Tile Layout Patterns

When it comes to designing a new tile floor in or around Albuquerque, you have more to think about than just which tile material you’d like. You should also consider what arrangement you’d like your tile laid in, and based on that, what size tile you’d need. Sure, you can go with the basic grid pattern. But before you fall back on that old stand-by, take a look at these other popular layout schemes available at the Poulin Design Center.

The Tile Layout - Image 2

One option is to keep the good old grid but add some contrast. The checkerboard pattern offers classic styling and the freedom to add some color into your décor. You can go with the classic black and white that is common to early 20th Century kitchens and bathrooms or feel free to choose any two colors that you like to really make a flooring statement.

The Tile Layout - Image 2

Another take on the grid idea is the diagonal grid. It’s the same grid layout but it’s turned 45 degrees. Again, this gives you the simplicity a grid pattern installation, but adds another dimension that makes your floor more visually appealing. Choose one tile color, a 2-color contrasting (checkerboard) layout, or even select three or more colors and create a mosaic look.

The Tile Layout Image 3

A slight variation on the grid designs is the brick pattern. We are all familiar with the offset arrangement of bricks, and we’ve all likely seen this layout on walls using subway tiles. What you may not know is that it works great on floors as well. Whether you use a square or rectangular tile, this pattern is a classic that will draw the eye’s attention and liven up your room.

The Tile Layout Image 3

The herringbone arrangement is another well-known design, but one that you might not have considered for your floors. Although it is a bit more complex than the layouts above, it still uses just one rectangular tile size. The herringbone layout is a “busier” look that will really make your floor pop.

The Tile Layout Image 3

We can call this the two-by-two. It is basically a more interesting grid pattern. Rectangular tiles are used in pairs, with each pair sitting adjacent to pairs that are turned 90 degrees. This layout fits particularly well with a southwestern décor that is common in the Albuquerque area. It’s a fairly simple pattern to install that will make a big visual impact.

The Tile Layout Image 6

Here we have a version of what is referred to as the windmill layout – another Albuquerque area favorite. This is the first design mentioned that requires two different tile sizes (and it can be done with tiles of different colors as well). A smaller, square tile in the center is bordered by rectangular tiles to create another variation of the grid pattern. However, like other designs mentioned, this is a grid with way more visual appeal.

The Tile Layout Image 7

Lastly, if you really want to create a stunning look, consider the basket weave pattern. This look is also achieved with two tiles sizes, but the dimensions are a bit different than the windmill design above. When carefully done, this layout will give the illusion of a woven floor, which is sure to catch the eye and make your room look amazing. As in the image above, using a darker square tile, lighter-colored rectangular tiles, and a darker grout can maximize the apparent three-dimensionality of this design. The converse is also true. A lighter-colored square tile with darker rectangular tiles and a lighter color grout will achieve the same effect.

This is just a sample of the many layouts that are possible when installing a new tile floor. Again, there’s nothing wrong with the classic grid, but a little more creativity in your flooring design can turn an average floor into a spectacular one. Contact the Poulin Design Center any time to arrange a free design consultation, and discuss the many options you have for your new floor!

Photo Credit:

Laurene’s Famous Cranberry Salad

We have had the privilege of remodeling homes across central and northern New Mexico, including thousands of kitchens throughout the years. The kitchen is called the heart of the home, and for good reason, we all congregate there to socialize, eat, drink, hangout, and more. We thought it would be fitting to share one of our Poulin family traditions around Thanksgiving time that we love—eating cranberry salad.

My sister Laurene, who is also our Design Center Manager, is a wonderful cook. For the last 25 years, she’s been bringing cranberry salad to Thanksgiving dinner, and we devour it! We took the time to share with you this favorite dish that is easy to make, and best done the night before your feast.

We hope you enjoy this family recipe!

Laurene’s Famous Cranberry Salad



  • 12-ounce package of cranberries
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 1-pint blackberries, reserve half for garnish
  • 1-pint raspberries, reserve half for garnish
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 6 oz pack of cherry 🍒 jello
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 /4 cup sugar
  • 1 pear, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • Orange zest


  1. Dissolve jello with 1.5 cups boiling water in a separate bowl.
  2. Chop pecans and celery in a food processor. Add to mixing bowl.
  3. Mix cranberries in a food processor. Add to mixing bowl.
  4. Add jello, orange juice, sugar, pomegranate seeds, 1/2 pint blackberries, 1/2 pint raspberries, apple, pear, and orange zest to the mixing bowl and stir.
  5. Place in your presentation dish and garnish the top with reserved berries and pomegranate seeds.
  6. Chill in the fridge overnight.


