Archive | January, 2010

Beth Westra, Maine collage artist

28 Jan

Beth Westra is an artist local to our store in Yarmouth, Maine where we show her beautiful, richly colored collages. You can also view her work in our West Palm Beach, Florida store. Her landscape and still life collages are a perfect companion to our Maine Cottage colors and style and will be stunning in the Charleston Designer Showhouse. Beth is also an elementary school teacher who lives in North Yarmouth, Maine with her husband and two children.

Beth uses decorative papers from around the world to create her colorful and fanciful still lifes and landscapes. She’s inspired by the rich variety of paper and the combinations of color she is able to incorporate into her compositions. Beth works in a home studio and creates much of her work in the summer months when she is on a break from teaching. The repeated subjects often seen in her artwork represent summer in Maine. Below are samples of her artwork. For more information visit her website:

Beth Westra, Maine collage artist

Beth Westra, cutting materials

Blue House on Red Hill by Beth Westra

White Flowers in Pink Room by Beth Westra

2010 Charleston Showhouse Bare Boards Party

28 Jan

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra League planned and held the annual Bare Boards Party at 54 Gibbes Street on Sunday, January 17, from 4 to 6pm. The party gave CSO league members an opportunity to see the house in its “before state”, meet with our Maine Cottage crew and get a sneak peek at our plans for each room in the house. In attendance were Conductor, David Stahl, CSOL 2009-2010 President, Margaret Strauss, three of the four house co-chairmen, about 175 CSO league members and their guests, and Sara Meyer, Cindy Baxter and Amy Zonarich of Maine Cottage. By all accounts the party was a huge success.

CSOL members with Conductor David Stahl and Maine Cottage crew: Cindy, Sara and Amy

CSOL members, Conductor David Stahl and Maine Cottage crew: Cindy, Sara and Amy

CSOL member Janet Knorr with Sara and Amy of Maine Cottage

CSOL member Janet Knorr, Sara and Amy

Presentation Board - first floor 54 Gibbes Street

Presentation Board of First Floor of 54 Gibbes Street

Charleston Designer Showhouse Window Treatments by Rebecca Geary of Signature Designs

21 Jan

We are thrilled Rebecca Geary, owner of Signature Designs in Charleston, will be working with Maine Cottage to organize window treatments for the Charleston Symphony Designer Showhouse.

Rebecca is a native of Tennessee. She graduated with a B.S. in Interior Design from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Thru the years, Rebecca has designed homes in Tennessee, Connecticut, Atlanta, GA and Charleston, SC and surrounding areas. Generally working in the residences of clients doing traditional and contemporary design, she also has done some smaller commercial design.

Signature Designs is a full service firm capable of all aspects of Interior Design and planning. Remodeling homes has become a major part of our business in the past few years. The goal is to create an environment for the client that reflects their dreams.

Rebecca Geary, Signature Designs

Rebecca Geary, Signature Designs

54 Gibbes Street Central Stairway: then and now

8 Jan

The owner of the Designer Showhouse shared some dramatic house renovation pictures with us.

This series shows the addition of a central stairway. Once very modest and typical (and steep!) of this 1940’s craftsman bungalow style house, the old stairs were utilitarian and understated. The new stairs are quite grand and graceful with sweeping curves, wood treads that tie in with the flooring, and a beautiful period metal railing that leads to the office and bedrooms on the second floor. We plan to add color to the stairwell with some zesty artwork.

Old Stairwell to second floor

Old Stairway before replacement

Carving out the space

Creating space for the new central stairway.

Stairwell New Construction

New Construction of Central Stairway

Brand New Stairway

Beautiful finished central stairway

New Stairway Detail

Elegant metal balustrade detail honors Craftsman tradition

New Stairway Detail

Open landing at the top of the stairway leads into the proposed office space and two bedrooms

Master Bedroom Rendering

8 Jan

Here’s is another rendering by Laurie Hadlock. This time of the proposed Master Bedroom:

Master Bedroom rendering by Laurie Hadlock

Master Bedroom rendering by Maine artist Laurie Hadlock

A brief description of design ideas for the master bedroom:

The Master Bedroom shares the parquetry floors, high ceilings and tall windows of the front rooms. As a private bedroom, the design challenge and solutions present different choices. The goal is to provide a soothing environment. The color selections are a little more beachy to remind the owners the house is located near the ocean and is all about relaxation and family fun. Cheerful, pleasing colors encourage restfulness and a feeling that the owners are on vacation within their own home.

An upholstered bed softens the edges of this otherwise square room. Hand loomed cotton, linen and wool blend bed covers and throws customize the warmth of the bed for changing seasons and to suit a range of preferences. The easy coordination of the bed linens eliminates needless complexity.

Window treatments in the master bedroom add uplifting warmth to the room and meet the challenge of the big windows on the first floor of the house. Artwork is selected to stand up to the scale of the windows. Ample, accessible lighting in the room makes it practical to catch up with reading and enjoy peaceful repose.

54 Gibbes Street Master Bedroom today