“I don’t know if I know what I’m doing,” says Cindy Launer of a self-designed renovation to her Bar Harbor home, “but I’m definitely having fun. I’m winging it!”
Pretty good winging as far as we’re concerned. Cindy’s enthusiasm shows in the work. Her later-in-life passion for design (she and her husband are retired from insurance) affords a nimbleness that has served Cindy well. For instance, when excavations revealed crumbling stone and structural issues with the cottage’s fireplace, Cindy turned the unexpected headache into the home’s central feature. Reimagined in wall-to-wall granite, the hearth now includes custom cubbies for split wood.
Many of Cindy’s muses dwell in the cyber realm. “I probably creep on about 200 Instagram accounts getting ideas,” she says. “I follow all the big, established designers, but you can find really great work that not too many people have seen.” In this spirit, Instagram is also where Cindy discovered much of the artwork now in her spaces. The piece to the left of the fireplace (a woman with deep-red cheeks) is by paper collage artist Charlene Kane. “She does a sale online every week, and her pieces go in a minute,” Cindy says. “You have to be fast and you have to be lucky.” Instagram has become the go-to platform for aspirants across artistic disciplines. “Artists tend to follow each other,” Cindy says. “You start clicking, you start following, and all of a sudden you’re immersed in the freshest work from all over the world.”