Do you have a family recipe that you’re known for?

Share it with us in the comments below or send us an email with your FAVORITE recipe- from our family to yours!

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you make the cranberry salad be sure to tag us on social media @poulindesigncenter


Bellmont 1300 Series

Introducing the Bellmont 1300 series…

On Time. On Budget. On Trend.

We are excited to share the latest door style from Bellmont Cabinet Co.—the 1300 series.

The simple door style offers exactly what our customers are wanting—a quality cabinet that fills the gap for transitional and contemporary styles.

We shared the new line with our designers and they’re excited to start using it for our customers!

One of our Santa Fe designers, Dana Gamaleri said, “It combines value with simplicity and quality.”

Here are our favorite features:

➡️ Frameless design for a cleaner look
➡️ European-style cabinetry
➡️ Soft-close doors and drawers
➡️ Powder-coated steel drawers
➡️ Stainless steel floating metal shelving
➡️ PET film used, made from 100% recycled plastic bottles
➡️ Quick turn-around time for ordering cabinets

Let’s take a look at the details of the new 1300 series.

Door Styles

There are 4 different door styles with the 1300 series:

  1. Tempo
    • Contemporary
    • Slab door style
    • Available in Gloss/Matte White and Matte Grey
  2. Horizon
    • Contemporary
    • Slab door style
    • Available in Frax and Grau, which are textured woodgrain laminate
  3. Apex
    • Transitional
    • 5 mm Pencil Edge Frame
    • Available in Matte Black
  4. Frame
    • Transitional
    • Shaker door style
    • Available in Matte White and Matte Grey


The colors offered for the 1300 series are the epitome of trendy right now. Offering a selection minimal palette of white, grey and black in a matte finish, plus a standard gloss white. To diversify the selection, woodgrain textured laminate is offered for the Horizon door style: Frax and Grau.

These are the colors that our clients are wanting right now.

Matte Black

Gloss White

Matte Grey


Matte White


20% off Kitchen Cabinets

We hope that you’re liking this new series as much as we are. To celebrate we want to offer you 20% off Kitchen Cabinets* through the month of November 2020. To claim, click below.

*Some restrictions may apply, see store for details. With a complete kitchen remodel. Expires 11/30/20. Offers cannot be combined and are not valid with past jobs. License #21850.

Behind the Scenes with Ferguson

The Poulin Design Center worked with Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery to update their showroom vignettes.


Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery needed to update vignettes inside their Albuquerque showroom. Each vignette was original to the showroom when acquired by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery in 2007.

The new space needed to fit an updated line of appliances that the original cabinets would not accommodate. Additionally, they wanted to have a space that would accommodate events in the future. To install their new appliances, and create an inviting event space, as well as update the overall décor, they would work with Poulin’s design team to accomplish their goals.

Design Phase

Daniela Colello

Daniela Colello was the designer on this project from the Poulin Design Center. She worked with Joseph Candelaria, Showroom Consultant, to create the vision for the vignettes.

“Daniela was great. She asked all the right questions, offered a lot of great insight,” Joseph said.

For Daniela, designing a vignette that focused on appliances over creating the routine functional kitchen was a first. “It was a wonderful new experience. I learned a lot about designing displays for appliances and enjoyed the research. We utilized European-styled cabinets and highlighted the high-end brands that Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery carries.”

The new clean, contemporary look transformed the entire space while achieving the goals needed for the vignettes featuring Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery’s newest line of Bosch and Thermador products.


Once the products were selected, and the design established, our team came out to perform demolition and install the new vignettes. Installation went well and any hiccups in the process were resolved.

Additionally, our team had to be innovative in creating certain functions of the vignettes that were unique to the display. One example was installation of a non-functioning cooktop in one of the display drawers. Since this is not the normal use of a drawer, our team worked hard to make sure this stove would fit properly while fitting within the display parameters.

Final Product

With teamwork and collaboration, Poulin Design Center was able to achieve the vision brought by Ferguson—a new, sleek look was captured in the two kitchen vignettes that showcase over 25 appliances.

