Meet Melinda: Melinda’s Home Reveal
Meet Melinda ! Mommy to a beautiful 15 month old, and lover of all things artsy. Melinda is all about decor, and she shows that in the design for her home. While her home can be described as a wardrobe, Melinda’s envision for her decor all starts with her favorite furniture pieces, “the ones that make you close your eyes and transport back to a great memory or moment”. From there, the rest is history, or like Melinda’s speciality, art history. In her latest project, Melinda redid her home, while using some amazing furniture pieces from Meg Made. Meet Melinda. This is Melinda’s Home Reveal!
How would you describe your design style?
I am a bit quirky. I really love traditional pieces like a Louis XIV chair or Delft blue china, but then I am also a big fan of Danish modern and more cutting edge designs and art.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
Being an art history major and previously working at an art museum, I draw a lot from art and not just the kind hanging on your walls, but the lines and history of a piece of furniture. I also like to draw on special memories in subtle ways. Some of the best trips my husband and I have taken together were to France, Italy, and Germany. Most of the books we have are vintage novels or travel guides in French, Italian, or German (we don’t speak any of those languages). We even have a German language guidebook about traveling through Italy. Even subconsciously the reminders of wonderful moments makes you feel happy.
Walk us through your design process: How did you start?
I like to start with favorite pieces, the ones that make you close your eyes and transport you to a great memory or moment. Those should always be the basis of a home. Then I think about the colors. What colors do I like to wear, what colors do I like to look at, or what colors remind me of beautiful locations. Combining colors, meaningful pieces, with layers and textures can take something simple to staggeringly beautiful heights.
Why do you like custom furniture?
Using favorite and memory invoking pieces can require a bit of a spruce up to fit them in a space. Repurposing those pieces is a great way to bring them back into your life. I have a rocking chair that my grandmother gave my sister at the bicentennial. I remember it in our playroom growing up and it invokes a sense of home for me. When I had my daughter I wanted her to share that memory, but shockingly a giant eagle and “1776/1976” in faded numbers didn’t really go with the feel of her nursery. So I had it painted in a dusty pink. My daughter loves it and it brings me joy (not to sound too Maria Kondo).
Why did you choose Meg Made pieces for your space?
I had painted furniture myself in my early 20s, but it always looked like a grade school art project. When I was designing our current house, I wanted a mix of old and new. I had a few pieces that needed to be redone. Once I saw the gorgeous vintage pieces Meg had, it was no question about choosing to work with her. As our house came together, Meg seemed to be in step with what we needed. When we redid our den Meg and I worked together to find the perfect L shape sofa with a print resembling a business suit.
What colors are you most drawn to?
My home is a lot like my wardrobe, I tend to stick in the navy, black, and gray tones with pops of color. Drawing from the art in my house and wonderful places my husband and I have been, most of the color pops are in a deep orange and a lighter sea blue. The inspiration for the colors in our house were from a trip to Sorrento and Ireland. I don’t have a lot of hunter green, but that is also a favorite, particularly after a stay in London last year at an old assembly hall turned hotel.
What piece of furniture was a “must have”?
I fell in love with a vintage Cy Mann chair on craigslist. It has these amazing metal legs and is still one of the comfiest chairs we own.
What’s your take on furniture pieces: New or Vintage?
I think you need a mix of both. All new and you can look like you live in a furniture showroom. All old and it can look like a thrift store. Typically upholstery is new for me and hard surfaces are old, but I have a few chairs here and there that are vintage but have been given new life with new upholstery or painting.
What is your signature outfit?
I have a 15 month old so most things have to be washable and ideally stain resistant. My go to is usually a black t-shirt, jeans, and cute flats.
What materials and textures are you most drawn to?
Velvets and wool.
How do you feel about adding pattern?
I LOVE pattern. A well placed pattern can add a ton of dimension. In my living room I have a striped rug and on a nearby blanket ladder is a plaid mohair blanket that my grandparents got on a trip to Scotland. You would think they wouldn’t go well together, but their colors compliment and it just works. To quote Jack Donaghy on 30 rock, “…power clashing.”
What do you think is more important: Functionality, or aestheticism?
It has to be a mix of both, especially with a kid or pets. Sometimes it takes a bit more hunting to find the stain resistant and aesthetically pleasing, but it is worth the search.
What mistakes do you think people make when decorating their own home?
I think the number one mistake people make is buying furniture that is too large for their space. Sometimes an oversized couch or chair works, but it has to be balanced with other pieces. One of the best ways to prevent this is simply by measuring and putting some painters tape on the floor in the shape and dimension of the furniture you are considering. It will give you a sense of how the space will feel. It is simple, but not always top of mind.
Any tips on designing a home with kids or pets?
Invest in really nice bins. When we had our daughter I refused to have a family room of plastic primary colors, but some of that is inevitable. The solution is large places to hide those toys away. Flexibility is probably the other thing to consider. As she started pulling up, the marble coffee table I adore had to move to another room and we shifted some of the furniture around to still give us a spot to put our feet up, but keep her safe.
All photography by Jenny Grimm