Since 1985, CDI has melded an aesthetic vision with keen advice on the long-term value achieved by investing in fine homes. To this task, Michael Cebula brings an extraordinary, wide-ranging knowledge of design, from period restorations to the latest trends in contemporary living. No design process is complete, however without astute logistical and fiduciary organization which has become the hallmark of the firm.
Regardless of the home's architectural style or client's decor preferences, a Michael Cebula room exudes a sublime balance. His inspiration may come from a certain painting, a prized family heirloom, or something as simple as a client's love of a whimsical chair. The harmonizing of gorgeous colors and textures, as well as the layering of details, brings a completeness and joy to each room. Thirty years and counting, the passion is still burning.
Michael Cebula, Owner and Design Director
Michael Cebula has loved art and design from a very early age. As an enthusiastic twelve year-old, he convinced his parents to let him paint their mahogany bedroom set and it all seemed to take off from there. Today he is known for using color, shape, line and form in innovative ways that allow the elements in a room to speak to one another. “I always approach a project with the same enthusiasm I had when I began my career. As a designer, there are no limits. We are free to explore a universe of possibilities. No matter the size or the scope, there is always the opportunity to be creative.” Cebula’s aesthetic allows antique to meld with the avant-garde and formal architecture to embrace casual living. The careful layering of details brings a sense of peaceful balance to each space. When asked about a room that captured his imagination, he cites one that inspired generations of designers with its English country look: Nancy Lancaster’s butter yellow drawing room in London. “I had the opportunity to see it before it was dismantled. When I walked in, I knew I was in an important room. She had everything in there—chintz-covered banquets, window seats, wall-sized portraits, skirted tables, bookshelves—just layer upon layer. It wasn’t crowded or over done. Just inspired.” Cebula is a six-time PRISM award winner and has been recognized nationally by the NAHB for Best Interior Design of a Custom Home. Michael gives thanks every day for good health and happiness. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force.
Jeffrey Adams, Owner and Managing Director
In his role leading the business, Adams brings keen insight into the complexities of running a vital and dynamic multi-level operation. He has built not only one of the largest interior design company's in the region, but a special team that provides an impressively wide range of services to their clients. “We are a lifestyle management firm,” he says. “We can address everything from the smallest need to the most urgent problem in a home.” He also brings his expertise for the visual arts to clients interested in building their own fine art collections. In recent years, he has brokered acquisitions by major artists such as Damien Hirst, Joan Mitchell, Michael Goldberg, and Robert Kushner as well as up and coming talent from across the globe. “What defines a beautifully put together room, for me, is its artful mixture. I love a room that embodies an elegant approach to traditional interior design and walls filled with contemporary and modern art. This sets the standard for harmony that I find most attractive in a room.” From humble beginnings, Adams credits his parents for his education and self discipline. He holds a BFA and MA from the University of Connecticut and an MFA from Temple University. Recognizing he was given the privilege to learn and succeed is the fuel that drives his life each day. Blessings are everywhere.
Elizabeth Blaquiere, Interior Designer, Allied ASID
“A room, regardless of its style, should reflect a sense of the people who inhabit it. Good design should invoke personality,” she says. “My favorite spaces are the ones that include family items and mementos.” Since 2003, Elizabeth has brought a keen eye and knowledge of technical processes to Cebula Design, including the creation of hand-renderings and AutoCad modeling. In her own home, Blaquiere has amassed her own art collection that includes her grandfather’s oil paintings, ocean scenes by North Shore artists, and sea faring maps. She is a graduate of Endicott College's highly respected interior design program and an allied member of ASID with thirteen years of service at CDI. Elizabeth lives locally with her husband, Ian and their young daughter Clara.
Heidi Cerase, Interior Designer, Allied ASID
Heidi joins CDI with a twenty year background in interior and furniture design. She previously spent eleven years at La Strada in Ft. Lauderdale. "Studying and working in south Florida has provided me with a diversity of cultural experience which has greatly broadened my design background." At La Strada, Heidi was "hands-on" with all aspects of a busy interior design atelier and furniture construction workroom. She holds a B.S. in Interior Design from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and is an allied member of ASID. Her attention to detail and enthusiasm as a team player was evident to Michael and Jeffrey within the first few days of her employment. Heidi's CAD skill are second only to her ability to draw free-hand in perspective. She looks forward to exploring new trends in the industry and utilizing all of her knowledge and experience here at Cebula Design.
