Merida

18
Mar 15

CLOTH & KIND creates a serene speakeasy with a new Shriva jute rug

With a little inspired collaboration the “bonus room” in the 2014 Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Home for the Holidays Showhouse became a can’t-miss, soulful retreat. The lovely and talented duo of CLOTH & KIND, Krista Nye Schwartz and Tami Ramsay transformed the bonus room and vestibule into a stunning speakeasy using our new Shriva jute rug. We caught up with Kirsta and Tami to find out more about their partnership and the philosophy behind their Showhouse room.

What energizes you?

Creating homes for our clients which embody our personal design belief that each space should be brimming with history and heart, with story and substance.

Where did you grow up and how do you think that has influenced your style?

Krista // I grew up in Chicago, but spent a most transformative year of my life living in India with my family as a young child. It’s clear to me that a seed was planted deep inside of me that year and it’s been glorious to watch its deep-rooted influence on my sense of interior style blossom and evolve over the years. I tend to have a bend towards a global aesthetic, but made more sophisticated and current with modern and luxurious touches.

Tami //  I grew up in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in a sprawling beach house nestled in the sand dunes. This early experience with the natural world has greatly influenced my design aesthetic. I am forever inspired by the layers of textures, hues, and relics of the world around me.

Who or what is inspiring you right now?

We’re totally obsessed at the moment with reinterpreting and modernizing traditional styles of window treatments (think Victorian) by using neoteric textiles & trimmings, Southern California fashion & jewelry designer Kendall Conrad, Melissa Sutton of Plum Collective & brutalist chandeliers.

Where is your favorite place to travel for leisure?

Anywhere that is steeped in history and chock-full with treasure troves of interesting architecture & textiles. Preferably somewhere international… and warm!

What is your favorite quote?

Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony. – Mahatma Gandhi

Where did you start when designing this room?

Given the tucked away location of the vestibule and bonus room, we were inspired to turn the adjoining spaces into an alluring destination in the home – a seductive and modern day speakeasy. A cheeky nod to the blind tiger, as speakeasies were often referred to during the prohibition era, we swathed the walls of the vestibule in ZAK+FOX’s luxurious Khaden tiger print fabric. Dark and sultry trim, ceilings and walls in Sydney Harbour Paint’s Jaguar sets the mood and creates the ideal backdrop upon which a myriad of geometric shapes are echoed throughout the bonus room in watery shades of cream, blue & indigo, plum, blush pink and neutral.

How would you characterize the room?

The ultimate destination. A space that beckons with promises of lounging and frivolity.

How does Shriva work with your aesthetic?

The interlocking jute braids of Merida’s new Shriva rug created the perfect textured, yet neutral foundation for our modern day speakeasy. We layered vintage rugs and several comfortable seating arrangements atop this gorgeous natural fiber floor covering, and Shriva simultaneously added visual interest and complimented the array of textiles and hues we used in the space.

Oh, and we just have to add that one of the primary reasons we adore Merida’s rugs are that their weaving partners are certified by GoodWeave and provide much needed employment to nearly 4000 Indian women. Now THAT works well with any aesthetic.

Warmest wishes of sincere thanks to Merida for partnering with us and embracing our vision for the 2014 Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Home for the Holidays showhouse.

Krista & Tami

Order Shriva samples >

See more on CLOTH & KIND’s journal >

photos: Sarah Dorio

03
Mar 15

GoodWeave: the social impact of choosing quality

How should you evaluate a quality product? We typically look at things like craftsmanship, design and materials used, which are all important values. But when you consider how a product is made there’s a lot more than meets the eye, like the hidden costs at the expense of the environment — and to the people who make the products.

There is growing collective awareness about the social impact of our buying choices: Who provides the labor? Is the product generating fair employment, healthy working conditions, and viable opportunities?

Bora Bora jute seaming in Fall River, MA.

For Merida, the quality equation includes the people who bring our rugs to life — from the field to the workroom to the floor.  As a manufacturer we have a responsibility to the hearts and minds of those who, directly or indirectly, have a hand in producing our products.  We work closely with our global partners to ensure fair labor practices that not only provide jobs but also promote people’s health and growth.

To this end, Merida partners with GoodWeave, an organization that works with rug producers to certify that no child labor is used. We are proud to be GoodWeave’s first jute weaving partner, extending the organization’s scope and reach in Southwest Asia, where we source our jute fibers. All of our jute products are GoodWeave certified, and a portion of the price supports the education of children in rug-making villages in India, Nepal and Afghanistan.

photo © U. Roberto Romano, courtesy of GoodWeave

GoodWeave’s founder, Kailash Satyarthi, won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize alongside Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education. As GoodWeave states, both “have staked their lives on the belief that children – regardless of gender, geography, faith, caste or societal circumstance – belong in classrooms.” Kailash began fighting against child slavery in the 1980’s and founded GoodWeave to continue this mission, to spread awareness around the issue, and to keep customers informed.

