Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Notes from a Maine Interior Designer- Mindful, local gifts.

Holiday gift giving-so fun and often a bit stressful.  So here is my list of favorites!
 The buy local movement is more than a trend. Small, local businesses agonize, curate, and mindfully select what to create and sell. The results are beautiful and meaningful gifts that not only decorate the home (or oneself!) but are treasured. 
  • Prices start at $12
  • All products support Maine businesses and the US economy.
  • All items are unique an inspired by natural elements.
  • All products can be shipped last minute-so trips to the mall last minute! (You are welcome!)

Maine Island Treasures recently launced "Love Rocks Maine". Fabulous gifts for those currently (or missing) residing in Maine. ! 8x10" matted or matted & framed prints are priced at $12 and $20, and plaques are $12 for the 5x7" $18 for the 8x10. These are a sneak peek  and the plaques are too new to be ordered online, so just call them HERE

I LOVE these wine glasses, bought a few for myself. The washed river rocks and a really nice weight to the glass. No two are alike. Made in New England and not found in big box stores-these are WOW in person. Contact EcoHome Studio in Portland Maine, they are in stock and ready to ship:  HERE

Organic Tea Towels, made in Maine. Minka Home in Kennebunkport has a broad range of these towels, some are featured online and some aren't. I recommend calling them to check. Very inexpensive to ship these! See more  HERE
10x10in and 9x12in oils on canvas series titled "Small Wonders". Exquisite use of colors and depicting the Maine Coast, they can be seen in person at an art show or give artist Ellen Thayer a call to purchase and ship. 
Contact info is HERE.
State necklaces! Love them! Maine. Mass, California, Texas, Florida, Washington, Virginia, Rhode Island, Ohio, Pennslyvania, Washington DC. In stock and ready to ship, go HERE

And finally- A gift certificate. A lucky wife in South Portland will be receiving this from her husband-total surprise for her. I have never met either person, it was a phone call I received last week. 2 hours with an interior designer. SMART husband! I can print and mail (or email) within 24 hours. 318-0795

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Maine Interior Design: Recharging

Post designer showhouse I am typically burnt out and exhausted. This year was no exception. I have weeks of this left, then normalcy will return. As a creative soul, I need to recharge and simply absorb. The challenge is finding the time-owning a business often means having none. I have have grown quite a bit this year. Maybe its hitting my mid 30's, but I realize what I need as a professional and as a human to stop, breathe, and find quiet joy. I have begun to document the experiences with my beloved iphone.
  Here is a glimpse at that process:
Cape Porpoise, Maine

Cape Porpoise, Maine
Beautifully foggy day

Kennebunkport, Maine.
The Nontantum Resort at Sunset.

Cape Porpoise Pier, Maine

Bailey Island, Maine

Random, Windham Maine

Snug Harbor Farm, Kennebunkport Maine

A random shell on my party dress. I was only at the party for an hour (don't care for  large events where I know few people) but I still have that shell!
Kennebunkport, Maine

How do you recharge?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Antique theft in Maine

They following items were stolen in Kennebunkport Sunday night, July 8th. We think they were stolen for their value with the intent to be resold. Many of the items were borrowed from history enthusiasts, some of the items are one of  a kind. It is a tragedy, and the product is probably far out of the state by now.


  • If you see any of these items, quietly call your local police dept and report them as stolen.
  • Find out who the seller is-get names, phone numbers, addresses. TAKE PHOTOS ON YOUR PHONE. After you do that, find out where they got them.
  • Take that information to the police ASAP. Also call:

Kennebunkport Police Dept 207-967-2454
Kennebunkport Hist. Society 207. 967.2751
ME (Vanessa Helmick)  207.318.0795

 URNS, sculptures, iron pieces




 First Edition, SIGNED, Kenneth Roberts Books. These were stolen from the estate grounds.

The mirrors, art, tables, antique historic accessories...
THIS WAS A FUNDRAISER to benefit the historical society. Please help us catch these awful thieves.

PLEASE BE sharing this information with antiques/furniture dealers/auction houses, etc.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thank you to RoomSketcher for providing this guest blog. It is intended for my cross country clients, my realtor friends, my RESA stagers...Enjoy! Good resources are worth sharing!

10 Good Reasons To Use Floor Plans 

With Your Interior Designer & Home Stager 

1. Map Out Space 

Even starting out with a basic 2D floor plan allows you to map your space.  From there, you can decide on window placement, or see if your favorite furniture will fit before you even step in to the room.

2. Compare Floor Plan Options 

Especially when working with new properties, you can see how a floor plan will facilitate traffic flow and get a mental picture of how your family would do occupying a space.  For homes already lived in, you can experiment with using pillars instead of walls or window spaces to make a room appear larger.

3. Visualize Spaces In 2D And 3D

A 2D view gives you a basic map.  A 3D view offers the opportunity to visualize a space more realistically.  RoomSketcher allows a 360 Panorama feature so you can see the space as if you were already there. 

4. Compare Style Options  

Lets say the home seller uses a lot of browns, but you prefer brighter colors.  Or, maybe they used a lot of carpet, and you prefer tile or wood floors.  The right floor plan tool gives you an idea how different colors or textures would look in the rooms. 

