Q&A with designer Meredith Ellis
Our Designer Network is a group of trailblazers and icons that Sunset and sister publications Coastal Living and Southern Living work with to curate the best home designs for the magazines.
This week, we feature interior designer Meredith Ellis of Meredith Ellis Design.
How would you describe your style?
ME: Classic, livable, layered. I love to mix styles and use a multitude of textures. I want homes to feel as if they have evolved over time rather than appear perfect and “decorated”.
What’s a design trend you’re loving right now?
ME: Colorful interesting kitchens! I understand the draw for a perfectly linear, white, clean kitchen. But, I’m excited by kitchens that show more character, more texture, and a mix of materials …. like tumbled or interesting tile, pot racks, painted large lights, or exposed dishes.
What’s your #1 piece of design advice for homeowners?
ME: Decorate for the way you live. Choose items, colors, and textures you love with confidence. Otherwise, hiring a professional can save you a huge headache!
What are your (beach, mountain, lake, farm) house essentials?
ME: Beach- Outdoor shower! No tracking-in sand to the house.Mountain- Plenty of throws for sofas and chairs for cold evenings.Lake- Natural grass rugs, natural fiber fabrics, and big beautiful windows to enjoy the view.Farm- A great mudroom to organize all of the daily essentials … hooks for jackets … cubbies for organizing shoes… and ideally a blue stone floor!
What’s your go-to statement-making front door paint color?
ME: Fine Paints of Europe – Vreeland Mint. It’s bright without being shocking! Pairs beautifully with silver, bronze, or antique brass hardware, and just about any style of home. My favorite look!
Favorite designers/tastemakers/etc. to follow on Instagram?
ME: Miguel Flora Viena, Mark Sikes, Quintessence & Andrew Howard (I love his funny commentary!)
Favorite hotels to stay in on the coast?
ME: That’s really tough because I love so many coastal towns, especially in California. One of my favorites is the Four Seasons / Biltmore in Santa Barbara, because it epitomizes everything I love about Southern California; Spanish colonial architecture, vibrant gardens made up of palm trees and bougainvillea, and the Pacific Ocean.
When it comes to (beach house) kitchens, what’s your preference: Island or peninsula?
ME: If space isn’t an issue I really prefer an Island. I like kitchens to be more open and easy to maneuver. I like to entertain, so there can be a lot of people in the kitchen at once. With an island, all path ways are open, preventing someone from getting in the way or trapped. It can also provide you with more storage opportunities because it’s accessible from multiple sides.