High Shine

What is the difference between high gloss and lacquer, if there is one?

There are two major differences between high gloss and lacquer: sheen and process. While both are glossy, reflective sheens, lacquer portrays an almost glasslike finish (think of a grand piano). A lacquer finish must be applied to a flawless surface free of bumps, cracks, and even dust. A blend of resins and solvents is then sprayed on; it dries quickly, creating a hard surface. High-gloss paint is a little more forgiving. It is self-leveling, meaning it can hide some imperfections and can be applied with a brush or roller. However, it dries much more slowly and doesn’t harden like lacquer.

What are the pros and cons to consider when using these finishes?

Both are easy to clean! That’s important when considering a finish for a bar or vanity. Lacquer is a very durable and hard finish that may hold up better over time than a high-gloss paint. Lacquer can be cost prohibitive because of the amount of work that goes into prepping the surface. It is also a specialized service that not every painter can offer, and the cost of lacquer is higher.

What are the benefits of using high-gloss or lacquer paint in an interior? How do you think it is best used?

Both finishes are highly reflective, so when used on walls, they enhance natural light during the daytime and create a lot of drama at night. Using a high-sheen finish on cabinetry draws your attention and adds dimension to the space.

How do you personally like to use this finish? Do you use it in your own home or design studio?

I tend to lacquer smaller spaces to add drama and interest. My go-to lacquer spaces are wet bars, vanities, and crown moldings that when lacquered, helps to enhance a painted or wallpapered ceiling. For full-room use, I would suggest a library or dining room with detailed wood panels.

How are your clients using this finish? Are there any trending styles?

My clients are all across the board—we have lacquered entire rooms, wet bars, kitchens, trim, and furniture! It all depends on how comfortable the client is with the effect and result. Some clients who are unfamiliar may think the look is too bold. However, it is my job to educate them and coordinate this process with the selected scheme and overall aesthetic we are trying to achieve.

In the end, my main goal is to create an elegant and timeless interior for my clients that is a reflection of their personalities, which both finishes can help to achieve. Fun fact: even George Washington was a fan of high-gloss walls!


A Library Grows Downeast

Simons Architects is working with the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor on a new addition to its historic 1911 building. The addition is the third phase of a four-phase plan for growth dating back to 2015, reflecting the library’s mission to “nourish minds, enhance lives, and build community.” Extensive restoration and rehabilitation work, as well as ADA accessibility and energy improvements, have already been made to the existing building.

This new 11,400-square-foot addition will almost double the size of the library and create three new entrances on two levels. A library is meant to be a safe harbor, so these new entrances are designed to be open and welcoming. The two-story connector to the existing building will have intuitive wayfinding and serve the community as an informal gathering space and viewing gallery. The lower level is community oriented, with a new multipurpose meeting room designed to seat up to 150 people and a makerspace classroom. The main level will house the relocated and expanded children’s and teen collections, with a storytime area, noisy/quiet study rooms, and directly adjacent restrooms.

The expansion also includes a new archive section dedicated to storing and maintaining historic maps of Acadia National Park as well as genealogical materials. There will be a classroom, public study area, archival research stations, and a digital lab.

The library has established environmentally responsible goals for a 100-year building for the addition, with a mass timber structure and a high-performance building envelope. The design will aim to minimize energy and water use as much as possible and provide the chance to reduce reliance on fossil fuels over time as systems are upgraded. Since the library is located in a moderate fly-through zone for bird migration, bird-friendly design strategies are being incorporated.

The new addition is “stepped back” from the existing library to celebrate its history and importance within the community while creating an inviting outdoor public space. Contemporary masonry and metal cladding were carefully selected to complement the existing building in their quality and materiality, but they are differentiated with the use of contrasting colors and large-format, contemporary glazing.   

Location: Bar Harbor

Architect: Simons Architects

Design Team: Scott Simons, FAIA, principal; Julia Tate, AIA, project manager; Matt Maiello, AIA, project architect; Sam Mellecker, designer

In collaboration with: Pamela Hawkes, FAIA, principal at Scattergood Design; Scott Whitaker, director of enclosure at LeMessurier (for existing building work) Mike Rogers, PLA, and Rob Krieg, PLA, at LARK Studio

Preconstruction Services: E.L. Shea Builders & Engineers

Construction Start: September 2023

Construction Completion: September 2025


Montblanc Meisterstück

My father, who worked in real estate, always had a gold Cross pen in his left shirt pocket. I learned at a young age that the type of pen you carry makes a statement. Like most kids in the ’80s and ’90s, I carried a Bic Cristal ballpoint (a pen with its own merits, but that’s for another Design Lesson). The pen of all pens was then, and still is, the Montblanc Meisterstück 149.

The fountain pens we know today became popular in the early twentieth century. They all use water-based inks (filling your pen with the wrong type of ink will ruin it) and have a reservoir for the ink. The reservoir can be built into the pen’s barrel, but today, a disposable ink cartridge is more common. The flexible metal tip at the end is the nib, with a tiny slit down its centerline, and it is tipped with a tiny ball made of an alloy of one of the
platinum-group metals.

The Meisterstück fountain pen was first introduced in 1924 by the company Simplo, which would later become Montblanc (after the name of the highest peak in the Alps). Meisterstück means “masterpiece,” and its design is luxurious: a black resin is used for the cap and barrel of the pen, “Meisterstück” is etched into the widest of the three gold rings that go around the base of the cap, and on the tip of the cap is the iconic white Montblanc emblem (a white star that represents the snowcap and six glacial valleys of Mont Blanc). The height of the mountain, which is 4,810 meters, is inscribed on the pen’s 18-carat hand-ground gold nib.

By the end of the 1920s, Montblanc was internationally known for its writing instruments. A lifetime guarantee was added in 1935 for the Meisterstück, and Montblanc began producing branded leather pen pouches, notebooks, and writing cases. Famous
Meisterstück users include President John F. Kennedy, Princess Diana, and President Barack Obama.

The final-year project for a young craftsperson training at Montblanc is to design a Meisterstück; it marks their transition from apprentice to master. Each Meisterstück 149 is individually crafted and can be customized with various point sizes and ranges of flexibility in the nib. The pen is 148 mm (5.8 inches) long by 16 mm (0.63 inches) in diameter, and it has changed little over the past hundred years, except for a specially developed resin that replaced the original celluloid. In 1994 the Meisterstück Solitaire Royal became the world’s most expensive fountain pen, adorned with 4,810 diamonds, each set by hand. Today you can learn even more about this iconic writing instrument by visiting the Montblanc nib-making factory and the Montblanc Museum in Hamburg, Germany.


All the Elements

When Elisa Castillo and Rob Solomon bought their East Boothbay property in 2019, the 15-acre parcel had sat on the market for a year. It was densely wooded, covered with scrubby growth, and run through with ledges that threatened to limit buildable lots; roads would have to be built, and electricity and water brought in. But the couple fell under its spell. “It’s a beautiful property with ridges, highs, lows, swamp, everything. We kept hiking through the property, and every time, we saw something totally different,” says Solomon. “It was disorienting. It was magic.” They purchased it and began to plan for a second home that would become a remote work location (Castillo is a psychologist and wellness dean at a public university, and Solomon is a solutions architect for a cybersecurity software company). Veteran travelers, they also wanted to put their Airbnb experience to use designing a home that could be rented when they weren’t using it. A hilltop offered the possibility of an ocean view, and they worked with Kaplan Thompson Architects to design a structure tall enough to see the water while conforming to local height limits. But as they spent more time on the property, they found themselves drawn to a different location: a grove of birch trees surrounding a large maple and spotted with vernal pools. They built a stone firepit there, set some Adirondack chairs around it, and changed their plan.

Putting their custom design on the shelf (for now), they began working with Kaplan Thompson’s sister firm, BrightBuilt Home, to customize a high-performance modular home. Site responsiveness was important to the couple, says Solomon: “I didn’t want a tabula rasa. I didn’t want to take an idea of a house and plop it down anyplace. I wanted to create something shaped around the place.” A modular home is, in fact, brought to the site largely complete, but that doesn’t get in the way of specificity, says architect Jessica Benner, who worked with the couple to modify the firm’s Sidekick model. With an eye toward matching the plans for the hilltop home, they switched the gable form for a shed roof and added clerestory windows under vaulted ceilings. The bedrooms were moved to opposite ends of the module to provide more privacy; the kitchen was converted to a galley. Most high-performance homes are south facing, says Benner, but in this case “the siting of the house has really beautiful views to the east, so we arranged the spaces so that all of that light and sun could come in on the east side.”

Once the design was complete, the home was constructed by KBS Builders in South Paris, while general contractor Mike White of Island Carpentry in Georgetown prepared the site. One of the efficiencies of modular construction is that the foundation can be poured while the walls and roof are being built, rather than in sequence. It can take only two weeks for the home to be constructed in the factory. Then, on “set day,” the home is delivered to the site and positioned by crane, under the supervision of the general contractor, who oversees a team of specialists. At that point, says Benner, 70 or 75 percent of the work is completed. “Once they deliver the module, it takes three months to finish these guys, on average,” says White. “If you build a house from scratch on a foundation, it might be five, six, seven months.” But for White, who has worked with BrightBuilt on around 25 homes, time savings are less important than resource conservation. Several years ago, motivated by the threat of climate change, he committed to building zero-energy homes, which produce all the energy they consume. “It’s the only thing I want to do. It’s the right thing to do, not only for the environment, but also for people’s pocketbooks. It saves money, particularly over a long period,” he says. Because modular construction creates cost savings, it makes zero-energy homes available to more people. “It’s been a mission of BrightBuilt to change the paradigm of modular, bringing high design to the modular industry. It’s meant to make the design and architecture and high performance more accessible,” says Benner.
“I firmly believe that modular is the construction method of the future.”