When asked if the design goals were accomplished, Joseph replied, “One hundred percent. The outcome exceeded our expectations. We’re extremely happy with the way everything went, and with how everything turned out.”


We have partnered with Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery for over 20 years as a top referral for our customer’s appliance needs. We are so glad that we were chosen to remodel Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery showroom this year and are extremely happy with the outcome.

To learn about the latest products at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery and speak to Joseph about your appliance needs, click here to schedule your visit.

Ready to Remodel?

During the month of October, we have partnered with Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery to give you a $2500 Appliance Rebate with your complete kitchen remodel*. Click below to claim your savings and get started on your project!

Top 3 Reasons Our Customers Go Solar

The solar industry is growing at a rapid rate. It is projected to grow to 48% of total U.S. renewable generation by 2050¹!

Our customers see the many benefits of solar, but the top 3 reasons our customers go solar are to save money, help the environment and to increase their property value. Let’s take a deeper look at why these are the top reasons to go solar.

#1 Reason Our Customers Go Solar Is…

Save Money by Eliminating Their Power Bill

We hear our customers say over and over again that they want to control their energy costs. Your electricity bill is one of the few bills that you don’t control, with monthly costs varying throughout the year and subject to rate increases year after year.

When you go solar, you basically trade your power bill for a solar loan payment. The loan is set at a fixed interest rate and doesn’t fluctuate every month-plus the bill is typically the same or lower than your normal bill. Once you pay off the loan, you OWN the system and eliminate your power bill.

No more renting electricity! For the life of your home, you won’t have a power bill anymore, except for a small fee to stay on the grid.

#2 Reason Our Customers Go Solar Is…

Help the Environment

As we see more and more natural disasters and plastics polluting the oceans, it’s natural to want to do something to help the environment. One great way to decrease greenhouse gases is to convert to clean, green energy.

By harnessing the power of the sun, you eliminate the use of finite resources such as coal, and draw from the consistency of the sun to “Power Your Lifestyle”.

Here is an example of what a 16kW system is doing for the environment in 1 year:

#3 Reason Our Customers Go Solar Is…

Increase Their Property Value

Not only will you SAVE money by eliminating your power bill, but you’ll also MAKE money by increasing your property’s value without paying extra on your property taxes. Isn’t that nice?

On average, a home with solar will sell for 4.1% more than a similar home without solar. This translates to about $8,200 added to a home valued at $200,000².

To go more in-depth about increasing your property value with solar, click here.

Bonus #1- Current Tax Incentives are AMAZING right now

One of the many reasons our customers are going solar right now is because of the current tax benefits being provided by the federal and state:

  • 26% Federal Tax Credit on solar systems installed by 12/31/20
    • In 2021 the Federal Tax Credit will lower to 22% and be gone after 12/31/21 for residential systems
  • 10% State Tax Credit on solar systems installed through 12/31/27
  • $0 State Sales Tax added to solar systems purchased in New Mexico
  • $0 State Property Taxes added to solar systems, even though they increase your property’s value.

To maximize your savings, consider going solar before 2021 is over. Just remember, your solar system will need to be installed before the end of the year to qualify for tax credits of the year you’re applying it towards.

Bonus #2- Industry Warranties Are Top-Notch

The warranties for solar are the best the industry has ever seen. The LG panels that we recommend will give customers a triple 25-year warranty:

  • 25-Year Product Warranty: this protects the actual solar panel and any defects that may be present. However, LG tests every panel to ensure it will perform well in real-world circumstances.
  • 25-Year Performance Warranty: this protects the rate of degradation of the module, which is about .3% each year. So after 25 years, your LG panels will work at minimum of 90.8% efficiency! Compare that to a study done on the lifespan of solar panels, that says after 15-20 years solar will work at 80% efficiency³.
  • 25-Year Labor Warranty: If you have panels that repair or replacement, LG will cover the cost of labor for up to $450.

Bonus #3- Protection Against Rising Rates

Now that solar is installed for your home, you’re able to enjoy NO rate increases, which would have cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your home’s lifespan. Check out how rates have increased over time, and are still on the rise.

Learn More

Are you considering going solar? What reason to go solar stands out to you?

If you would like to talk with one of our Solar Advisors, click below to get started.

