“Dark Floral Wallpaper in the kitchen feels very warm, so the space is more like a living space than just a functional kitchen.” - Cecilia Casagrande of Casagrande Studio, Brookline, Massachusetts, USA
Just about a month ago, I was sitting in the Amsterdam airport, waiting for a flight to Boston and scrolling through Instagram, as one does, and I saw that Cecilia Casagrande, one of the first interior designers to order our Dark Floral Wallpaper back in 2014, had won HGTV’s Designer of the Year Award for the 3rd year in a row! I sent her a DM congratulating her on her amazing streak, and suggested, “Hey, I’m actually going to be in Boston next week. Can we set up a time to meet?” She got right back to me: “Yes! Come have tea with me in my kitchen. We can sit and chat next to your wallpaper.”
I always love seeing Cecilia’s work. It’s consistently rich and colorful, elegant and playful, all at the same time. She succeeds in creating a real experience: not only a space that looks nice, but that feels nice, both aesthetically and energetically.
So, a week later, it was a big moment for me to be welcomed into Cecilia’s gorgeous home and kitchen, to see my work on her walls - in person - for the first time. We sat down at her table with Pukka tea and pastries, and after just a few minutes chatting, light bulbs started going off, bells started ringing, creative inspiration started flowing - gushing, even! Before we knew it, we were talking about a design collaboration, which we’re currently working on and both super excited about!!
In the meantime, here’s a chance to get to know a bit more about Cecilia, who, just 8 years after transitioning from a career in social work/public health to interior design, is the 3-time recipient of HGTV’s Designer of the Year Award. Amazing!
EC: Hi Cecilia. Can you tell us something about yourself, your firm and your design philosophy?
CC: I am a mother of three boys, trained in social work and public health and love old houses. I live in a Victorian home built in 1872 in Brookline, MA. I started my firm over 7 years ago after designing and renovating my old homes. My design philosophy is that your home should be comfortable, relaxing, inspiring and bring you joy. I believe you should display your treasures, use your china, get the marble counters, wool rug, velvet sofa and wallpaper the bathroom, do what you truly love and not worry about stains, pets, kids, resale or what your neighbors think. I believe every design decision should be thoughtful. It’s better to wait and get exactly what you want, the best quality and with a human touch than fast furniture or the latest trend. Buy the best quality you can afford and fewer, get to know the provenance, restore antiques and learn the artists, artisans and makers. That is what makes a home feel like a home that is truly a reflection of you and your family.
EC: How did you learn about Ellie Cashman Design? What drew you to our products?
CC: I saw an image of Dark Floral about 8 years ago and it took my breath away. I knew I had to have it in my home. It was the inspiration for my kitchen and helped launch my business with press coverage locally, nationally and internationally. I love the old feel of the flowers that feel so modern in the large scale and on the black background. It is the extreme of very old with very new that I love about Ellie Cashman’s designs.
EC: Can you give us some background information about this project? What was the look and feel you were going for? Why was ’Dark Floral' the right fit?
CC: I wanted an old European feel, a Parisian bistro and the Dutch master painting feeling did that for me and gave the wow factor. Dark Floral Wallpaper in the kitchen felt very warm so it would be more like a living space than just a functional kitchen.
EC: If you could describe the wallpaper in one sentence, what would it be?
CC: Dark Floral is the perfect wow; modern, Victorian, masculine and feminine all at the same time, stopping you in your tracks and making you wonder why your heart just skipped a beat.
Meeting Ellie Cashman finally after years of living with Dark Floral was wonderful. We immediately hit it off and knew we could create something fabulous working together. So looking forward to our adventure and what we create.