Finishing the home, for Castillo and Solomon, meant completing its ties to the outdoors. It is a small space—850 square feet—but they never imagined its walls as boundaries. Castillo grew up in Puerto Rico, where, she says, “everyone lives outdoors”; Solomon had a similar experience growing up in a Long Island, New York, beach town and had developed a deep love for the woods while attending summer camp in Maine. They worked with White to add an oversized deck and a separate structure that holds a sauna and outdoor hot tub, while designing a “forest garden” in the birch grove, using stones unearthed during construction. The interior design was “all about elevating natural elements,” says Castillo. They selected light wood trim, clear maple floors, a soapstone countertop, and a fireplace surround made of river stones to anchor the design in nature. Accents in a deep teal were matched to decaying wood they found on the property, which was stained by the green elfcup fungus. Castillo chose artworks that use elemental shapes—circles, squares, and rectangles—in playful ways, to create a calming effect. She hung round mirrors opposite the large windows to bring the forest into the interior and echo the moon motif that appears throughout the home.

The property, which carries the name Forest Spa Maine on Airbnb, was always intended as a retreat, but as construction proceeded during the COVID pandemic, it gained new meanings. By then, the couple had moved beyond camping out on the site: they had built a large platform topped by a Garden Igloo plastic dome tent, and they had also brought in a portable toilet and two-burner gas grill. “We came here every other weekend through that first summer of COVID,” Solomon recalls. “It helped preserve our sanity.” Castillo was heading up the COVID response at her university. “It was so intense,” she says. “We became very mindful of how hungry we are for retreat, escape, relaxation, and wellness. We wanted to create a space not just for us but for others to unplug, be with nature, go hiking, have that meditative experience that could be so healing.” Now that they have a space for themselves and for Airbnb guests, the couple is imagining next steps. They are planning their “third bedroom”—a small, off-grid structure that will expand the home’s capacity for guests. Perhaps they will take that model further, creating private areas for “glamping” around the property; perhaps they will create a wellness retreat. And there’s still that plan for the house on the hill. For now, Castillo says, they are deeply appreciating what they have built. “My favorite thing here is being in the hot tub, when you can see the Milky Way at night. It’s a small house, but you have access to the universe.”

Hide Away

Seamless storage options are key when designing a residence with a small footprint. This has proven true not only in our modern age of tiny living but for as long as boatbuilders have been crafting drifting homes and city dwellers have slept, eaten, and bathed in one compact space. From floating stairs to inventive built-ins to hidden storage compartments like the one shown above, Pretty Small: Grand Living with Limited Space (Gestalten, 2022) showcases residences that serve as inspired guides on how to set up a place of solitude with a reduced floor plan.

Here, architecture duo Claire Scorpo and Nicholas Agius of Agius Scorpo Architects took on a personal project to create a home for Agius in Melbourne’s historic Cairo Flats building. Designed in 1936 by Acheson Best Overend, the U-shaped building made up of studio apartments built around a central garden is one of the city’s most recognized architectural landmarks. Agius and Scorpo chose to maintain the ethos of Overend’s design—“maximum amenity at minimum cost and space”—while modernizing the unit and allowing two people to coexist with privacy.

Shown above is the studio’s “kitchen cabinet,” a multifunctional, transitional construction of recycled Victorian ash hardwood. Two doors—the left on a slide, the right on a hinge—open to reveal the kitchen and its various gadgets, tools, and ingredients, which, when the doors close, can all be tucked away while remaining easily accessible. A hidden moving panel above the sink, when opened, allows light to flow from the main living space to the bedroom, which is ingeniously made private by the kitchen’s sliding door.



3. LARGE HANDCRAFTED MAPLE CUTTING BOARD Block Brothers Custom Cabinets //




7. YOLK 2023-10 Benjamin Moore //



Design Wire May 2023

A new modular piece of playroom furniture made from recycled olive pits called the NONTALO STOOL allows children and parents to change the shape of the seat to suit their mood or activity. Developed by design duo ENERIS COLLECTIVE and Barcelona-based biomaterials company NAIFACTORY LAB, the chair is composed of REOLIVAR, a biocomposite made from olive pits, which is then formed in molds to reduce unnecessary waste. Inspired by children’s construction sets, the Nontalo stool is made up of six parts: three large, P-shaped pieces and three long rods that slot into the central opening of the other pieces to hold them in place. Designed to bring play, spontaneity, and sustainability together, once it has reached the end of its life, the stool can be composted or returned to Naifactory Lab to be recycled.


Think a plaid, checkerboard, or tartan car could only exist in your children’s effervescent drawings? Think again. BMW’s latest concept car, the I VISION DEE, is equipped with programmable and customizable color-changing body panels and hub caps. Using 32 colors of E-INK—a technology most recognizable in e-readers like the Kindle—BMW believes its electric vehicles will soon sport this chameleonic characteristic, once they’ve figured out how to ensure the panels can withstand rigorous driving, as well as the bumps, pebbles, and bugs a car encounters on a typical drive. According to an article published in Fast Company in January, BMW’s concept is far from landing in dealerships, but the customizable ideas are beginning to take shape in some production vehicles.


EAST PINE, the Portland-based interior plant design company known for their design, installation, and maintenance work with high-profile clients like Austin Street Brewery, Après, and SeaWeed Company, has joined forces with HAY RUNNER, a Portland design, construction, and real estate firm founded and led by SHANNON RICHARDS. Services include not only residential and commercial interior plant design but also repotting (what East Pine founder AMALIA BUSSARD and plant care specialist SARA KOSICKI refer to as a spa day for weary-looking plants) and recurring plant care services to keep clients’ plants looking beautiful and healthy in their own spaces.


MAINE ARTS ACADEMY, a charter school for the arts currently located in Sidney, recently purchased a 69,615-square-foot building in Augusta from Maine Veterans’ Homes. According to Mainebiz, the new location, on 8.9 acres near the Capital Area Sports Complex and Viles Arboretum, is about six times larger than the MAA’s current facility. The free public high school that focuses on music, dance, theater, and visual arts and educates students from over 30 districts statewide, will move in after its lease in Sidney expires in June, with one of its goals being to grow from 225 students to 400.


Move over old, mismatched Tupperware. HELLERWARE, the iconic, stackable 1960s dinnerware, has returned to market. Originally designed by architect MASSIMO VIGNELLI in 1964 and manufactured in Italy using bright yellow melamine resin, the colorful and compact plates, bowls, and mugs were licensed for production in the United States by ALAN HELLER, who introduced a range of bright colors for mixing and matching. Last year, after being bought by John Edelman, Heller made plans to bring back the iconic dishes in white, the rainbow colorway having been mostly out of production since the early aughts—until now. MOMA DESIGN STORE has relaunched the collection in six vibrant colors available in six-piece sets. According to the design blog In Unison, the inspiration for the Compasso d’Oro Award–winning design came to Vignelli when he saw a client using plastic molds to make Mickey Mouse ashtrays. The plates and mugs are made with straight sides and a small lip on the bottom, creating a straight, tall stack that maximizes storage space.


BUREO, a company based in Oxnard, California, that makes all of its products—including sunglasses, surf fins, and even Jenga sets—out of recycled fishing nets, has launched a first-of-its-kind skateboard. THE MINNOW, a 25-inch cruiser made with Bureo’s NetPlus material and 30 percent veggie oil wheels, is manufactured in Chile with the support of local Chilean fishing communities. The manufacture of each board prevents more than 30 square feet of PLASTIC FISHING NETS—proven to be the most harmful form of plastic pollution—from entering our oceans. By creating an incentivized program to collect, clean, sort, and recycle fishing nets into reusable material, they also have created employment opportunities for local workers and funding for community programs. Other industry-leading companies like PATAGONIA are jumping on board, incorporating Bureo’s material into their own products.


The restaurateurs behind Mi Sen Noodle Bar and the former Cheevitdee have opened MITR, a new, 20-seat restaurant on outer Congress Street serving grilled Thai street food. Cofounder WAN TITAFAI, who lived in Thailand when she was young and has resided in Maine for many years, designed the space herself with both classic Thai and modern New England interiors in mind, such as high ceilings and dinnerware brought in from Thailand paired with crown mouldings and pop art painted by her husband John Paul. “We used antique furniture alongside some furniture and booths that we custom-made,” Titafai says. “I believe once people step into the space, they will feel the love that we put into everything.” As for the food, Titafai recommends ordering the homemade curry paste with rice, salmon, and Thai herbs, wrapped in banana leaves and grilled.


After three years, researchers from MIT and Harvard University, alongside laboratories in Italy and Switzerland, may have discovered the answer to why ancient Roman concrete structures, such as the 2,000-year-old Pantheon, have stood the test of time while our modern concrete structures crack and crumble just a few decades after being built. The secret? It’s a combination of one ingredient—calcium oxide, or lime—and the technique used to incorporate it. According to Fast Company, the study was recently published in the journal Science Advances. Professor Admir Masic, an MIT professor of civil and environmental engineering and an author of the study, explains, “When lime clusters are mixed with cement and water at a very high temperature, the water around them evaporates, and the clusters, which would have otherwise dissolved, remain embedded in the material.” This means that when water later seeps into the cracks, as it eventually will, instead of causing more corrosion, the lime clusters dissolve and fill in the newly formed cracks like glue. Thanks to this discovery, a new deep tech start-up called DMAT launched in the United States at the end of last year. The company’s core product, D-LIME, a self-healing concrete, is made with the ancient technique in mind, adapted for modern times.