Kitchen Shelf Styling 101

Introducing our GUEST BLOGGER—Leslie Dunegan of Cornerstone Design WACO

Message from the owner:

When I was young, my father had me help with several home projects that ranged from painting to building houses. I enjoyed working with my hands and eventually started helping my friends and neighbors with their remodeling projects or paint jobs. I even put myself through college by remodeling homes. I didn’t know it at first, but remodeling would be the business I would dive into for the next 38 years.

As a father, my daughters grew up watching us develop our home remodeling business and grew to love different aspects of it. My oldest daughter Stephanie is our Assistant Manager and is learning the business to manage it in the coming years. My other daughter, Leslie, has a real talent for interior design and décor. She actually started her business with her husband in Waco, Texas called Cornerstone Design specializing in countertops.

Although we are in neighboring states, my heart is close to their family and it makes me proud to see how remodeling is running through the generations of our family tree.

It is my pleasure to introduce our guest blogger this week—Leslie Dunegan of Cornerstone Design.


Tom Poulin
Owner of Poulin Design Center

Shelf Styling 101

While perusing Pinterest or Instagram you may see beautifully styled open shelves or bookcases. Maybe you go to Hobby Lobby or Target and see many different jars, botanicals, or books, and wonder “how can I use these items in my decor?” Today we are going to show you how to style your shelves, which types of mediums to use and how to create that Pinterest worthy shelf in your home.

Elements to Incorporate

Choosing your styling items can be a fun process especially if you incorporate personal items as well. Here are a few items you may want to use when filling your shelves.

  • Potted plants or vases. These do not have to be real plants, they can be faux, silk or even rubber. Don’t let the stress of trying to keep a real plant alive stop you from making your shelves look the way you want.
  • Books. Books add color, height, and symmetry to your shelf. You can use all one color, or ad a mix of tones that complement the decor you already have. The ideas are limitless when using books.
  • Candlesticks. Candlesticks are another great way to add height and interest to your shelf but they also add history. Thrift stores or flea markets are great places to find old, ornate candlesticks to a space. Mix up the metals or material and let it tell a story on the shelf.
  • Jars. Using jars help to bring in funky shapes, new texture, and even height to a space. With jars you can pick several different types. All types of jars, from amber glass to terra-cotta to a milk glass add different styles, textures, and trends to your shelf. Don’t be afraid to let your eclectic side come out with this item.
  • Framed Art. Art adds color, texture, tells a story and can add a personal touch. When picking art make sure it’s something that you love and would like looking at. Mix up the frame material and don’t be afraid to layer your art.

Start Stylizing Your Shelf

Now comes the fun part…adding all your unique and specials finds together to make a cohesive, creative, styled shelf.

1. First, we are going to start with your largest item. This serves as our anchor point for the shelf. Everything else will be built around this one item. Most of the time, a framed piece of art or a family picture will be your anchor.

2. Layering that anchor point will add dimension and interest to the piece. Have fun pairing it with a similar or even complete opposite piece of art or picture.

3. Add a potted plant to help balance the shelf. If your anchor piece is tall, you will want it to favor one side, and balance out the other side with a slightly smaller botanical. This provides balance but also a change in shape and texture.

4. Up until this point most of our items have been tall and large. We want to help fill gaps and bring the interest down, so adding a smaller plant is a must. You can mix up the pot color or even shade of botanical with this smaller plant.

5. Your first shelf is done! Remember less is more! And sometimes it requires standing back and staring for a while…

6. Moving on to the next shelf we want to remember balance is key but also add in some new textures we didn’t do on the previous shelf.

7. Adding glass jars that are different heights will allow for a clean, crisp look to the shelf. It gives shine and you can also fill those jars with useful items. Maybe the shelves are in a laundry room. Fill those jars with clothespins, or laundry pods. The ideas are endless.

8. Let’s break out the books and find one or two that can create height for your space. You are creating a pedestal for your last item.

9. The last item is a potted plant. Choosing one that is wider and more vine-like can fill up space on the shelf. Adding this final plant creates a triangle effect between the top and bottom shelf. This helps to balance the shelves and create a cohesive look.

Remember when styling your shelves, it doesn’t have to have to be brand new items, it can be comprised of some of your favorite family heirlooms or precious books. Make it reflect your style, your home, and the things you want to put on display.

