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Welcome

HOME IDEAS TRENDS

&

TO TRY AT

HOME

INSPIRING LOCAL KITCHEN DESIGN

MAKE MOVING EASIER

REAL ESTATE 2018 NUMBERS & CHANGES IN PENOBSCOT COUNTY

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION OF THE BANGOR DAILY NEWS

2018


Welcome

HOME Publisher RICHARD J. WARREN Senior Editor, Special Sections MATT CHABE Special Sections Sales Manager TODD McLEOD Advertising Sales JEFF ORCUTT jorcutt@bangordailynews.com Art Director AMY ALLEN Creative Services Manager MICHELE DWYER Creative Services CORALIE CROSS, MARCIE COOMBS, BEN CYR, CALLIE PICARD, CAROLINA RAVE Cover Image JOEL HOLCOMB To advertise in our next edition, please call 990-8134 or email advertising@bangordailynews.com.

Contents

Buy & Sell

02 THE STATE OF MAINE REAL ESATE 04 CREATE A SALE-WORTHY SHOWPLACE 05 MAKE MOVING MUCH EASIER

Yard & Garden 06 DESIGN A DREAM OUTDOOR SPACE 08 GROW BEAUTIFUL (& EDIBLE) FLOWERS

Design

10 SMALL HOUSES RIGHT SIZE FOR MANY 14 TAKE A TOUR 26 CREATE A HOME GALLERY WALL 28 A WELL-DESIGNED HOME

© 2018 Bangor Daily News. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without express written consent. Requests for permission to copy, reprint, or duplicate any content should be directed to advertising@bangordailynews.com

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bangordailynews.com • 1


Buy & Sell

The State of Maine

REAL ESTATE 2018 BY JANELLE DIANNE JUNDT

BUYING

OR SELLING a home can feel overwhelming. There are many factors to consider. You want to make sure you are taking the right steps to get the best price or the most “bang for your buck.” An important part of this process is understanding the current market. Kortnie Mullins, a real estate agent from the Chez Renee team of Realty of Maine, was able to shed some light on current real estate trends in Maine. The data she shared came from Maine Listings, a subsidiary of the Maine Association of REALTORS. According to the data for May 2018, home sales statewide showed a slight 1.38% decrease from 2017. However, Mullins said, this isn’t due to a lack of buyers. In the current market, she said, many people want to buy but the inventory is low. This is why sales are going down but prices are going up—statewide, prices are up 9.95%. Houses are selling, and they are selling quickly. In May, the median number of days for houses to be on the market was 37 for Penobscot County. In Bangor, it was only 18 days. This is good news for those looking to sell. If you are on the fence about selling, said Mullins, it might be time to take the plunge. Penobscot County has increased in sales by a small margin of 1.34%, and average prices have increased by 1.71%. Though the numbers locally have stayed pretty level, there is still a noticeable issue with supply and demand. Mullins said her team started noticing the reduced inventory and the increase in prices last year. She said clients who bought homes three to four years ago have seen a large increase in their home value, and

2 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018

many are coming back to her to sell for a larger or more expensive home. At the same time, buyers are dealing with more homes that have multiple offers or bidding wars. Though this is making purchasing a home more difficult, it isn’t deterring buyers. The rise in interest rates have pressured people who wanted to buy to get in the market before they go up even higher. Those rates are expected to keep increasing. It is also a lot easier to get a loan now with current government mortgage programs that will allow between a zero to 3.5% down payment to purchase. Allison Cote, a Bangor-area home buying hopeful, said that although home buying is a difficult process and there is a need to act quickly in the current market, it is worth it to educate yourself and wait it out for the right home. Finding your forever home, she said, is worth taking the extra time. Mullins echoed this. She said that overall you need to educate yourself before you get out in the market and fall in love with homes. Meet with realtors and make sure you know what you can afford before you go look. Mullins and her team specialize in first-time home buyers. They made up over 50% of her team’s clientele last year. She said that each first-time home buyer that comes through their doors gets an education about the home buying process first and foremost. There is a lot of information out there so make sure to take the time to use available resources. Buying and selling a home can be stressful, but with the right team around you and the right information, it can be a great investment for the future.


