Friday, October 7, 2016

Return of the Pumpkin People 2016

Bonin Architects' Design Team with our Entry for this Year
It is October! Each year, our town is one of many in New Hampshire which holds contests for pumpkin people or scarecrow people creations. Our town displays pumpkin people-businesses and residences participate and they're everywhere. What a joy it is to travel around the different towns to see the creativity out there!

Our design team had a great time designing, creating and assembling our version of the 1933 movie King Kong, which included the Empire State Building, pumpkin people pilots in the airplanes, a pumpkin head King Kong, a pumpkin lady in an evening gown, and Leggo pumpkin people peering out of the windows at King Kong. It is so fun to watch people bring their families to take photos in front of the building.

Last year, we entered and won with E.T.  Please view the rest of the photos of this year's entry on our Facebook page and please remember to "Like" us!
Last Year's Pumpkin People Entry-We won first place!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"How Much Is A Red Car?"

Bonin Architects & Associates' Trade Show Display Booth

About fifteen years ago, it was part of my job description to travel to trade shows as a vendor representing the company I worked for at the time. The shows usually started on a Friday afternoon and finished on a Sunday afternoon. These were grueling weekends of standing on my feet all day, talking to literally hundreds of people throughout the weekend, and giving away small trinkets and brochures to people who would stop by our display booth. In the beginning, it was a way for consumers to learn about our products and services and the crowds were large. It was a time when high speed internet was not readily available or affordable to many households, so this was a way for people to obtain information about different companies offering similar services and products.

My diet during those long days usually consisted of hard candies, Goldfish crackers and water, since there was no time to really sit down and eat. I really did not enjoy these shows at all, there was just not enough time to spend one on one attention with potential clients, and when we started our firm almost ten years ago, Jeremy and I attended a few as vendors. Thankfully, gradually, people started researching through the internet and the crowds started to dwindle over the years. After a few years, we decided not to participate in these trade shows anymore.

Trade Show Crowd-There were aisles and aisles like this one

One of the most frequently asked questions I received (and still do) was, "How much will it cost me to design and build a home?"  My favorite answer came from another vendor, who was a classmate of mine representing another company in our industry. Between people visiting our booths, he came over to say hi and we started discussing how we answer THAT question, the one people always ask about costs. His answer was one I'll never forget, "I don't much is a red car?" 

There is a big difference in cost between these two red cars
Brilliant! Although it was meant to be tongue in cheek, and we were a little punchy after a long day, it made perfect sense. Not only are there many different types and models of red cars, their price ranges can be extreme. Plus, consider that the red car is being built exclusively for you-in your driveway one part at a time. I've since heard different answers such to the question of cost, such as, "I'm not much is a bag of groceries?" "How much is a bottle of fine wine?" You get the point...

There are so many different variables in designing and building your home. Site considerations, aesthetics, building codes, material selections, construction types and methods are all factors in which we take into account when we begin a project with a new client. We utilize means and methods which help us work with our clients to establish a reasonable budget range for their custom home which has worked well for us. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss all of the different variables which need to be taken into consideration when budgeting for your red car, I mean...your custom home design. or 603-526-6200

Jeremy & I were tired! Taken in CT at the end of a trade show back in 2007

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Scholarship Winner-Me!

Austin, Texas

I am so excited! Earlier this week, I received this email after submitting an essay along with other information about a workshop I am very interested in attending. The organizers of the event were offering a few scholarships based on the submissions they received from people from all over the country.

Here's the important part...Dear Kim, (blah, blah, blah, you know-all the formality stuff) and then.. "I'm happy to announce we've decided to award you a scholarship to the upcoming Small Firm, Big Projects workshop in Austin."

Wow! I get to go to Austin, Texas! What a great opportunity, I am so thankful! Since I live in New Hampshire, this will take a bit of coordinating on my end. Jeremy won't be able to come with me because our firm is really busy right now, and our Bernese Mountain Dog, Bailey, recently had a TPLO surgery, so we would not be able to bring her to the local animal inn. 
Bailey, the day after her TPLO surgery

This trip is a little bit beyond my comfort zone, (OK, a LOT beyond my comfort zone) to say the least. I've never flown alone, believe it or not! I know, how could that be, I'm 48 years old, for Pete's sake! Well, I've always flown with my family, friends or with Jeremy, and even then I get lost in parking garages and hotels. Plus, I typically do not fly to attend seminars or conferences when there are plenty within driving distance or online workshops. This one in Austin, TX, however, really caught my eye since it deals with topics I work with on a daily basis. The seminar is "Small Firms, Big Projects" in Austin, TX. It is filled with speakers presenting topics such as setting attainable goals, fee structures, marketing topics, and client relationships. 

Our firm, Bonin Architects  is predominately a high-end residential and landscape architectural firm, and we're already working on large scale projects, however, I always seek knowledge, continuing guidance and education in how to effectively manage our firm. We've been in business for almost ten years now, and I do not want to us to become complacent or comfortable. 

So, the hotel room is booked, the airplane tickets have been ordered and I'm looking forward to traveling to Austin for three days in October. I can't wait to come back and share what I've learned from the workshop with our design team. Stay tuned for photos and updates about my trip when I return!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

We are really excited about this upcoming project! Here is a photorealistic rendering of a new home to be built on Lake Sunapee, NH. I posted more photos of this project on our Facebook page which you can check out here,

If you are considering a new home design and would like to learn more about our services, feel free to contact me anytime. I'm happy to discuss how our entire design team works together to create beautiful home designs for our clients from all over the country!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Are You Looking For Property?

Here's a shameless plug!  Are you seeking a beautiful property which has been cleared for a building site and could be subdivided? 

If so, I know where you could find 13.7 acres surrounded by undeveloped land with a peekaboo view of Mt. Sunapee. How do I know? Jeremy and I own it and it is now on the market. We really don't have any use for it anymore. If you need someone to help design a home for the property, I know a firm that could help, too! :)

My good friend, Pam Perkins from Sotheby's in New London, NH is the listing agent. She walked the property with us and used her drone to take some pretty awesome photos. Here's a link with more information, thanks for looking! Feel free to share this link.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Last Friday-After Hours with our Design Team

L to R-First Row-Jeremy, Mike, Jude, Mike. 2nd Row-Chris, Ben, Greg, Me

Last Friday, Jeremy and I took our design team out for a tour around Lake Sunapee. It was a fun way to see our projects around the lake from the lake view. We looked at some of our past projects, current projects, and the locations of a few of the projects which are under design and scheduled to begin construction next year. 

The weather was perfect and it was a great way to end a Friday afternoon after a long work week. We enjoy everyone we work with; it was nice to relax together and have a little fun outside of the office environment.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Today Was A Fun Day For One Of Our Clients!

Our client-this looks like fun!

Today was a very exciting day for one of our clients! They recently relocated to NH after years of dreaming about designing and building their new home. Little Lake Sunapee is located in New London, NH & Springfield, NH, their building site on the New London, NH side of the lake...and, this is cool, it is about one mile from our home and two miles from our office. We can walk to this project!

Our client wanted to participate in the site work, so, the excavating contractor, Nate, was nice enough to let him give it a whirl. Our firm designed the home as well as the landscape architecture.

Nate-providing some instructions to our client

Here are a few photo realistic renderings our firm prepared for our client during the design process. The views depicted out the windows will be their actual view. 
Photo Realistic Rendering of the Great Room
Rendering from the bottom of the stairs

This will be the view!