the client has a direct need for them, which makes sense. However, we also know that those clients who may not think they have a direct need for these elements, are inevitably missing out on added convenience and functionality in their home.

Here are five universal design elements that may already be playing a role in your home:
– Leverage-style door handles
– Pull-out drawers
– Motion sensor faucets
– Curbless showers
– Slip-resistant tile

As you probably noticed from the list above, all five of those design elements are meant to make your life easier in some way.

In our opinion, the most valuable advantage to universal design is that it provides convenience for literally everyone who walks into your front door, regardless of their age or circumstance. Moreover, it provides homeowners the flexibility and longevity throughout their lifetime while they live in the home, allowing them to enjoy their homes longer without having to move.

If you’ve incorporated universal design elements in your home, we’d love to hear what they are. Please share your opinions below in the comments section.

The DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Manasota team takes a break from installing trusses with the Manatee County Habitat for Humanity

Giving Back with Habitat for Humanity

It’s not every day that one is able to utilize their specialized skills and talents to give back to the community, but when the opportunity presents itself—you take it.

We believe that loyalty adds meaning to our lives, which is why our team recently spent the day with the Manatee County Habitat for Humanity, assisting with a new home build for a local veteran and his family.

We did everything from nailing two by fours to installing trusses (that’s right…even the office staff got their hands dirty).

In addition to lending a hand in the construction department, we make an on-going effort to donate all gently used materials from client remodels. “Just because a client wants new cabinets doesn’t necessarily mean their old ones are in bad shape,” said DreamMaker President, Ernest Gilbert. “If any materials can be re-used, we make sure they get to the local ReStore.”

Whether donating money, goods or time, we believe in providing superior service to our community and those around us. The benefits to volunteering are not limited to the recipients, as our team definitely walked away with the feeling that we really made a difference.

One of the many memorable takeaways from this day of giving back was actually meeting Sgt. Juan C. Garcia, the recipient of the home, which is set to be complete in October. He and his family are the first of the Manatee County Habitat for Humanity’s new initiative, which is putting veterans in the spotlight.

Read more about Sgt. Juan C. Garcia’s story here and check out some photos from the day below.