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Visions Kitchens News!

Green Design at its core Green Alliance Blog

Stay Warm This Winter with Green Heat Green Alliance Blog

Wateca Teaches Ownership of Environmental Stewardship Exeter Patch 

Visions Kitchens support for the Komen race for a cure Green Alliance

Visions' Lis Bailey's Champion Dogsled Team goes to Alaska! Exeter Patch

Visions and Native American Heritage Month in Portsmout Patch

Honor the Ocean, VKD and Blue Ocean in Exeter Patch

Exeter Chamber Ribbon Cutting 7/31

Hampton Beach Clean up in Fosters

Visions helps raise funds for non-profits with Local Favor in Hampton-North Hampton Patch

Green Business Growth in Fosters

Native American Music Awards with Visions Kitchens and Black Thunder Singers in Fosters 

Creative Visions: Looking beyond the bottom line with Visions Kitchens Seacost On-line

Feature story on Visions Kitchens in the Portsmouth Herald also on Seacoast On-line.

We had a great time at the Newburyport Green Stride Half Marathon this year.

Black Thunder Singers:

The owner of Visions Kitchens, Ernie Proper, along with other family members which make up the Black Thunder Singers, have won a Native American Music Award for Best Pow Wow Recording in 2012 and have been nominated again for 2013 for a new track on a CD dedicated to our Veterans. 

To learn more about Black Thunder Singers click here 

Member Organizations

Visions Kitchens is a proud member of many local and national organizations for the betterment of design and the local business community.  Here are a few of the organizations that we are proud members of.  


Entries in Visions Kitchens and Design (6)


The last living Code Talker 

PORTSMOUTH — The last living Code Talker — one of the 29 Navajo Native Americans who joined the U.S. Marines in World War II and created a code that the Japanese could not break — appeared before an appreciative crowd of more than 100 people Sunday afternoon.

Air Force Col. Richard Greenwood introduced Chester Nez, 92, who now lives with his family in New Mexico.

"You have an opportunity here to talk to the very last person alive who developed this code in World War II. That's an incredible opportunity," Greenwood said to the audience members who packed into Seacoast Repertory Theatre.

Portsmouth filmmaker and U.S. Marine Chase Bailey, who facilitated the event and asked questions of Nez, who has difficulty hearing and appeared in a wheelchair, said, "We're here with a World War II hero. He was one of the 29 Code Talkers who helped immensely win the war in the Pacific against the Japanese."

Bailey asked Nez to talk about how the Marine leadership locked Nez and the other Navajo Marines in a room and told them they couldn't come out until "you have a code."

Nez said the group "all sat together and tried to make up a code from A to Z."

It was the only code developed during World War II that was not broken, and the experience was chronicled in the 2002 John Woo movie "The Windtalkers."

Nez remembered how he and 200 other Navajo volunteered to join the Marines, even though they didn't know what their duties would be, but ultimately only 29 were selected to serve.

"I was very, very proud to be one of the first original 29 Navajo Code Talkers," Nez said Sunday. "I'm so happy and so proud to have served my country. I'm very glad about that."

Nez laughed when asked about his love of Spam and food in general, and talked about his time spent serving in the Marines and being with the troops to translate or encode messages.

Nez also appeared with author Judith Avila, who co-authored a book with Nez and described an incident when he got out of the Marines and went to get a military identification card from a bureaucrat in Arizona.

"So Chester showed up in his full Marine uniform to get his card and that's when the civil servant said to him, 'you're not really a citizen,'" Avila said. "After he helped develop the code, he had been sworn to secrecy, so he couldn't tell this guy about it."


Avila said the incident did not sit well with the Marine.

"It was really aggravating ... that he was not an American citizen and he did say, 'I wish I had my revolver with me because I'd shoot you right there,'" Avila recounted to loud laughter and applause.

She also said Nez suffered from "terrible nightmares" when he returned from the war, so his family performed a traditional "enemy way," which is a ceremony to cleanse returning troops from the influences of their enemies.

"The enemy way helped him to get his head back into the right way of life, the Navajo right way, the path you're supposed to follow," Avila said. "It helped him to shed the influence of the war."

Bailey noted that Nez volunteered to serve in the Marines even though when he was 12 or 13, government officials told his family there were too many sheep on the Navajo reservation.

So the officials dug trenches, herded the sheep into the trenches and then set them on fire.

"That's one of the things I'll always remember," Nez said.

The event Sunday was held to benefit Veterans Count, a nonprofit organization that provides services and financial help of all kinds to servicemen and their families.

Bailey said before the event he gladly accepted the invitation to help because it gave him a chance to raise money for Veterans Count and to work with Nez.

"I want to thank you again and again and again for all the work you guys did," Bailey told Nez as he received a stirring round of applause from the audience.


Wateca Teaches Ownership of Environmental Stewardship

By Wallis Gaillard of The Green Allliance June 19, 2013

HAMPTON — Owned and operated by partners Nathan Johnson and Ernest Proper, Visions Kitchens and Designs specializes in full-on kitchen design from cabinets to counters, closets, and much more. Visions Kitchens offers a variety of products all from companies that practice sustainable harvesting including bamboo and sustainable woods. Similarly, Visions makes use of reclaimed or recycled cabinet and countertop materials as well.