In addition to combatting the exploitation of children, GoodWeave also provides rehabilitation, care and educational programs for children they rescue. To date the organization has provided education to more than 11,000 at-risk children in the rug industry.

photo © U. Roberto Romano, courtesy of GoodWeave

photo © U. Roberto Romano, courtesy of GoodWeave

Learn more about how choosing a rug certified by GoodWeave can truly make a difference. It’s just one example of the far-reaching impact of socially and environmentally smart choices—and the importance of factoring people into the quality equation.

Read more about Merida’s partnership with GoodWeave.

View our GoodWeave certified jute rugs.

Bora Bora jute as used by Katie Leede / photo: Phillip Ennis

17
Feb 15

Katie Leede in the Hampton Designer Showhouse 2014

Nothing is more important for a living space than to be peaceful and energizing for its occupants. Katie Leede brings this spirit to all of her interiors, with a keen eye for reflecting the personality of the client and a globally-inspired and distinctive style. The 2014 Hampton Designer Showhouse was an exciting opportunity for Katie to use her own experiences to shape the design of an airy, idyllic bedroom. We caught up with Katie to find out what makes her tick and to get the scoop on her incredible Showhouse design.

What energizes and inspires you?

I am energized by the light during different hours of the day and the magnificent diversity and creative genius on display in nature. I love traveling to places I have never been before–we are heading to Rajasthan in March!

Rajasthan. Photo by Joe Fox

New York is always inspiring, whether looking at art in Chelsea or getting lost in a button shop on the Upper East Side. There is so much to observe and take in: color, the theater, great performances, walking the streets of Soho, the MET.

I love the idea that we are always changing and shifting, as in the saying,  “You can’t step into the same river twice.”

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. Wikipedia / cc

Where did you start when designing your room in the Hampton Designer Showhouse?

photo by Phillip Ennis

I knew we were going to be moving out of our old apartment and there wasn’t going to be room for my daughter’s big Jacobean bed so I thought the showhouse would be a good way-station. This gorgeous, hunk of a bed is full of stories, having been my own teenage bed. The question then became how to make it look chic, fun and appropriate for a breezy Hamptons setting.

How would you characterize the room?

photo by Phillip Ennis

I pretended the house was ours and this room belonged to my well-traveled, brainy, artistic daughter Lucia. Attention is paid to creature comforts–good books, plenty of light to read by, soothing colors and inspiring artwork to delight the senses, and a hang out zone for her and her friends on lazy summer afternoons. The room is a success because of the natural color palette of blues and greens with hot flashes of pink throughout, the warm texture of the jute rug and the fresh mix of heavy and light elements (dark bed/ white sheets) and the new and old (tufted leather couch/furry modernist stools). It’s all topped off with fabulous artwork that elevates the space to the truly magical. Art has a way of doing that.

Why did you choose Bora Bora for this space?

photo by Phillip Ennis

I am addicted to the Bora Bora rug because of its bold, stand-alone texture: it’s hunky and strong yet silky and smooth to the touch–cushy even. I am particularly drawn to the Volcano colorway because it casts a silvery hush over a room. The Merida Smooth Linen borders come in the most glorious colors. I like to go 3″ wide on the borders to add more drama. After the showcase closed, I moved the rug to my own new living room and layered it with a vintage Moroccan carpet and every day is a happy day.

Do you have a favorite vignette in the room?

photo by Phillip Ennis

My favorite spot is the corner sofa area mostly because I was so pleased by how well the Kim McCarty artwork sang there. The moody nude seems to capture the existential angst girls feel–or I certainly felt–during those high school and college years when all is before them and they don’t yet feel comfortable with the mystery of how life is going to play out for them. Her feet are too big for her body, she has yet to grow into herself and yet her vulnerability makes her all the more compelling and beautiful. I imagined a safe setting for her, which made me happy to see come together.

View Bora Bora >

Showhouse photography by Phillip Ennis

13
Feb 15

Furnishing the RISD President’s House, on NYTimes Home

photo: Jane Beiles for The New York Times

We’re excited to be featured in The New York Times for collaborating with the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) on providing custom wool rugs for the President’s House. As detailed in our recent interview, Interim President Rosanne Somerson has furnished the President’s House as much as possible with works created by RISD alumni. Our wonderful & talented textile designer Martin Emlein was credited as part of the group of distinguished alumni and our Tailormade rugs were center stage.

Check out the article in the Home & Garden section!