390 Design

Check out my article about the awesome Mark Nodeen, of 390 Design, in the latest issue of Edible Sarasota:





“Everybody there has their own niche and I was just trying to find mine” says Mark Nodeen of his current job at Sarasota Architectural Salvage (SAS), where employees are known for creating masterpieces from items that most would deem scrap or, God forbid, trash. “About a year ago, I decided to make a couple of chalkboards out of plywood and trim. I took them into the store and they sold and I thought, ‘Well, that’s cool.’”Very cool, Mark. Very cool indeed.

In fact, everything about Mark Nodeen is cool, from his previous life as a musician to his current job of slinging sweet salvage pieces at SAS to his burgeoning career at 390 Design as Chalkboard Maker Extraordinaire.

So, what’s so great about chalkboards? If you got yours from Wal-Mart probably nothing. Even if your drawing skills could rival M.C. Escher, if you are working on some pre-fabricated, plastic-lined, subpar chalkboard, your efforts are going to fall flat. However, if you are using a 390 Design creation, made from bits of stained glass or pieces from the old John Ringling Hotel, well, even a blind baby zebra with a broken arm would be deemed the next Picasso.

Many of our town’s Who’s Who have become loyal 390 Design clients. The Hyatt, one of Mark’s first projects, proudly displays several of Mark’s custom boards in the hotel’s Currents Restaurant. Coyne’s Pier 28 and local favorite, eat here, also boast his one-of-a-kind chalkboards, which are not only visually pleasing to staff and guests alike but will certainly generate much more interesting table talk than the weather. “Instead of having a regular menu that’s hung or printed, there’s just something nostalgic about chalk. If the board is built right and the writing is done well, the effect is extremely eye-catching,” explains Mark.

Chalkboards aren’t limited to restaurants alone. Mark recently made boards for Lotus and Simply Spoiled Boutique, two shops known for leading the trends in this town. But, you don’t have to be a business owner to get ‘boarded,’ 390Design boards are available at SAS for you impulse buyers. Others who want custom chalkboards can contact Mark directly. His pieces range all the way from small boards, made with plywood and trim, to huge eight-footers, made with salvaged pieces like old screen doors and carved table legs from the 1800s, to productions lined with hidden framed lights behind colorful glass adornments.

“Some people think it’s just a matter of buying wood and slapping some chalk paint on it, but it’s a much more complex process. I’m using unique recycled material built to custom suit a client,’ Mark says proudly of his technique. “And, you know by getting one of my pieces that you aren’t only helping the environment by using salvaged material, but you’re also getting an exclusive piece that was made locally and purchased locally.”

Pretty cool.

Contact Mark Nodeen at 390Design@gmail.com for more information or check out 390Design on Facebook.




  • charcharcool

    you’re pretty cool.