Last Chance To Go Solar In 2020

Last year my family and I decided to officially go solar. Although I’ve worked in the industry for 5 years, we weren’t in a home that we wanted to stay in. After we moved and settled into our new home, I did the math for what solar would cost us compared to what we were already paying the utility company and it was a no-brainer to go solar. Earlier this year, we received our 30% federal tax credit for our solar purchase in 2019!

This year the tax credit went down to 26%, however, the state of New Mexico added a 10% state tax credit. That means you’ll have a 36% savings on going solar, if you act now. In 2021 it will go down to 22% then in 2022, there won’t be a federal tax credit available.

So if going solar is on your list, you might want to move it to the top of your list so you can maximize your savings.

Below we explore how long it actually takes to go solar in New Mexico. Remember, to qualify for the current tax credit, your system must be installed on or before December 31, 2020.

Going solar takes time

Going solar is a process. It’s an investment with a timeline, and to meet your “deadlines” you need to know how long it actually takes to go solar and what’s involved.

The quickest I’ve seen a customer go from signed to solar is 45 days. But typically the process is about 3 months. Shocked?

Well, let me share with you just what’s needed when you go solar.

Before you sign, find a trusted company to work with

The first step to going solar is finding the right company. We suggest going solar with a company that’s established in the community and has a good reputation. In the solar industry, we have seen many “quick and ditch” solar companies that disappear overnight, along with any warranties they had.

Once you find the right company to work with, you’ll need to look at your options for financing. If you don’t have the cash, find a banker you trust. Now is a great time to lock in your loan due to the low rates because of the coronavirus. If you need help finding one, we have our preferred bankers that we work with often.

Now you have a trusted company, and a bank to lend you money. You’re ready to sign the contract you’ve approved with the solar team.

The Timeline to Getting Solar Installed

Week 1-2. Solar agreement is signed. Financing is approved. Drawings are completed. HOA application.

Now the process of going solar begins. You’ve signed your agreement, financing is approved and you’re ready to move forward. Most companies will require a deposit to start the rest of the process.

You will also need to talk with your Homeowners Association (if applicable) to find out what stipulations they may have for installing solar. Our team works with your HOA to submit any paperwork needed throughout the entire process.

Week 3-6. Site visit with sign-off of design. Electric company application completed. Permits submitted.

Now is the time that the design of your solar system is finalized and approved. The solar advisor will visit your home and show you the design for your approval. Once completed, the application will be submitted to the electric company provider to review, about 3 weeks.

Why does the electric company need to approve your application? Well, they look at the demand of energy on the grid and see if the excess energy that your system will produce can be sustained by the current transformer in your neighborhood. If there’s already solar installed on your block, there’s a chance the transformer will need an upgrade. However, 98% of applications will be approved without any issues.

Lastly, your permit will be submitted for approval with the county.

Week 5-8. Electric company application approved. Permit approved. Schedule installation date.

So your solar system got approved, and it’s time to get drawings and a permit to do the actual work. This process takes 2-4 weeks, depending on what county you live in. Bernalillo County is the fastest in the approval process, averaging 2 weeks. Rio Rancho and Santa Fe typically take 3-4 weeks. Fortunately, the timelines have not been affected by the virus.

We will set a tentative install date and confirm when permits and HOA approvals are finalized.

Week 7-11. System installed in 1-2 days. Final building and electrical inspection. Receive the green tag from the inspector.

This is where most customers get anxious! You’re so close to getting your installation done, but there’s a few more steps. The final building and electrical inspection will need to be done to receive the green tag from the inspector. Now your solar system can be installed on your rooftop in 1-2 days, or about 3 days for a ground mount.

Your system will be installed but will need to be inspected further before going live.

Week 11-14. Electric meter set. Final email. Monitoring system goes live.

Your new solar meter will be set alongside your existing electric meter. Once you receive your final email, your system will go live!


Be sure that your monitoring app is installed on your phone so you can easily see the energy your system is producing!

 Other Factors to Consider for Your Timeline.

While you can plan ahead for your solar system to be installed by the end of the year, keep in mind that the weather could play a factor. No one can predict if we will have a huge snowstorm that could throw off the ideal timeline. So planning with a few extra weeks “just to be safe” would be wise.

