Farmers’ Market Bouquet

I just had to share these beautiful flowers from the farmers’ market. I am so happy it is summer. I love fresh vegetables and flowers, and I am taking full advantage.

farmers mkt flowers1


I hope you are all enjoying summer too!

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  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.


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




Challenge outdoor room for $2k

I have been asked to put together an outdoor room for under $2k. Now I am someone who thinks of $2,000 as a lot of money but as I started researching this project I found out that $2k does not buy you a lot in the great outdoors.

So this is how I spent my money $870.00 on the Mykonos Brown 4-piece Conversation Set , $298 on a Dash and Albert outdoor rug , $215 on Real Flame ‘Modesto’ 38-inch Black Fire Column, 3 fun outdoor pillows $19 each , outdoor lanterns $55 large wire hanging lantern, $39 (x2) for the fun white ceramic lanterns both ,  Garden cart for plants or as an outdoor bar $148.00 , Fun square umbrella $199 this brings us to $1,920 for a very cool and eclectic outdoor room! How would you spend your $2k while still getting style and seating?

Wonderful seatingfire outdoorBar?CHIC STRIPES


Coastal Maine…this is the good life

Look at this incredible transformation. We took a coastal Maine home and matched the house to the view!  Look at the before shot of the living room, all the walls and ceiling were covered with natural wood paneling, and a beehive wood stove blocked the corner view of the ocean.

Uhg what an ugly roomwow

Wow look at the room now! We have highlighted the view by painting all the woodwork white, enclosing the wood ceiling beams, and replacing the carpet with sisal. We kept the tone in the room neutral and added a pop of color with a touch of blue.  All the furnishings have simple lines as to not distract you from the stunning view.

This room is truly breathtaking you are drawn into the space and once you are in you never want to leave. I loved working with these home owners it was a pleasure, and I love how this room and home turned out.

Wow look at the after shotAfter says it all

Photos by: Liz Donnelly

Your couch is the corner stone of your living room decor

I want to thank you all for your questions and comments, I love to hear from my readers.

I have been asked by several readers to give suggestions for reasonably priced sofas. I was not given any parameters so I am giving you a smattering of ideas for well made couches at good prices.

The Barrington Sofa below from is a great classic sofa. This couch would look good in many homes and can be made to look modern or traditional. The price is $1,700.Classic couchClassic

The Greenwich Sofa above from is another good choice for transitional homes. This sofa’s price range is $1,400-$1,900. I have used this in a few homes and the only feedback is that it is stiff at first. Good choice for kids and animals.

Coolio Sofa

True Modern Circa 84” sofa above from is a classic mid-century modern design. This is a great modern couch for $1,600.

Very Hip Sofa

The Blake Sofa above from is a very good choice for those of you who have a transitional style. The price for this sofa runs between $1,100 and $1,700 depending on the grade of fabric.

Tufting is in

Anne sofa above from is a great traditional couch. It retails for just under $2,000.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions or design dilemmas.

Happy Spring,


Put Your Feet Up…Poufs & Ottomans are Trending

Poufs and ottomans are trending in a big way! This is a trend I wholeheartedly embrace. Who doesn’t want to put their feet up? But, ottomans, cubes, and poufs are not just for resting your tired feet; they serve as extra seating too. They are small-scale and can be stashed under consoles,dining tables and coffee tables. These are wonderful in small spaces. Here are some great options! These range in price from $199-$599.

Sources: ,, , , ,

Cottage Style Bedroom

One of my readers asked me to put together a cottage bedroom with resources for them. As with many of my clients my readers want to be a part of the design process but need me to point them in the right direction. I am more than happy to write blog posts based on questions like this so keep them coming!

Fab bedGlass lamps are coolLove itBeadboard greatWorks anywhereCrisp and CleanLove this

I have used furniture for this cottage style room from Maine Woodworks (made in the USA) if you would like to order any of these pieces, and there is not a retailer in your area: email us . We can customize these furniture pieces any size any color!

Furniture: The bed is a barn-board queen bed with bun feet shown in ocean blue $1,600, the nightstand has a drawer and space for books, is shown in bright white $300, the bookcase is long and low (60Lx38Hx12 ¾ D) shown in bright white $1,100, the dresser is wonderful with barn-board sides, bun feet and 6 large drawers for storage (57Lx38Hx20D) shown in ocean blue $1,350.

Rug:  I love this rug, it is soft woven cotton, Train Tracks Slate 8×10 $364.00, any cotton rug will do!

Lamps: Target Glass Lamp $50,

Drapes: Linen Drapes: $329/panel, $55-$250/panel, $70-$130/panel

Bedding Resources: I love bedding and is one of my favorite lines, it is made in the USA  of vintage quality cotton…so soft it feels like it was your grandmother’s, other sites I like , all great options for a cottage bedroom.