Antique Chic

“This house was a gut renovation. The living room pictured here was all drywall before we went in and created the paneling. We came into the space and thought, what is needed? And we went from there, making it up piece by piece. The fireplace surround, for example, used to be brick, and we thought about different options and came upon slate, which we had done by Sheldon Slate Products in Monson. We worked around things. We’d make a decision and then see what fit from there. It was totally intuitive.

“We’re lucky that we have the same eye for things. It’s funny, but we weren’t antique dealers before we started working on this house. It completely changed our lives. It’s midcentury, initially designed by a friend of the original owners, architect Norman Klein, and that’s how we got interested in midcentury modern antiques. The midcentury modern furniture is, of course, really at home here. It’s nice to be able, as far as restoration and renovation, to stay within the time period. We fell in love with antiques, learning about the history behind things and the people who made them. They’re full of stories, and it’s nice to have that history throughout your living space. Many of the pieces you see here are from yard sales and antique shops, and the chair we bought at Modern Underground in Waterville. We also worked with a furniture maker, someone we found from our days going to Thistle Pig in South Berwick. We always sat at this one table, and when we asked who made it, it turned out he was located right down the street.

“The house layout is one of the most thoughtful we’ve ever seen. That triangular window, for example, is so sweet on its own, but it’s also planned perfectly. In certain moments you can see the moon through it or get a glimpse of the sun setting through it; it’s interactive and constantly changing.

“One playful element we added was to have Carisa’s father, Rick Salerno, who is a carpenter and a builder, design a bunch of hidden panels and doors. Here, one of the stone birds is hiding an electrical panel, and there are little storage areas throughout the house where the paneling completely blends in around them. Rick spent seven years rebuilding this house, commuting from Bristol. There’s no way we would’ve been able to do this without him. He is just as focused on details as we are. For example, those boards next to the fireplace are completely unbroken—they go straight to the ceiling. He called the mill to make that happen, and it was a huge endeavor. He is a very patient man.”

—Carisa Salerno and Aaron Levin, founders of the Maine House Hunt and Maine Antiques Hunt on Instagram

At Home With an Expert

Jorge Arango is in the kitchen, stirring a pot of richly scented soup, when I arrive at his Portland apartment. This in itself is unusual. Homeowners don’t often feed me when I come for tours, but Arango is different from most magazine subjects. He’s a design writer, too. He knows the routine we’re about to undergo because he’s done it hundreds of times himself. He knows the questions I’m going to ask about styling a home, because he wrote the book on it. “I’ve published 13 books,” he tells me as I examine his bookshelf, plus he’s had bylines everywhere one could imagine, from Elle Decor to House Beautiful. “I’ve been doing this a long time.”

And yet, despite his years of experience in our shared arena, Arango isn’t intimidating in person, nor does he boast of his accomplishments. He states them quickly during our walk around his home before directing me to sit at an old, uneven dining table covered in scratches, where he’s placed a vase of yellow tulips that are lolling appealingly about in their vase. “I know Portland has a lot of great restaurants, but I hardly go to them because I love to cook,” he says. “I really love to host and feed people.” Tonight he’s throwing a dinner party for a group of his closest friends or, as he calls it, “members of my pod.”

I imagine it will be an intimate event, that all gatherings at his place must be. The kitchen is also the dining room, which is open to the living room and the “disaster zone” of a mudroom, as he calls it. (I peeked inside; it’s not that bad.) His bedroom opens into the living area and the hallway, and across from it lies the apartment’s sole bathroom. “It’s the biggest bathroom I’ve had in any apartment,” he says. “I just love it. It’s enormous and has this exposed brick wall. And of course, it was brand, spanking new when I moved in.” It’s why he chose this place—the bathroom, the newness, the blank slate of a new home for a new life.

Arango moved to Portland in 2019 after a divorce from his longtime partner. While he has always loved old buildings and old things, he didn’t want to buy another fixer-upper. This Munjoy Hill apartment fits both his needs and his aesthetic sensibilities. The exterior of the building dates back to the early 1900s, but in 2017 a fire tore through the center of the structure. The damage was considerable. Then-owner Kate Anker oversaw renovations. “She’s the one who designed the interior,” explains Arango. “Since it’s a rental, I can’t change a lot.” This doesn’t appear to be a problem: “Kate made some bold moves, like painting the wall in the kitchen black. It really works. And it came with beautiful hardwood floors and built-ins, which are something I have loved since I was a child.” The fire spared the cabinets on the walls and did no lasting damage to the lovely exposed brick. Anker’s redesign relied largely on neutral colors: black, white, and touches of gray-blond wood. “She made some really thoughtful choices, like the light fixtures,” Arango adds. “They’re all different, but you can tell they were designed by the same person.”

It’s a bachelor pad, but unlike the ugly, faux-industrial-chic ones you’ve seen on television, this small home is full of warmth, color, and texture. “I could tell you a story about every object in here,” he says, before opening a drawer to reveal a collection of vintage flatware. “Everything in this space means something to me. Even the sofa, which I bought at Baker Furniture, was something I chose knowing that it would last me decades. I want to have it for years; I want it to last.” Arango’s never been one to worship the new. He believes in the power of antiques and sees the layered, complex beauty of a dinged-up cabinet, a worn leather chair, an almost-grungy patina on a basic wood table. He also knows that, with some effort, many thrift store finds can be transformed, reborn through a baptism of paint stripper and furniture wax. He’s a frequent patron of the Flea for All and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

On a slightly more highbrow level, he’s also become a repeat customer at Greenhut Galleries. Over the past few years, Arango has formed a close friendship with founder Peggy Greenhut Golden. Through his work writing art reviews at the Portland Press Herald, Arango has come to know many members of the local arts community, and he particularly likes supporting contemporary artists. “Jorge has a wide appreciation for all genres,” says Golden. “I don’t know what pieces he will find attractive—he surprises me! But I do know that he can decipher a well-made painting and takes pleasure in acknowledging good craft.” Studio visits “inform and delight Jorge,” and Golden believes his conversations with artists have resulted in a rich appreciation for their works. It makes sense, then, that Jorge chose to hang many of his pieces in a salon style, “coating the walls top to bottom like the Barnes [Foundation] collection in Philadelphia,” explains Golden. “It maximizes the art you can exhibit.”

This is a tricky look to pull off, since every piece needs to make sense in its own context. There needs to be visual harmony in how the works are hung; one must pay close attention to framing and spacing; every element in the grouping must speak to the others. Eclecticism is the goal, while chaos is the pitfall. Arango’s collection is wide-ranging and features landscape paintings, folk art sculptures, collages, photographs, and textile arts. While he has art in every room, usually arranged in groupings, the white living room wall is where he’s created a salon-style experience using miniature American landscapes in gold frames, intricate vintage East Asian and Indian paintings and drawings, a tiny, collaged painter’s rag work by Damariscotta artist Jaap Helder, and two Indonesian wooden puppets that lean out above the matching lamps with nickel bases. While there are many different styles and techniques on display, the art is held together by the overall warmth of the collection, with its tones of gold, rosewood, scarlet, and brown, and by the Lilliputian sense of scale. Even the bigger works ask viewers to look closer at their careful details. “I’m drawn to artists who are obsessive about their work,” he explains. “And obviously, I love Asian antiques and art.”

This appreciation for craftsmanship is on display in his bedroom, where Arango has hung seven framed textiles in a closely spaced arrangement above his pillow-stacked bed. They were a gift from friends Margaret Minister and Stephen Peck, he explains. “They both had been lugging around these scraps of fabric for years because they were so beautiful, and intended to make them into cushions but never got around to it,” he says. Arango knew what to do with them; he took them to Greenhut Galleries and got them precisely framed in rosewood with beige mats. They tone down the busyness of the bedroom with all its various patterns and give a sense of order, as do the matching side tables topped with almost-matching ceramic lamps (one is white, the other seafoam). On the floor, a simple navy blue rug grounds the space. “I got this for a song at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Kennebunk,” he says. “They have the best stuff.”

In fact, there are only a few pieces that Arango didn’t get secondhand, including the living room sofa and coffee table (both from Baker Furniture) and a floor lamp from All Modern. He says he expects the sofa to become worn and show signs of age, because that’s what functional objects do. It’s part of why he has dedicated his career to the world of things. After we tour his apartment, and after we’ve finished eating soup and salad, our discussion turns briefly toward the personal. We talk about the importance of having a spiritual life, the impact friendships can have on us, and our shared interest in making meaning out of everyday objects. I tell him why I like his home, and he calls my attention to the wobbly table, then to a Hitchcock chair. “Isn’t this special?” he asks. It is.

Later, after I’ve returned home, I open my computer and find an email from Arango. He had been thinking about things after I left, he said, and he wanted to expand on our conversation. I can’t think of any better way to conclude than by sharing what he wrote:

“At some dimension of reality, all mystical traditions acknowledge there is no fundamental difference between the table, the fork, the painting, and us. All of reality is made of the same thing. We could debate what that thing is. But from this perspective, it’s easy to see that if everything is one, then the things we love and own speak some aspect of ourselves back to us. They are, literally, part of us. We don’t have to carry all those things through our entire life. There’s a lot of unnecessary stuff we can certainly shed, about our things as well as ourselves. And as we grow and change, some things lose meaning, so we let them go. But it boils down, at some level, to ‘my cherished possessions, myself.’”

Peachy Keen

It may be months before peaches appear at farmstands, but spring blossoms have us daydreaming about all the pretty pastel colors, especially pale peaches. Named for the fruit, peach is a tint of orange, but it is closer in color to the flesh of a white peach than the classic yellow peach.