Associate Managing Director/Human Resources
For the past thirteen years, Gulino has kept the office running smoothly as the firm’s staff has quadrupled. A paralegal by training, she manages the detailed ordering and receiving process involved in each project. Her tenure and extensive working knowledge of the company aids Jeffrey in the "double and triple checking" aspects of the complicated ordering process. Friendly and congenial with not only the clients, she is well thought of among the vendors and hard working subcontractors she has worked with for many years. Among everyone on the Cebula team, she is affectionately known as "the den mother", making sure everything and everyone is taken care of. Carol lives locally with her husband Bob. They are proud parents to their sons, Chris and Matt.
Interior Design Administrator/ Fabric Coordinator
Before joining Cebula Design, Shelly Kim spent eighteen years with the illustrious European fabric maker, Brunschwig et Fils. “My education began in its archive room, where they kept old scraps from centuries’ old restoration projects.” There, she gained her knowledge of textile design over the ages. “You can add a hand-beaded trim to the simplest linen and create the most beautiful drapery.” Fabric allows people to encounter a room through touch. So it’s not only a visual element of a room, but a tactile one, she argues. When not supporting project administration or assisting the design team on fabric selection, Shelly assists with all aspects of ordering and logistics. At home, she's an avid seamstress. Her passion is to create unusual pieces using fabrics from her own collection of jacquards, embroideries, and silks.
Jody Trail, Partnering Interior Designer
Cebula Design welcomes the addition of Jody to its Professional Partnership Program. She is an allied member of ASID, and has been a respected design professional in New England (and beyond) for close to twenty five years. Creative, kind and committed, Jody's enthusiasm is infectious as is her ability to inspire those around her. Her designs capture the perfect balance of sophistication, luxury and comfort. Her award winning work have been featured in New England Home, Savannah Magazine and Cape Cod Home. Jody and her husband Bill currently reside on the North Shore and are the proud parents of three boys and have four grandchildren.
Leo McKillop, Director of Creative Media
Custodian of the company's website, blog, and most everything else online since 2010, Leo is also the firm's in-house photographer. From furniture installs to magazine ad design, McKillop enjoys the diversity of work that comes with working at Cebula Design. "Having access to the beautiful interiors of our clients and being able to photograph them is a benefit unique to the Cebula Design brand and something I truly value. " Leo photographs high-end homes for other designers, builders, and architects in the greater Boston area. "Over the last six years, I've had the opportunity to learn first-hand what elements aid in making that perfect interior room shot." In his spare time Leo enjoys photographing birds and other wildlife all over the Northeast.
Irene Appe, Executive Assistant/Caribbean Liaison
Quite by accident, Irene found herself thrust back into the throws of the workforce after having taken a ten year hiatus. Enthused at the opportunity to "get her feet wet again", Irene is thrilled to be working in a multifaceted executive role with projects both here at home and in the Caribbean. Well organized and dedicated to following through on all projects and inquiries, Irene's people skills are as strong as her clerical. "I found I missed all the aspects of my previous work and realized that my current job came just at the right time in my life. It's great making use of all the skills that I once took for granted." Irene and her husband Mike are no strangers to Cebula Design having worked with Michael and Jeff for five years on their previous home on Lake Winnipesaukee. "I was a client, now I'm an employee", jokes Irene. Recently the Appe's entrusted Michael to design their new home in North Hampton, NH. Irene has two grown daughters and a son.
CLIENT SERVICES TEAM
(from left to right)
Brian Powers, Director of Logisitics
For the past several years, Powers has handled shipping and logistics for Cebula Design and now heads the department. From fine art acquisitions in New York City galleries to the Tufenkian carpets in their Newburyport showroom, Powers manages the careful art of knowing where everything needs to be and when. While assuring the correct movement of goods into clients’ homes, Powers says, “It’s nice to see the different styles and interests of the homeowners.” A die-hard sports fan, Brian enjoys playing hockey and golf in his downtime.
