Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fun Furniture Finds at Smokestack Studios

Smokestack Studios has just come to Downtown Frederick with a new store on Market Street. Since we are finally choosing furniture for the space that Harmon Builders completed for us several years ago, even though it has been a long wait, the timing could not be more perfect.

The studio brings an original point of view to Frederick's home interior furnishings and accessories. I stopped in and spoke with Sarah from the Smokestack Studios design team today. She kindly showed me around, pointing out the hanging pulley lamps from founding designer Christopher Ritchie, along with a spectacular table lamp created from the original headlamp of a Model T. These one-of-a-kind accessory pieces are excellent for punctuating a space with a breathtaking focal point.

The details brought in through repurposed mechanical pieces are classic, yet what is old manages to strike a modern note with the early industrial hardware and metal elements. Living today's lifestyle in an older home, a blend of contemporary clean lines and vintage details aligns our needs with our taste and space. The Harmon Builders team replicated original 1920's carpentry in our home addition; maintaining the integrity of the home was a priority for us. The aesthetics on display in Smokestack Studios showroom offer a striking way to balance the same preferences and showcase the architectural details.

A peek at a piece from Smokestack Studios: clean lines, mechanical elements and warm patinas.

Designs from the "barn" line are custom created to highlight the beauty of reclaimed wood. Some of these are coming from local barns, perfecting environmentally sustainable practices by marrying them to the local heritage. It is always a pleasure to find more green resources available to our community and for our homes.

The studio is hosting a grand opening reception Friday, September 12th from 5-7pm with bluegrass music by Rattlesnake Hill. They offer complete design services in addition to the retail showroom.

Smokestack Studios
154-A North Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
*Next door to the also fabulous Cakes to Die For!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Resources, Renewable Resources

If you are building or remodeling, or want to change systems in order to take advantage of some renewable energy incentives available to Maryland residents, these are some good starting points for fact finding.


Maryland offers a Geothermal Heat Pump Grant Program. It is a $3,000 rebate incentive on systems meeting the program requirements, which are listed here.
This two and a half minute video by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy succinctly explains the technology behind geothermal heating and cooling.


The Residential Clean Energy Grant Program is another rebate incentive program, worth $1,000 for a residential photovoltaic panel system meeting the specifications of the program. 
Informational articles relating to solar systems and an exhaustive list of frequently asked questions and concise answers can be found at the Clean Energy Authority.


The Windswept Grant Program offers a rebate incentive, as well, worth $3,000 for a residential wind power generation system meeting the program requirements. Links on the U.S. Department of Energy WINDExchange page illustrate wind activity in Maryland and provide a small system customer guide to help determine if wind is a sensible solution for your residence.

Last but not least, the Maryland Energy Administration offers a wealth of information for Marylanders regarding EmPOWER Maryland, and all energy related topics. 

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields...and the ground temperature maintain a steady 55 degrees for your heating and cooling needs!