As an interior color, peach has many sides. It’s a little unexpected yet versatile; it is lively yet calming. “Peach can be a cool or warm neutral, and it is soft and approachable like the inside of a seashell,” says Krista Stokes, creative director of the boutique Maine hotel group Atlantic Holdings. Pale peach brings a subtle pop of color to a space, but it’s still neutral enough to complement any aesthetic, from Victorian to midcentury modern.

Plus, peach casts a flattering glow wherever it is used; it’s just a matter of finding the right peach for the room you’re decorating. Peaches can range from a pale, almost white hue (gorgeous on walls) to a richer, bolder color that reads pink-orange (perfect for accents). We spoke to designers to find out how to find the rich hue for you and use it in your home.

Peach is on trend.

The interior design world is primed for peach right now. After nearly a decade of “millennial pink” accents, peach is a fresh alternative that’s still soft and warm, but a little less expected. Likewise, peach is a lighter shade of trendy terra-cotta. Two years ago, interior designers’ favorite paint company Farrow and Ball launched a collection with in-demand designer Kelly Wearstler that included Faded Terracotta, which is really a deep shade of peach.

Think of it as “nude.”

Decorators, including the pros we spoke to, often encourage homeowners to think of pastels like peach as a neutral, but if you’re having trouble thinking of pale orange as a noncolor, perhaps think of it as “nude.” Writing in her book Living with Color, textile artist Rebecca Atwood makes an apt analogy: “This creamy version of orange is like using a nude shade of nail polish; it’s pretty and soft, but subtle too.”

Pair it with cool tones.

Interior designer Vanessa Helmick, the owner of Fiore Home in Yarmouth, notes that, because Mainers love their blues, she often uses small amounts of peach tones to break up the coolness. “Orange and blue are direct complements on the color wheel, so using the more muted pairings is always gorgeous,” she says.

Get peachy art.

If you’re looking for a way to bring peach into a cool-scheme room, look to art, Helmick adds. “I use peach and other warm tones in art to balance the blues,” she says, specifically noting that she loves the work of Maine artist Nina Earley, who dyes silk with avocado pits to get a peachy effect. A color that is often found in nature, peach is also often found in seascapes, portraits, floral still lifes, and abstractions.

Go deep for sophistication.

Lorna Gross, an interior designer based in Maryland, likes to play with deeper shades of the hue in formal rooms. “A palette based in peach and corals adds a soft touch to an elegant dining room,” she says. “Adding in metallic finishes retains a refined aesthetic.”

Imagine a fruit salad palette.

“Nature is masterful at coloration, because nature is nuanced,” says Catherine Wilson of Catherine Wilson Interiors in Atlanta, Georgia. When choosing peachy hues, she recommends, “Think of all the fruits in the peach, pink, and coral families: peaches, pink grapefruits, guavas, and pink lady apples.” Mix them up together for a room that’s energetic and delicious to look at.

Recreate a garden palette.

Peach pairs naturally with shades of green and other nature-inspired hues. For example, when reimagining the color schemes for the Claremont Hotel in Southwest Harbor, Stokes and interior designer Laura Keeler Pierce of Boston’s Keeler & Co. were inspired by the garden. In one room, they opted for a headboard upholstered in a trailing floral by William Morris and pulled out the peach accents on pillows and a lampshade. “The peach woven into the headboard and pillows was the perfect bridge to all the other hues in the color scheme,” she says.

Try it with teal.

Peach also pairs beautifully with blue-green shades like turquoise. Louise Hurlbutt of Hurlbutt Designs in Kennebunk tweaked a complementary scheme with a turquoise faux-bamboo headboard layered over pale peach walls (Benjamin Moore’s Peach Parfait) in a Kennebunk home. Vintage seascapes that feature teal waters and peachy sails and skies further tie the palette together.

Work with woods.

Designer Cortney Bishop, whose firm is based in Charleston, South Carolina, paired peach and pale woods in a recent bedroom project. “A peachy, blush palette and natural wood tones create a soft and balanced foundation,” she says, noting that the soft color allows for other textural touches and fabrics to be easily layered into a space.

Warm up a whitewashed room.

Interior designer Karin Thomas, who is based in Camden, knows the power of white paint, and she used it liberally in a project in a Maine island home. However, for the walls of a guest bedroom, she opted to pickle the existing wood paneling in a pale shade of peach instead of the usual white. The subtle tint gives the room a warm glow and makes the white-painted furniture look even crisper.

Don’t forget texture.

One way to ensure that pale peach hues don’t look washed out or saccharine is to layer in lots of texture and contrasting materials. For example, in a recent dining room design, New York–based interior designer Emily Butler opted for peach walls, but in grasscloth instead of paint, and paired the soft color with textured rattan chairs and shiny brass accents.

Are Peach Bathrooms the Next Big Thing?

Plumbing manufacturer Kohler sure thinks so. As part of the company’s 150th anniversary celebration, Kohler is reviving some of its vintage hues. Kohler asked their customers and industry pros to vote on six heritage colors to bring back into production in 2023. After more than 100,000 people shared their opinions, Peachblow and Spring Green won the most votes, edging out four other colors including Avocado and Pink Champagne.

Peachblow is a blush-peach color that was first introduced in 1934 and stayed in production until 1973. It’s a throwback for sure, but after decades of all-white bathroom fixtures, the hit of color feels surprisingly modern. Plus, designers always suggest painting a bathroom blush or peach for the flattering glow it casts, so if you’re feeling bold, why not take the color a step further? A selection of Kohler’s most popular products will be available in the peachy hue (and Spring Green) for a limited time this summer. Oh, and if you’ve got a vintage bathroom with a colorful tub and toilet, maybe think twice before tearing it out. As the saying goes, “Everything old is new again.”

For a cheery bathroom in a coastal home, Santa Monica–based interior designer Sarah Barnard used peach tiles to “evoke natural corals and enhance the warm tones of the terrazzo countertop and flooring made with real seashells.” Pink undertones in the wood further what Barnard calls “the joyful effects of pink shades.”

In China, the peach is a symbol of longevity, and peaches are often depicted in paintings and on porcelain.

Palette Picks

A Low-Impact Cabin Joins Two Existing Structures by the Lake

On over four and a half acres abutting a small lake in Maine, a family camp hosted decades of summer gatherings and long-distance reunions. But as friendships multiplied and new generations arrived, Kaplan Thompson Architects’ clients found they had outgrown the house where everyone once fit. They endeavored to add a series of low-impact, seasonal structures adjacent to the original residence to create more space for rest and recreation.

Kaplan Thompson designed three unique cabins to tuck into the forested site’s lakeside foliage. The first two structures were completed by Maine Passive House in 2021, creating private retreats for guests after a long day on the water (these will be featured in MH+D’s upcoming October 2023 issue). The design work is progressing on a third cabin that will complete the camp and serve as a hub for meals, post-tennis cooldowns, and late-night storytelling.

This two-story building design introduces pine- and mahogany-clad gathering spaces on the lower level with a full kitchen, breakfast bar, powder room, and laundry. An expansive screened porch will keep bugs and rain at bay and accommodate the entire family for outdoor dining. An upper-level bunkhouse, which will sleep eight, recalls a treehouse, with branched rafters and integrated climbing elements to access the beds and a lofted play space for children. 

Siting and landscape design for the project is being led by Aceto Landscape Architects and will join the new cabin to a hardscaped firepit at the heart of the camp. Though rugged enough to weather Maine’s seasons, the building will touch the land lightly with a concrete pier foundation that maintains the existing grading and allows water—and critters!—to pass naturally beneath it. Strategic placement of the piers also avoids damaging the root systems of the mature pines that
speckle the site.  

Location: Oxford County
Architect: Kaplan Thompson Architects 
Builder: Maine Passive House
Landscape Architect: Aceto Landscape Architects 
Construction Complete: May 2025 

The Future of Design, According to Dr. Laura Freid

“The World Economic Forum has identified complex problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity as the top three skills needed to succeed—these are all skills central to a design education.”


Q. Why did Maine College of Art and Design change its name last year? 

A. We changed our identity from Maine College of Art (MECA) to Maine College of Art and Design (MECA&D) to recognize how central design has become to our world and throughout our courses of study. Fifteen years ago, 30 percent of our students were interested in design. Today 60 percent of art school students are choosing design majors—our newest major areas of interest are animation and game art, textile and fashion design, sustainable ecosystems and design, and art and entrepreneurship. At MECA&D, we are teaching fine arts, applied arts, and design. We are educating artists and designers to have the skills, experience, and attention they need to make their creative mark on the world. 

Q. What skills do you think are critical to future designers?

A. Design is a process or approach to problem-solving. Designers create experiences; design is not only about what something looks like but also about how it works and makes you think, feel, react, and understand.

Future designers must be creative, adaptive, flexible, and receptive to new ideas, technologies, and cultural mores. Designers will continue to understand that collaboration is critical, and the process of research and iteration will always be necessary. Excellent design is ultimately innovative, useful, aesthetic, expressive, understandable, and honest.

Q. What jobs are future designers likely to hold?

A. Today, probably more than at any time in civilization, everything we touch has the work of a designer within it. It’s hard to predict the future. I imagine more than half of our future designers’ jobs haven’t been described yet. It is safe to say future designers will likely be the problem solvers in every room they are in. Some new and unusual jobs that our alums have been offered are Vice President for Massive Change, Forensic Animator, Digital Director of Climate Change, Change Communicator, Associate Experience Director, and Head of Puppet Head Development. 

