Letter from The Editor

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR-October 2009 by Susan Grisanti Kelley Photography François Gagné


When we put an issue of Maine Home+Design together, we select and develop stories, matching them to one another until the blend is just right. The stories often bind together and form a collective whole. If each issue develops its own collective personality, then this issue resonates with the theme of a fiercely independent spirit.


Take developers Catherine and Jonathan Culley for example. The pair didn’t buy into purist thinking when they wanted to build a green home (Portland Platinum, page 42). Instead they took a balanced, pragmatic approach. “We decided that green design doesn’t work if only a few people can afford it. We wanted to make it so that it’s attainable for more people—so that it’s less ‘pie in the sky,’” says Catherine. Their approach was unexpectedly rewarded with the highest U.S. Green Building Council LEED rating a building can achieve: Platinum.

And then there are those who traded in Manhattan for Maine: Alex Carleton of Rogues Gallery (Worth His Salt, page 64), Sarajo’s Yosi Barzilai (Textile Treasures, page 36), and Paolina’s Way owner Christina Sidoti (The Life of the Loft, page 54). All three left the bright lights and big city to set up shop in Maine. Carleton left behind jobs designing for Abercrombie & Fitch and Ralph Lauren, and Barzilai gave up a SoHo location with proximity to clients like Kate Moss, Donna Karan, and Mick Jagger. Sidoti still travels between New York and Maine, but decided Maine would house her lifelong dream. Now, during the busiest months, she lives above her restaurant on Camden’s waterfront.

Even in the letters written to MH+D this month, we see the way Maine inspires people to make major life changes. Reader Elizabeth Klein writes, “We’ve fallen in love with the place and are now in negotiations to open up our own medical practice in Belfast. Though we have a lovely house with great views of the Pacific, Maine seems a different sort of place, one that is more in tune with our values, and that may be worth the effort it would take to make the move.”

I wholeheartedly agree.

Susan Grisanti Kelley

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