Inspiration from a seaside life
by: Carrie Leland
photography by: Jeff Allen
Pushing her three-speed Schwinn aboard the boat in Woods Hole, a 17-year old Donna Elle set off to spend a summer on an island that would inspire her life of design.
Elle knew she couldn’t stay land-locked in her hometown of East Hampton, Mass. forever. Since spending early childhood summers on her family’s cabin cruiser around Block Island, she has been drawn to the ocean.
“I’ve always had water and been on the edge. I’ve always gravitated to the shore,” she says.
Walking this edge, between sand and sea, be it on Nantucket or in Florida, has imbued her creative vision.
That vision gave birth to an award-winning career and two thriving companies: Donna Elle Interior Design in 1994 and Nantucket Windows in 2000, for which Elle designed her Coastal Fabrics Collection. At the end of March, she launched a new product line with Coastal Fabrics at the International Window Coverings Expo in Tampa, Florida.