Maine Home+Design asks Bonnie Richard to shed light on her design aesthetic
Q. Why did you move your business and home to Maine from Boston?
A. I’m from Maine, so I’m coming home to the state I’ve always loved for its coastline, lakes, mountains, and all the outdoor activities that are available here. When I became a mom I wanted my children to have the same opportunities and quality of life that I had growing up. However, I kept Boston Home Designs, LLC as the name of my company because of the reputation and professional network I built under that umbrella.
Q. What is the unique skill or set of skills that you bring to a design project?
A. Having 15 years experience designing residential renovations in a city environment I became very good at solving space problems for growing families. In metropolitan areas, housing is expensive and buildable land is scarce, prompting many people to buy a fixer upper and renovate it for today’s living. Working with those clients, I became skilled at meeting long wish lists for storage and space by carving out space where you least expect it. Being creative in a small footprint allows families to live more affordably and still have the necessities for a young family with the character these older homes deserve. I’m also in the process of getting certified in AutoCAD, and can provide CAD drafting for building permits and contractors to follow for framing, as well as plumbing and electrical changes.
Q. Describe a project that presented a particular challenge and how you solved it.
A. One of my favorite projects and most challenging designs was a kitchen and garage addition in Marblehead, Massachusetts. I had worked with the homeowner—who is an engineer—in a previous house, so I knew his expectations were high and he would be involved. The design for the kitchen featured a curved peninsula in solid mahogany cabinetry; together with the architect, the homeowner, and some technical assistance from the cabinetry company, it had to be designed with enough cabinets to make it the right radius and house several high end appliances. The bigger challenge came when halfway through the project the architect and building inspector decided we needed to add a support column right at the end of the peninsula. The homeowner did not want a seam in the stone countertop, so a special pole was engineered. A hole was drilled through the top as if it was being cut for a large faucet, and a thick steel pole that fit under the counter was put in place. From the counter surface, a smaller steel pole that was inside the larger pole was pulled up to the ceiling and the two poles were welded together. It was a huge effort and it came out spectacularly.
Q. What innovations in home design and building are you most excited about?
A. As a business owner, single mother of two busy boys, and a homeowner, I’m interested in incorporating innovations that make your life easier and more streamlined in kitchens and family spaces. For example, I install a convection oven as a secondary oven in most spaces these days. It replaces a microwave for speed and convenience but offers the cooking options that today’s busy families crave.
Q. What design trend would you like to see more of in 2019? Is there one you’d like to see less of?
A. As a practical and frugal person who loves a challenge, I like to renovate existing dwellings rather than build new. Older homes have character and details that are expensive to include in new construction, and by improving them you can add a lot of equity. As far as trends that I’m ready to let go: I love a white kitchen with white and gray stone counters but it’s so overdone now. I’m ready for homeowners to start instilling some of their personality with color accents and unique finishes that appeal to them.
11 Bates Street, Suite A
Yarmouth, ME 04096