As I head off to Vermont this week with my family for a friends wedding, I started to think about fall and the colors of the east coast. I love the change of seasons there and the real feeling of fall. It reminded me of a project a friend of mine did this summer in Maine. The richness of life on the east coast and the presence of water make this summer get away perfect for any season.
Let me introduce to you my talented friend Courtney Hollander and her interior design project that she did along with architect Steve Giannetti of Giannetti Architecture and Interiors. Her inspiration and process is in the story below. Enjoy getting inside her creative thinking as she walks you through her design process. I had the pleasure of helping her source materials and styles for some of the bedrooms…the rest is all her!
When Steve Giannetti and I first started talking about the house in Maine, we knew we wanted to blend the traditional aesthetic of a classic shingle-style Maine house with the very modern yet nature-inspired approaches of Belgian designers like Axel Vervordt. We started with the simplest of palates – with colors direct from nature – rocks taken from the beach at the site of the new house. Everything grew out of those simple materials.
Working with Steve and his very talented wife Brooke, we began the process of interiors. Steve’s wonderful sketches lead us to start our design process on the Main House:
What most designers don’t like to talk about is the chaos that ensues in the last days before a house is finished. After a night spent moving furniture in, here is how the kitchen/living room are looked the following day:
The library of the main house contains a gorgeous view to the surrounding lake as well as these amazing vintage swim suit frames which are available here.
One of the great aspects of working with Steve and his wife Brooke on the interiors was that I got to be part of designing a collection of furniture. Steve designed the sofas (one was even named The Courtney), as well as most of the furniture in both the main house and the barn. I added several antiques – with the shopping help of Annette who proved to be an invaluable resource, not only for her amazing sense of space, but also because she is always good for a laugh in the midst of chaos. The great linen stripe fabric was picked out from an assortment of fabrics at Annette’s studio in Santa Monica.
I found the beautiful rug for the master bedroom from our friend George at The Rug Warehouse and we used it as our color palate for the rest of the room. In other bedrooms, I used earth tone colored fabrics I picked up from Annette’s studio. Annette made the gorgeous velvet chairs and ottoman and she popped them with pillows from Pinecone Hill. We also added these pillows for the bed:
The rest of the main house looked wonderful and we moved onto the barn:
When it came time to creating bedrooms for the main house and the barn Courtney found lots of fabrics and style to choose from at the studio. Courtney is such a resourceful worker and very decisive.. a big plus when working with an interior designer. She is a queen at getting projects done and looking great. There were many times she would be walking through Wertz Brothers with me and she would stop in front of a dusty old antique and say, “oh this would look great in this room.” I don’t know how she did it. Her ideas lived inside her head and she had such a clear vision on what the room looked like – without any notes!! I do not possess this talent and I am in awe of her ability to see the room in her mind and assemble all the components without having to reference back. She has got it down and her confidence is solid – a quality you want when working with an interior designer. In my opinion, when you hire an interior designer you hire them for their ideas as much as their knowledge. They better be creative and know their stuff. Courtney is a wiz at it!