Introduction

“Palm Beach is timeless, it has always been beautiful, clean, full of flowers and Southern friendliness.  Our family has been here for more than 120 years.”  – Mimi McMakin

Kemble Interiors, Inc. was founded in 1982 by Palm Beach native Mimi Maddock McMakin. McMakin has been recognized for her distinctive fusion of whimsy with respectful restoration in many a storied Mizner, Volk, and Urban designed estate or club. She has over 40 years of experience bringing comfort and beauty to the homes of her clients across America.

“In life as in design, it is not perfection you should be after.  There’s beauty in the faded and worn, the well loved, and the sentimental…After all, life has seams. Your home should be like a loosely woven fabric of desires, memories, practical, notions, and even compromises.”  – Celerie Kemble

Mimi’s daughter and partner in the New York office of Kemble Interiors, Celerie Kemble claims her childhood was in many ways a design tutorial spent around construction sites, antique stores, and in the unique homes designed by her mother. A graduate of Harvard, Celerie worked briefly in film production before quickly succumbing to what she calls a compulsion for design and the creation of thoughtful interiors that “put the person in the place.” Since then, she has spent the past fifteen years cultivating a portfolio of much publicized residential and commercial interiors that are as unique and diverse as her clientele.

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Known for her candor, humor and approachable design advice, Celerie published her first monograph Celerie Kemble: To Your Taste in 2008 to be followed by Black and White: And and Bit in Between in 2011. Celerie has recently appeared in J.Crew’s ‘Real Women’ ads and alongside industry leaders in Benjamin Moore’s ‘Experts’ campaign. She has created to-the-trade fabrics and wallcoverings with F. Schumacher, and a collection of floor coverings with Merida Meridian. She is recently debuted a collection of furniture with Henredon and accessories with Maitland-Smith at High Point Spring Market 2013.

Michael Boodro has said Kemble Interiors “incorporates the serendipitous and the sentimental without losing clarity or strength.”

The firm’s success is a reflection of both Mimi and Celerie’s quirky design ethos, which balances the aesthetic integrity of the project with the needs/personality of the client. To create a successful interior, the process must be well-managed, the client’s needs and dreams carefully considered, and the budget respected.

Phoebe Kemble, director and Head Chef of Kemble Kitchens, provides gourmet comfort food for events large and small, happily sharing culinary secrets from her life-long passion for memorable meals and travel.

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Based in London, Phoebe can also be found in Paris, New York, The Hamptons and Palm Beach. She is not only a lifelong foodie and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, but also holds a B.A. from Brown University.

Mimi, Celerie and Phoebe make up a creative family trio who excel at devising environments and experiences that delight and inspire their clients.

Biography

Celerie Kemble is a principal in Kemble Interiors, a design firm founded in Palm Beach by her mother, Mimi McMakin. After graduating from Harvard, Celerie succumbed to what she calls a compulsion for design and the creation of thoughtful interiors that “put the person in the place”. Celerie established the New York office and has spent the past 15 years cultivating a portfolio of much publicized residential and commercial interiors, which includes projects in the New York area, Palm Beach, Texas, and the Dominican Republic.

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Clarkson Potter published her first monograph Celerie Kemble: To Your Taste in 2008 to be followed by Black and White: And and Bit in Between in 2011. A tastemaker known for her approachable design advice, Celerie has been engaged in marketing campaigns for J Crew, Benjamin Moore, Johnson & Johnson, and Mattel for Barbie. She has created to-the-trade fabrics and wallcoverings with F. Schumacher, a collection of floor coverings with Merida Meridian, collections of case goods and upholstery with Henredon, as well as lighting and home accessories with Maitland-Smith. In 2014, she launched an outdoor furniture line with Laneventure. In 2015, she will be launching a line of curtain hardware with Classical Elements and a hand painted scenic wallpaper collaboration with Fromental.

The Most Iconic Projects

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

New York interior designer Celerie Kemble has recently brought her smart blending of the classic and the contemporary to the Dominican Republic, where she and a score of friends have created a genre-defying beachfront playground in the jungle — Playa Grande Beach Club — with nine enticing gingerbread bungalows offering guests a unique home-away-from-home resort stay.

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With lacy white bungalows shaded by swaying palm trees, the beachfront Dominican Republic getaway Celerie Kemble conjured for family and friends is a made-to-order paradise. Working with builder Marc Johnson, Kemble and historic preservationist Elric Endersby dreamed up structures sheathed in reclaimed palm wood and enriched with latticework flourishes—such as panels and fanlights—that play with the tropical light, splintering it into dappled patterns while also inviting even more air flow. “I wanted the whole place to feel saturated with sun and salty air,” Kemble says. Ceilings and floors are painted in a palette of macaron pastels, and rooms are filled with heirlooms, pieces from the decorator’s line for Henredon, flea-market finds, and deliciously odd metal furnishings and light fixtures created by Pedro Noesí of Neno Industrial, a Dominican design studio. “Celerie throws together a crazy combination of new and old and high and low,” her husband observes, “but rather than looking like a cluttered mess, it all feels right, as if the objects had been looking for each other.”

Palm Beach Home

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The expansive living room is glazed a “juicy cantaloupe color that makes everyone smile,” Ashley Sharpe says. Even the coffered ceiling subtly picks up the tropical punch. Carved cane sofas add “classic Caribbean style, and there’s nothing sexier than masculine dark wood in a room with this much white.” Sofa cushions in Perennials’ durable Ishi can stand up to the family poodle’s muddy paws. The fireplace is made of Dominican coral stone, and the painting over the inlaid chest is by Palm Beach artist Orville Bulman.

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In the dining room, Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman chairs in Schumacher’s Hampton Court Diamond surround a hand-carved teak table made in India. Curtains in Blithfield’s Beasties from Lee Jofa.

Inspirational quotes from Celerie Kemble

“My calling to become an interior designer steams from wanting to show people how to bring the sense of wonder, comfort and creativity into their own lives that my mother and the old church have brought to mine.”

“The ambition to make your mark can feel like hubris when you walk onto the land, thick with huge old trees along the wild Atlantic Ocean. Whatever it ultimately becomes, it has to be special because the property is inherently magical.”

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“I also believe that it is in the quirks that things become distinctive, that interiors become animated by life and nourished by their inhabitants.”

“I think interiors that are well designed tell people how to behave”

Interesting facts about Celerie Kemble

Her colors: black, white, and pale cornflower blue. The orange-meets-pink of August or the color of pink grapefruit flesh

Music: Florence + the Machine

Book: Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

Restaurant: Prune in NYC

Fabrics: “I’m finding Dutch wax prints exhilarating for their almost perverse color combinations, am loving an ombre here or there, and I’m always a fan of silk velvets, sisals and embroidery.”

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