Get to Know Emily Mattei

Emily Mattei
? Molly Haley

Known for her chic nautical style, e4 Interior Design owner Emily Mattei riffs on the power of a blue-and-white palette and why a wild animal has taken up residence in her purse.

My go-to gift is…

Baggu Bags! I used these as gift bags for my clients’ holiday presents last year. I love how they fold into cute little pouches. Standard Baggu, $12, Folly 101. 207-773-5227


My foolproof paint color is…

I have Alabaster by Sherwin-Williams in my office and just used it on a client’s kitchen cabinets. It’s not super- stark, but it also doesn’t have yellow undertones, so it always looks clean. $67.50/gallon. 

I always have this in my purse…

A rhino figurine has lingered in my bag of tricks to keep my toddler entertained during events like his older brother’s T-ball games. $8.

rhino figurine
Sarah Madeira Day painting

I’d love to fill my walls with art by…

Sarah Madeira Day. She paints beautiful coastal Maine scenes with a simple, elegant hand. I like that they work in both modern and transitional spaces. Deer Isle Tide, framed acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 48″, $1,630.

A room isn’t finished until…

It smells great. I use essential oils in diffusers throughout my home — studies show the scents can improve mood and productivity. In bathrooms, I also use Maine Island Soap, made with eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavender essential oils. $6.

Island Soap
terra-cotta tile

I’m currently obsessed with…

The terra-cotta backsplash tile I just installed in a Kennebunk kitchen. The owners didn’t want the house to feel too new. This tile, with its matte finish and vintagey hand-painted design, looks like it was plucked from an old farmhouse. Walker-Zanger Fatima tile, $91/ square foot.

The key to pulling off nautical style is to…

Make it subtle. Instead of furnishing with coral statues and a Life’s a Beach sign, stick to a soothing palette of blues, whites, and grays and mix in jute rugs for warmth. I also like to use traditionally nautical items in unexpected ways — for example, this rope towel ring. AlaskaRugCompany, $35.

rope towel ring
? Kelly Raffaele