#whatmatters-join us on our journey.

Some of you know that I have done a couple of designer showhouses over the past few years. What many of you do not know is they are expensive and we are generally fixing up a house that is already over a million dollars in value PRIOR to the work (that the designers fund). The last showhouse I participated in is now owned by a certain well known Mainer we know as McDreamy. It is fun, it is pretty-but did it matter? No. Can design make a difference? Absolutely.  

This is #whatmatters to me:

Children's Odyssey is a preschool that helps children with developmental obstacles. Many children are referred there for  early intervention. The student to teacher ration is 1:1 to 1:3, so it is a rather expensive endeavor and the waiting list is rather long. They have been helping children overcome obstacles and get back on track, developmentally, and the results are amazing.

I know this because my wonderful 4 year old has been attending Children's Odyssey since fall of 2017. In less than one year she has gone from frustrated and struggling to communicate to HAPPY, communicative, and well adjusted. The support provided by these angels disguised as teachers has changed the course of her future. I want-more than anything-for more children to have the opportunity to receive early intervention. In August 2018 they move into a new school! The old read st school is being renovated and they are able to offer more programs and help more children because of the expanded space-that is the good news! The space is a bit rough (concrete block for 3 out of every 4 walls) but it is a bigger, better facility!

 

swipe/scroll to see ALL the photos above!

A recent fundraiser helped raised funds for the children's classrooms, but we have a long way to go and need to furnish the adult spaces. Here is what we are trying to accomplish:

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The administration office is a top priority. I need 4 matching desks, desk chairs, and FILING cabinets. I think legal size but we need to check with the school. The current ones are falling apart and full. Does anyone know  commercial furniture manufacturer that would be interested in donating these items? All donations are tax deductible!! I am providing a table and chairs for the center of the room-for staff. 

The staff lounge is kind of exciting. The teachers have spent the last few years trying to do curriculum planning sitting on kids chairs or the floor. No where to work or eat lunch. The library will be in that room as well. We are using the old administration desks and painting them (I am donating mineral paint) but we really need: a sofa or armchairs, a dining/break table and chairs. We have some shelving but open to more!

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The conference room is dear to my heart. IEP meetings happen here-Individualized education plans. There are usually parents, teachers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, members of child development services. Usually a minimum of 8-9 people but often 12-14. My concept of this is either one large conference table or two traditional dining tables pushed end to end. I want to collect leftover dining chairs (mismatched) and paint them all the same color.  See below! Please send your cute, random extra old chairs my way! Am also ok with brand new ones :) And some tables, please. It would be helpful to have storage in this room as well for school supplies. The storage would need to be a freestanding unit as the wall behind it is concrete. Credenza? Buffet? Cool cabinet? Not as important as the table but much more flexible in what would fit. 

 These are the flooring and wall colors chosen by the school. 

These are the flooring and wall colors chosen by the school. 

The family lounge needs: a sofa & coffee table. I have bookcases and a chair to donate. 

Those are the most immediate needs. By mid August...as for the rest-I am a big believer in dreaming big, so I would also love to find donated: blank canvases for Art, large picture frames (art), a wallpaper installer, shiplap or stikwood style paneling (not a need, but would transform that concrete), someone to paint a simplified mural on a wall. Bean bag seating from Yogibo-because these feel wonderful for little bodies with sensory processing disorder. I am also open to ideas!! We need a small army to help paint donated, repurposed furniture currently housed in my garage. We will be using fusion mineral paint that is VOC & Ammonia free.

Please reach out if you would like to be involved. My cell phone is 949.533.5507, email is vanessa@fioreinteriors.com 

ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. If you don't have a way to donate anything on our wishlist-money can be donated HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Peek: Kittery New Construction

I have a wonderful client who appreciates style and trends but is truly focused on style that is unique and AUTHENTIC to her. I love it when a home reflects the unique style of the client. Just a little glimpse at a work in progress...

 Love this laundry room!

Love this laundry room!

 Kitchen-pardon the iphone photo!!

Kitchen-pardon the iphone photo!!

 Kitchen island-love the texture!

Kitchen island-love the texture!

 Powder bath: nickel gap + navy ceiling + wallpaper =beautiful little space!

Powder bath: nickel gap + navy ceiling + wallpaper =beautiful little space!

 Again, iphone (sorry) but I just love this!

Again, iphone (sorry) but I just love this!

 Master Bathroom. Seriously. I die. 

Master Bathroom. Seriously. I die. 

Downsizing with Style

From the portfolio:  Thank you to Abigail Gervais of Endicott College for the photography. 

