Floating Shelves at 420 RENO

Creating the shelves for our renovated kitchen was my favorite project in the renovation. Why? Because…

  • I knew that this was something that you would see the minute that you walked in the door, so it became an important design feature.
  • I wanted to use it as it as a functional element to hold our dinnerware, therefore it had to be structural.
  • It was an opportunity to blend in the existing materials of the dark walnut of the glass cabinet and antique pantry doors.
  • It made all the subs and contractor work seamlessly together. How?
    1. The contractor had to install the steel brackets at the exact right height that I gave them and make sure (absolutely sure) that they were level.
    2. The electrician had to have the wire at the exact right height for the recessed lighting.
    3. The cabinetmaker had to make a template and cut them all in half so that on the jobsite there was a “sample” yet the cabinetmaker had the template for fabricating. They were also drilling a hole for the wire so that there would not be a wire visible from the outside of the shelf.
    4. The tile installer had to create tile carefully around the brackets.

The end results are beautiful, functional shelves that hold our plates, mugs, a plant, candle and other cooking accessories. If you need help in creating your floating shelves, let me know. Once you learn how to make something once, why not do it again!

More ideas on how to decorate with floating shelves can be found on this link: http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/13-ways-to-decorate-with-floating-shelves-pictures



Perfect Rug

Are you searching for the “perfect” rug? My good friends, Fred and Nancy (okay, not their real names) were on such a search and I have to say, it is definitely a story worth sharing.

Fred and Nancy both have amazing taste and strong opinions about what goes into their home. They honestly share what they love and what they hate, it’s a pretty amazing thing to witness. (You can imagine that my husband finds it easier to simply not have an opinion about anything to do with design.)

First, they bought a 9×12 rug online with free shipping. I was put in the position to share with them honestly how completely terrible it was. The next day, it was shipped back.

So Fred and Nancy came into my shop and loved an Angela Adams rug. On a Monday when we were closed, I rolled up the rug and took it to their house. The minute I put it down, they both hated it. Back in the car this 8 x 10 – 100 pound rug goes. Hey, it’s much better than having them buy the rug and hate it.

This exercise was repeated another four times. Finally, they went to Pars Oriental in Portsmouth, which you can find by clicking on this link: http://www.parsflooringamerica.com And while the rug didn’t look perfect in the store, once they tried it out at the house, they loved it!

The message behind the story:

  • Try the rug out as a test run in your space to make sure it works.
  • If you have the chance, paint and design your room around the rug.
  • Make sure that the size of the rug creates the space and feel that you are looking for.
  • Have a max. budget. For example, since I still have kids at home, a dog and cats, I don’t want to invest a lot of money on a rug.

For Fred and Nancy, it was more about being willing and able to spend the time and energy researching the rug. They used some humor and were respectful of each other. They can now simply entertain and enjoy their space.

For more ideas on how to create a unique space with a rug, click HERE!


July Lights

Do you have outdoor lighting? I highly recommend it for both function and a little drama!

As we celebrate Independence Day with Fireworks, ALL lighting is on SALE for the month of July! Both indoor and outdoor lighting – and we have A LOT of options! From hanging lanterns for your garden or lights for your screen porch, to pendants and lamps on the interiors, we can help you with all your lighting needs.

Here is a hint though: if you are looking for lighting that is fairly traditional and mainstream, I recommend going to Lowes or Target. Here is a link to find outdoor lighting at Lowes: http://www.lowes.com/Lighting-Ceiling-Fans/Outdoor-Lighting/_/N-1z11owb/pl They actually have a wonderful collection of popular lighting. If you are looking for something unique, come see us! While custom orders are not on sale, remember that we can be that resource to help you find exactly what you are looking for.



Anemone Canadensis… Tricky to Say, Easy to Plant!


White flowers and complex leaves define this simple and beautiful plant. I planted this flower about 4 years ago in my front yard, divided it 2 years ago for the backyard, and it is still strong and vibrant.

It is beautiful next to a pond or planted with Solomon Seal and Hosta. I encourage you to think about how to place these in your garden, especially knowing that they will spread generously and bloom in June.

To learn more about the Anemone Canadensis, click here.

If you are looking for a dynamic plant list, please let us know!


420 RENO… The Right Bathroom Sink

Bathroom Sink

What is the right bathroom sink? Sinks are an expression of the room and style. This functional feature is not only used to wash your hands but also sets the tone of the room. Why go with a straightforward cabinet and sink? Here are some ideas:

  • If you are going with a standard size sink and base, please save your money and go to Lowes. It is not worth your money to go outside of the box shop. Not that it’s bad, it’s just more straightforward. It doesn’t get a lot of use, so stay simple and save your money.
  • Have some fun! If you are going with the Rustic look, stay simple and have someone make you a base out of reclaimed wood (my reclaimed resource, Old House Parts, will fabricate anything that I will draw).
  • If you have something really unique in mind for your base, typically your contractor is an excellent resource for custom work – even if it is simple.
  • The base is often the simple part. The countertop fabricator should have in physical possession the sink and faucet as well as the base to template so that they can fabricate the whole piece efficiently and properly. Be sure to have done your research on plumbing fixtures before you go ahead and purchase the faucet.

Remember, the bathroom is a place that you can “play” a bit. Have fun and explore color and texture! Let me know if you need any help in your bathroom sink design.

Check out this link for other tips on choosing a bathroom sink: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/48175580/list/how-to-choose-the-right-bathroom-sink

9 Walker Street, Kittery, ME 03904

(207) 703-0696

(888) 981-1950