Statewide, PRICES ARE

UP 9.95% FROM LAST YEAR

IN MAY, THE MEDIAN NUMBER OF DAYS FOR HOUSES TO BE ON THE MARKET WAS

37

IN BANGOR, IT WAS

only 18 DAYS

FOR PENOBSCOT COUNTY

PENOBSCOT COUNTY HAS

INCREASED IN SALES BY A SMALL MARGIN OF

1.34%


Buy & Sell

Create a

SALE-WORTHY

SHOWPLACE THE SENTIMENT “DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER” can be applied to many situations. When it comes to selling their homes, homeowners should remember this adage as they prepare their homes for prospective buyers. Statista indicates that there were 560,000 houses sold in the United States in 2016. The Canadian Real Estate Association said a record 536,118 residential properties changed hands in 2016, marking a 6.3 percent increase from 2015. Homeowners who want to make their properties stand out can take the following steps.

DE-PERSONALIZE THE HOME.

Homeowners fill their spaces with family photos, heirlooms, personal interests, and other conversation pieces. Prospective buyers may not be able to see past personal belongings and may even be distracted by them. For example, buyers who have strong beliefs about animal welfare may not buy a home displaying hunting trophies. Remove personalized items where possible, replacing them with generic items.

IMPROVE THE EXTERIOR.

HGTV says that curb appeal is crucial to making a strong first impression. A messy or lackluster landscape can turn buyers away even before they reach the front door. Mow the lawn and make sure shrubbery has been trimmed. Seasonal potted flowers and plants can help make the house look polished. Repair cracks or damaged walkways, and consider a fresh coat of paint on trim around windows and doors. Pressure-wash siding if necessary.

PUT THINGS IN STORAGE.

MAKE IT LIGHT AND BRIGHT.

Open up all of the drapes and blinds, and turn on overhead lights so the house is well-lit. Add table lamps or other fixtures to especially dim rooms.

CREATE A HOTEL EXPERIENCE.

Forbes suggests making bathrooms look like a spa. Stack a few pretty washcloths tied with ribbon, add some scented candles and faux plants and buy bath mats and towels in coordinating tones. Remove extraneous items from kitchen counters and replace them with vases of flowers. In addition, set up dining spaces as if one were sitting down to a meal, and ensure appliances are sparkling clean.

USE COMMON “SCENTS.”

Skip the fish, bacon or other aromatic meals for a few days, as such foods can leave lingering aromas. Baked goods, vanilla and cinnamon might make for more appealing scents. 4 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018

PHOTOS: ©ANDY DEAN PHOTOGRAPHY; ©KRISTINA; ©CORALIMAGES; ©2MMEDIA/ADOBE STOCK

Rent a storage unit to house items that can make a home appear cluttered. Clean out closets and cabinets, so that when buyers “snoop” during appointments or open houses they see orderly storage areas. If closets are brimming with stuff, buyers may assume the house doesn’t have enough storage space and move on.


MAKE MOVING MUCH EASIER ACCORDING TO THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, the average person in the United States changes residences more than 11 times in his or her lifetime. With each move, the process of moving may become more familiar. But even the most practiced nomad can find moving to be an overwhelming experience. Those on the cusp of moving and nervous about packing up and leaving can employ a few tricks to make moving much easier.

RESEARCH AREAS CAREFULLY Buyers are advised to do their research when seeking new towns or cities to call home. Before falling in love with a particular home, potential buyers can visit the area in which the home is located during a typical weekday to get a feel for the atmosphere. Check out shopping centers, observe the residents and drive by the schools and businesses. This can help paint an accurate picture that may or may not differ from that depicted in the real estate listing.

STACK THE DECK Working with qualified professionals who have gone through the moving process before can make for easier work for buyers and

sellers. Ask for recommendations regarding real estate companies, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, insurance agents, and all of the other people who will assist with buying, selling and moving. Carefully vet these professionals, relying on third-party reviews as well as any information provided by the Better Business Bureau.

SECURE TEMPORARY STORAGE It can help to put some belongings into a storage center prior to moving, and then gradually take items from the storage unit to your new home. This will free up space to make repairs to your new home and give you time to figure out decorating schemes and sort through boxes.

GET ESTIMATES & VERIFY LICENSING The BBB advises consumers to verify all licensing for movers. Solicit at least three in-home estimates and get those figures in writing. Confirm insurance coverage for the company chosen. Red flags to consider include movers who don’t make on-site inspections for estimates and those who demand payment in advance before the move.