This couple downsized to a lovely 1100 sq foot home in Portland. We curated an immense collection of art, objects, and furnishings.  The goal was to create a cohesive color story in each space to show as much art as possible without feeling cluttered. Creative storage was designed and built into the dining room, turning a dead space into a beautiful, functional part of the home. The 3 season porch was properly transformed into a year round office nook, and the smaller bedroom became a larger addition into a proper master bedroom thanks to the talent of Jamie Broadbent at Hellbent Design.  Jamie  designed the clients' previous Harborview Townhome and understood their aesthetic. The first two photos below are of that amazing project. 

My goal was to honor the clients' love of art and ensure they could enjoy their day to day life by applying "aging in place" principles of design.  

A glimpse of that journey: 

We expanded the smaller bedroom and streamlined the exterior. 

We took into account lifestyle (durability for entertaining, pets), acquired a minimal amount of new items and focused on reimagining/repurposing existing pieces into my new design plan.  I choose a deep, dramatic neutral as a proper background for artwork. The I created color stories. I must confess this was a dream come true as I am an art fiend 

 Modern, practical accents from CB2 with a settee we reupholstered pair perfectly with the existing rug and turquoise chairs. The art, from left to right:  My favorite piece in the house is an encaustic called Mr. McBoingBoing  by Maine artist Mary Path Hedstrom. The large painting behind the settee is called Summer Triptych 111 by Ed Douglass (MECA Faculty) and was a gift to the husband from his wife on his 50th birthday. It is one piece of a triptych. The upper right is "Less is More 2"  by Lynn Wessle, a New Orleans artist who summers in Maine.  The lower right is a mono print entitled " Lemon Sorbet" , by Jacqueline Carter.  I believe between the foyer and living room we incorporated  13 or 14 pieces-not bad for a small space! The room tells a lovely story.   **Paint color is Benjamin Moore’s Cole Stone

Modern, practical accents from CB2 with a settee we reupholstered pair perfectly with the existing rug and turquoise chairs. The art, from left to right:

My favorite piece in the house is an encaustic called Mr. McBoingBoing  by Maine artist Mary Path Hedstrom. The large painting behind the settee is called Summer Triptych 111 by Ed Douglass (MECA Faculty) and was a gift to the husband from his wife on his 50th birthday. It is one piece of a triptych. The upper right is "Less is More 2"  by Lynn Wessle, a New Orleans artist who summers in Maine.  The lower right is a mono print entitled " Lemon Sorbet" , by Jacqueline Carter.  I believe between the foyer and living room we incorporated  13 or 14 pieces-not bad for a small space! The room tells a lovely story. 

**Paint color is Benjamin Moore’s Cole Stone

 My daughter approves of the space. The home owners met her as an infant and are experienced grandparents. She is treated like a VIP guest at this house! 

My daughter approves of the space. The home owners met her as an infant and are experienced grandparents. She is treated like a VIP guest at this house! 

 From left to right:  3 Piece Ceramic Art by Shayla Marsh was wall mounted (and quite heavy), giving the feeling of floating art.  It was obtained as part of a solo show, part of semantics exhibit at Lancaster Museum of Art. Ms.Marsh is the Student Director at Large at National Council for Education of Ceramic Arts.  Terry Turrell is known for creating art on found objects. "Tea Bags", behind the antique chair, was painted on an old shutter. He is a self taught painter whose work is shown all over the world.  Sculptor Dan Malczewski is a retired engineer who only carves horses. The clients liked the clean, elegant lines. I personally think it balances the collection.   

From left to right:

3 Piece Ceramic Art by Shayla Marsh was wall mounted (and quite heavy), giving the feeling of floating art.  It was obtained as part of a solo show, part of semantics exhibit at Lancaster Museum of Art. Ms.Marsh is the Student Director at Large at National Council for Education of Ceramic Arts.  Terry Turrell is known for creating art on found objects. "Tea Bags", behind the antique chair, was painted on an old shutter. He is a self taught painter whose work is shown all over the world.  Sculptor Dan Malczewski is a retired engineer who only carves horses. The clients liked the clean, elegant lines. I personally think it balances the collection.

 

For the dining area, I suggested built in bookshelves to flank the only window. Bright white kept the room airy and matches the white kitchen cabinets (not shown).  We maximized both storage and display opportunities. Very talented carpenters navigated the baseboard heaters (I am still impressed). 

The third photo (L to R) features the newest addition to the collection from encaustic painter Dietland Vander Schaaf. For this room I pulled together a palette of lavender, purple and aqua. We moved an antique rug into the space and the deeper purple tones are accentuated by painter Tom DePaul's "Conversations".  The focal point of the room is "Fine Arts Quartet Sequence". by Sante Fe artist Frank Ettenberg. He painted this while listening to Shostakovich's string quartets and if you look closely you can see music stands within painting. He was only willing to sell all 6 together as they correspond with different movements in the music. 