Q. How do designers add value to our society?

A. Good design considers the future, not just recurrent trends, which is a tremendous value. Designers create new tangible products but also design the intangible: customer experiences, techniques, services, and networks. The enterprises we see succeeding all have incorporated design thinking.

Q. What is design thinking? 

A. The human eye desires beauty; the theory argues we intuitively know good design because we can easily use it. Design thinking is the body of knowledge that focuses on how people reason when facing design problems. Empathy, problem definition, idea generation and collaboration, prototype, and testing are all part of that process. Problems could be real, known, or unknown—understanding unmet human needs is a powerful process. For example, the Apple iPhone, Apple Watch, and Apple iPad all have design as a core function; children can use them before they can read because of the embedded design logic. For that reason, social, emotional, and physical needs are all important to understand when creating new products.

Q. Why do you think our society is so interested in design?

A. Design plays a primary role in understanding, questioning, and integrating our 2D, 3D, and 4D spaces and places. Take the cell phone, for example; it’s not simply an instrument used for conversation. It is a way to mediate all our interactions—our news, our commerce, and our dining all come to us through this technology, and design is central to how everything is experienced. Visualizing information is second nature for children born in the past 20 years. Good design makes things simpler, more accessible, and more aesthetically pleasing. The best design is responsive. It makes our lives easier—and it’s fun for the maker and the rest of us.  


Landscape Designer Emma Kelly Pays Tribute to the Pine Tree State

A successful park or garden tells you how to use it, not through signs or maps (though those can help, too) but through its design. It offers paths for walking, benches for admiring vistas and viewsheds, and clearings for picnics and lounging. It welcomes you and encourages exploration. A successful career, however, can be much harder to plot. 

“I was so unhappy,” remembers landscape architect Emma Kelly of her time working in advertising. She had just graduated from Harvard University, “panicked,” and taken a job in Chicago. “I felt my soul leaving my body,” she says. “I spent time crying on the bus on the way to work. I was like, man, what am I doing?” 

At the time, she didn’t know landscape architecture was even a field. However, she had enough self-knowledge to begin her search for happiness by writing down her options. “I would make lists all the time of where I would rather be, what I would rather be doing, and I began to winnow it out.” She discovered four key elements that appeared time and again. A good career for Kelly would be one that involved spending time outside, being actively creative, opportunities for self-employment, and chances to be of service to others. “I didn’t want what I was doing to be a negative for the world. I wanted to contribute to beauty and people and to making connections. That’s when I found this thing called ‘landscape architecture.’” 

Back to Harvard, but this time Kelly enrolled in graduate school for design. It was “everything I wanted and more,” she says. She was able to study the theory, history, and practice of building an outdoor environment. “I loved learning about landscape history, from Pliny and Roman beginnings through midcentury modernism Scandinavia,” Kelly says. After graduating, she landed a job with a firm in Boston, Hargreaves Associates (now Hargreaves Jones), working on long-term, large-scale projects. “I loved it, but we decided to move back to Maine because my husband wanted to go back to school. He had a degree in history. But he had worked in gardening forever, and that’s how we met,” she explains. (Her husband, Mark Kelly, is still a professional gardener, and the couple sometimes gets to work on sites together.) Upon moving north, Kelly landed a job at Richardson and Associates, where she stayed for several years, learning but also planning, slowly, to embark on her own.  

Although Kelly has been flying solo since 2013, she credits Todd Richardson with “setting the seeds” for the cooperative and collaborative process she’s developed at Emma Kelly Landscape. “Todd is a really energetic, magnetic guy, and his design process is really personal,” Kelly says. “In Boston, I could spend an entire year working on a 200-page CAD drawing set, and maybe I would go to the site once. It’s not like that in Maine.” Here, instead of working on a computer constantly, Kelly spends much of her time outside and on-site, observing the landscape. She notes how wind and water move across a piece of land, how meadows and woods encroach on lawns, and how local wildlife feed upon—and live among—the plants. “You can’t fight nature here,” she says. “Maybe elsewhere you can impose your will. But you can’t here. You have to work with it.” 

Working with it, for Kelly, means letting the elements inform her designs without deferring entirely to them. She doesn’t plan just a pretty, formal garden or try to imitate “nature with a capital N,” as she puts it. Instead, Kelly creates “homages” to place. “In Maine, I stopped tiptoeing around the landscape, and as a result, my relationship with it improved,” she says. “A lot of the landscape around us is functional and accidental, but it still fills your soul. If you’re walking on a really good path with a girlfriend, you don’t care that half those trees are invasives, or that there is dog poop on the side of the trail.” No part of Maine, she points out, is untouched. You don’t need to visit a primordial forest or a formal garden to have a good, nourishing time outdoors. 

This attitude works particularly well when it comes to residential work, Kelly has found, since these are places that will be continuously occupied (or at least, in the case of second homes, used with some frequency). “I love meeting people at their homes, but I also know that it’s deeply personal for each client, and sometimes it can be deeply fraught,” she says. “But it’s really rewarding as well. I never come to a site and try to push people around.” She likes to go with the flow, and so perhaps it is fitting that she begins most projects by considering the water. “Do you have it, or do you not? Where is it going? Where does it show up?” she asks. Kelly recalls an early project at Seal Harbor. The home was built up against a slope, near rough cliffs. A previous designer had installed diversions to channel the water, leading it through the land, but, Kelly says, it didn’t work. “The water didn’t want to do that. And the work I did began with dismantling those elements and creating little riffles and pools for the water to move where it wanted, then building paths that would let you occupy the space.” To connect the house to the site, she installed a series of decks that would allow homeowners to walk over the water. To help with erosion on the slope, she planted tiny saplings, sorbaria, serviceberry, and sassafras, “things that are native and would take root,” she says. “Within a year, the whole slope was green and happy.” 

Although Kelly typically sources her plants from nurseries, she likes to supplement these purchases with foraged local sod, bushes, and trees. “It’s awesome to move stuff, but it is hard,” she says. “I’ve experimented with planting tree sod. Sometimes, when I’m driving, I’ll spot a really good rhododendron by the side of the road and ask the landowner if I can dig it up.” Not only is this fun, it also gives the garden a little visual authenticity. Plants that grow wild in Maine earn their survival, fighting against the storms and the droughts. “Nursery material doesn’t look as good in Maine,” she says. “It’s too thick, too trim—it hasn’t been shaped by the wind.” Mixed with happy, healthy, greenhouse-spawned plants, these little touches of truth make her homage sing. The results, she says, can be downright “numinous.”  

South Berwick’s HS Mercantile Curates Handcrafted Goods from Around the World

Many of us have material objects handed down to us (for example, my grandmother’s battered silver tea strainer), but we also inherit less concrete things from our forebears (my grandmother’s secret technique for flaky piecrust). The United Nations defines the latter as “intangible cultural heritage,” and Holly Smith feels passionate about a particular aspect of it. “Handcraft is something that needs to be taught; it can’t be written down or given to you. It’s something that somebody must teach you,” she says. At HS Mercantile, her shop on South Berwick’s Main Street, Smith draws on her love of handcraft and her background in fashion and interior design to find objects and clothing from around the world that showcase traditional skills used in modern ways. 

Smith grew up in New Hampshire and attended college in Boston. “I lived in Boston for ten years and studied costume design,” she says. “I worked in a beautiful studio there that did all the costumes for the Santa Barbara Opera Company and the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. It was one of my first big jobs out of college, and it was just an amazing opportunity.” Then she moved to southern California, planning to come back east after a year, but, as she says, “I ended up staying there for 25 years. I’m not sure how that happened!” In California she worked in production design for Dosa, a clothing, accessories, and housewares company, and collaborated closely with founder and designer Christina Kim. While at Dosa, Kim’s dual passions for sustainable production and traditional techniques rubbed off on Smith. She also worked in interior design for a while, helping Hollywood stars furnish their dream homes. 

When her daughter was about to enter kindergarten, the thought of being closer to extended family lured Smith back to New England. She soon found herself planning her own shop, in which to sell the work of some of the artisans she had encountered while traveling with Kim. She settled in southern Maine and wanted to create this retail space close to home. She says, “I wanted to be in my own community. Just down the street here in South Berwick is the mill building, and there’s a lot of artisans in there, and there’s a lot of creative, interesting things going on around here. It just felt like the right place.” The shop sits on a picture-perfect block of South Berwick, facing the Sarah Orne Jewett House museum across the street. Its nineteenth-century ceilings are high and airy, and light streams in through the big front windows. Tables covered with the work of local potters and card makers fill the center of the space, while clothing racks line its perimeter.

Browsing the clothing racks at HS Mercantile feels like rifling through your cool bohemian friend’s closet—if that cool bohemian friend visited India, Lithuania, and Italy regularly and befriended artisans everywhere they went. Delicately block-printed dresses rub shoulders with handspun tunics and sturdy trousers. Natural fibers reign supreme, and Smith encourages visitors to feel the silk, linen, or hand-
embroidered cottons. “I always tell people, ‘Don’t be afraid to touch or open up or unfold it, or wrap it around you,’” says Smith. “I feel like it’s a very tactile experience, and I want people to have the chance to enjoy it.” 

These sumptuous garments often bear the mark of the makers’ hands, hands that Smith may be well acquainted with. “A lot of times I know who actually made these things,” she explains. Knowing the makers as she does, she feels strongly about offering them proper compensation for their work. “I have had people ask me why things cost what they do and who sets the price. And I’m never offended by that. I’m always happy to answer that for people and explain how a piece was made, where it was made, or who made it.” Making the connection between the maker and the consumer is the opposite of fast fashion, where items swiftly made in faraway factories are meant to be worn a few times and then discarded. Smith prefers a different model. “Instead of shopping every weekend, I buy two things a year,” she says. “You make good decisions, and you hold on to them. You may pay more for something, but it will last you for a really long time.” 