HAVE A FIRST-WEEK SURVIVAL KIT Pick up takeout restaurant menus, premade grocery store meals and stock up on staples such as paper plates, toilet tissue, light bulbs, and cleaning supplies in advance of the move so you won’t have to unpack everything after arriving at your new home.

bangordailynews.com • 5


Yard &

Garden

Design a

DREAM OUTDOOR

EASY FOOD AND DRINK ACCESS

6 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018

EVALUATE THE SPACE

Look at the lot and decide what will go where, such as where to place the party space, where to create a quiet hideaway and where to locate a pool house or outdoor shower. A large, flat yard can be divided into a series of patios that serve different purposes. Yards that are built on a hill or a slope can still be utilized with creative design elements, such as multi-tiered decking. By working with qualified designers, homeowners can bring their ideas to life.

PHOTO: ©NEIL/ADOBE STOCK

Traipsing in and out of the house for refreshments can become tiresome when entertaining outside. In such situations, people also can track dirt inside of the home or leave a trail of pool water in their wake. Outdoor kitchens allow easy access to food and drink that makes outdoor entertaining much easier. The experts at Angie’s List suggest outdoor kitchens be built close to the house to make it easier to run electricity and plumbing to the outdoor kitchen. Outdoor kitchens should include a sink, small refrigerator, built-in grill, and bar area.


ENTERTAINING SPACE UPON THE ARRIVAL OF WARM WEATHER, many

CREATURE COMFORTS

Homeowners should think about the things that make the inside of their homes so comfortable and then replicate that outside. Sofas and loveseats covered in fabric suited for outdoors and plenty of pillows can make for great lounging. Lighting that can be adjusted for day or night, or even to set the mood, is another consideration. Shade structures, like a trellis or retractable awning, will keep the area comfortable and can also define outdoor “rooms” and establish privacy.

individuals prefer to spend their free time outside, relishing the fresh air and sunshine and evenings spent under the stars. But cracked patios and makeshift chairs and tables may not establish the desired ambiance. An outdoor entertaining area that offers the same amenities found inside a home can make outdoor retreats both comfortable and functional. Creative planning can help homeowners design dream areas perfect for hosting friends or family.

ESTABLISH GOALS

As with any project, the first step when coordinating outdoor living areas is to determine what you hope to achieve with the space. Will it be a location for lounging? Will people be cooking meals outside? Is the pool the central focus of the yard? Answering these questions and more can help homeowners decide how to design their entertaining spaces. Remember, however, that goals may evolve as landscape designers and even architects make their own suggestions for the space or present limitations.

FIRE IT UP

Many homeowners enjoy having fire elements in their yards. Lanterns and candles may create a romantic feel, but a fire pit or outdoor fireplace may help extend use of the outdoor entertaining area beyond summer.

bangordailynews.com • 7


Yard &

Garden

GROW BEAUTIFUL (and edible) FLOWERS

CULTIVATING BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS

is a popular pastime for gardeners near and far. While gazing at a yard full of vibrant colors or enjoying the aroma of freshly cut blooms is enough for many gardeners, others may want to embrace a longenduring tradition—growing edible flowers. Cooking with edible flowers is a trend that has endured for centuries. According to Fleurs Gourmandes, the first recorded history of edible flowers occurred in 140 BC. Use of calendula in

salads dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Victorian-era candied flowers and flower-encrusted sweets took edible flowers to new heights. Today, nothing may make a meal seem more gourmet than the inclusion of flower petals in the recipe. Of course, before delving into the expanded world of cooking using edible blooms, some notes of caution should first be mentioned. Avoid flowers that may have been sprayed with fungicides, herbicides or insecticides. To verify safety, only use edible flowers grown specifically

To begin growing (and eating) edible flowers, refer to this list of varieties deemed safe and be careful to double-check against allergies and any interactions with medications prior to use.

ALLIUM: These are blossoms from the

allium family, which include garlic, chives and leeks. These flowers can be used to add flavor to foods.

BASIL BLOSSOMS: It may be customary to

pinch off the blossoms of basil, which come in colors from white to lavender in order to stimulate growth of the leaves of the plant. However, the blossoms, which are more mild than the leaves, can be tasty as well.

CALENDULA: Sometimes known as “poor man’s

HIBISCUS: Hibiscus blooms are famously used in hibiscus tea, which is tart and cranberry-like.

LAVENDER: The sweet, perfumed taste

of lavender works in cocktails and desserts.