 

We modified this bathroom to accomodate aging in place. A walk in shower, new floating vanity, and a pop of color help this small space feel larger and a bit more modern.  On the left is one of the client's favorite pieces, "Avelon" by Jacqueline Carter. On the right is "Autumn Adobe"  by Joyce Hamil.

I hope to photograph the rest of this wonderful project later this year. Working with objects that are created, rather than reproduced, is a fulfilling experience!

Introducing Lisa!

I am happy to announce the addition of Lisa McWilliams to the Fiore Home team. She will be overseeing the Real Estate projects and home staging schedule. 

Lisa McWilliams lives in Portland. Her career has always involved her two passions: film and food! Now she is making time to explore her passion for design.  As an independent film producer, Lisa has been associate producer, co-producer and executive producer for television documentaries and independent features airing on PBS, A&E, The History Channel, Bravo, Sundance Channel and HGTV, as well as overseas. She founded a nonprofit organization called The Mobile Film School. She was a cook and kitchen manager at Lois’ Natural Marketplace for three years. She has renovated several homes has a unique understanding of the complexities and details that go into successful real estate renovation projects. 

To see a list of Fiore's Real Estate offerings, go here.

 

 

LisaMcWilliamsHomestagingMaine

What an Interior Designer creates with Real Estate...

...Miracles. That is the short answer.

The longer answer-we shorten the number of days on the market, help streamline the prep process for sellers, and we know what buyers want so we don't waste time  or resources on anything else. We have developed relationships with tradespeople and vendors and know where to source and who to hire if updating is needed.  We prepare the property for sale and free up time for the Realtor to do their marketing and work. 

I hate the word "staging". So much. I never offered staging as a service when I lived on the west coast. It was reserved for my design clients who also had real estate investments. I took some bad advice when I moved to Maine and offered it as a service and then was pegged as a "stager who also does design". Huh? When I make payments on my student loans, it is was not for a staging program.... you get my point. So I took some time off from this part of my work and re-evaluated my priorities. The fact is I produce success every time I participate in a project geared for Real Estate in Portland (or surrounding areas). I have no interest in cheap flips that involve painting over flooded basements or hiding flaws. Those are not my people.  My people are committed to selling homes that are presented with integrity. 

In 2014 I quit responding to bargain hunters who offer "exposure" for reduced or free work.  I am a 38 year old experienced, published, interior designer. I can work miracles on a small budgets if the home owner is motivated. I do not discount my work because I offer many different price points for consultations. Everyone can afford guidance from a professional. This reflects my values as a person.  There is nothing wrong with budgets or being frugal-that is where the creativity and experience brings balance and success.  I am simply good at all things Real Estate and I love working with other people (Realtors, Developers, Builders, motivated home owners) who are successful, honest, and happy!

These are the Real Estate offerings for 2016-2017. If you would like to discuss them in person, please come visit the studio! 

Verbal Home Staging Consultations: up to 2 hours, clients are encouraged to take notes.

Written Home Staging Consultations: Access to the property is required. The designer will provide a written report following the visit and assessment. A .pdf document of the staging report will be sent to the seller and the seller’s Realtor (if requested) within 48 hours. Typically these reports are 4-10 pages and provide the written blueprint you’ll needed to stage a home yourself.

Occupied Property Staging Enhancement: After an initial home staging consultation we return once the pre-staging recommendations are completed. Utilizing what you currently have in your home, Fiore’s designers enhance, edit and re-arrange your existing furniture and décor to showcase the space.  ** Shopping services and purchase options for furnishings are also available upon request.

Vacant Staging: Currently we offer vacant property staging services for homes up to 5,000 square feet. We have several options to choose. Pricing estimates are available by phone or email once scope of work can be determined. Full house or key rooms only. We offer both rental services as well as purchasing for builders/model home units.

Corporate Relocation Staging: Staging to sell the home of the relocated Executive or employee, as well as setting up furniture and households for incoming Executive or employees. Furniture used to set up the new home can be rented or purchased. We also work with the relocated family’s existing furnishings. Less extensive than our interior design services but with the same professional standards.

Commercial Real Estate Staging: Fiore stages your commercial office spaces with rented or purchased furniture and décor intended to attract the best tenants.

MLS Photo Styling: This service is available to existing staging clients who have had their home staged with Fiore Interiors and would like pre- MLS photo “staging” styling services. Fiore will be on site the day MLS photos are taken to ensure your rooms photograph their best. If your Realtor doesn’t currently have a professional photographer on staff, we can coordinate/assist in hiring one.