Cost of Doing Nothing

If you wait to go solar, you could potentially lose thousands of dollars. You would lose 4% of the federal tax credit for 2020, as well as all the months of paying “rent” for your electricity bill to the utility company—lost money that could be going into the investment of owning your own power station!

You’ll also want to make sure your roof is “solar ready” before installing a system.


If going solar in 2020 is part of your goal, take action now! Don’t get left behind on maximizing the savings for your home.

Get started on the process with a Free Solar Consultation and see what your savings could be!

Home Design: Designing Outside the Box

Many of our clients have areas in their home that could be improved for better functional use. Some want to add on, however, we think it’s important to start “thinking outside the box” when it comes to your existing space.

Take a look around and see if you could re-purpose a room that you never use, or bring it back to life by making a few design changes.

Below we explore why most people want to add-on, ways to evaluate your current space and give a few examples of what we’ve done for our customers.

Reasons Most People Add-on

The main reason our clients want an addition is for better functional use of their space. The primary function may vary quite a bit, but in the end there’s a reason you may be considering an addition.

Here are a few common reasons more space is desired:

  • Preparing for an additional person to live in your home, whether a new baby, adding your parents, or sharing your space for a time.
  • Need a workspace that is private from the rest of your home but may not want to lose the guest bedroom.
  • Would like more storage (who doesn’t?)
  • The current space just isn’t functional
  • Want a craft area, AKA “Woman Cave”
  • Well, you just want more space, period.

There are many reasons people want to add on to their home, so be sure to make your reasons clear before looking at your own home.

Clear Your Clutter

Before you can evaluate your home, you will need to clean it! It’s so easy to accumulate “stuff” over the years, so take the time to sort through it and organize. Once you get your home cleared out, you can truly assess if you can re-purposes potions of your home, or should add on.

Evaluate Your Space

Now that your house is cleaned up, it’s time to assess your entire home. Go to each room and consider how often you use each room and the reasons why you may not use certain rooms as much. You can also look at the rooms you use most often, like the bathroom or kitchen, and write down what you don’t like about them. Many times, this could be functional issues or even outdated products.

Not it’s time to use your imagination.

Think Outside the Box

Now that you’ve done your walkthrough, take a second look at the room that you may not use as much. Imagine what other ways you could use these rooms or make them multi-functional. Consider the surrounding rooms and what could be re-arranged.

Here are a few ideas to get your juices flowing:

  • Tear down this wall in your kitchen and make your space open concept, so that you’re not separated from your family while preparing meals.
  • Make your guest bedroom multi-functional by making it your office with a daybed instead of a full bed.
  • Enlarge your tiny shower by using the extra space in your room, so that you’re more comfortable and safe in your bathing environment.

You may need help imagining what could be done in your space, which is why we always pair our customers with a professional designer so you can draw from their experiences and ideas.


Once you have evaluated your space and imagined the possibilities, you can assess if you truly need to add on, or if you can re-purpose a portion of your home for what you need it for. Just remember that aesthetics will follow your function…in other words, you can always make your space” pretty” once you decide it’s function.

To give you inspiration, we will share a few case studies from our own customers.

Kitchen Swapped with Dining Room

Our client had a small kitchen and large dining space. After talking with the couple about what they desired, our designer threw out the idea of swapping rooms. Although this was mind-blowing at first, everyone agreed that this would be a more functional space and fulfill their desires.

In the end, the client had a stunning kitchen with a large multi-functional island, added storage space, and even converted the window to a double French door for access to their outdoor living space. By swapping out rooms, the designer capitalized all the areas the owners wanted to achieve in the kitchen—coffee bar, wet bar, baking station, multi-purpose island and more.

Revived Dining Room

This particular client wanted to upgrade their kitchen. After having an appointment in their home, we noticed that their dining room was largely untouched. We asked why and were told that since there was white carpet, they were afraid of getting it dirty so they avoided using it. They had a gorgeous dining table that was never used and ate in the den!

Since the dining room was adjacent to the kitchen, we knocked down the wall and enlarged the size of the kitchen area, added new flooring throughout the home, and a wet bar, a large island, and a wonderful place for their table (not on carpet). Now the dining room has come back to life with room for entertaining and everyday enjoyment.

From Closed to Open Concept Design

In this client’s home, there were 4 separate rooms for the common living spaces: living room, dining room, kitchen, and den. The client wanted an open concept space without losing the function of each room.

