Friday, December 23, 2016

Bonin Architects' End of Year Dinner

Sunrise in St. Croix
Is it the end of the year already?!? I've been a bit behind in posting in this blog lately. Jeremy and I took a much needed vacation to St. Croix for ten days, and we returned to work with our accountant in end of year tax preparations. 

Last night, we hosted our annual end of year company dinner at a local country club. We had such a great time, good food, drinks and lots of laughs! What a fun time, I'm still giggling this morning at some of the hilarious stories that were shared last night. We all spend so much time working together, and Jeremy and I are so thankful that we enjoy working with our employees, otherwise, coming to work would be a chore and we would not want to do it anymore. We consider ourselves lucky and blessed, hopefully you are too! 

Happy Holidays from all of us at Bonin Architects!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Another Testimonial From Great Clients!

Without testimonials and references from past clients, it would be difficult to continue to grow as an architectural firm. We're so grateful for all of the testimonials we've received over the years. 

We would like to say thank you, David & Lisa, for choosing our firm to design your wonderful new home. Their testimonial follows below, and if you would like to read other testimonials from past clients, please click here

“We hired Bonin Architects to design and manage the construction of our home on Lake Sunapee, NH. What was important to us was to design a home that reflected our style but also functioned well for the family priorities most important to us. During the design stage, we were most impressed that the Bonins spent much of their time listening to us rather than trying to convince us to adopt their preferred style. Not only did they work hard to incorporate our thoughts and desires into the plans but added many additional elements we would not have thought of that added much to the architectural impact and functionality of the project. In addition, we were interested in adopting some local historical cues to the style which they enthusiastically researched and incorporated extremely well into the design.

“As project manager, they were realistic and often stopped us for a reality check to assure we were on budget. The staff was efficient and consistent in answering questions and sending our monthly status reports. Their estimate of the cost and time frame were accurate allowing us to feel in control during the entire process.

“The quality of the work met our high standards and, to our great relief, they took care of all local and state regulatory issues and paperwork. They also provided invaluable advice and options for builders. Unlike many other projects we have heard about, our builder had no major issues with his ability to construct what the Bonin’s had designed.

“We would not hesitate using them again or recommending them highly to others.”

– Lisa & David

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Updated Renderings of a New Home Design Overlooking the Great Bay in NH

Exterior Courtyard Rendering

It has been a very busy fall season! We are excited to share some updated renderings of a new home, soon to be built overlooking the Great Bay on the Seacoast of NH. There are too many images to share on this blog, but please take a look at our Facebook page for more views of this great project. 

Here's a link to our Facebook page. If you haven't "Liked" us yet, please do

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!