Maine Summer House

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

“We have all kinds of things you’d never expect to see in a Maine island house. There is an Italian gilt sofa in the black-and-white guest room, but you know what? Everyone hangs out in there and watches TV. It’s a wonderful, casual space.”  John Knott

Cafe Design | Main Cottage | Living Room

“This is a very American mixture of different furniture styles, family hand-me-downs, and the kind of China Trade exotica that New England sea captains collected. ”  John Fondas

Cafe Design | Main Cottage | Living Room 2

“Nothing could be more American than painted floors in a vacation home. Painting dark floors white moved the house into the sunshine. “ John Knott

Cafe Design | Main Cottage | Sofa Details

“Because none of the rooms have much architecture or even moldings, wallpaper patterns elevate them to the next level of decorating. The whole room looks like a wrapped gift.” John Knott

Cafe Design | Main Cottage | Dining Room

“It never occurred to us to ask, ‘Is this too much pattern in one room?’ It’s second nature.” John Fondas 

“Friends in the design business appreciate seeing this. Because decorating is expensive and long term, many clients are apprehensive about patterns, especially so many together.” John Knott

 It’s a risk to use 10 or 15 patterns in a room. ” John Fondas 

 Risky, but we also want the joyful excitement — the happy, jazzy fun that’s part of what America is about. ” John Knott

Cafe Design | Main Cottage | Bedroom

Cafe Design | Main Cottage | Chaise

Cafe Design | Main Cottage | Fabrics

Cafe Design | Main Cottage | Bathroom

Cafe Design | Main Cottage | Guest Bedroom

Cafe Design | Main Cottage | Bedroom Chaise

Cafe Design | Main Cottage | Guest Bedroom 2

Cafe Design | Main Cottage | Attic Space

Cafe Design | Maine Home | Exterior

You can read the entire interview as well as the rest of the story here and here.



LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!    Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook 


  1. July 19, 2017 / 5:32 pm

    I never get tired of this house. Thanks for sharing.

    • Eva Contreras
      July 19, 2017 / 8:10 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! I feel the same way! xo