Oct 16

Beautiful: Mark D. Sikes’ favorite vignettes with Merida rugs


In conjunction with our recent collaboration with Mark D. Sikes on a collection of wool dhurries called California Stipes, Mark has released his first book, Beautiful: All-American Decorating and Timeless Style. Beautiful showcases Mark’s take on classic American style and his love of layers, natural fibers, and crisp colors. Organized by his favorite colorways, the book moves from “Blue and White Forever” and “Timeless Neutrals” to “Red My Way” and “Sun-Faded Hues.”

We were thrilled—though not surprised—to see a number of Merida rugs anchoring many of the spaces in this book, and proving a base layer for an array of dhurries and antique rugs.

We asked Mark to select three favorite vignettes from Beautiful, and tell us why he loves each space.

Montecito guest room

featuring Varkala jute in Sunrise

“I love this casual guest room. The mix of indigos, natural textures and batiks are the perfect complement to the beautiful weather at the beach. I used a Varkala jute rug in Sunrise wall to wall and layered a vintage pieced indigo rug over it. The texture and softness of the jute adds to the comfort and ease of the room.”

Hollywood Hills living room

featuring Mayon abaca

“The large windows open up to the gardens creating the perfect indoor-outdoor space, which is what makes California living so great. The room has a mix of formal elements and textures from chinoiserie, gilt, and animal prints to blue and white antique ceramic. The Mayon abaca rug, with an antique rug layered on it, brings a casual sense of texture to compliment the elegant elements in the room. The mix of casual and elegant is inviting and feels easy.”

Marin County living room

featuring Merida abaca

“This neutral room is a mix of clean lines and textures like plaster, bronze and rattan. The abaca area rug is the perfect foundation to the room. The weave of the abaca in and of itself looks like a piece of modern art.”

Excitement has been growing on social media as well, with designers and creatives showing their artistic book styling skills with #topofthestack on Instagram.

Check out Beautiful on Instagram with #topofthestack >

View Merida abaca rugs >

Explore the California Stripes collection >

Oct 16

The inspiration behind California Stripes: Montecito

The four designs in the California Stripes collection are named after some of Mark D. Sikes’ favorite places in CA. We asked to Mark provide his vision for each pattern, and the reason he finds each location inspiring.


What do you love about Montecito, CA?

Montecito is the most relaxing place. When I think of it I think of the beach, Mediterranean estates, ficus lined streets, days filled with afternoon naps and evenings of candlelit dinners.

What do you love about our Montecito design?

I love the use of three colors and the spacing of the stripes. We really worked hard on creating a pattern that’s not only interesting but very authentic.

Where do you envision the Montecito rug looking best?

I love it in a formal dining room surrounded by chintz, velvets and trims. Very unexpected and very chic.

What is your favorite colorway of Montecito?

Definitely the Chambray, the shades of blue with the blush accents is riveting.

View all colorways of Montecito >

Oct 16

Join Us at Field + Supply: A Q+A with founder Brad Ford

Founded by renowned interior designer Brad Ford, Field + Supply is back for its third year, over Columbus Day Weekend in Stone Ridge, New York. Field + Supply is a modern makers design fair in the Hudson Valley, featuring a carefully curated selection of artisans, highlighting hand-crafted goods, old and new, from a variety of studios and workshops … plus incredible local food, drink, music and more.

Come find us in booth #9 on October 7 – 9.

We asked Brad about the inspiration behind Field + Supply, what he looks for in partners and vendors, and how the fair reflects his own design philosophy.

What inspired you to start Field + Supply?

I grew up in a small town in Arkansas and as a kid I always looked forward to the annual Arts and Crafts fair. I loved being surrounded by so many creative people and seeing their latest designs. I also liked that it was an experience….it was very social. As an adult, I longed for that same feeling but my taste level had become a bit more elevated. I’ve been doing high-end interior design work in the city for almost twenty years and I really wanted to combine the idea of where I came from with where I am now.  With that in mind, I wanted to create a similar experience to the fairs I have such fond memories of but in a new carefully curated context. I’ve met a number of crafts people and furniture designers in both the city and the Hudson Valley over the years and I thought it would be fun to bring some of my favorites together in one spot.

What makes New York City and the Hudson Valley an ideal destination for a high end crafts and design fair?

There’s a significant number of craftspeople upstate who I believe are taking craftsmanship to another level. I thought it would be interesting to gather a few of these makers along with some others from Brooklyn and Manhattan and give them the opportunity to showcase their work together in a new context and in one place. The Hudson Valley is also such a beautiful backdrop for this type of work. The landscape is lush with so many breathtaking vistas and it’s so complimentary to the organic nature of this furniture.

