Our Executive VP Profiled in Boston Design Guide

Our Executive Vice President Larissa Cook was recently profiled in The Profile in Boston Design Guide’s Prelude Magazine – Check out this great feature here. Her career journey is as inspiring as her day-to-day leadership, expertise, and kindness, and we’re thrilled that Boston Design Guide recognizes that, too. We’re lucky to have her and excited to keep growing together!

The Excerpt from the Profile: 

Executive Vice President Larissa Cook is celebrating 15 years at FBN Construction, one of Boston’s premier residential construction and remodeling firms. Cook began her tenure at FBN as an assistant to the former owner John DeShazo, with no construction experience under her belt, and worked her way up with posts as an Estimator, General Manager and, occasionally,Bookkeeper, before serving in her current role under mentor President Bob Ernst. Her success is the result of hard work, determination and consistency. The self-motivated Cook would often work until morning to train herself and win the respect of her peers. Her ascent within the award-winning company mirrors that of the business itself; under her guidance and leadership, FBN has doubled in size in 10 years.

“Riding helps me push myself,” she says. “Even if I think I can’t do something, just to go for it!”

While her career path was unexpected—she went to school for criminal justice—Cook can’t envision herself anywhere else. From day one, she took to the culture at FBN and its team. Ernst, she says, with his kindness and sky-is-the-limit approach, has been instrumental to her professional and personal growth.And, while Cook’s day-to-day tasks vary from contracts to financial analysis to marketing, she finds supporting the staff, coaching and company interaction to be most rewarding.Outside of the office, Cook supports nonprofits like the Ellie Fund, the Women’s Institute for Housing andEconomic Development and Rebuilding TogetherBoston, as well as animal rescue initiatives. Riding is her escape.

Cook’s grandfather, a milkman who worked 12-hour days, six days a week, passed on a tireless work ethic and a love for horseback riding.The two bonded when he took her to riding lessons as a child, where she learned practices and principles that inform who she is today: discipline, certainly, as well as persistence. “I’ve learned that through hard work and practice you can reach your goal, but it’s not necessarily going to happen overnight.” It also brought nerve to her signature verve. “Riding helps me push myself,” she says. “Even if I think I can’t do something, just to go for it!”

FBN Wins Best of Boston Home 2021 for High-end Remodeling Boston

These revered builders deliver the complete package. Bob Ernst, who has served as the Boston company’s president since 1995, has been known to personally walk potential clients through every line item of a bid. Plus, dedicated onsite foremen ensure quality work (column-adorned bathrooms, gleaming custom kitchens, party-ready wraparound decks) and maximum efficiency throughout the renovation process. Designers value FBN’s collaborative approach, while homeowners appreciate the weekly meetings that keep them abreast of budgets and timelines. One designer noted, “I never walked on site to find a surprise.” We believe it. – Boston Magazine 

5 Ways to Keep your Home Warm this Winter

Try this today: Get in touch with us for more ideas about how to keep your home warm this winter!

When the first snows start to fall outside, you know it’s time to make sure your home is all set for the winter and holidays. Whether you’re double checking that everything’s set for the winter or looking to spruce up your home decor, we’ve got you covered. It might be chilly outside, but these top tips will help you stay cozy indoors!

  1. Keep in the heat. Amp up your indoor comfort this winter by keeping your home warm and cozy. Add soft blankets, fuzzy rugs, heavy curtains and oversized pillows to any chilly part of the home. These small changes make a big difference when it’s freezing outside.
  2. Keep out the cold. Worried about that thermostat bill this winter? It could be time to update your home insulation. Start small by replacing old windows and doors. Ready for a bigger renovation project? Contact us at FBN to get a quote on your home renovation.
  3. Warm up your decor. Small decor adjustments, like adding candles and soft lighting, can make a great impact on your home’s comfort this winter. We love these winter candles and this great collection of candlestick holders. Out with the cold and in with the cozy!
  4. Check the thermostat. With the temperatures dropping, it’s finally time to turn on that thermostat. But, before you turn it all the way up, make sure you’ve double checked that your home’s heating system is all set to withstand the winter.
  5. Get ahead of the holidays. Beat the holiday rush and start prepping your home early for your holiday guests and events. Spruce up your guest room with these cozy sheets and get excited about holiday meal planning with these best holiday dinner sets.

Cover photo by Sweta Meininger

Fall inspirations: How to Decorate Your House to Match the Beautiful Fall Foliage

Try this today: Visit pinterest for fall decorations inspiration and start board to keep track of your fall decorating ideas.

Fall is in the air. The trees are changing color, temperatures are dropping, and we’re pulling our sweaters out of storage. As the seasons change, it’s a great great time to think about redecorating your home. Maybe you’re looking to spruce up an old corner of your house, or add some festive fall flare to your usual decor. Either way, we’ve got you covered. Here are our top home decorating tips for how to revamp your home for fall, inspired by the autumn colors outside that we love.

  • Make it warm and cozy. Invest in soft throw blankets and pillows. They’ll instantly cozy up any nook around the house! Think about adding some colorful pillows to your couches or draping a few throw blankets over your dining room chairs. We love plaid blankets like these and super soft decorative pillows like these ones.
  • Bring your favorite fall colors inside. Make a wreath from found leaves, or invest in fall-themed natural decor like this garland.
  • Keep things warm and bright. As the sun sets earlier, your home lighting becomes even more important. Think about investing in some statement lamps like this one and accenting dining room tables with candles.
  • Bring the fall harvest inside. Decorate your kitchen and dining room with gourds to add character to any dinner party. Look for them at local farmers markets and grocery stores!
  • Invest in fall-themed dining ware. Fall foods look even better when they’re served on beautiful china! Check out this line of dining wear for some great inspiration.
  • Feature vintage and rustic accessories. Check out Etsy for some great home-made options.