Our designer was given creative control and exceeded our client’s expectations. She tore down all the walls, updated the look, and created a stunning design upon entry for any guest. Instead of having 4 confined areas, the new design merged all the areas for a clean open concept design. The multi-purpose island gave function for all activities in their home, from cooking to entertaining, added storage, and great design.

Master Bathroom Re-Design

Our client had a large master bathroom space, but a tiny shower, separate closets and separate vanities in a jack and jill layout, plus the toilet was facing the shower (how awkward).

By thinking outside the box, our design team was able to gut out the space and reconfigure the entire layout. We enlarged the shower, merged the double vanities in a better layout, moved the toilet, and consolidate the closet spaces to make a luxurious walk-in closet. By making these changes, we enhanced our client’s enjoyment of their living space while also increasing the value of their home.

More Functional Kitchen

This client had a small u-shaped kitchen, breakfast nook and dining room in 3 separate rooms. The husband loved to grill, however the access to the backyard was indirect. The wife loved to bake, but there really wasn’t enough counterspace to do everything she needed, especially if her husband was in the kitchen at the same time (can you relate?).

To solve these functional problems, we made the 3 rooms one great room with a large island with seating, access to the backdoor was direct, and even added an office area. They were able to enjoy each other’s company while they made dinner without any nuances of running right into each other.


Re-thinking your space may be all that you need to do in order to “add on” to your home. By taking the steps above, you can evaluate your family’s needs within your current space and decide which direction you can go.

If you’re ready to take the next step, schedule a Free Design Consultation to explore the possibilities with a professional designer!

Why Poulin Solar Pro Uses LG Solar Panels

When it comes to choosing solar equipment to offer our customers, we want to make sure we select brands that are established in the community and share our high standards of quality. With thousands of brands to choose from, we want to ensure our customers that the products we’re using for their remodel or solar installation will LAST the test of time and be a good investment for their home.

Today we want to highlight the solar brand we have selected to work with: LG. You may be more familiar with them regarding your appliances or home electronics, but LG has been involved in the solar industry for over 30 years. Solar Pro at the Poulin Design Center is your local LG Pro, supplying you with the latest innovations of solar technology that the industry has to offer.

Before we dive deep into why we chose LG, we would like to give a very brief history of solar being available for homeowners.

Brief History of Solar

Solar has been developing since the 1800s and was recently introduced to consumers in the 1970s. When solar first came out, it was very expensive, starting at $76.00 per watt! For comparison, solar now costs about $2-4 per watt, depending on the quality and brand used.

As a company that has been in business almost as long as solar has been around for consumers, we want to make sure we partner with companies that we trust and are established in the industry.

LG is Established in Solar

One of the biggest reasons we have chosen to partner with LG, over other brands is their longevity. LG is a multi-billion-dollar worldwide company with a good reputation. In solar, there are many emerging brands, some that stay for a while and others that disappear almost as fast as they appeared.

We have even sold a few of these disappearing brands to our customers and quickly realized that we don’t want to affiliate with a brand that could be here today and gone tomorrow, plus lose the warranty they promised. This is why we have chosen to use panels by LG—an established and diversified brand with 30+ years’ experience in solar. Even if their solar division dissipates (which we don’t foresee), the brand won’t be leaving, and they will honor their warranties.

Innovative Technology

LG has been innovating in the solar industry and has award-winning panels.

A few of their awards include the Intersolar Awards for their Cello Technology™ and BiFacial technology; Judges’ Choice Award from Energy Manager Today in 2018 for the NeON® R modules;  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized LG with the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence Award the same year.

The technology developments not only make their panels a smarter choice but help push the entire industry to have more efficient panels. The panels from LG are top-quality and retain 90.8% of their efficiency after 25 years! Additionally, they are designed to give more power, which in turn minimizes the number of panels installed on your roof—saving you more money on your power bill.

Just one of the many reasons we stand behind this product, as well as the warranty they have on their panels.

Industry Warranty

Part of the decision of which panels to buy for your home should include the warranty. LG leads the industry with a triple 25-year warranty:

  • 25-year Product
  • 25-year Performance
  • 25-year Labor

In the rare case of needing a repair on a panel, LG will pay up to $450 for labor, so you don’t have to spend money out of your pocket.

LG’s roots date back to 1947, so you’ve got a company with a LONG track record of success backing your warranty.