“I came out of a craftsman’s background, where a threaded bolt is a metal object used as a connector. So fabric bolts and window treatments were a new language to me. I love the eloquence of the design world.” A bass guitarist in his spare time, Orlando manages the physical operations of the firm’s offices and warehouse. The rooms that he most loves are kitchens. “I’m always impressed by a well-designed kitchen because everything—the appliances, cabinets, tile, and the counter tops—they create a beautiful picture.” Louis has been with CDI for fourteen years and counting.
A member of the Clients Services Team for the past two years, DePaul provides everything from fine furniture installation to assisting with the day-to-day activities of the warehouse. His favorite aspect of the work is seeing the fine art clients acquire for their homes. “There’s one painting, a country barn in a field by a California artist, I can’t stop staring at when I’m at this one house,” he says. “But each of our client’s houses, to me, is like a piece of artwork.” Outside the office, he is a professional mixed-martial arts fighter and runs the boxing program at SLS Fitness in Lowell, MA. Every year Shawn helps raise money through SLS for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He lives in the Merrimack Valley with his girlfriend Jessica and their two children, Madison and Ava.
Ken Levasseur, Hunter Douglas Master I & II Custom Shutter Installer, HDCI
For the past four years, Levasseur brings his brawn and witty humor to the Client Services Team, handling everything from the smallest touch-up on a frame to intricate installations of fine art. Ken holds all accreditations from Hunter Douglas as a master installer and regularly attends training and seminars staying abreast of the latest trends in window fashions. An artist by training, the Maine native continues to create landscapes in his spare time. He sites his home state’s countryside as one of his favorite places to paint and the art of Andrew Wyeth and Winslow Homer as his inspirations. His work can be viewed at: www.therenderedsnapshot.com. Ken lives locally with his wife, Sherri, and daughters Olivia and Isabel.
Fran Crist, Hunter Douglas Master I & II Custom Shutter Installer, HDCI
As manager of the client services team, Crist is the "man on the ground" for Cebula Design’s client services operations. “I do like being out in the field facing new challenges every day and interacting with our clients.” An engineer by training, Crist specializes in the installation of Hunter Douglas shades and custom window treatments. Fran holds all accreditations from Hunter Douglas as a master installer and regularly attends training and seminars staying abreast of the latest trends in window fashions. He is one of only a few installers in New England with this level of expertise. In addition to these duties, Fran is also highly experienced in running CDI's paint crews. Fran and his wife Cathy live on the North Shore and have two children, Kyle and Kyra.
Rick Betts (Construction Supervisor, Licensed & CAP certified)
With 30-years experience in residential construction, Betts is leading the firm’s current building operations in the Caribbean. “I enjoy dealing with the nuances and subtleties of the interiors. The intersecting geometries— where two dissimilar surface materials meet, how they come together—represent both an aesthetic challenge and a nuts-and-bolts problem, which I find motivating.” He adds, “Then again, work is my hobby.” With only six degrees of separation between them, Michael and Jeff were neighbors with Rick thirty two years ago. Rick and his wife Jane live in Newburyport and have three children. Together, they are part of Christy Beckles' The Sato Project. The mission is to rescue abused and abandoned dogs from Puerto Rico and find them loving homes.
Liz specializes fine housekeeping, meal-planning and preparation. Her attention to detail also keeps her attuned to what makes certain furnishings special in the one particular home she cares for. Cebula Design re-upholstered a living room sofa and chairs in a smoky gray palette, but then added a dash of pink and white in the pillows. She, however, noticed the bottom banding. “It was just an inch wide, but the subtle leopard print just made the sofa spectacular. I fell in love with it and the pillows. And I’m not a pink person.”
Cheryl is former employee of Brunschwig et Fils at the Boston Design Center. Having known Cheryl for a number of years, Michael and Jeff were happy to add her to the client service team. Her hard work and dedication was the perfect fit for the Cebula brand.