Category: New Construction Projects

Steps When Planning a Kitchen Renovation 101

July 28, 2018

This summer I have been working with a local couple on their complete vacation home makeover. They decided to start with the kitchen and wanted me to discuss the right steps to follow when planning a complete redo of their kitchen. My first suggestion to them was to find a contractor to work with. That is not easy I know! The contractor will be able to hire the sub-contractors needed for demolition, electrical work, plumbing, permits, etc. Meanwhile, you will have to chose the components that are going into the new space and if you want to avoid stress later, these steps will help guide you in the overall process.

They are redesigning the kitchen area top to bottom. Here is a before photo:

Sharon before

Step One for the Kitchen:

As I tell all of my clients, their first big decision should be the countertop. (the most expensive item in the room and least amount of selections.) Right now both quartz and granite are still the most popular choices. My biggest tip when buying a new countertop is to GO to where the stone is whole. You can look at the little samples and online to get an idea of what you like, but you must go to stone yard to choose your large piece for counters to see exactly which piece you are getting because every piece is unique:



Step Two:Read More

Be Sure To Include Designer in ALL Design Decisions in New Home Build

February 25, 2018

I have recently began a new home design project under construction in Jackson, NH. The home is right down the street from me which is great:


The homeowners are requesting a rustic look with a bit of elegance. When I was contacted, I was ask to provide all design services in making the homeowners a ready-to-move-in home. From the plans:

dave plans

To making all of the inside design decisions. So, my issue with including the designer in ALL design decisions is this: I found out today from the builder that the home owner decided to stop at a local kitchen and bath store and chose cabinets and countertops for the bathrooms:

dave bath cabinets

The black bottom cabinet is the style door they chose. The cabinets will be made from knotty alder, the small, lighter wood piece above, in a natural finish. The vanity top is a Tempest Gold quartz.

All of the bathroom choices will be used in ALL of the baths throughout home except master bath.

The kitchen choices they selected are also knotty alder with a cappuccino burnt sienna glaze and highlight:

dave cabinets

I really like the kitchen cabinets and they do work well for this area. Would these have been my suggestions for all the cabinets and countertops? Maybe, maybe not.  I would have liked to work on the project with the homeowners selecting all items for the home.  They could have seen my vision, my ideas. Why I would chose this, and why not that. Maybe they dreamed of a gray/blue bathroom walls. Now, that color choice is out because of the bossy quartz. I would have liked to give them other options. But this is already decided. My job now is to find colors that will work with the countertops and cabinets. I also need to select tile for bath floors, tile for showers and also paint colors using the decisions they selected.

So working with the kitchen:

dave kitchen plans

dave kitchen

Nice open floor plan. The island is 11 feet long!

dave first floor

Selecting paint colors for the walls, here is my choice I think will work best with coordinating with the kitchen cabinets and countertops, plus work in open concept rooms, up and down the stairs and also the upstairs hallway:

dave revere

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. The rooms are sunny and bright and I think it will work really well throughout. I took my large sample board over to the home and it looks like a soft neutral gray throughout.

For the bathroom, there were not a lot of colors that will work with well both the counter and cabinets. This gold paint color :

dave gold

Ben Moore Tumeric AF-350 really looks nice with the granite. But I do not think they would like gold painted walls in all of their bathrooms. I tried several colors until I found the best neutral I think will work best with the cabinets and counters:


Ben Moore Muslin CC-110. A very soft neutral color with slight undertone of orange. Great color to use with yellow or orange based cabinets. Thinking of gold fixtures which are popular and will bring out the gold in the countertops. I will go over the paint color selections with the homeowners and let you know what happens!

It is going to be a beautiful new home. Plus, it is located right on a ski slope:


Image how fun it would be to sit and watch the skiers ski by!

A lot of design decisions coming up and will share with you as the process continues! Have a great weekend everyone!

Kelly xo

Just a Reminder

February 24, 2018

Hey everyone! I just wanted to let you know that the March issue of my monthly newsletter ‘Roominations’ will be published tomorrow, February 26th. This issue is packed with great content!

dave plans

* In this month’s issue, I explain the why in my post, “Be Sure to Include Designer in ALL Design Decisions in New Home Build” and the reason I selected this topic.

