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What Were We Thinking?

Published October 15, 2014 in Publications

We often spend time on design competition submissions. These little booklets often include a lot of information about projects that isn't included on our website, including more in-depth descriptions of the ideas behind our projects and the many decisions from design to construction. Rather than have these gather digital dust on our server, we've made some of them available via ISSUU.  Enjoy!

This Old House Photoshop Redo

Published October 4, 2013 in Publications, Staff, Charles Roberts

Charles Roberts' renovation ideas for This Old House's "Photoshop Redo" are featured in this month's issue (on newstands now). Below is Charles' sketch that This Old House used to create the Photoshop version you see in the magazine.

Salon 241 Gets a Makeover

Published July 25, 2012 in Modern Design, Publications, Retail, Staff, Sarah Nolan

Rachael Chase and Sarah Nolan look back at the thought process that went into their redesign of Salon 241.

With fashion-forward clientele, highly-trained stylists, and a perfect downtown Northampton location, Salon 241 was looking to create an interior space to match their vibrant business. Our simple design approach utilized paint, lighting, and a new window treatment to completely transform the space while maintaining the existing layout and flow that were working well for the salon owners.

The results were so successful that our design was recognized as one of the best in 2012 by Salon Today, winning the Salon of Distinction designation!

By painting the existing acoustic ceiling tile grey, it became a backdrop for the custom gingko leaf graphic we designed to carry across the ceiling and wrap down the walls, activating the ceiling plane and adding movement to the long, narrow space. The graphic, painted by Jonathan Kohrman, also meanders down the stairs to the exterior of the building, inviting clients inside and acting as signage on the street for the second floor salon.

Ginkgo Leaf Patterning

Similarly, the painted faux wood grain on the existing register counter makes it new and graphically bold. Behind the counter, aluminum numbers in the salon's signature font are mounted on the textured brick wall together with the painted ginkgo leaf. The combination of the ginkgo leaf with the salon's font is so successful that it has since been incorporated into their print advertising.

Reception Counter

Energy efficient LED light fixtures replace incandescent track fixtures, drastically reducing the heat level in the space and providing more even light. Decorative pendants draw the eye to the register counter and waiting area. 


A golden thread curtain typically used in the theater provides a screen across the front picture window, casting lines of shadow and light that play across the floor like golden strands of hair. The amount of sunlight entering through the large street-facing window had made working conditions uncomfortable for the salon users, so the curtain serves to modulate the light while creating a very dramatic effect across the wood floors.

Dramatic Curtain

Rachael Redux

Published April 2, 2012 in Publications, Staff

PBC Style's profile of Rachael Chase was reprinted in the spring edition of ASID Access, the student publication of the American Society of Interior Designers.

Think Smaller

Published November 7, 2011 in Modern Design, Publications, Staff, Charles Roberts, Sustainability

KRA's Chuck Roberts and Rachael Chase are featured in this month's Preview Massachusetts where they discuss the value of designing and building smaller homes.

Greening Hampshire College

Published May 10, 2011 in Modern Design, Publications, Sustainability

Hampshire College gets high marks from The Princeton Review's "2011 Guide to 311 Green Colleges" for its efforts to create a sustainable campus--with a special mention for The Ken Burns Wing of the Jerome Leibling Center.

Architectural Record

Published July 13, 2010 in Publications, Staff, Andy Grogan

Back in April, KRA’s Andy Grogan was in Paris.

He snapped a picture of Jean Nouvel’s L’Institute du Monde Arabe with his trusty iphone, using a favorite photo app.

Now, that picture is in this month’s print edition of Architectural Record. You’ll have to check-out page 18 of this month’s issue to see it.

The photo above was taken from the top of the Pompidou Center on the same trip.