photo: Sean Litchfield
Vanessa Helmick, Fiore Home
Our client wanted to hang a rowboat from the ceiling, lit from within. However, space between the ceiling and the arched windows was too tight for that idea. Instead I reached out to someone I knew with a beautifully restored 1955 antique wooden canoe. It fit perfectly. Danny Fisher, the contractor for this home project, came up with how to light it creatively and the results are stunning. The canoe’s lights are also dimmable so it glows beautifully at night—the result of a wonderful collaboration between homeowner, designer and contractor.
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106 Lafayette St.
Yarmouth, ME 04096
photo: Sarah Boone
Daniel Fisher, Fisher Custom Carpentry
When I heard about the canoe idea I was really excited about doing something different. Securing this vessel safely to the ceiling was something I thought about for a long time before I even got the antique onsite. Once we had it, it was clear to me that any permanent fastening or bolting would be a travesty, given its craftsmanship and age. It even had a placard stating where and when it was built. We ultimately decided to suspend the canoe using only ropes (though the ropes were surely fastened to steel eyelets bolted to substrate above the ceiling.)
Once it was suspended, we illuminated the canoe by running low-voltage LED tape lights in a housing designed to diffuse the light straight down the inner spine. It was really cool, but missing something when viewed from below. We found that the light distracted the eye from the full vision of the canoe. We created a piece of pine, stained it to match the finish of the canoe and designed it to be reflective on the side that faced the light strip. This made all the difference, as the light now bounced off this pine “deflector” and curved around the ribs to really accent all the details of its structure.
To see it all work was easily the proudest moment I have had with my team. We all helped brainstorm, trouble shoot and collaborate to produce this result.
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Fisher Custom Carpentry