The sustainable efforts and influences of Johnson and Proper are not contained by the business world. Both are active members of the Native American Community, specifically the Lakota. Johnson practices the traditional craft of parflechè, which are cases (like the ones used to hold the eating utensils), envelopes and clothing made of rawhide decorated with paints. “I was taught this craft to help carry on these traditions of our people,” Johnson says. “I currently make and sell parflechè
items for people all over the United States and Canada.”

In traditional Native American custom, people took great responsibility in providing for their own needs. Eating utensils were an important part of these customs, and people carried their utensils to all gatherings or even casual visits. This ties into the traditional way of thinking for Native American people and how they see the universe, trying to look seven generations ahead whenever making a choice.

In contemporary times, “WaTEcha” is a word used to describe when one attends a gathering and brings food home. Today, rather than taking extra care to bring Wateca dishes, people consistently depend on the Styrofoam plates, bowls, cups, and plastic-ware provided at gatherings. Often, these disposable plates and bowls become litter. Not only that but, “Styrofoam specifically takes so long to decompose and leaches many chemicals into the Earth,” Johnson says.




Seacoast Home Show 

Stop by our booth at the Seacoast Home Show this weekend and learn what makes us different than the "normal" design centers.


Green Alliance signs up 100th firm

Green Alliance signs up 100th firm Push continues to market Green Cards to consumers


Monday, September 24, 2012

PORTSMOUTH — It might be another 96 years before the Green Alliance officially turns 100, but that's not stopping them from celebrating another kind of century mark. Last week, the Portsmouth-based "green business union" officially welcomed aboard Home Town Technology Consultants (HTTC), making them the 100th "Business partner" in four years to take the green plunge.

An impressive feat, to be sure -- one made all the more admirable by the economic circumstances surrounding the company since the very beginning. Launched in 2008 by environmental activist and journalist Sarah Brown, the GA's initial aims were simple: To connect green-minded consumers with local businesses committed to rendering their products, services, and operations more sustainable and through public relations, brand building and story-telling to help grow those same green businesses.




November brings new showroom, third green designer for Visions Kitchens

This article was originally posted on the Green Alliance Blog on Dec 7, 2011 by Jim Cavan.

Certain businesses can get away with conducting their trade without the luxury of a showroom. But for Nathan Johnson, co-owner of Visions Kitchens, it was only a matter of time before such accommodations became a necessity.

This past month, Visions – a company which specializes in affordable green design and products – officially moved into their new showroom on High Street in Hampton.

At less than 1,000 square feet, Visions’ new by-appointment space isn’t exactly sprawling. But the visual exposure, combined with a more central Seacoast location near a bevy of other local, independent businesses added up to a winning formula for a company in the midst of a recession-defying boom.

“We’re excited about the location and the businesses that surround us,” said Johnson of his new abode. “And just having the flexibility that a show room provides I think will helps us better manage our projects.”

Since launching a year ago, Visions has carved a unique, green-focused niche in and around the Portsmouth area. Until recently, they’d managed to wear their lack of a showroom – and the resulting minimized carbon footprint – as a kind of badge of honor.

After a while, however, running a material-intensive business sans storefront seemed an unnecessary sacrifice.

“In all honesty, our situation isn’t that much different from where we were before,” said Johnson. “One important thing we do have now is visibility, which will hopefully help us continue to get our name out there.”

But a new storefront isn’t the only big news Visions can tout: Johnson and partner Ernie Proper recently brought on a third designer, who promises to take her new company’s green ethos to the next level.

A graduate of Keene State’s lauded Architecture program, Anne Scala has made the most of her long-held passion for green design, serving for the last two years as a volunteer for the New Hampshire Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

As a matter of fact, her efforts were so integral, Scala was recently bestowed the organization’s Volunteer of the Year Award.

Indeed, to say that Anne Scala knows a little something about sustainable design would be an understatement.

“I’ve been passionate about green all throughout my design experience,” Scala said. “It’s always been something that’s been very important to me, and I think we’re lucky that that’s where the future is.”

That certainly seems to be the case for Visions, who has in short order grown to become one of the most recognizable kitchen design companies anywhere in the region.

Chief to their strategy has been a steadfast commitment to offering products and approaches that are as green as they are affordable, including partnering with sources who practice sustainable harvesting; making use of bamboo and other sustainable wood products; featuring low or no VOC paints, stains and finishes; utilizing reclaimed or recycled cabinet and countertop materials, as well as specializing in design techniques which can help the owner receive points towards LEED certification.

Shortly after launching, Visions joined Green Alliance (GA), the Portsmouth-based organization which helps promote sustainability-minded businesses in the community. On top of getting access to the Alliance’s near 3,000 consumer members, Visions was also able to forge partnerships and participate in projects with other GA builders and designers.

“The guys at Little Green Homes especially did a lot to help me realize it’s possible to go after something that’s as important as green design,” Johnson said of his new-found collaborators. “That’s what they do, and by seeing that someone else could do it and do it well – that it wasn’t just something you saw on TV – really helped me to go after it.”

Taken together, Visions’ impressive growth, commitment to green, and newly enhanced visibility paint a picture of a company poised for continued success.

“Nathan has done a wonderful job of fostering a great community here for his company,” Scala exclaimed. “A lot of people here respect him, and I think with all the great things they’re doing they can only keep growing.”

“I see nothing but good things to come.”