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.
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.
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.
Director of Purchasing
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.
Irene Appe, Operations Manager
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.
Kathleen Killam, Marketing Director
Spanning a career in retail buying, high tech purchasing and raising a family; Kathy with the encouragement from her daughters, pursued a degree from North Shore Community College in Interior Design. Holding a Bachelors in Business Administration from MCLA, and her love of textiles and her seamstress talent seemed only natural to pair it with interior design. With 20 years of community involvement encompassing the Triton Regional District with positions on the Superintendent Advisory Committee, High School Council, and Middle School Council, and St. Mary’s as a Religious Education teacher and Parish Council member, Kathy has a love and passion for our community. “Involvement gives you a voice and a path for positive influence.” Her love of antiquing inspires her design. Something old can be new again. “Taking heirloom pieces and breathing new life into them can be as simple as a fabric change, room position or defining a new function for the piece. Design should involve the senses; touch, vision, hearing, taste, and smell all while utilizing and encompassing the needs of the client.”
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. Brian lives in southern New Hampshire, with his wife Emily and his daughter Evangeline.
Louis Orlando, Warehouse Manager/Maintenance
“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 eighteen years and counting.
Gary Richard, Carpenter/Logistics
Gary grew up in the home building field. In fact, he is a third-generation carpenter. With his attention on IT administration in his immediate future, Gary has found his niche at CDI for the time being. “I enjoy the spontaneity of my job. One day I’m building a bookcase, and the next I am moving a valuable piece of art into a client’s home. It’s organic and exciting.” Gary’s talents are varied, and his polite demeanor is a perfect fit for the CDI brand. Jeff commented once... “Gary reminds me of Michael in many ways. Soft spoken and always thinking about the next step.”
Paul Skinner, Carpenter
Attention to detail in finish work is the key to success. Paul has “written the book” on that topic. Having worked on a major renovation for CDI as a subcontractor, Michael and Jeff invited Paul to join the team in 2020 after seeing firsthand his abilities. “It seems that clients are looking for so much more from interiors designers now.” Paul goes on to say, “Anything to do with the home seems to be on the table.” Paul’s presence on the Client Service Team is a testament to his talents and successful lifelong career in home building. Paul lives in southern New Hampshire with his wife Michelle and their toddler son, Jackson.
Camden Valliere, Carpenter/Logistics
Cam's journey to Cebula Design is an unusual one. A dedicated and hard worker in the field of construction and roofing, Cam would always give his all. Serendipity and his strong work ethic did not go unnoticed by Managing Partner, Jeffrey Adams when they met quite by accident. "It's funny how life takes you on a path you may not have imagined. Here I am using my abilities for organization and detail in a career that, well, just found me." Cam assists in construction and logistics and is the team's newest member. "I respect my colleagues and share their belief that at the end of the day, we must have a happy client. That is the CDI way. "
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.