MARIGOLDS: These tiny flowers may be used in vegetable gardens to repel animal and insect pests. Blossoms have a fresh citrus taste that can be used in cooking.

saffron,” this yellow flower in the marigold family can taste like saffron when it’s sautéed. Uncooked, calendula can have spicy notes that add variety to salads and garnishes.

PANSIES: These vibrant early bloomers

CHAMOMILE: This plant features small, daisy-

ROSES: Beautiful to behold, rose

type flowers that can be used in treats and teas.

CILANTRO: The flowers from the cilantro plant

can be eaten, just as the leaves and the seeds that form the spice coriander.

FENNEL: Just like the plant itself, the flowers of fennel have a subtle licorice flavor.

8 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018

can take on a wintergreen flavor and look beautiful when glazed on cakes and other desserts. petals can lend a subtle, fruity flavor to many different foods as well.

ZUCCHINI: The blossoms from this squash, which have a slightly sweet taste, can be enjoyed in many different ways. Some batter and fry the blossoms, while others may stuff them with herbs and cheeses.


PHOTOS: ©IMAGE’IN; ©THITAREE SARMKASAT/ADOBE STOCK

for this purpose, not flowers picked from roadsides or from landscapes. Secondly, remember that not all flowers are edible. Some can be poisonous or cause severe gastrointestinal upset when consumed. That means all flowers should be carefully researched prior to experimenting with them in the kitchen.

bangordailynews.com • 9


Design

SMALL—

but not Tiny – HOUSES RIGHT SIZE FOR MANY

Jim Bahoosh of Morrill designs and builds small houses that usually range between 500 and 900 square feet.

STORY BY ABIGAIL CURTIS | PHOTOS BY GABOR DEGRE

“TINY HOUSES”

might be enjoying their moment in the spotlight, but for many people, a “small” alternative makes just as much sense. That’s the feeling of a couple of Mainers who specialize in designing and building small — but certainly not tiny — houses. Their particular architectural niche hasn’t inspired as many how-to websites, admiring slideshows, explanatory articles, earnest documentaries and even sometimeshilarious parodies as tiny houses, which generally are considered to be between 100 and 400 square feet. But small houses still have been gaining popularity in the last few years even as the burgeoning tiny house movement has grabbed what seems like all of the headlines in alternative design. “There’s a ton of interest in small houses,” builder Jim Bahoosh of Morrill said this week. “From people all over the age spectrum and all over the economic spectrum. I’m as busy as I want to be.” 10 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018

Bahoosh, who works by himself to build houses that generally range from 500 to 900 square feet, was putting the finishing touches on a two-story cottage tucked into a postage stamp-sized piece of land in the crowded, quaint village of Bayside in the town of Northport. He and a business partner purchased the property to build a speculative small house on it with hopes of eventually finding a buyer. He started construction last October and the 1,000-square-foot house, built with deep gables and lots of light, was under contract before they ever had to advertise it for sale. In many ways, the house fits right into the neighborhood of wooden, Gothic Revival buildings, many of which were constructed between 1870 and 1920 as part of the Northport Wesleyan Grove Methodist camp village. Just like the other homes nearby, it is diminutive and has breezy, charming touches, such as the gingerbread trim carved

into phases of the moon. In other ways, of course, the new home is different, more modern. It is built to be energy-efficient, with lots of insulation and modern technology like an electric heat pump heating system. For Bahoosh, who focuses on small houses, the fact that his brand-new house is a good match for the old-fashioned Bayside neighborhood is no coincidence. “In the 1950s, the average-size new house in America was about 850 square feet,” he said. “Now, it’s about 2,700 square feet.” That is a lot of space, he said, in a time when American families are getting smaller and more people are interested in having smaller utility bills and less of an environmental impact. Still, Bahoosh is not interested in building tiny houses, which to him means something that is on wheels and is not code-compliant. “Although it might sound freeing to have a little house on wheels, that’s not


my skill set,” he said. “I am a lot more comfortable in small houses. I don’t like to feel cramped.” David Foley, a designer with Northportbased Holland & Foley Architecture, said that he respects the people who are passionate about tiny houses. “My hat is off,” he said. “I admire the spunk of folks trying alternatives. It seems to me we need a variety of approaches.” However, he pointed out some of the same issues with the tiny structures that Bahoosh did. “So far, few tiny houses are legal in many towns and cities as a full-time dwelling,” he said. Building them on trailers means that they don’t have to meet all building codes, but it also means that tiny-house residents are not likely to have a fixed address. That might be attractive to some people, but certainly not everyone. Foley said that he

