Down East, the Magazine of Maine, has launched its first annual Maine Homes Design Awards competition, a showcase of professional and amateur talent that creates world-class homes all over the state.

Winners in both the pro and amateur segments will be chosen through a blind judging process by national design authority Martha Stewart, who owns a home in Seal Harbor; Portland rug designer Angela Adams; Biddeford architectural photographer Trent Bell; interior designer and Castine homeowner Loi Thai’ and architect Carter Williams of LDa Architecture and Interiors in Cambridge, Mass.

“I am consistently amazed by the beautiful design I see happening here in Maine — design by talented architects, builders, interior decorators, and landscapers, yes, but also by talented homeowners whose places we frequently feature in our magazine,” said Sarah Stebbins, editor of the magazine’s new Maine Homes section.

Over the winter, Stebbins said she wondered whether there was something more Down East could do to honor the stellar work being done in Maine. The result is the inaugural Design Awards.

Industry professionals (trade business owners) and amateurs can submit entries in one or multiple categories including living or dining space, kitchen, bathroom, curb appeal (house exterior) and landscaping. Pros will be charged $50 per entry and amateurs $10 per entry, with 15 percent of the net proceeds going to the Maine chapters of Habitat for Humanity.

The winning projects in both the pro and amateur categories will be featured in Down East and on its affiliate website, Between now and June 8, readers can vote for their favorite projects on and their top picks will be highlighted online.

Contest sponsors are Knickerbocker Group, Margo Moore Interiors, Town & Shore Associates and Wright-Ryan Homes. To learn more about the Maine Homes Design Awards, enter and vote, visit the website. Questions about the contest can be directed to or 594-9544.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or