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