Part of Smith’s commitment to eschewing fast fashion takes the form of repeating items. “It’s funny, I had a dress in stock this summer that I had last summer, and somebody came in and said, ‘Isn’t this left over from last year?’” she says. “I said, ‘Well, no, but it was very popular last year.’ But I talked to the weaver and the person who block-printed it and asked if they could make me more, and they said yes. So I had it last year, and I had it again this year because it’s gorgeous. It’s beautiful. It’s perfect.” This approach assures loyal customers that, if they find the perfect item in Smith’s shop, they may be able to find it again.

It also helps her deepen her relationships with the makers whose work she carries. “I think we have a nice rapport because, not only am I interested in what they do, but I know how to knit, I know how to sew, I know how to lay a floor,” she says. “I can tell someone that I want a buttonhole made a certain way because I understand how a garment works. We relate on a whole different level, and I think we have nice relationships because of that.” 

“I love all the people who make all this stuff. I work with great people,” she continues. “I think that comes through to people who come in.”

Handmade Close to Home

The clothing selection at HS Mercantile has a distinctly international flavor, but many other items Smith carries don’t travel far to get to her shop. “I would say 90 percent of the other goods in the shop are local to this area,” Smith notes. “I try to support the local makers too.” Here are some of the Maine and New Hampshire artisans whose work can be found at HS Mercantile.

  • All of New Hampshire potter Karen Semo’s textured pottery is beautiful, but what catches the eye are her heart-shaped vases that can be placed on a table or hung on a wall. As Smith says, “I feel so many things when I look at this. The heart’s expanding. It’s also exploding. I love her shapes and her textures.”
  • Holmes and Hudson facial products fill a cabinet toward the back of the shop. “I love them,” enthuses Smith. “I ran out of one of her facial oils last week and thought my skin would fall off my face. She makes such nice products. My favorite thing of hers is the geranium carrot seed oil facial spray.”
  • Bright, graphic kitchen towels and cloth napkins tumble over an old wooden drying rack. “These are made by Casey Everett; she’s Hearth and Harrow. She’s out of Rockport,” says Smith. “She stitches her own napkins and towels, so they’re a lot heavier than what many other makers produce, which I love.”
  • Jars of Bauneg Beg Farm’s Himalayan salt scrub are sitting on the counter when I visit, having just been unpacked. “They make these lovely body scrubs,” says Smith. “This is the citrus burst scent, but my favorite scrub is the Earl Grey. It’s really moisturizing and smells great.” 
  • Not all the clothing Smith carries comes from places as far-flung as India or Italy; she shows me a line of colorful pajamas made just down the road in Kittery. “This is Zapapa. She sews with end-stock fabric, so her pieces are limited edition. If you see it now, you’re not going to see it again!” Smith explains.
  • Finally, Smith has a particular soft spot for the mugs made by Lindsey Howarth that showcase the 1901 Maine flag design. “She’s super local—about a mile down the road. I bought one of her mugs somewhere and then became obsessed with them,” laughs Smith. “That’s my absolute most popular mug now.”  

Living with Art

“Our goal was to re-create a functional family cottage in this historic beach community. We designed a clean and simple Craftsman-style home with room for family to gather and relax. Cedar shingles and wood decks honor the traditional summer cottages all around, while a modern, clean interior offers a timeless look and feel.” 

—Paul Leddy, Leddy Build Design

Builder and Designer: Leddy Build Design
Art: Keep Going by Jean Jack, oil on canvas, 40” x 40”, Portland Art Gallery
Appliances: Agren Appliance
Cabinetry: Maine Cabinet Company
Countertops: K&D Countertops
Floors: Quality Floor Finishers
Windows: Andersen
Marketing/Staging: The David Banks Team

“Walking into this space for the first time, we saw so much potential. By elongating the kitchen and island, it became more family friendly. We went for a modern farmhouse look in neutral colors to speak to the style of the house while also bringing it into the twenty-first century.” 

—Kim Connell, Arcadia Kitchen & Bath

Builder & Designer: Arcadia Kitchen & Bath
Art: That’s the Point by Annie Darling, mixed media and oil on panel, 40” x 36”, Portland Art Gallery
Backsplash: WOW
Cabinetry: Bridgewood Cabinetry
Countertops: Discover Surfaces
Door & Drawer Hardware: Top Knobs

“The Stone Sphere represents wholeness, completeness, and peace, and the precision of Dan’s work speaks to integrity and craftsmanship. Even though it is created in stone, the sculpture sparks instant curiosity as it conveys a sense of weightlessness.” 

—Ted Carter, Ted Carter Inspired Landscapes

Landscape Designer & Contractor: Ted Carter Inspired Landscapes
Art: Stone Sphere by Dan Morales-Walsh of Maine Stone Scapes, New England granite, 5’ x 5’ x 5’

“One significant aspect of the design philosophy was the choice of materials. Collaborating closely with the clients, we decided to incorporate board-formed concrete, a unique material seldom seen in Maine. This decision not only added character to the pavilion but also established a visual boundary with the neighboring property, using a long concrete wall as a distinctive feature. This wall served as a reference point for the entire project, allowing us to align and cantilever the roof to create a covered outdoor dining area with uninterrupted views of Casco Bay.” 

—Caleb Johnson, Woodhull

Architect & Builder: Woodhull
Design Team: Caleb Johnson, principal; Bud Angst, project manager; Stacey Woodworth, architect
Build Team: Vince DiYenno, construction project manager; Maslen Flett, site superintendent
Art: (from left) Cliff Walk and Tide Coming In, both by Karen Blair, mixed media on canvas, 48” x 44”, Portland Art Gallery
Structural Engineering: Trillium Engineering Group
Lighting: Reflex Lighting Group
Windows: Loewen Windows

“This sunporch, just off the main kitchen, looks out on Richmond and Ram Islands and is entirely open on one side to the outdoors. It’s a perfect retreat for reading, painting, lounging, or socializing out of the sun or wind while still taking in the fresh air. The clients are longtime fans of Sister Parish fabrics and were happy to have their favorite patterns—Burma, Burmese, and Mahalo—in a performance fabric made for this exact setting. The recently refreshed outdoor sitting area was calling for a fun piece of art to complement the summer blue fabrics and view. We found just the piece from Bibby Gignilliat.” 

—Bronwyn Huffard, Huffard House

Interior Designer: Huffard House
Art: Octopus Teacher by Bibby Gignilliat, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 40” x 40”, Portland Art Gallery
Upholstery & Pillows: fabric by Sister Parish Design; fabrication by Marion Scharoun Custom Sewing 
Coffee Table: JANUS et Cie

“Painter Christopher O’Connell draws inspiration from serene nature walks and the shifting seasons of Maine’s landscape. Deviating from the conventional stone veneer fireplace, the art’s coastal subject matter effortlessly integrates the essence of stone into the subtle plaster fireplace surround inside this bright new residence nestled near Goose Rocks Beach.” 

—Jessica Jolin, Mobile Studio Design 

Architect & Interior Designer: Mobile Studio Design
Art: Coastal Waters No. 17 by Christopher O’Connor, acrylic on canvas, 36” x 36”, Portland Art Gallery
Builder: Bowley Builders
Ceramics: Kylie Smithline
Fireplace: Maine Stove and Chimney 
Furniture: Chilton Furniture

“A century-old, southern Maine cottage in need of repair has been transformed into a shingle-style, multigenerational family residence by architect Joe Waltman. The landscape design includes a 75-foot lap pool with cascading steps, a spacious shallow end for lounging and leisurely dips, and a salvaged granite quarry tailing that serves as a diving rock. The front yard incorporates a custom boulder firepit surrounded by robust colonies of native plants that nourish pollinators and provide strong multiseasonal color. Granite planking connects the buildings, subtly guiding guests through outdoor spaces. Evergreen and deciduous screen plantings provide privacy while creating a habitat for migrating bird species. The property serves as proof that residential landscape design can deliver on a wide range of programmatic demands while creating beautiful, sustainable, and environmentally responsible gardens.” 

—Matthew Cunningham, Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design

Landscape Architect: Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design
Art: Atalanta by Andreas von Huene, bronze on gabbro, 9” x 7½” x 10” (on table at left); The Lyricist by David Moser, solid bronze, 12” x 33” x 19½” (on diving board); both from Portland Art Gallery 
Landscape Contractor: Gnome Landscape, Design, Masonry & Maintenance
Swimming Pool & Spa: SSG Pools

“This space was so fun to remodel. We worked hard to make the kitchen feel updated but fit into this established home. The owner is a great cook and spends a lot of time in the kitchen, so I wanted to make sure that her time here was enjoyable. The goal was a beautiful space that also functions well, and the feedback from her has been, ‘goal met!’ Working with Vining’s Custom Cabinets, we were able to customize every single aspect of the cabinets. The result is a one-of-a-kind kitchen. A truly unique space!” 

—Jill Crosby, Rangeley Building & Remodeling 

Architectural & Interior Designer: Jill Crosby
Art: Millbrook #3 by Philip Barter, acrylic on panel, 40” x 30”, Portland Art Gallery
Builder: Rangeley Building & Remodeling
Cabinetry: Vining’s Custom Cabinets
Cabinet Hardware: Rejuvenation
Countertops: Morningstar Stone & Tile
Fixtures: Watermark Designs
Backsplash Tile: Pratt & Larson
Floor Tile: Sant’Agostino Terre Nuove
Lighting: Pottery Barn
Windows & Doors: Andersen

“We took full advantage of the height that we had to build the new home on the property, essentially making a ‘glass box’ for the living space. When within the space, you feel like you’re on a boat because you’re surrounded by water, especially at high tide.” 

