Looking at tile with fresh eyes

Look at something, someone or a situation in your life from another angle. Perspective is everything! By distancing yourself and looking at things with fresh eyes, you will see things differently. Photographers are masters of perspective.

When I am working, I am looking at design from my client’s point of view. I want to be mindful that my ideas reflect them and not me.

Today I have been looking at tiles; there are a lot of different choices, and I am drawn to many of them. If I am not careful to always keep my concept and client’s in mind, I might influence the outcome with personal preferences.

The tiles I looked at today are the new hot trend…Zellige.

This tile is not new; it was widely used before Subway tile!

This is what I learned authentic Zellige is Moroccan; no two tiles are the same, imperfection is expected, and the finish and color vary a lot.

I think it is beautiful, and one of my clients is interested in using it. I just wanted to get educated, so I took the day to study it.

If you are interested in learning more about Zellige, this article is excellent!!


Hope you learned something new today!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you like this post please let me know by liking or commenting!



Kitchen design that brings nature inside

I love these windows that open your kitchen up to nature.

These new window designs are so smart! They allow you to cook and enjoy your outdoor space at the same time.

Hope you are having a good summer.



My favorite looks for the home in 2015

My favorite looks and ideas for 2015. Which one of these ideas can you incorporate into your home this year?

1. Art Wall-A grouping of art or photos.

photo by Liz Donnelly paintings by Rhonda Pearle http://www.bridgegalleryportland.com


2. White Kitchens: I love white it looks so clean and fresh. www.pinterest.com


3. Open Shelves…for people that keep them tidy…not for messy folks. http://www.capecodcollegiate.tumblr.com


5. Rooms with a cool vibe, I like the table as the centerpiece of the kitchen rather than an island. http://www.cultivate.com


6. Black windows…especially in old houses and loft spaces. http://www.capecodcollegiate.tumblr.com


7. Orchids, indoor plant groupings, greenhouses etc I love indoor plants especially in the winter when I am trapped inside. photo by Liz Donnelly

tablescape idea
ORCHID tablescape

8.  Interesting paint or wallpaper in an unexpected place like the laundry room or a closet.

DSC_8354 (2)

9. Subway tile is still in. This bathroom is great with the window in the shower. http://www.agatheredhome.com

Great window for a small space. www.gatheredhouse.com

10. Great trim and interesting doors and windows and beams are very popular. I am so glad this is a trend, as it makes my job so much more interesting. Photo Liz Donnelly

An after shot of the hallway.




11. Lastly great fabrics and fun upholstered pieces are my fabulous. Chair: Home Remedies Portland, ME : Photo Liz Donnelly


I am so excited about the projects that I am working on this year! I am living a dream, designing two homes from soup to nuts.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed my post! Let me know what you are planning for your home this year. I would love to hear from you.



















Hunting for treasure

Hunting for treasure…Interior Designer style. Casual-Vintage-Chic is my favorite style at the moment. The quickest way to add character to a home, is to add some instant history, consider old beams as part of your ceiling design, or reclaimed flooring, or even old trim.

On Monday, I went to one of my favorite spots. Maine has lots of these places if you are in Portland, ME check out Architectural Salvage. I am working on an exciting new project, in which we are adding interest to a new addition with old doors and windows.

Here are some of my treasures.

1. A wonderful mantel that we are going to restore. It is hard to see in the photo but it has a serpentine/wave in it and it is just lovely!


2. This fabulous pair of exterior doors, perhaps from a town house? Will be the new master bedroom doors, they will be incredible when they have been restored. We are going to add a mail slot back to the door!


3. These columns are perhaps our best find. We are using them in both the kitchen island and a built-in bookcase. They are just stunning.


4. Lastly we got this cabinet that we are going to build into the kitchen for storage. Note: The molding with the eye is not ours….it does not go with my vision.

We start this project in January, so we needed these items to be added to the plan for the builder. Wait until you see the finished product these treasures will shine!

Hope you like this post. Let me know what you think by commenting or liking it!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

Best, Celia


Your entry is your home’s first impression

Your entry is your home’s first impression. As you know, you only have one chance to make a first impression.

Designing an Entry/Foyer (or in Maine the mudroom)

  • Great walls are a must… use a wonderful wallpaper, a saturated paint color or consider a decorative paint finish.
  • Your entry floor can be a place to have fun too. If you have hardwood you can add a border, or you can splurge on a spectacular rug, or tile the space with specialty tile.
  • Every entry needs seating of some type, a bench, a chair or a Settee.
  • You must have a mirror in this space as well! Your guests and family alike will appreciate this touch.
  • Storage of some sort will help you use your space to its fullest.
  • Your entry needs to be well-lit, either lamps, overhead lighting or sconces.
  • Your foyer is also a great place to display art or a collection.