Remodeling Your Condo, Here is What You Should Know

Try this today: Write down the top 3 goals for your next project, and prioritize them as your go through the remodeling process.

Have been dreaming about remodeling your condo for months and want to jump right into it? Learn several things first to get the most out of your condo renovation.

First, know who you’re remodeling for. When designing for yourself, personal enjoyment might be top priority, but still consider how long you will be in the space and decide what to renovate first accordingly. When renovating for resale, you usually get the best return on investment (ROI) by focusing on a few key areas and skimping on the pretty but unnecessary details.

When reaching out to contractors, it’s important to express a clear vision of what you want to accomplish and a sense of what you can spend. Should your first choice be over your budget, ask your contractor for suggestions on how they might tweak the job to lower the price with minimal impact.

Most importantly, stay flexible and be creative with your plan. Going for a smaller fridge instead of insisting on that large one can free up a lot of space. Also consider building up instead of tearing down: the old metal door frames might not be easy to remove – then, adding a layer over the existing frame may be a better idea. In the end, remodeling your condo can give you many surprises that were not planned.


FBN, Best of Boston 2018 for High-End Remodeling

It is humbling to be recognized for what you enjoy doing and take immense pride in.

“Transparency tops FBN Construction’s list of priorities, and that’s a good thing. The firm’s commitment to communication—to say nothing of its proven planning and building skills—practically guarantees satisfaction, whether you’re overhauling the kitchen in your high-rise condo, creating the ultimate master suite in your suburban Colonial, or simply designing a functional yet elegant home office with loads of built-ins.” – Boston Magazine

We are very grateful to continuing support of our clients, partners, most importantly the FBN team and Boston Magazine for being recognized as “Best of Boston 2018 for High-End Remodeling.”

Thank you once again!

FBN, Top Rank Kitchen Remodelers

Try This: Want more kitchen remodeling ideas? Check out #FBNbuilt kitchens. 

Kitchen and bathroom remodeling can increase your home value drastically. You also know whether it is a condo or a palace, kitchen is the heart of our homes.

We dedicate ourselves completely to all remodeling we do.  And we give our 110% when it comes to kitchens.

It makes us even happier and extremely grateful to be recognized as one of the top kitchen remodelers in Boston by Boston’s design Community.

Kitchens the Way You Dreamed

The kitchen is the central hub of your household.  If your kitchen is feeling tired and old, consider a renovation to pump some life into the space and revamp your home.  FBN is here to inspire you with 7 of our favorite home and condo kitchen remodels. Take a look!


1. Timeless Balance
Stunning faux wood cabinetry is the centerpiece of this eye-catching condo kitchen remodel.  Wood finish of the cabinetry gives a traditional feel to this otherwise seamlessly ultra modern kitchen, creating a perfect timeless balance. Just like the Boston skyline seen through the full height windows.  


2. Detailed Warmth
This kitchen elicits feelings of warmth and homliness with darker cabinets, hardwood flooring, copper fittings, further accentuated with colorful rugs. Surely you noticed the details, in everything. The backsplash, the faucets and everything else. The enormous island in the center of the space is perfect for preparing meals and spending quality family time together, only adds to this already warmth filled kitchen.


3. Natural Light Paradise
Almost dual-colored cabinetry modernizes the classic color scheme in this kitchen. The lighter tones only add to the lightness and freshness of this already well-lit kitchen. All season dining area, open for perfect weather and closed for those New England winters, brings more of an outside nature in without affecting the basic functionality.


4. Modern Luxury
A built in bar creates a luxurious vibe in this Rowe’s Wharf condo.  Matching the wood tone of the floor to the cabinets makes the space feel slick and brand new. Even in a condo provides enough room for fully loaded bar, a must for those who love to host!


5. Bright and Robust Comfort
Adding personal touches such as this refurbished wooden bureau make a kitchen feel homey and warm.  Plus, don’t miss that amazingly detailed apron-front rock sink.


6. Spacious Convenience
Open cabinets expose all in this Belmont home and create a sense of order and freedom.  Uncovered equals to uncluttered. And transparency is the most welcoming aspect you can add to your life. All that together with extra seating at the island makes serving and hosting a breeze. And everyone always feels at home in this welcoming space.


7. Minimalism.   
For all those Marie Condo fans. Minimalism at its best. “If it doesn’t give you joy, get rid of it” kind of a kitchen. Uncluttered spaces used with unified white color scheme instantly feel futuristic and clean.  Even in the picture you can feel the calm of this kitchen. What a zen space to decompress and rejuvenate.

2018 Design Mentor of the Year

Congratulations Bob Ernst on being chosen as 2018 Design Mentor of the Year by Design New England.

You always get perfect results when a contractor understands, respects and absolutely enjoys collaborating with designers. If you know Bob Ernst personally, which lots of you do, will know how his kind, selfless and ever enthusiastic nature makes it an absolute pleasure to work with him whether you are a client, designer or any other partner.

Bob, this honor is well deserved and we are very blessed to be surrounded by your always caring personality.

If any of you would like to join us at the award function: https://lnkd.in/ewDU-ht


Creating a Home That Makes You Happy

Our space around us shapes us. It has a power to create happiness or sadness in our lives. If you aren’t yet ready to create that happiness with remodelling your home and creating perfect spaces for you, there are easier options available too.

You can check out this New York Times article and find quick quick fixes on how to bring positive energy and style into your home, based on NYT’s talks with Justina Blakeney, the designer behind the Instagram hit Jungalow and the author of “The New Bohemians Handbook: Come Home to Good Vibes”, until you set aside time and a budget for a remodelling project.

Cover photo by Lesly Juarez