—Kevin Browne, Kevin Browne Architecture

Architect: Kevin Browne, Kevin Browne Architecture
Art: Mattina by Dietlind Vander Schaaf, encaustic, oil, and 23-karat gold leaf on panel, 30” x 40”, Portland Art Gallery
Builder: Wright-Ryan Construction
Countertops: Morningstar Stone & Tile
Fireplace: Cornerstone Masonry
Floors: ED Bessey & Son
Furniture: Verellen (living room sofa, chairs, and coffee table); Federer (sofa throw); Ralph Lauren (dining table); Heller Furniture (dining chairs)
Lighting: Ralph Lauren (dining room chandelier); Kelly Wearstler (wall sconces)
Rugs: Armadillo
Windows: Marvin

“This project was a symbiotic collaboration among the owner, architect, and timber framer. What I love about this frame is that, even though it is complex in design, it features simple, clean, and elegant lines—and we executed it perfectly! Plus, the owner’s finishing details really bring out the artistry of this distinctive home.” 

—Brian Rouleau, Rulo Timberworks

Timber Frame Builder: Rulo Timberworks
Architect: Dickinson Architects
Art: River Meditation by Jane Dahmen, acrylic on canvas, 40” x 40”, Portland Art Gallery
Finish Carpentry: Cornerstone Carpentry & Consulting
General Contractor & Owner: Chip Orcutt
Railings & Stairs: Modern Edge Metal Fabrication

Furniture: 60″ Round Table with stout round turned Legs, tiger maple top in Chestnut finish, and Bayberry and Driftwood crackled milk paint base; Windsor Sackback Armchairs and Windsor Hoopback Side Chairs in Pitch Black over Mustard crackled milk paint; Tiger Maple Two-Door Corner Cupboard with Chestnut finish exterior and Buttermilk over Marigold crackled milk paint interior; Cherry Shaker Bench with Cranberry finish, Windsor Chairmakers

Art: Cathedral Woods, Monhegan by Marguerite Robichaux, oil on linen, 40” x 26”, Elizabeth Moss Galleries

Chandelier: Classic Lighting via Windsor Chairmakers

Room Design: Jana and Michael Timchak

Furniture: Cherry Stand-Up Desk in Natural finish; Windsor Hoopback Counter Chair in Pitch Black over Marigold crackled milk paint; Walnut Shaker Built-In Wall Cabinet in Honey finish, Windsor Chairmakers

Art: Forest Dream by Anne Ireland, oil on canvas, 20” x 20”, Elizabeth Moss Galleries

Room Design: Jana and Michael Timchak

“Pairing Windsor Chairmakers’ traditional furniture with these two contemporary landscapes demonstrates the timeless appeal of our designs. Everything we make is handmade to order and created to fill our customers’ needs and desires. Our classic, high-quality furniture never goes out of style, which makes it an ideal fit for any home environment.” 

—Mike Timchak, Windsor Chairmakers

“This project was all about beauty balancing function. The building was an old rural post office recently brought back to life as a summer residence. The kitchen renovation required period-sensitive elements such as beaded face frames, brass butt hinges, and porcelain knobs. The goal was to retain the classic and timeless character while adding function and storage.” 

—Rick Sawyer, Blue Hill Cabinet & Woodwork

Cabinetry & Interior Designer: Blue Hill Cabinet & Woodwork
Art: Sunny Sunday by Liz Hoag, acrylic on canvas, 30” x 20”, Elizabeth Moss Galleries
Builder: Poole Construction
Countertops: Dennis J. King Masonry

“Art as the Driver. We call it the ‘driver’—a textile pattern, a beloved rug, or a fantastic piece of art selected to be the ‘informant’ on every project—the piece that will drive the project’s color palette and the mood. We were faced with a large blank wall when we were asked to turn this waterfront living room into a ladies’ sitting room. We were so delighted when our client agreed to relocate the Alex Katz piece from her stair hall so it could be appreciated front and center in her updated sitting room. We love the abstract, seductive nature of this mysterious woman donning her sun bonnet.” 

—Linda Banks, Banks Design Associates/SIMPLY HOME

Interior Designers: Linda Banks, ASID; and Edith Smith
Art: Ada (Beach Hat) by Alex Katz, 2000, oil on linen, homeowners’ collection (© 2023 Alex Katz / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society, NY) 
Furnishings, Window Treatments & Accessories: SIMPLY HOME
Sofa: Bristol in Performance Fabric by SIMPLY HOME
Wallcovering: Thibaut (discontinued pattern)

Curtis Memorial Library Makes Way for Robert McCloskey

Robert McCloskey, Burt Dow Deep-Water Man cover art, 1963, casein and watercolor. On loan from the May Massee Collection, Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives, Emporia, Kansas.

The first time Robert McCloskey (1914–2003) explored the possibility of creating children’s books, he had the great fortune of being rejected by May Massee. Massee, an editor at Viking Press at the time, essentially told McCloskey, “Come back when you’ve learned how to draw.” He took her words to heart, finding his voice as a visual storyteller and changing the trajectory of his artistic life, observes Liz Doucett, executive director of the Curtis Memorial Library. Robert McCloskey: The Art of Wonder is the second collaboration between the library and the Illustration Institute. The exhibition encompasses original works—drawings, studies, and final art—from five of McCloskey’s best-known picture books, including Make Way for Ducklings and Time of Wonder, which won Caldecott Medals in 1942 and 1958, respectively; Blueberries for Sal; One Morning in Maine; and his last book, Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man.

Robert McCloskey, Time of Wonder, 1957, watercolor. On loan from the May Massee Collection, Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives, Emporia, Kansas.

Visitors might discover they still remember all the ducklings’ names, and they are encouraged to carry a library copy of Make Way for Ducklings with them while viewing pencil drawings with erasures on translucent paper, float-mounted to reveal edges and notations, and representing spreads from the book made before the final art. This is a rare view of a picture book in progress. There are intriguing changes to note by comparing the sketches to the published book. In a broader sense, this is direct evidence of McCloskey’s visual workout: drawing and drawing again to determine what to include and emphasize, to maximize the energy and movement of spread, to achieve a balance of image and text on the page. “The picture book process is uniquely collaborative, with author, illustrator, editor, and art direction all at work,” says Scott Nash, author/illustrator and Illustration Institute founder. “The final art is the book, and the exhibition illuminates artifacts of that process.”

Blueberries for Sal is the book that announced McCloskey’s arrival in Maine. He moved his family to Deer Isle in 1945 when McCloskey’s daughter Sally was born. Sal is named after Sally, but Sal is also every child lucky enough to have access to wilderness, and to know the sound of a blueberry dropping into an empty pail, or a full one. The exhibition features the original ink drawings from the book, in story order, offering one of two wordless “story walks” on the library’s second floor. (The other is a wordless walk-through of Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man, with its experimental mixed-media paintings that verge on the surreal.) These are rare opportunities to read the pictures and experience their full narrative power. 

One Morning in Maine and Time of Wonder also celebrate the experience of being a child in the Maine landscape. They were created almost 70 years ago, but in the way they express a sense of place, weather, and the pace of a day, they don’t feel like a lost world. The Art of Wonder includes five stunning painting studies, seemingly very close to the final art from Time of Wonder but with curious and delightful departures: What happened to the airplane’s shadow? There’s also a light on in that little island house, the one being hugged by pine trees in a calm after the storm. If you’ve read this one, you know this is where the wind whispers a lullaby, but the book doesn’t end here. For its masterful writing and paintings, and the sense that the story of a fully lived life is not unlike this story of an island and that little light enduring the storm, Time of Wonder is often mistaken for McCloskey’s last picture book, and yet McCloskey went on to create the wild ride that is Burt Dow. Come with enough time to look closely at The Art of Wonder—surprises and delights abound.

Robert McCloskey: The Art of Wonder will be on view at the Curtis Library in Brunswick through October 15, 2023.  

A Brief History of the Super Soaker®

Summer officially ends this month, so it seems appropriate to pay tribute in this issue to one of the greatest (if not the greatest) water toys invented. With one squirt you can totally drench your friend, relative, or enemy while cooling them down on a hot day.

Did you know that the Super Soaker® was designed by a U.S. Air Force and NASA engineer? Lonnie Johnson had always been an inventor. As a child, he made his own toys with his father, including converting bamboo shoots into pressurized chinaberry shooters and using junkyard scraps paired with a lawn-mower motor to make his own go-cart (which he drove on the highway until the police pulled him over).

Johnson was the first Black student to compete in his high school science fair in 1968, and his compressed-air-powered robot, the “Linex,” took first prize. Johnson went on to attend Tuskegee University, receiving degrees in both mechanical and nuclear engineering. After graduating, he got a position at Oak Ridge National Laboratory with the U.S. Air Force, where he helped develop the stealth bomber program. Four years later, he was hired at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a systems engineer for the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Mars Observer spacecraft, and the Cassini mission to Saturn.

It was while working at home on a heat pump (a device for heating and cooling that mechanically transfers heat to another source) that used water instead of Freon that Johnson came up with the idea for his most famous invention. It was 1982, and there was concern about how increased use of Freon would impact the environment. He was trying out nozzles in his bathroom sink when one of them shot a powerful stream across the room. Johnson made a prototype of Plexiglas® with room for an air pressure chamber and water reservoir inside. To fire the blaster, you pumped air into the pressure chamber with an external piston, then pushed a release valve, allowing some of the compressed air to escape, which expelled the water down the barrel. His six-year-old daughter and her friends loved it. Johnson continued to refine his design for the water blaster for years. He has often said that it was pure perseverance that ultimately led to him inventing the famous toy.

