Designer Spotlight: Michele Merritt

This week, we sat down with one of our favorite designers, our very own Michele Merritt. Michele’s approach to each design project is to treat the entire environment as a cohesive work of art. Her years of design experience help her to understand her clients and create environments that are a manifestation of their style and personality. This balance has resulted in creative interiors and highly satisfied clients. Read on to learn more about Michele’s philosophy on design, style, and life!

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What is your design experience?
I graduated cum laude with a degree in design from Mount Vernon College, now a part of George Washington University….D.C. is a great playground for a design student! My experience, a bit of everything. I’ve worked on yachts, retail spaces, commercial projects and residential.

What are your design “must-haves”?
Probably topping the list is character, but to get there you’ve got to have some fabulous art and a bit of whimsy…a sense of humor helps.

What are your design “don’ts”?
Ewwwww…don’t live by trends and don’t settle for uninspired or uninteresting…mix it up!

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What is the essential element of any room?

Personality and lighting…natural light is a huge bonus!

What is your design philosophy?
Yes, form follows function, but don’t forget the “jewelry”…it’s essential!

What designers do you admire?
Philipp Stark – fun and funky, yet simple and elegant…usually out of the box
Darryl Carter – classic meets contemporary in the perfect marriage…reminiscent of Billy Baldwin
Kelly Wearstler – a conglomeration that works

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How would you describe your professional style?
I’m a bit all over the board, from borderline “edgy” to traditional. Most would be surprised by the interior of my home, not what you would think if you know me.

What is your favorite vintage furniture (or accessory) find?
Easy, Le Corbusier’s LC4 Lounge in Pony or the Eames Lounge Chair…I see a theme

What are the three must-have items in your purse?
Sooooo uncool, lip gloss (Blistex Silk & Shine), eye drops, and bandaids/aspirin (depends on the day I’m having). I could’ve said my Chanel lip gloss which sounds so much better, but….

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What is your favorite item/piece of furniture in your own home? why?
I have this antique gilded floor mirror that was from my grandparents that has been not only through many years, but a fire as well and yet still is beautiful. Gives me hope!

What is your favorite repurposing/upcycling project?
Hmmmm….my colleague reminded me of an antique Aiken Sofa that we brought back to life, but another that was fun was building a makeshift closet out of pipes and linen. I pulled from my boating years for that one.

What is your favorite way to brainstorm/get inspired for a project?
A bit trite, but everyday life…nature, architecture and fashion. I keep my eyes open for the unusual.

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Where is your favorite travel destination?
Most anywhere, but that said, my loves are Martha’s Vineyard, Quebec City, Italy (Tuscany area or Venice…the history!) and most any tropical island via sailboat.

What inspires you today?
A client that trust me which in turn inspires me to create something truly special and unique…makes me step up my game.

What does value mean to you?
To me it’s more than money well spent, it’s doing my best to surpass my clients expectations. With most all of my projects a bit of my heart goes into it, that’s hard to put a dollar amount to.

2 Comments

  1. Posted by Karedn Plaehn

    Congratualtions!
    Loved Spotlight and learning more about a Great Designer and Person!

    Great Job Susan and Michelle.
    Thoroughly enjoyed!

    Posted August 27, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • Posted by Susan

      Thanks Karen, we love to spotlight our great design team. We couldn’t agree more, Michelle is a great designer and a great person!

      Posted August 27, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Reply

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