and his business partner Sarah Holland have been working quietly for a little more than a decade on designs for homes that range from a little over 300 square feet to just under 2,000 square feet. “Somewhere between the tiny house and the McMansions, there seems to be a missing piece,” he said. “I think people are not happy in a bunch of wasted space with a bunch of clutter … and we don’t need to go down to everybody living in a camper trailer to make way better use of the spaces we have now.” A couple of years ago, he and Holland decided the time was right to get louder about their small home designs and work to share them with more people. “We were seeing an unmet need, and a middle class that was under some pressures. We weren’t seeing people designing for them,” he said. “We’re still building these great big things, and we’re

not building places where people can grow old in place. In an aging state like Maine, we should be addressing that.” Bahoosh said that is a concern of his, too. He pointed out ways that his Bayside house utilizes what he calls “universal design,” a way for people of different physical abilities to use the space, such as a first-floor room that could be used as a bedroom for someone who can’t get up the stairs. “I call it thinking ahead,” he said. It’s important, he said, sharing a story about a feisty older woman who contacted him because she really wanted to live in a 500-square-foot house, with sleeping lofts and ladders and with no extra room for her to fill up with her or her adult children’s clutter. Bahoosh said they had many opinionated and enjoyable conversations about her vision and in the end he built her exactly what she wanted. He pushed to finish the house bangordailynews.com • 11


Design while she was in the hospital for hernia surgery so she could live in it once she was discharged. But in the hospital, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was only given nine months to live. “She didn’t want to leave her house, but the design made it hard for caretakers to live there with her,” he said. “Still, she had the house she wanted, if only for a little while.” Foley said that he and Holland also work hard to listen to their clients and to figure out what they want and need in their homes. “Everybody has a different story. And we want every square foot to have a reason, and a purpose and be wonderful for people. The main thing is to be thoughtful,” he said. “A building is just the frame around a picture. The picture is your life.” This story appeared in the Bangor Daily News March 28, 2018.

Jim Bahoosh at a house he built in Northport in 2015 and 2016.

12 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018


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Design

Take a

TOUR PHOTOS BY JOEL HOLCOMB

FOR FANS OF GREAT HOME DESIGN in the Bangor region, the EMMC Auxiliary’s annual Kitchen Tour is a real feast. Now in its 14th year, the tour brings participants along to visit some of the area’s most outstanding kitchens. The Auxiliary’s 14th Annual Kitchen Tour is scheduled for later this year, but you don’t have to wait: the Auxiliary was gracious enough to share photos of 2017’s showcased kitchens with descriptions from Suzette Vernon of the EMMC Auxiliary board. Sit back with your favorite beverage and get a belly-full of these beautiful Bangor-area kitchens as photographed by Joel Holcomb.

14 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018

The 2018 Kitchen Tour will be held Saturday, October 6 from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased after Labor Day. Proceeds benefit the Auxiliary’s pledge to the new neonatal unit at EMMC. For more information and to buy tickets, visit emmcauxiliary.org.


COOL CONTRAST This 2014 custom-built home features southern exposure and expansive windows make for an open and airy home. The kitchen features white cabinets topped with black granite, a charcoalcolored island, a coffee bar with white quartz, a GE Monogram gas stove with hood, wall oven, composite sink, and ceramic grey tile floors.


Design

ONE OF A KIND Architect Milton Stratton (known for designing Bar Harbor cottages) designed this Arts and Crafts-style home in 1911, and it is possibly the only building by Stratton in the Bangor area. Originally, this property was a family-run sustainable farm. Today, the building is home to the Green Gem Holistic Healing Oasis. The staff dining room and pantry were converted into a modern kitchen in the 1990s. The pantry’s original swinging door was incorporated into the design. So too were the back stairs, which lead from the basement garden prep area to the upper floors.

Granite countertops, subway tile backsplash, cherry cabinets, dentil molding, a built-in desk, under-cabinet lighting, tile floors, and a propane AGA range grace this renovated kitchen.

16 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018

This beautiful house also boasts five wood-burning fireplaces and an outdoor patio.


