Summer is not the time to be serious and a light-hearted approach to decorating is a great way to outfit a summer house, any house really. The Maine island home of Quadrille Fabrics’ owner John Knott and his partner, John Fondas, is a delightful retreat with interiors that I’ve swooned over for years. The designer duo transformed a former 1905 island hotel into their chic, colorful and pattern-full destination home. Think red and blue, George Washington toile, flags and stripes – all in one room… It may sound quasi-impossible to pull-off but it wasn’t for these two!

House Beautiful did a feature on this very special home and I had a great time reading their interview with the designers. There are fun insights into the decorating process as well as some practical takeaways – here are some of my favorite excerpts.

Cafe Design | Main Cottage | Front Door

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While checking out some great homes on Coastal Living Magazine’s website the other day, I stumbled upon a cute little beach house in Orleans, Massachusetts that I just have to share. The style of the interiors is slightly more rustic than my own, but I fell in love with the coziness of this small cottage. With a fantastic location, the house needed some expanding in order to accommodate a young family of four. While the architecture conservation laws are very strict in the area, the homeowners did a great job in capitalizing on the house’s location and the sweeping ocean views without changing its footprint. Comfortable window seats overlooking Nauset Beach and an assortment of bunk beds and guest bedrooms make it possible to welcome dozens of guests at a time – the more, the merrier!

When I first saw the house, I was taken with its exterior – the eyebrow roofline, weathered shingles and crisp white trim spell perfection in my book.

Cafe Design | Cottage by the Sea | Exterior

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… is my kind of home! Colorful and filled to the brim with worldly patterns, it is exactly what you’d expect from the designer whose vast textile empire is inspired and produced by skilled workshops around the globe.

Robshaw’s country house is set in Litchfield Hills, Connecticut and is an early 19th-century cottage surrounded by eight acres of land. With the help of decorator friend Sara Bengur, the same designer he’d collaborated with in decorating his Manhattan apartment, Robshaw filled his home with an abundance of color and textiles that are either his own designs or treasured travel finds. “ She (Sara) reminds me that you have to have some negative space’’ he says. ‘’ You can’t endlessly layer!’’

As a result, Byzantine details, Indian influences and furniture pieces made to Robshaw’s exact specifications are expertly layered to create an exotic home in the heart of one of the most traditional parts of Connecticut. Such a fun and beautiful counterpoint! Bellow are some of my favorite rooms from this tour, starting with this side entrance that makes me feel all sorts of happy! Let me know what you think!

Cafe Design | John Robshaw | Entrance

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There’s nothing like the magic of Nantucket… My feed is filled with beautiful island cottages, it seems like everyone was on Nantucket for the 4th of July celebrations. Bought for 30 English pounds and two beaver hats back in 1692 (thanks Nantucket Nectars for that bit of wisdom), it’s hard to put a price on this beautiful place. Filled with homes and streets that belong to another world, life on Nantucket flows at a different pace… Shingle clad cottages, white trim and picket fences,  tantalizing hydrangeas and climbing roses can make one drunk with beauty. I would never want to leave!

Cafe Design | Nantucket

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Since the early days of the Roman Empire, Capri – a tiny island in the Gulf of Naples- has been a stylish and sough after destination and today’s tour takes us on a dream trip to one of its private residences.  With panoramic views of the sea, right above the Blue Grotto, this chic villa belongs to a Neapolitan lawyer who carefully restored it with the help of architect Francesco Della Femina and interior designer Pasquale Capasso. The interiors reflect the island’s vernacular – thick, white walls and vaulted ceilings, and an assortment of rooms and alcoves connected to the outdoors. The gardens, filled with orange and lemon groves, are divided into small spaces that are an extension of the interiors. It is truly a dream holiday destination and now I’m in the mood for Italy! Enjoy!

capri 1

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