British interior designer Nina Campbell has earned legendary status, counting among her clients the Queen of Denmark, Rod Stewart, and Ringo Starr.
Now she’s discovered the charms of Maine, created interiors for a home on the sound designed by New York architects Ferguson and Shamamian – and published a book about it.
It’s written by Country Life executive editor Giles Kime, with photography by interiors specialist Paul Raeside.
And it’s not about one house, but three structures on a large property – including a main house with six bedrooms, a pool house with two more, and a play house with two more.
Construction was a six-year process, after an earlier home on site had been taken down. “They were rebuilding in a new idiom,” Campbell says. “It was such a journey with the architects and the landscaping.”
Friends introduced her to her new clients in the Bahamas. They had some unusual ideas for entertainment, as it turns out.
“They said there would be this room with a British telephone box spray-painted with purple lacquer,” she says. “You’d go in, dial a number, and a door would swing open – and that would place you inside the Devil’s Hideout.”
Sure enough, she made it happen. The phone booth is a bright purple, and the hideout is a blazing red.
The color scheme throughout the rest of the property is a little more subdued. “Each room has its own,” she says. “But there’s a very strong lean to lavender and purple.”
And the material palette? It’s a home in Maine for use during summer through Thanksgiving after all, so there’s not a lot of wool. “It’s chenille and linen, a mixture of fabrics, with a lot of prints and texture,” she says. “I like to mix things together – there are tweeds and cottons and stitched design on cushions.”
And it’s designed for a blend of formality with a certain amount of casualness to it. “In the living room, I found a fabric of silk with colors that were perfect,” she says. “But silk was not suitable in Maine, so I wove it with cotton and linen to become a more comfortable fabric, with more weight and texture.”
One of her trademarks is the pursuit of an oasis of calm for any project. She achieves that by making everything super-comfortable, with bedrooms and baths that are impeccable. “You want to feel relaxed in places where you can curl up and read a book,” she says.
In the pool house are two sitting rooms. “You can watch TV in one, and in the other room there’s bar where you can have breakfast or lunch,” she says. “Then there’s a place to gather before dinner, and have dinner in another room. It’s all about keeping things moving.”
A happy place was the intent, she adds.
In Maine, she’s achieved that – even in a special place her clients call the Devil’s Hideout.
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