LG Uses Their Own Solar

North American Head Quarters in New Jersey

In addition to all of the above, it is important to note that LG actually uses solar for its business—they believe in the power of solar for you personally and on a corporate level they demonstrate their belief by using it! In 2014 LG installed 3.2MW of solar power in South Korea and have installed over 18MW in their other manufacturing facilities. LG also has a US manufacturing plant in Huntsville, AL, creating 400 jobs for the US in 2019. See video here.

Additionally, LG recently completed and moved into its new North American HQ in New Jersey, a 15-acre LEED Platinum certified facility that includes 1.3Mw of LG NeON®2 solar panels on its roof and parking structure.

We love that they believe in using solar, just like our company, which made the decision to install solar power for our business in 2019 at the Poulin Design Center. Both owners of Poulin Solar Pro, Tom and Steve Poulin have installed solar for their own homes and truly believe in the innovation that solar provides for their customers.

LG and Solar Pro both believe in solar, but “practice what they preach.”


It matters to us what companies we stand behind since we have a reputation to uphold in New Mexico. We have been locally owned and trusted since 1982, and want to make sure we serve our community the right way with the right products.

To read more about the benefits of LG Panels, click below to download their full list of innovations.

Remodeling for Accessibility in the Kitchen

Remodeling with the future in mind is an important aspect to consider when making any of your design and product decisions. Creating a safe environment in your kitchen and bathroom is essential for all age groups, but especially for those approaching their golden years or need a functional and accessible space for their needs.

As we see many of our clients staying in their homes longer, creating a stylish and functional space that is safe is a priority. Remodeling should always incorporate safety but will become a key focus when considering the future and present demands.

The kitchen design should give residents the best use of their space and keep them independent by making a few simple design changes.

Pull Out Drawers in the Kitchen

Having lower pull out drawers in the kitchen is a great way to make your space safer for the elderly and convenient for those with limited mobility. Instead of storing your dishes in an upper cabinet where you’d have to reach overhead or use a stool, consider changing the location to a lower oversized cabinet drawer. This makes it easily accessible and gives independence for simple tasks of using and storing dishes.

We recommend using oversized pullout drawers for storing your dishes, as well as your pots and pans. You can also use pull out cabinets for storing pantry items, or lazy susans for those hard to reach spots in the back of your cabinets.

Use Pull Handles

Make sure you use easy-to-grab pull handles for your cabinets instead of nobs. This is especially important for those with arthritis, where having a firm grasp can be hard. Keep function and ease of use top of mind when choosing your cabinet hardware. Additionally, pull handles will give a more balanced glide and maintains the lifespan of your drawers.

Mixer Lift

If you love your kitchen aide, installing a mixer lift is an easy way to store and use your kitchen accessory while maintaining clear countertops. A mixer lift is typically installed in a lower cabinet with an outlet and will lift to countertop height for your convenience. No need to worry about lifting your appliance to the countertop as well.

Change Your Microwave Location

In some homes, the microwave is installed above the stove and doubles as a range hood. When remodeling though, consider a location that won’t be above a hot surface if you need to use the countertop for extra stability. Consider moving your “on-demand” appliance to an upper or lower cabinet location, depending on your specific needs.

Easy Maintenance Countertops

Hygienically sound countertops are a must for an easy maintenance kitchen. Opt for quartz or solid surface countertops which are nonporous and stain-resistant. There are a variety of colors and styles available. See more about countertop options here.

Lower Height of Countertops

Courtesy of Blanco

For a complete ADA kitchen, we would discuss with our client about lowering the countertop height to accommodate wheelchair use in the kitchen or create multi-level heights. With this adjustment, it is also important to have areas with no cabinetry, or what we call “barrier-free”. This is most useful for directly under the sink and stovetop.

Smart Technology in Your Kitchen

Delta Touch2O Technology

For added convenience add smart home technology to your kitchen. You can command your faucet to fill the dog bowl, or simply touch the faucet to turn it on or off. Read more about the updates you can make in our Smart Home blog here.


There are many design and product decisions to consider when remodeling for aging in place or with accessibility in mind. We covered the basics changes that could be made in the kitchen, and have several thoughts on updating your bathroom for safer use for all needs, click here to read.

Ready to Remodel?

Click below to get started with a Free Design Consultation!