Normally when I interview a designer I really have no clue what to expect. I always start by doing my research and getting a little background on the designer. Meridith’s story and was truly something I found to be karma related. Have you ever seen that movie “L.A. Story”? I loved that movie! Since I lived in Southern California for a spell it really hit home. It is about how things sort of happen for a reason but in the most curious ways. Meridith Baer’s story was just that.
Meridith was pondering the next step in life while having fun designing the ins and outs of her home. Her garden was where that magic moment happened. Her landlord saw how glorious that landscape she created was and thought that he could really make some money off this. So guess what? He kicked her out! But at the moment she had the idea that would launch her into her next big role. If her landlord could make money from her creation then why couldn’t she re-create the magic? From there she contacted a few friends and asked if she could stage/design their homes. Her first home she staged sold for one half million more than the asking price. From there her reputation and company grew nationwide.
I really could go on and on about this amazing entrepreneur and business savvy designer. But for the sake of rambling on why not find out about Meridith Baer yourself. I give you actress, designer and businesswoman Meridith Baer.
What manufacturer would you love to partner with and why?
We work with many incredible vendors. I’d love to partner with Arteriors because they have an amazing assortment of lighting, mirrors and home accessories. We did 1800 installations last year. When you furnish that many homes, it is important to keep the look fresh and new.
What designers do you most admire?
There are so many talented designers out there whose work I admire. I love almost everything that Kerry Joyce and Rose Tarlow create, from fabrics to furnishings. Then there are the clean lines and mix of modern with rustic of Robert Stilin and Daryl Carter, the peaceful minimalism of Axel Vervoordt, the playful and unexpected mix of Windsor Smith. Victoria Hagan has an effortless elegance, and Richard Shapiro’s mix of old and new is always compelling.
How important is balance to your work?
For me a balanced design is one that simply feels good and pleases the eye. It is seamless; all of the elements work together. You enter a balanced room and you want to take it all in, get to know it. If the room is unbalanced, you don’t want to stay. You might get the feeling that the designer is trying too hard. Unless there are some asymmetrical statements in a room, and unless there is at least a small mix of old and new, I feel bored.
What design book(s) do you have on your bookshelf?
All of the Beta Plus books on design
- Carlo Scarpa: Architecture and Desgin
- Interiors: Atelier AM
- Carrier and Company: Positively Chic Interiors
- Suzanne Kasler: Timeless Style (and Inspired Interiors)
- Bunny Williams’ Point of View (and her An Affair with a House)
- Elements of Style (Michael Smith)
- Meaning of Home (Jeffrey Alan Marks)
- Victoria Hagan: Interior Portraits
And about 100 more design and architectural books.
If you had three magazines to take on a trip which would they be?
Vanity Fair, W, Elle Décor (Mind, body and design)
What is a design motto you and your firm live by?
Keep it clean and simple but make it comfortable and interesting.
And to paraphrase Winston Churchill: We shape our homes and then our homes shape us.
What is your first step in selecting a new client?
When you meet a new client, the first step is to get to know them and find out how they want to live. Then define the scope and budget. Get on the same page and make sure it is a good match.
How do you like to spend your downtime?
Gardening and quality time with friends….and watching the garden and business all grow and flourish.
How important is eco-friendly to you?
Natural fiber fabrics and woods feel good to live with and are at the same time eco-friendly. I love reclaimed wood furnishings and to mix in antique pieces for a more collected feel. Overly processed furniture is as bad for us as overly processed food.
What trend do you see happening in 2017 in the design world?
We’re seeing a return of more eclectic interiors, mixing styles and shapes, adding a new fabric to a classic chair, a modern side table next to an English arm sofa, a modern mirror above an antique console. Prints and Color and are coming back in a big way. Adding decorative pillows in colors and prints is an easy way to give a room a fresh new look. We are bored with a room that is All Modern or All Anything. Let’s have some fun!