Design

URBAN OASIS This 1890 urban industrial-design building in downtown Bangor features a walk-up apartment that survived the city’s Great Fire of 1911. Over the course of its history, it has been both a sailcutting factory and a dress shop. In 2010, the building’s third and fourth floors were converted into a living space featuring a modern style kitchen. Homeowner favorites are the corner drawers, the Heartland gas range with industrial vent hood, and the hang-out nook. Floors are oak throughout. A hatch leads up to the fourth floor, featuring a “winder” for canvas from when this dwelling was a sail-cutting factory.

18 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018


The kitchen features Shaker cherry cabinets, speckled granite countertops (with one section converted to butcher block), and a stainless steel island prep table.

bangordailynews.com • 19


Design

WOODED WONDERLAND A large walk-in pantry graces this 2017 custom-built home set on a knoll at the edge of the woods. The open kitchen features a stacked stone peninsula, huge wood hood, and shiplap ceilings. Custom cherry flush inset cabinets feature special storage options including sliding drawers and deep dividers. Four over-the-counter Kichler hanging lights match the dining area chandelier, which adorns a large Maine-made Amish table with coordinating chairs and swivel counter stools. The flooring is Indian Slate ceramic tile. Natural hickory hardwood graces the remainder of the home. A beautiful floor to ceiling stone fireplace graces the living room in this residence.

20 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018


Silver pearl, rough-leathered granite adds a pleasing and unusual design in addition to a black granite composite sink.


Design

MODIFIED FARMHOUSE Built in 1912, this modified American farmhouse had renovations to the kitchen in 1985 and again in 2008. A bay window was added along with an expanded footprint, granite countertops, decorative shelving, and built-ins in the breakfast nook. A dual-fuel Verona range, recessed lighting, and oak floors feature prominently in this lovely kitchen. Pocket doors are found between the dining room and living room. An eclectic ‘60s-style family room off the main entrance catches visitors’ attention with Star Wars and American Folk Festival poster collections.

22 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018


Many Shaker-style cabinets grace this kitchen. The homeowners’ favorites are the two leaded glass accent fronts, the corner salvaged window cabinet which is used for displays, and the hidden microwave.


Design

GRAND GRAPHITE To plan this kitchen, the homeowners first selected cabinets from Omega Cabinetry. The cabinets feature a “Smokey Hills” finish—a rich graphite-gray cabinet stain. The full kitchen design followed the cabinetry decision in this 2016 home which makes maximum use of space. Some of the homeowners’ favorite details include the grey-veined granite countertops, an undermount granite sink, a pot filler, and music speakers hardwired throughout. The flooring is maple hardwood. Two lovely chandeliers inspired by Restoration Hardware hang over the kitchen island. Propane heats this modern home, which also features a gas fireplace in the living room.

24 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018


The homeowner’s husband surprised his wife with a special pantry door (reading, appropriately, “Pantry”) which features full frosted glass.


Design

CREATE AN EYE-CATCHING

home gallery wall

GALLERY WALLS, also called moment walls, are one of today’s

FIND YOUR MUSE.

The first step to creating a gallery wall is to choose a theme. If floral prints are your thing or you love abstract art, build your gallery around these elements. You can even use color or frame style as the coordinating factor.

TAKE YOUR TIME. Some people rush into creating gallery walls, and that can be a mistake. Spend time picking out pieces and trying different combinations before you take out the hammer and hardware. The mix should be captivating and look like it was a curated collection. Some pieces can be high-end, while others may be picked up at flea markets or even be your own artwork or photography.

PHOTO: KATARZYNABIALASIEWICZ/GETTY IMAGES

hottest home decor trends. Gallery walls enable homeowners to create visually appealing groupings of photos, frames, wall art, and much more to dress up any room in the house. Gallery walls can make a statement in the living room, add finesse to an entryway or showcase special items along a staircase. One need only do a quick internet search or browse through lifestyle magazines to see examples of gallery walls for inspiration. Anyone with a little determination can design a gallery wall.


EXPERIMENT WITH DIMENSIONS AND LEVELS. Gallery walls need not be restricted to flat photos on a wall. Texture and depth can be used in wall designs. Intersperse shelving, sconces, wooden letters, clocks, and more to make the gallery even more eclectic. Feel free to build the gallery around items that are in the house, such as windows or televisions. This can help electronics blend into the design.