Here is my mood board for a  chic city condo foyer.


Your mudroom, entry hall or foyer sets the mood and style for your home…do not forget to make it fabulous!

What is your next project? Are you dreaming of a new bedroom or bathroom?

My next post will be the idea board for a Master bathroom in a wonderful old Maine home.

Thank you for stopping by.

Best, Celia


Thanksgiving Tablescapes and much more!

Wonderful Entry http://www.hgtv.com

Wow, there certainly are a lot of talented people doing wonderful decorating for Thanksgiving!

I have been trying to come up with a tablescape for the holiday that I can do this week. I have 23 of my favorite in-laws arriving, some of whom will be house guests. I would like to have the table set this week so I have more time to enjoy my family!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love to cook, entertain and decorate and this holiday allows my to create wonderful food and decor.

This is a fun idea and so easy!

Great way to use an old book! http://www.bhg.com

I like to think of my holiday decorating as the backdrop to wonderful memories.


This is a pretty and simple holiday display.


Some of these ideas are so easy and beautiful. If you do not want to buy pears, collect pinecones, acorns and bark.

I went to Pottery Barn for pepperberry and pear branches and put them in a wonderful bark covered vase. This arrangement is going in the center of my kitchen island and I can use it year after year!


Here is a great idea that does not cost a lot of money. You can go on a hike in the woods and find the pinecones and just add ribbon! Even if you buy the pinecones they are very inexpensive and readily available at craft stores.

I hope you enjoy your holiday and time with family.

Best, Celia









Finishing touches make the room

As a designer, I cannot stress enough, that little touches finish a space. Without the pieces of your personality, a home looks unwelcoming and unfinished. Here are a few spaces I designed, look at how we add the books, vases, clocks, pictures, statues etc. We want to bring our clients interests, personal history and even quirks into their space.

I feel homes should reflect the home owners not their designers!

Tip: Vintage items add instant history to a space

This indoor herb garden adds the finishing touch to this room. Photo: Liz Donnelly
In this kitchen ceramic Pineapples and pastel dishes style the space.
Liz Donnelly photo
In this new coastal home we used the home owners old book collection to add history to a bedroom. Photo: Liz Donnelly
In this Maine lake house we spelled out the word camp…because that is what the homeowners call their house. Liz Donnelly photographer
We also added little plants in mason jars and old pots to add to the “campy” feel.
Liz Donnelly photographer
Plants, books and bottles make this bookcase more interesting and appealing.
Liz Donnelly: photographer
In this home we kept the touches simple, books, flowers and antique ginger jars.
Photo: Jamie Salomon
This eclectic room needed very little but we used a family clock on the side table, flowers and coffee table books. Photo: Jamie Salomon

I hope you will let me know what you do to finish your space. What personal touches  do you feel are important in making you house a home?

I really do love answering your questions please keep your comments and questions coming!!!!!

Click on the follow button to receive our posts.

Thank you for reading my blog. Best, Celia

Summer means rustic, casual & cottage style to me

Although I like a lot of different styles I think I might call my own style transitional-eclectic. I appreciate good design, but in summer I am drawn to casual, rustic and cottage objects. I was asked to help design the 2012 furniture line for Maine Woodworks a cottage style furniture company, Made in Maine! I also did the photo styling for the shoot, I am very proud of the results. Liz Donnelly is the talent behind the photos.

I chose a neutral palette for this year’s line here are a few of the colors that are shown in the photos below: Benjamin Moore- Skipping Stones (CSP 155), Plaster of Paris (CSP 185), and Birds Egg (2051-60-fabulous blue). These are just the new neutrals Maine Woodworks is offering but you can get any color you want! Tangerine is the new hot color, maybe you want to spruce up your office with a tangerine file cabinet? Be creative…and go for colors that inspire you.

Maine Style hits the office
Bring Maine cottage style to your office

Why does your office need to be dark to be professional? Why not pick colors inspire you? What colors make you feel calm? How can you incorporate your favorite colors into your workspace?

Bookcase from heaven
Love this distressed cottage style bookcase
Love the arch
Perhaps you need storage for a narrow wall? Look at this wonderful bookcase!
Love this shot
This is a diverse piece it can go anywhere it can be a media cabinet, in a bedroom as storage in a living room as shown!
Ahhh Summer
This bed painted in MWW Ocean Blue is a soothing color, perfect for summer or any time of year.
Great Bedroom
Wonderful Double Dresser
Bring on summer
This living room is re-made for summer,with a summer rug and slipcover for the sofa, the cottage coffee table and side tables work anytime of year!

I really am pleased with the way this office furniture looks and it is available now at a retailer near you. If you cannot find a retailer in your area let me know, and I will help.