Johnson formed his own firm and licensed his most famous invention, the Power Drencher, to Larami Corporation in 1989. The name was later changed to Super Soaker®. By 1991 the Super Soaker® generated over $200 million in retail sales, becoming the best-selling toy in America. Larami Corporation was eventually purchased by Hasbro Corporation in 1995. Johnson continued to develop new toys at Hasbro and even learned how to adapt the Super Soaker® to shoot Nerf projectiles instead of water. When last reported, Lonnie Johnson held over 100 patents, with over 20 more pending. “For me, it’s almost magical being able to come up with ideas and then have them materialize,” says Johnson.

So what is Johnson up to now? He is currently the founder and president of Johnson Research and Development Company and is working with NASA on a heat-to-electric energy converter, as well as developing a lithium-air battery, which, if successful, could have the capacity to hold ten times the energy of a lithium-ion battery, Johnson believes. In 2022 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame®.  

A Charming Kitchen Transformation Honors This Cottage’s Nostalgic Past

“We love when clients come back to us. We’ve already established trust and rapport, but it gives us the opportunity to adapt and evolve their style to new surroundings—in this case, a charming seaside cottage with a history that extends beyond its physical structure. The client has memories in this vacation house, so she didn’t want to rip everything out. Instead, she intended to honor the original details and keep some elements of warmth and nostalgia. 

“We decided to lift the ceiling and, while doing so, maintain that old line of where the ceiling was. It made the space a little bit brighter and a smidge more open while also adding a plaster architectural element. The original paneling was a jumping-off point for the natural finishes throughout the space, but we toned down the yellow coloring of the pine. The wooden top on the island from Grothouse brings in warmth and juxtaposes the black honed-granite perimeter, and we chose a penny-tile backsplash from DiscoverTile. The color selection was an homage to the original styling of this lake home—it was a way not to abandon its retro vibe, but to thread its original tones through a more modern design. The client wasn’t afraid of color, and that’s right up our alley.

“This is truly an all-hands-on-deck kitchen that is always bustling with visitors. The tags on the cabinets—instructions for putting things away from the dishwasher—are something the client had before, along with the latches on the cabinets; they’re all inspired by the original kitchen. Function was a big driver throughout the whole project. It was important that certain pieces, like the fridge and the oven, be both utilitarian and fun. We used local vendors when possible: Kennebec Company did the cabinetry, and Huston and Company designed the table.

“We lean on our clients quite a bit to give us direction and help us understand what the spirit of the space will be. In a kitchen, you really do need the client to be involved in the functional aspect, and this client was into all of it: Where will the silverware live? Pots, pans, plates, and glasses all have their proper home here. Collaboration was key to making this space functional for generations to come.”

—Kate Maloney and Elizabeth Stone of Kate Maloney Interior Design   

Design Wire September 2023

In 2018 STEPHEN COSTON and his parents built Inn on Mount Desert, a family-run guesthouse just one mile from Acadia National Park. Since then, Coston has acquired and renovated nine more inns in the Bar Harbor area. Together with BRIAN SHAW (owner of the local building company BRIAN D. SHAW, INC.) and business partners TOM AND NINA ST. GERMAIN, Coston is currently working on his 11th property: a 45-room hotel called the PATHMAKER, which should be completed by the end of the year and will feature on-site dining for 125 people. In an interview with Mainebiz, Coston explained the Pathmaker will remain open year-round, unlike most of his properties, which are marketed toward summer visitors from away. “I think recently we have been able to show people that there is no ‘bad’ time to visit Bar Harbor, and now the season is much longer than it used to be,” Coston noted. 

Finnish company WOODIO is attempting to upend the bathroom industry with emission-friendly sinks, bathtubs, and toilets made from wood chips purchased as waste from local paper mills. At a factory in Helsinki, the wood chips are sifted, dried, ground, and mixed with resin and other additives before being poured into custom-designed molds that allow the nearly unbreakable material to compress while it’s injected. The sustainable bathroom equipment is finished with a food-grade, dirt-repellant, and waterproof coating that enables users to clean it with normal detergents. When it’s time to move on, the sinks, bathtubs, and toilets can be ground up and mixed with fresh wood chips to make new Woodio products with a contemporary Nordic aesthetic.

A new solar farm in Hampden will generate power for nearly 75 percent of the COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC’s 350-student campus in Bar Harbor, moving the school one step closer to its goal of becoming a fossil-free institution by 2030. College of the Atlantic has already reduced its fossil fuel usage by more than 40 percent over the past two years, following insulation and weatherization updates and the replacement of oil furnaces and water heaters with more efficient heat pump systems. The Hampden clean electricity project, a collaboration among REVISION ENERGY, WISHCAMPER COMPANIES, and TERRASMART, will also provide power to the surrounding communities of Blue Hill, Deer Isle/Stonington, and Bangor.

Downtown Bangor’s summer visitors may have noticed something colorful floating in the sky this year: a new international art installation known as the UMBRELLA SKY PROJECT debuted over Cross Street in July. Inspired by magical nanny Mary Poppins and her enchanted umbrella, the whimsical display brings color to the city while shielding pedestrians from harsh summer rays and unexpected rain showers. The DOWNTOWN BANGOR PARTNERSHIP received funding from NORTHERN LIGHT EASTERN MAINE MEDICAL CENTER to install the decorative umbrellas seasonally until 2025. Created by Portuguese company IMPACTPLAN in 2012, the Umbrella Sky Project has appeared around the world, including in London, Paris, Montreal, Miami, and Philadelphia. Bangor’s display will be the first in the U.S. Northeast.

Portland firm WRIGHT-RYAN will serve as construction manager for the TEKΑKΑPIMƏK CONTACT STATION at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Millinocket, with Norway-based SAUNDERS ARCHITECTURE at the lead and ALISBERG PARKER ARCHITECTS on board as the architect of record. Expected to open in summer 2024, the two-story, 7,896-square-foot building will be constructed from minimal steel and concrete, instead utilizing forest products and mass timber, with passive utilities including a remote solar array and a thermal-mass floor system. A collaboration among the Elliotsville Foundation, the Wabanaki Advisory Board, and the National Park Service, Tekαkαpimək will welcome visitors to the area while reflecting the peoples, natural resources, and future of the Katahdin region. In the spring, FRIENDS OF KATAHDIN WOODS AND WATERS launched A Monumental Welcome, a $35 million fundraising campaign that will support the contact station and other park projects as well as other Wabanaki-directed initiatives. 

BIGELOW LABORATORY FOR OCEAN SCIENCES, a nonprofit oceanography institute located in East Boothbay, will break ground on a 25,000-square-foot ocean education and innovation center this fall with an estimated completion of spring 2025. Designed by HARRIMAN, the new facility will include designated offices for administration and business operations; teaching labs and classrooms; and a two-story, 300-seat gathering space that will allow the 120-employee organization to host events, public programs, and conferences with leading scientists. Financial support for the $30 million project comes from the HAROLD ALFOND FOUNDATION, individual and institutional donors, and federal funding.

Italian brand DE PADOVA and British fashion designer SIR PAUL SMITH recently debuted the second chapter of a collaborative home collection called EVERYDAY LIFE. The line’s latest additions include a modular indoor sofa and upholstered outdoor furniture and accessories catering to the public’s growing interest in sustainable open-air living. Visible joins in the furniture are reminiscent of Japanese cabinet making, and the colored straps on upholstered pieces are a nod to Smith’s “Signature Stripe.” Made from low-impact materials like hemp, kapok, and recycled goose feathers, the collection ranges in color from vibrant hues to earthy tones and is meant to add a touch of luxury to everyday life.

Photo: Read McKendree

Founded in 1963 by Sonny Perkins in support of the emerging East Coast surf culture, the YORK BEACH SURF CLUB hotel reopened this summer with a fresh aesthetic that blends minimalist Scandinavian style and Maine’s traditional coastal architecture. Designed by the Perkins family’s hospitality and design group, THE SURF COMPANY, the coastal retreat’s 42 rooms and ten bungalows feature white oak headboards, Maine cedar accents, gray wood floors, and bold black fixtures, while vintage longboards and Perkins’s original photography can be found in the lobby and hallways. A fully restored vintage 1964 International Harvester milk truck houses the ROLLING PEARL, York Beach Surf Club’s raw bar and cocktail caravan. FISKE, the property’s public rooftop restaurant, offers an elevated dining experience with picturesque views of the ocean and a curved bar designed by Nashville’s MCKEITHAN DESIGN STUDIO.  

STITCH: Maine Designers on the Runway

Colorful African-inspired clothing from Josiane Fashion House

MH+D joined Woodhull, Hay Runner, Old Port Specialty Tile Company, Bespoke Branded Fit, A Gathering of Stitches, Bixby Chocolate, Headlight Audio Visual, and Urban Farm Fermentory in sponsoring STITCH, an annual evening of style presented by the Maine Crafts Association (MCA). A vibrant live runway show featured wearables from seven local designers, including Molly Angie, Jody Halliday Wearable Art, Alicia Plummer Designs, The Saison Beauty, Alice Yardley, Josiane Fashion House, and Maeson Maine. Before and after the show, guests enjoyed snacks and beverages from Urban Farm Fermentory while shopping at a curated Style Market showcasing the designers’ crafts. Proceeds from the event support the Maine Crafts Association, a nonprofit arts organization that aids and connects local craft artists by providing educational, marketing, and retail opportunities.

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