Baltimore Sun’s Best: Readers’ Choice 2021 home & garden

·4 min read

The Baltimore Sun’s readers have voted on what’s the best in the region from antiques to urgent care. This year’s winners include people and businesses recognized for outstanding service and customer satisfaction over the last year. Several businesses stood out from the crowd despite the downturn in commerce due to the pandemic.

Winners of the Readers’ Choice ballot were selected by readers in May.

For more categories, go to baltimoresun.com/best.

Best Interior Design

Studio A Staging

The calls stream in, from homeowners who are at their wit’s end.

“I have a living room that I don’t know what to do with. Can you help me?”

For seven years, Aimee Breeden has transformed home interiors — often muddled with clutter and random furnishings — to bring peace of mind to clients long at odds with their décor.

“I love challenges; they drive me,” said Breeden, 33, of Cockeysville. “We create atmospheres that make people happy; we’re creating a functional space that they love. A lot of people don’t know what they want until they actually see it. And when we’re finished [with new furniture, flooring, lighting and color schemes], there’s nothing more rewarding than the looks on their faces.”

Her staff has tackled projects in cozy row homes, condos and spacious (8,000-square foot) dwellings. Customers hail from Maryland, neighboring states and the District of Columbia and may pay from $1,500 for one room’s makeover to $30,000 and up for larger tasks.

It’s the relationships she forms with clients that might set her apart from others in the field, Breeden said.

“It’s important to click with people. They trust us with their homes,” she said. “You can’t just walk into a house and create a vision. You have to prep for it, make drawings and search for all the right pieces. Detail is so important, to the point where a single pillow can make a difference in a room.”

Raised in Parkton and the daughter of a cabinetmaker, Breeden taught preschool until “my creativity got the best of me” and she changed careers in 2014. She worked from a garage, borrowed her father’s truck to move furniture and built her trade by word-of-mouth. She does about 100 makeovers a year, in addition to a home staging business in which she furnishes vacant homes on the market to help them sell.

There have been challenges, to be sure.

“One client, an artist, had dark hardwood floors, an exposed brick fireplace and bright orange and yellow walls,” said Breeden. “It was eccentric, like you’d see in Hampden. But she didn’t want us to paint, so we brought in a teal couch and other [softer] furnishings.”

The bottom line? Said Breeden, “You want to love your room and have it make you happy. That did it, for her.” — Mike Klingaman

1010 N. Chester Ave., Baltimore. 410-925-7498. studioastaging.com

Cleaning service: Glyndon Lord Baltimore Cleaners

Electrician: Walter Electric

Honorable mentions:

Dynamo Electric LLC

Horton Electrical Services

Benfield Electric Co. Inc.

Flooring and carpeting: Bode Floors

Honorable mentions:

Carpet Land

Jim Boyd’s Carpet & Rug Outlet

Ibello Upholstery Inc. (tie)

Jason Brown Wood Floors (tie)

Furniture store: North Furnishings

Honorable mentions:

Adorn Vintage Furniture & Designs

Su Casa Furniture

Second Chance Inc.

Garden center/nursery: Radebaugh Florist & Greenhouses

Honorable mentions:

Valley View Farms

B Willow

Green Fields Nursery

Handyman: Ralphie’s Repairs

Honorable mentions:

Just-In-Time Renovations

Senior Handy Services

Hardware store: Falkenhan’s Hardware

Honorable mentions:

Waverly Ace Hardware

Canton Ace Hardware

Federal Hill Ace Hardware

Home security installation: Vector Security

Homebuilder: Point Modular Homes

Honorable mentions:

Bob Ward Homes

K. Hovnanian

Koch Homes

HVAC repair: Amazing Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.

Honorable mentions:

BGE Home

Pipco Air Conditioning & Heating

Sila Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Interior designer: Studio A Staging

Honorable mentions:

Gary Godbey

Sunnyfields Cabinetry

Landscaper: Maxalea Inc.

Honorable mentions:

Sun Nurseries Inc.

Bob Jackson Landscapes Inc.

Rhine Landscaping

Lawn mower repair: Rosedale Paint & Hardware

Lighting: Wilson Lighting & Interiors

Moving company: Charm City Movers

Honorable mention:

County Movers

Painter: Coady Painting & Decorating

Honorable mentions:

CertaPro Painters

Colors Renovation

Plumbing: Len the Plumber LLC

Honorable mentions:

Pasadena Plumbers Inc.

Horizon Services

Ken Griffin Plumbing Services Inc.

Real estate agent: Jameson Cokas, The Cokas Group of Next Step Realty

Honorable mentions:

Jojo Olaseha, Next Step Realty

Meighan Sweeney, Cummings & Co. Realtors

Stephanie Bamberger, Cummings & Co. Realtors

Remodeling: Cornerstone Remodeling LLC

Honorable mentions:

Bel Air Construction

Window World

Empire Home Remodeling Inc. (tie)

Just-In-Time Renovations (tie)

Roofer: Badger Contracting

Honorable mentions:

Phil DiBello Family Roofing

Nu Look Home Design

Allied Remodeling (tie)

Just-In-Time Renovations (tie)

Rug cleaner: Glyndon Lord Baltimore Cleaners

Honorable mention:

Borhani Rug Co.

Solar installation: Maryland Solar Solutions Inc.

Honorable mention:

Nu Look Home Design

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