What a perfect weekend to get inspired but such a talented designer like Meredith Ellis. Her love of amazing textiles comes out in every design she does. In fact, I think I can see a little San Miguel de Allende in a few of her designs which I just love.
“Meredith feels her most important role is to help each client discover the full potential of what their dream home can be. She tailors each project to the client’s personality and lifestyle. Her spaces are always fresh and creative, with a touch of the unexpected.”
I think in life everybody wants to do what they love for a living but few achieve this lofty goal. Meredith gets to spend time with her family and designs from the heart. From what I hear and see she excels at both. This quote above spoke to me because when you work with a designer who can bring fresh and creative ideas to the table you really found someone who is good at what they do because they are excited about doing it. Check out these fresh designs which I just love and I am sure you will also.
What manufacturer would you love to team up with and why?
I’d love to design a furniture line for an American company, like Hickory Chair or Palacek … something Southern or Colonial inspired incorporating caning or rush.
I’m always sketching different ideas and concepts, and I’ve been fortunate to do a lot of custom furniture for clients. I love getting to make something completely original.
Who is the designer that you admire and how have they influenced your design work?
There are so many Interior Designers I have such great respect for and who have most certainly influenced my work. Some of them I’ve been fortunate enough to work for. One of my favorite designers is Peter Dunham. I dog-eared a picture of his home in House Beautiful back in 2002, noting that he was someone I wanted to potentially work for when I relocated to LA from New York. His interiors are livable, and seem effortless. They are collected, but not cluttered, and have such an appropriate amount of classic and modern all rolled into one. The timing was never right for me to actually work for Peter, but he’s been such an influence in my career. When he opened Hollywood at Home I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was there I was introduced to beautiful artisanal linen textiles. It really proved that a showroom could be an inspiration as well as a resource, and that is something we always strive for with JAMES.
What is a design tip you live by?
A home should reflect the people that inhabit it.
What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
My 4 year old son Bourne who stomps loudly down the stairs, immediately demanding breakfast!
But seriously, what truly gets me out of bed is that I get to do what I love. I am living my dream. Knowing I get to spend time at JAMES every morning makes me happy. I am surrounded by the most beautiful textiles in the world, and I am constantly inspired by the true artisanship of the family of vendors we have collected.
What is your favorite vacation spot and can you recommend a place to visit or stay there?
I love San Miguel de Allende. My husband and I were married there so it has a sentimental connection as well. I love the cobblestone streets, brightly painted walls, and beautiful gardens that hide unassuming behind large wood doors, surrounded by beautiful colonial architecture. There are so many incredible private residences, and there are good agencies that can help you find just the right one. The Rosewood is also a great hotel with beautiful decor.
What happens in your initial meeting with a client?
Communication is most important when it comes to a successful designer/client relationship, so I like to spend time getting to know them … how they live, their aesthetic, their timeline, and their budget. I try to be as transparent as possible with how I operate, so I want the client to be so as well. Making sure we are on the same page, with the same realistic expectations is number one.
How do you communicate your vision to the client?
Inspiration boards. I use images, photos, textiles, etc. I spend a lot of time thinking through the entire project making sure I incorporate all their desires in the overall vision for not just each room, but as it unfolds through the home.
I also firmly believe it’s a collaboration between the entire team (Client, Architect, Contractor, landscape designer, and the designer). It’s not a “my way or the highway” situation. I try to listen as much as I speak.
Describe what you like most about your home.
I love our home because it reflects us, our family history, and the journey we are on. I have a lot of heirloom pieces from both sides, as well as mementos and artifacts from travels around the world.
How would you describe your sense of style?
Classic, livable, layered. Most of my interiors are steeped in tradition but with a modern sensibility.
Do you have a favourite colour scheme?
It’s always changing, as I get obsessed with certain color combinations. But, I do tend to love blue and green every day.
Photography and Contact Information
MEREDITH ELLIS DESIGN is located at:
1411 West 6th Street AUSTIN, TX 78703
Phone: (512) 362-8092