* This month’s Reader’s Question answers a question from a reader friend who is looking for a few ideas and inspiration for Easter decorating.

* This issue also offers suggestions on where to purchase Spring porch accessories.


Be sure to sign up for my newsletter today, if you have not already! Thank you!

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Sneak Peak of New Office Building Venture

July 22, 2017

Hey everyone! I shared with you a new business office I am working on that was being built here. Just the framing was up at that time. I wanted to give you an update how the project is coming along:

rob entry

The Revere Pewter looks fabulous in the entry and main office space:

rob office

rob entry2

rob look through

Read More

Quick Update on New Home Build

December 9, 2015

I just wanted to give you all a quick update what is happening at the construction site for the new home build. In the last couple of weeks, a lot of work roofing and siding has made a big difference:

ray work exterior

Love the way they made the chimney box. Looks so great! Here is the back:


The owner is very happy and excited. He is also stressed out because of the two month delay we had to wait for town permits and everything is not as finished as he would like before his tax season begins. (He is an accountant).

Here is looking down from the open second floor into the great room and breakfast area:

ray framed

Master bedroom:

ray master

So much easier to visualize rooms now and I am having fun planning design ideas for each room.

I am a little disappointed that the stone exterior front will not be done until the Spring. Because of the New England weather of course.

ray front2

ray ext.

It is coming along nicely. It is going to look fabulous! I will keep you updated. Thanks for stopping by!

News & Tips On The New Home Construction

November 10, 2015

So many decisions! I honestly don’t know how homeowners can make all of the many large and small decisions when starting with everything new. Good thing my client has me to help! 🙂

Here is a picture of the house last week:

ray front

new build

Moving right along! I wrote here how we selected the exterior design components. Now that we have moved indoors, the choices to be made are many. I thought I would share a couple of ideas and helpful tips.

So where to start? I suggested flooring should be one of the first choices. A tip I would like to pass on when choosing hardwood flooring, is think of the entire room with the hardwood. Do you like a solid color everywhere like this?:

chocolate birch

birch flooring

Or do you like a varied toned wood floor?

braz. piece

brazilian chesnut

We chose the varied toned wood floors for his new home because he liked the color variations throughout. There is no right or wrong, it is what you like.

Speaking of floors, we visited the tile store last week. My suggestion to you, before you even walk in, is to call and make an appointment with someone that works at the store to help guide you along. We had four bathrooms to find tile flooring, shower walls, shower floor and accent tile for walls. It sounds overwhelming, but ask questions- What is your best selling tile? Do you have coordinating tile that works together in a group? What size tile is popular right now?:

ray tile

We loved the 12 x 24” tiles and decided to use in the kitchen and a couple of the bathrooms:

tile 12x24

Regarding trim and molding- Do not purchase what is in stock at the store without a plan! The salesman at the lumber yard tried to sell us something simple like this for the baseboard:

small trim


This is your chance to bring in more personality and elegance with wider baseboards:



large trim


There are so many different sizes and shapes in molding today. I suggest to go with a larger trim rather than the small builder trim they will use if you do not ask.

A question my client had today was what color for the bathroom fixtures should be used? Almond or bisque? No and no. White is the best choice for fixtures so that you do not call attention and see them. When you add a color in such as almond, then you have to work with the almond when selecting flooring and wall colors. White is best for bath sinks, tubs and toilets for a clean, uncluttered look.

white tub


We started looking at kitchen galleries in the local area yesterday. Ray and I are at different vantage points right now. He loves this:

stained kitchen

Which is pretty, but I am crazy for the white kitchens:

white kitchen

white kitchen 2

I asked the saleswoman which is more popular, white or stained cabinets, since the stores had both displayed equally and she told me that people who have white now, tend to want stained and visa versa. Interesting!

I did notice quite a few kitchens with a glazed finish:

glazed cabinets

I am not crazy about them and worry they will go out of style soon. What do you think readers?

I am having a great time with this project! Stay tuned for more updates and information. Thanks everyone!