ESTABLISH YOUR FOCAL POINT. Pottery Barn suggests making the center of the display at eye level, roughly 66 inches off the ground. Then build the gallery out from around that focal point. There are many patterns that can be built into the gallery, from spiral to centered to reflection designs.

CREATE A TEMPLATE. Lay the gallery design on the floor and cut newspapers or other paper to the size of each piece. Use masking tape to position these guides on the wall, trying a few arrangements until you are happy with the finished product. Then replace the paper with the artwork.

HANG ITEMS WITH PRECISION.

Don’t skimp on techniqu e. Use a ruler, level, and the rig ht tools. This ensures pieces are straight and in line with others.

Gone are the days when large pieces of artwork fill empty walls. Gallery designs add statements and can balance rooms in creative ways. bangordailynews.com • 27


Design

A WELL-DESIGNED

HOME A BANGOR ARCHITECT SHARES BUILDING SECRETS FOR BRINGING OUT THE BEST. BY ALAN CROWELL

better, think better, and interact more easily with those around them. People carry on some of their most important relationships in homes. They sleep and dream and do much of their socializing and planning there. For architects, part of the challenge is in understanding how people sleep, work, socialize, and interact, said Robert Ervin, an architect and the owner of Ervin Architecture based in Bangor and Tampa Bay, Florida. He said it’s an important part of the design process. “I want them to be more productive, to be happier, to be more comfortable,” he said. In a home Ervin designed in Surry, Maine, banks of east-facing windows draw in natural light and connect the kitchen and dining room to the ever-changing Atlantic Ocean outside. The home’s open plan creates plentiful space for socializing while the large deck allows parties to flow outside in good weather. That same open area can collapse into more intimate spaces created by a hearth of natural stone quarried in Maine or in a dining area that receives the first light of sunrise.

28 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018

PHOTO: (TOP) COURTESY OF ROBERT ERVIN; (RIGHT) BRIAN CATTELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

A WELL-DESIGNED HOME can influence patterns of daily life in subtle but powerful ways, helping people sleep


A Bar Harbor home design by Ervin Architecture.

This Ervin Architecturedesigned home in Surry features sweeping views of the Atlantic. bangordailynews.com • 29


Robert Ervin is an architect and the owner of Ervin Architecture based in Bangor and Tampa Bay, Florida.

30 • BDN WELCOME HOME • 2018

The couple that owns the home are morning people, and the structure is designed to make the best possible use of the sunrise. Less visible are the details of insulation, airflow, and roof angles designed to maximize solar gain in the winter but prevent glare from the bright summer sun. Ervin grew up exploring the woods and meadows in Holden, where his family lived on a dead-end road. He said his work is strongly influenced by a love of that landscape. After attending Bowdoin, he studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Design before receiving his master’s in architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He returned to his home state because his family has lived in the Bangor area for more than 200 years. Maine is simply in his DNA, he said. Today, his Hammond Street office is in a block of buildings that once housed a furniture manufacturer founded by his great, great, great grandfather Edmond Dole about 200 years ago. Many of the brick and wooden structures built in Dole’s period remain, although the bustling economy of that time has long since disappeared. In its place is a new economy with an emphasis on retail and serviceoriented businesses. The Penobscot River and Kenduskeag Stream are now focal points for outdoor music venues, restaurants, and outdoor activity rather than industry. Ervin moved back home to be part of that evolution. Architecture is a means of stewardship, he said, a way of giving back to the community by designing buildings that are both efficient and productive from a business perspective but that also work well with historic structures. Well-designed buildings can be an attractor to an area, said Ervin, creating intrigue and helping to draw people to a space and to a community. Ervin believes new buildings can be modern and efficient and still fit well next to structures created hundreds of years ago when materials and technology dictated different styles. In a restaurant, design can create a sense of harmony that invites people inside to enjoy the space. In an office space, enough natural light and a sense of connectivity to the sun and the outdoors can create a greater sense of well-being and encourage people to be more productive.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROBERT ERVIN

