Coastal Condo Before & After

I have just completed a really fun project. We transformed a 1980’s average condo into an incredible chic retreat.

Photos by Liz Donnelly.

Before:Prior to the renovation there were too many columns, several types of flooring and a busy tray ceiling.


After: we removed the columns where possible and opened up the space. We added ship-lap to the fireplace and a new window to the living room.



Before: The kitchen was the largest transformation. Before the renovation the kitchen was closed off from the rest of the unit, now it is one fluid space.


After: The space is so airy and fresh now. I adore the ice blue marble tile it brings the ocean feel into the kitchen. The hood was custom made for the space, I love the glossy white enamel finish.


Before Dining Room & Railing: In the former dining room you felt closed in by the columns and railing. Now the space is open and welcoming.




Hall before and After: we created a cased opening with a proper entry,  which allowed us to gain living space. The new entry was defined by a ship-lap wainscoting and grass-cloth wallpaper. Just beyond the entry we added a console table to catch keys, and mail etc. The result is very elegant. I love the Brockie Stevenson print above the console table.



The master bedroom was dark and dreary. We stripped the wallpaper, added a ship-lap wall/fireplace and some simple touches.



I am so proud of this beautiful home renovation, the results are stunning.

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One Room Four Quadrants

Great rooms and open concept living is here to stay. We have evolved from compartmentalized living to multi purpose living spaces. Today we want one room to have multiple functions, just as we want our phones to do many things. We are multi tasking as a way of life, I think some of us only have virtual free time.

This home shows us exactly how one space can serve many needs, as the living, dining, kitchen and TV area share one space, but they feel separate.

Quadrant 1:The Kitchen, which utilizes two walls of this shared space, the Island helps to define this area.
Photo: Liz Donnelly

Quadrant 2: The TV area, This space is directly in front of the kitchen and shares the cabinet wall with the kitchen. The TV wall, (not shown) is in line with the living room wall. This area also has the access to the deck and backyard.
Photo: Liz Donnelly

Quadrant 3: This is the living room area, it shares a common wall with the dining room space. The front staircase and front door are located in this “formal” section.
Photo: Liz Donnelly

Living section looking towards the dining room.
Photo: Liz Donnelly

Quadrant 4: Dining, the dining area is just off the kitchen and the living space. This is great entertaining space, the island serves as the buffet.
Photo: Liz Donnelly
Photo: Liz Donnelly

What do you think about open concept living? Do you like the idea of everything happening in one space? Do you function better when everything & EVERYONE is close together, or do you prefer closed spaces to get away?

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Putting together a put together room

Putting together a room that looks well put together, takes time and skill. Anyone can go to Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware or Ethan Allen and buy coordinating furniture for a room. The difference between a professionally designed room and designing a room with one of these retailers is the attention to detail.

As Interior Designers, I am always looking at the whole picture, the final product is always on my mind. I tell my clients all the time not to obsess about each item, this happens most often with paint colors. My clients see the paint go up and judge the room, without thinking about the other elements that make up the design of their space. The color may seem too saturated or too soft to them, but once they see it with the flooring, window treatments, furniture, pillows and accessories they get it!

Here is a living room we designed, I used this to show you some of what goes into designing a beautiful room.

Photographer: Liz Donnelly.

We used grass-cloth wallpaper to create a focal wall, and painted the rest of the room a lovely cool grey-blue.

I think this bar turned out so well, I love the lights and mirror.

Aren’t the lights fabulous they are from a French vendor.

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The wall color is Benjamin Moore Seersucker Suit. I adore this color!


Plants always add a sculptural and natural touch to any room. Plants from Skillins in Falmouth, ME.

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Decorative pillows and a cozy throw invite you to stay in a space. The wonderful crane pillows are from Nicola’s Home, Yarmouth, ME.

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Art is crucial to good design and is often overlooked when budgeting for a space. Who wouldn’t want this peaceful and massive watercolor by Robin Hill his work is available through

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Comfortable and casual seating was a must for this home. The top chair is a warn in leather swivel by the Kellogg Collection in Washington, D.C.

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The chairs below are Lee and I am so fond of them they make it into a lot of my homes! I go to Simply Home in Falmouth for my Lee.

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Large coffee tables are so much more useful than small ones.

I like to have a table that you can fit books and other items on and still have room to eat a meal. This one is made by Fourhands, In Austin, Texas.




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In addition to recessed or overhead lights you need lamps for task lighting and ambiance. You don’t need to spend a lot on lamps (but you can!), these are from Home Goods and Birchlane.

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Rugs can either serve as an important feature or they can blend into the background, like this one. This rug is from the Kellogg Collection Washington, D.C.


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We used a Belgium linen sofa and I just love the way it looks. We had this sofa custom made. If you need one…I will make you one!

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I like to complete my designs with a bit of whimsy. In this room, the antique doll house does the trick. I set this dollhouse on an old farmhouse dining table. It gives your eye a place to rest when taking in the details of the room. It is also a nice place to stack books or grow plants.

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So I hope you see that it is important to collect a room from different places and eras. Be creative look in your attic and pull together your room detail by detail!

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What are you working on? Let me know if I can answer any of your questions.