Carol A. Morrissette, Principal

Carol A. Morrissette, Principal

Maine Licensed Architect

Email –
Studio – 207.699.4184
Mobile – 207.671.7965


Carol began Residential Design Studio as a sole proprietor in 2010.  It quickly became evident that RDS was going to be larger than one person!  Given the economic climate of 2010, many of her wonderfully talented colleagues were also “on their own” and of a similar mindset that working together was the key to both financial and personal success.  RDS quickly gained a reputation for pulling teams of highly qualified professionals together for a wide variety of commercial and residential projects.   By 2011, it was clear that this model of working together was going to be successful and RDS needed to grow to support it—and her first employee was hired. . .then the second. . . then the third. . .

Today, Carol remains sole owner of the Studio and is supported by a wonderfully talented staff.  RDS still partners with their colleagues who are “on their own” and with large firms, so that we can meet any challenge set forth, with the best possible professional fit for our clients.   Carol is the lead designer of the Studio and remains involved with her clients throughout the entire design and construction process—even when another member of RDS manages the project, Carol’s is the face you will see at every design meeting.

Our projects have been featured on Houzz

Designs for how you live, not just where you live.

Relationships between people and their built and natural environments are of the utmost importance when designing a structure that houses one’s life. The designed environment should make living the life you want to live easier — by not only providing a functional space, but by articulating and reinforcing your ideals through the design of the space. At RDS, we firmly believe that anything we design should be aesthetically pleasing, in whatever style is appropriate for our clients. The architecture we create is about our clients, it is not about us.




New Construction

Few things are more exciting than all of the possibilities available when you acquire a vacant piece of land.  RDS helps you organize all of those possibilities into a manageable set of priorities.  And those priorities become what will inform every design decision throughout the design and construction process.

See more of our new construction projects


One of the most oft heard comments after the completion of a renovation project is, “Why didn’t we do this years ago?!”  RDS helps their clients determine what works in their existing home or building, based on the way they currently live in and use the space.  We help them determine what should be changed to provide a more accurate expression of their priorities.  Sometimes the extra square footage of an addition is not the right solution, but a renovation may be.

See more of our recent renovations


Although we’re called Residential Design Studio, yes, we do commercial work, too!  Our name stems from the experience of the design process we have with all of our clients.  We design spaces and experiences in which our clients live, work, and use that reaches beyond simply being functional and nice looking; our designs articulate our clients’ priorities.  We bring the intimate understanding of our clients needs and priorities into our commercial designs, just as we do our residential work.

Zoning Feasibility

RDS offers a variety of zoning and feasibility study service packages, two of which are detailed, below.   The labyrinth of Shoreland, Local, and State Codes and Ordinances required to navigate for jurisdictional approvals may seem daunting, but RDS has the experience to deftly guide their clients through the process.  With Carol’s 20+ years of experience preparing and presenting to Approval Boards, along with her service on the City of Portland’s Planning Board, she knows the questions to ask and of whom to ask, minimizing surprises during the approvals process.  This detailed knowledge for your project allows for a thoroughly prepared team when it comes time for public hearings.

Find out more about our Zoning Feasibility Packages

We respect your budget.  We think of ourselves as the knowledgeable professionals who make recommendations
on how you should allocate your budget in the wisest way possible to reach your goals.  
We respect your privacy.  Some of our clients are very public figures whose private life is just that—private.
To respect everyone’s privacy, photographs of some projects are only shown during face to face meetings.  


The Meeting

The initial meeting with RDS typically involves Carol meeting with you on your site.   She will ask a lot of questions about your project, about you, and about how involved in the process you want to be.  You will discuss a wide range of topics as it is a very fluid meeting!  As a result, Carol starts to establish an elementary understanding of your priorities, which, in turn, assists her in assembling the best possible team to achieve your goals.   At the conclusion of our initial meeting, a second meeting is scheduled to review the proposal for design services that we will generate.

The Ideas

The ideas we present as design solutions for your project are a direct interpretation of our understanding of the way you want to live and use your space—what is important to you.  We provide more insight and depth than simple space planning by helping you understand what drives every design decision we make together.  We believe in working as a team as we strive, together, to embody your ideals in the built environment.

The Product

Yes, RDS provides “design services” but we believe “design” is an experience.  Anyone who has lived through a construction project knows how many decisions must be made and how stressful it can be.  We aim to make the entire experience enjoyable, from start (tracing paper) to finish (open house party).   The only way to do that is through honest, hard work on our part, a solid understanding of your goals, and communicating those goals through a detailed approach to a holistic process.  Combined with our experience, knowledge, and thoughtfulness, we are confident that we can deliver a project you’ll love.

Speak with Carol about your project today. The options are limitless!



Design Worth Experiencing

Contact Residential Design Studio

Residential Design Studio, LLC
21 Chestnut Street, Unit 506
Portland, Maine 04101