5. Allow For Easy Changes 

A good floor plan tool will allow for high quality images for a realistic view.  But you should also be able to collaborate from different locations to view and discuss desired changes.  For example: The interior designer suggests a wall paper in gray hues.  The client goes in, takes a look, and inputs their preference with shades of green for both to consider.

Simple and efficient!

6. Plan Indoors And Outdoors 

It is terrific to plan the indoor spaces.  But what about outdoor spaces?  Like garages, patios, and pool areas?  A good 2D and 3D floor plan tool will allow you to plan your outdoor spaces as well as your indoor spaces.  So feel comfortable going from winter to summer, and from the back porch to the beach! J

7. Use Real Items 

We all have our favorite brands for furniture, accessories, and outdoor items.  Wouldn’t it be great to plan your space with your IKEA sofa, Pottery barn pillows, and Ethan Allen hutch?  As you wish!

8. Provide Floor Plans On Brochures And Print Literature

If you’re the home seller, and you can offer professional quality 2D and 3D views of your home with accurate measurements to a home buyer, this sets your listing apart from other properties. 

Add in realistic views of the indoor and outdoor spaces, you decrease time on the market by 50%. 81% of sellers think a floor plan will help sell their home faster.

9. Provide Floor Plans On Websites  

More than 90% of home buyers start their home search online.  Floor plans are opened 7.5 times more often than maps on well-known real estate websites.

So, it makes sense to provide images files of floor plans for prospective home buyers to reference. 

10. Floor Plans Sell Homes Faster

In some parts of the United States, realtors are selling properties largely from floor plans.  If you’re staging your home, also offering a floor plan  would also decrease time on the market. 

Allowing people to see more information and more options about a space gives them more reason to choose your home for purchase.

If you’re a home buyer or home seller, the floor plans offer new and inventive ways to learn more and get desired results quicker.

So, as an interior designer or home stager, providing these opportunities to your clients offers them more value and allows you to shine.

What questions do you have about floor plans?

Did we miss any advantages of using floor plans?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments box below… 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fiore Interiors on the Radio? Developing personal style...

I wanted to talk to people about how to identify and develop their personal style.
I am a huge believer in a home reflecting the home owner on their best day. While I enjoy designer's "signature styles", that isn't always what you get hired to do. At the end of the day, it is the client's home and happiness, and it is my job to make the home fabulous but also FEEL like them.
So the radio show answers these questions:
Where do I look/go to learn about my style?
How do I implement my style?
What do I need to know ahead of time before doing anything custom?

Enjoy. The link is HERE.

Fiore Interiors is a residential Interior Design firm located in Portland, Maine. We are currently working. on projects on both the east and west coast.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Notes from a Maine Interior Designer: inspired wire

To date, over 1000 people have stopped and stared at the chandelier inside my guest bedroom space at the Kennebunkport Designers' Showhouse.
I can only show you tiny glimpses until AFTER the tour ends on July 14th. 
Here you go:

Reclaimed wood, gilded steel, xenon bulbs-all designed and made in Maine!
WHAT you say? Yes. I worked with Inspired Wire Studio, whom I met a year ago and have been quietly watching from afar. After deciding that 1. their quality was fabulous and 2. I simply dig their creative process (inspired, a joy to interact with, and GOOD), I asked if they would like to work with me on this endeavor. Lucky for me they said yes. I submitted my design "concept" (below) and we collaborated on the design. I knew I would love whatever they made, since they understood and connected with my vision.
(click on image to enlarge).
This common understanding of vision is the same process they use working with clients directly. They create custom lighting. Hence the name Inspired Wire Studio! Below are a few pieces I really like from their portfolio:
simple mini pendant

The diffuser is genius.

They did the chandelier, sconces, etc, all for the same client.
As an interior designer, I love sharing my local sources.
Thank you, Inspired Wire Studio!

Talk to:

Maine Studio:
11 Cedar Street
Portland, ME 04101


T: 207-776-0589
E: info@inspiredwirestudio.com

Nora Ephron, farewell.

Nora Ephron makes an apple tart at her New York home in 2009 amid the release of “Julie & Julia.”
Nora Ephron-writer. Books. Screenplays.Columns.Cookbook! She did it all. Her influence can't be summed up in a blog post, and I recommend heading to the library and checking out some of her books. Her characters would have gone to the library or an independently owned book store, of course.
Below are images that I will always bring a smile to my face.
(Sleepless in Seattle)
The bachelor pad/ houseboat in Seattle:

the single, romantic/vintage loving girl kitchen set in Baltimore:

Sleepless in Seattle-Meg Ryan's pink kitchen

Annie: Now those were the days when people knew how to be in love.
Becky: You’re a basket case.
Annie: They knew it. Time, distance, nothing could separate them. Because they knew. It was right. It was real. It was…
Becky:…a movie. That’s your problem. You don’t want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie
Sleepless in Seattle

And of course, one of my favorite movies:
When Harry Met Sally... Poster

The Manhattan Apartments! I will just focus on the best two:
The loft! Can I have one, please?

The brownstone!

The wagon wheel coffee table that represents the furniture all you men need to just THROW AWAY (er, I mean recycle).
And yes, I'll have what she's having. :)