Design


Homes are more emotional, he said, and their design should take into account how people live, as well as the natural environment around them. Ervin said he tries to understand what timelines his clients are on. If the clients are a couple, it is important to understand if they are on different timelines. Natural light is important, but at the same time, the home should be efficient, which might mean more windows on the south side where the solar gain is strongest, but roof overhangs that prevent too much sun in the summer. Most people want an open plan. Erwin tries to eliminate hallways and allow natural light to move through the building in a way that flows with the way the building is used. The building should be oriented in such a way that it responds to the sun. he said. For example, if his clients are morning people, the house might get morning sun in the breakfast nook and kitchen and midday sun in the living area. In Maine, it is also important to understand where snow will accumulate

and how the building will shed the snow. “You have to be very strategic,” he said. “You have to think about the four seasons.” The building should be practical and easy to live in, as well as be efficient. And while there is a belief that architect-designed structures are inherently more expensive, he said great design can actually save money while delivering an impressive structure. “Great architecture is intelligent, and if it is intelligent, it can be affordable and look expensive,” said Ervin. He said Ervin Architecture has many home plans for structures from 800 to 1,000 feet and up that are pre-designed and available at affordable prices. He said he wants to make it possible for as many Maine people as possible to own an architecturally-designed home. It is also important to him to use locally-sourced building materials, including stone, brick, and reclaimed wood, because they support the local economy and because they reflect Maine’s environment.

“There is a greater ease in experience when we are in proximity to that which is natural,” said Ervin. “These things can make people feel less anxious and more happy without them even knowing it.”

WELL-DESIGNED BUILDINGS CAN BE AN ATTRACTOR TO AN AREA, SAID ROBERT ERVIN,

creating intrigue AND HELPING TO DRAW PEOPLE TO A SPACE AND TO A COMMUNITY.

bangordailynews.com • 31


A 70-YEAR INSTITUTION LONGTIME APPLIANCE STORE DUNNETT’S SURVIVES ON GOOD BUSINESS, CUSTOMER SERVICE. FOR GENERATIONS,

Dunnett Appliance & Mattress at Penobscot Plaza in Bangor has been serving residents of the greater Bangor area. Literally, for generations. This year, the company celebrates its 70th anniversary. If you’ve shopped at “Dunnett’s,” as it’s called, it’s possible your parents and grandparents did, too—possibly even your great-grandparents. The original Dunnett’s opened in 1948 on Bangor’s Exchange Street by Weldon Dunnett. In those early days, inventory was more limited. By 1968, the company had moved to the then-new Penobscot Plaza on Washington Street. At that point, it had expanded into appliances, stereo equipment, and TVs. Jack Eisentrager, Dunnett’s current president, never worked with Weldon. He did work with Weldon’s son, William “Bill” Dunnett, who took over the business after his father left it. Eisentrager joined the business 43 years ago as a delivery person while in high school. He worked his way into sales before making his way up to his current position. “When I first came here [in the mid70s],” he said, “it was still a relatively small business.”

He said that in those days, there were a lot more independent dealers. As time went on, the number of independents has dwindled. “If you look around the Bangor area compared to when we started [at the plaza] in 1968,” he said, “you’ll notice that a lot of appliance dealers in small towns have gone away. In Bangor, we’re pretty much the only one. Back in the 60s there were probably 13 to 15 independent dealers in a 30-mile radius. We were fortunate and made some right moves and it allowed us to compete as far as being able to be competitive.” One of those moves, he said, was the ability to offer financing to customers at a time when other independents weren’t. “As we got into the late-70s, early-80s, we started being able to set up financing,” he said. “That’s something Sears had done for years. That put us into the next step as far as volume, and we took off from there.” He also said Dunnett’s was fortunate to experience what he called “appliance booms” starting in the late 80s—the natural cycle of appliance sales based on housing trends and natural wear and tear.

“Appliances tend to cycle in volumes,” he said, “based on when they’re sold [and trends in home sales]. We might have sold a lot of appliances, and 15 years later there’s a big cycle again because a lot of them are starting to break down.” Laundry appliances are the most consistent seller, he said. GE appliances are currently the most popular brand in the store. He said one of the biggest changes to the industry has been the technology. “Everything has gone fully electronic,” he said. “Some of our customers that have had older machines or had the old Maytags prefer the standard switches that you turn, mechanical controls, and things like that. But most everything has gone electronic.” Eisentrager said one thing won’t change in the next 70 years: the company’s commitment to customer service. “We have a lot of return customers that have purchased from us over the years, and we just try to do what’s right for the customer. At times, we have to swallow things because it’s the right thing to do when the customers have problems. But we always try to make sure the customer’s first and do the right thing for them.”

PAID ADVERTISEMENT FOR DUNNETT APPLIANCE & MATTRESS

PHOTO: JOSH O’DONNELL

BY MATT CHABE


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