Creative WorkSystems (Parent Company of Maine Woodworks) is a nonprofit organization staffed by talented and devoted individuals, Susan Percy, Executive Director, Janet Dutson, Marketing, Communications & Development Director, and Dave Gallati, of Maine Woodworks are just a few I have the pleasure to know.

Susan is an amazing person, she is so intelligent, caring and devoted, I feel so lucky to have her in my life. Janet makes a tri-athlete look lazy, her professionalism and dedication is unmatched and I am so pleased to be working with her. Dave is my go to man, he hates to see me coming with all my new ideas, but he makes them come to fruition and should be proud of his fine work! I am impressed at how all of these individuals wear so many hats and juggle so many projects while putting the needs of people with disabilities first!

If you would like to help this fantastic organization http://www.creativeworksystems.com/donate/  your money will go directly towards the people who need it most. Thank you!

Happy Memorial Day, thank you to all those who have given their lives and careers to preserve our freedom!


Coastal Kitchen…before and after

This project on the coast of Maine was so much fun! The homeowners became good friends through the construction process. We started with a subpar colonial and finished a superb coastal retreat. One of the most interesting parts of this project was the fact that these homeowners wanted to be involved in all of the stages of the project, in fact they did the trim and the fireplace!

This is one of the before pictures of the kitchen. The kitchen was cherry and had black appliances, many home owners would be happy with the before, but thankfully these home owners knew that the house needed to be lightened up. We not only took out the kitchen but we removed walls and set the beams up into the ceiling, the effect was amazing!

Black and Brown kitchen

Look at this light and airy after shot of the kitchen! The appliances are all stainless steel, the cabinets are off white and the counters are so unusual, gray and gorgeous.

Bright Kitchen

The difference is in the details! These lights rock, and the homeowner found them…on sale…online!

Cool Lights

Did I tell you the view is fabulous? You can see the ocean from the stove, sink and fridge who wouldn’t want to cook here?

Ocean makes the room

Here is the before shot of the eat-in area of the kitchen. Look at the fireplace…you won’t recognize it.


In the next after shot below you see how we continued the light feeling removing the bookcases, and refinishing the fireplace…the homeowner did it himself!!!!

Comfortable spot!Photos by the talented Liz Donnelly


Thank you for reading! I am really lucky to have you loyal followers.

Keep the questions coming.


Art Makes a Room Complete

Art is very important in good design. You can show your style and taste through the art you choose. Art can be an investment or can just be a painting, drawing or sculpture you connect with. Trust your gut and you will build an art collection that reflects you and your family. Art is interesting because it tells a story that each person interprets in their own way.

I am high-lighting three very unique and talented artists; they all price their work very reasonably…start your own collection and let me know how it is coming.

This first photo is of a dressing room with a collection of small scale art and jewelry. Here we hung art in a gallery style.

Art in the eye of the beholder

I love this painting by Andrew Faulkner from a Marin Magazine contest. This pleasing scene could work in any home. Check out other works by Andrew www.afstudio.com/painting

.my brothers art!

Deb Hides did this mural of chickadees. I love seeing art directly on walls it can be a very clever way to dress a space. In this case up at tree level!  To see more work by Deb Hides go to her blog www.debhides.tumblr.com


This last piece is from a very talented Maine artist Rhonda Pearle she owns Bridge Gallery in Portland, Maine other works by her and her husband Gary can be seen at www.bridgegalleryportland.comRhoda Pearle painting

I know how intimidating art purchases can be, but get to know artists that you like by going to art shows or even through images online you will feel good buying from someone you connect with.


A great place to start your journey is www.yesartworks.org  

You will feel so good buying art from these artists.

French Country Look Still Trending

The High Point Show has confirmed that the distressed French country look is still a strong home trend this season. Here are some of the best options from Blue Ocean Traders, Four Hands, and Zentique.

The first three photos are from Four Hands they have been ahead of home trends for over 15 years! I love Four Hands.

Great StyleGroovy Items


The next three photos are from Zentique; this company is the go to place for the French country look. They understand good design, and have reproduced many French designs adapting them for today’s life style. I love these cabinets, they are simply beautiful. The French candle cage is just lovey too!Closet for those with high styleFrench Country LightDesign very cool


The last three photos are from Blue Ocean Traders; this is a very reasonably priced company with a good sense of design. They combine one of kind antique pieces with good reproductions. I especially love the Antique side car…great art piece for the right home!


Love this could be a barside carCrystal Love

If you are following home trends but do not want something that will go out of style, this may be the trend for you. These are timeless pieces that could work for traditional and transitional homes. This look also works in coastal homes as the wood has a bleached or drift wood look.


Happy Trending & Thank you for reading, Celia