What are you most looking forward to this year at F+S?

lt’s always such a fun weekend, but this year we’re hosting several events to add to the overall experience including a cocktail party, a bonfire, dinners and even a biscuit buffet Sunday morning. I’m especially looking forward to the dinner at Ravenwood. The owners Dana and Chris are such great hosts and really know how to entertain. Chris is also an incredible chef so I know the food is going to be delicious!

What do you look for in a Field + Supply vendor?

I look for people whose work I’ve always admired and who have the right balance of artistry and innovation in their craft. Most of them are designing more modern forms, but using traditional craft techniques. I’m also drawn to work that has a certain timelessness about it and can be passed on from generation to generation. Lastly and most importantly, I like working with nice people!

In what ways is Merida a good partner for Field + Supply?

I’m so happy to have Merida be a part of this year’s fair. I think we both share a tremendous amount of respect for artisans and the work they create. There’s so much value in products that are made or finished by hand and I love that Merida not only appreciates it but also recognizes it. They understand the value not just with their product, but with the design team, the craftsmen and the weavers who are actually behind it. I think we all appreciate beautiful design, but it’s just as important to support the people responsible for it and I know Merida is incredibly supportive and proud of their community.

How does Field + Supply reflect your own design philosophy?

I like a room that feels modern and soulful and nothing’s more soulful than something made by hand. When you think about the time, dedication, and technique it takes to make one piece of furniture, it’s incredible. So for me, when you bring something like that into a room it automatically brings much more meaning into the space.

Visit Field + Supply

Visit Brad Ford ID

Visit FAIR

Sep 16

A Collaboration Is Born: A conversation with designer Mark D. Sikes

Fashion designer, interior designer, and blogger, Mark D. Sikes brings his spirited take on California living to his first rug collection, created in collaboration with the Merida design team. We chatted with Mark about the inspiration behind the California Stripes collection, his roots in fashion, and his lifelong obsession with stripes.

What role do rugs play in your projects?

Rugs play a huge role for me. They’re the beginning of a scheme and set the foundation of every room. I’m not the kind of designer that starts with a big antique rug. I tend to gravitate toward natural fiber rugs, or something like a striped dhurrie – which is what this collection is all about. I also like to layer rugs, a natural fiber with a different style of rug on top.

Presidio Chocolate

Why do you source Merida rugs for so many of your projects?

I use a lot of different rugs and Merida’s product far exceeds most of the competitors out there. Seeing how Merida develops their rugs, I have a better appreciation for the quality of their yarns and their craftsmanship, and also the value of their expertise. They’re problem solvers and will work with you to figure things out, and for a designer it’s important to have that collaboration. There’s a high level of client service that’s just part of their brand.

How do the dhurries in this collection compare to traditional handwoven dhurries?

We wanted to capture the look of a vintage dhurrie, but thicker, more durable. When you look at the construction, the quality of the wool yarns, these rugs are made to last. We worked hard to get the details right – the colors, the striations and shade bands, and the finishing. The end result is a collection that is timeless and beautiful.

Palisades Denim

Where do you see designers using these rugs in their projects?

I genuinely believe they work in any space, and in any location in the country. They look great layered in a bedroom, as a foundational rug for a family room, as runners in hallways. The collection has a lot of range and the rugs are incredibly versatile. They’re alive, they’re happy, and they’re very cool.

Montecito Chambray

Montecito Chambray

What surprised you most about the process of creating a rug collection?

Working with Merida on this, I’ve come to appreciate all the detail that goes into it. Just the steps involved in getting a color exactly right can be a very long process. I will never look at a rug the same way again. As a designer it was important to be a part of that process, and I also think it’s important for consumers to understand how much is involved to create a rug of this quality.

What was it like collaborating with the Merida design team?

What impressed me most from the beginning of the process is how creative it was. I was very inspired by the way they accumulated inspiration to visualize what a collection could be. After an initial conversation with their creative director, Roxanne Hanna, she and her team presented mood boards. I love mood boards and I really liked how the creative conversation started. Throughout the collaboration the creative process was always at the forefront.

Their design process is also very structured and organized. There’s a lot of communication, and we always had integration points where we shared ideas and would tweak things. I appreciate structure because I tend to work that way as well. I was focused on the aesthetic and the look, and working with Merida I knew I could count on them for the quality, the durability and the value the rugs provide.

Brentwood Red

What was the inspiration for the collection?

The collection is very much inspired by traditional dhurries, which I started gravitating towards about ten years ago. I buy vintage dhurries and tend to use them a lot in projects. I layer them, cut them, make runners out of them. A lot of images in my new book (Beautiful: All-American Decorating and Timeless Style) were taken prior to my collaboration with Merida, and you see me using these types of rugs in many different ways, whether it’s casual or formal, east coast or west coast.

One source of inspiration was a photograph of a Billy Baldwin room – at Villa Fiorentina, on the Mediterranean in the south of France – with all this blue furniture and a huge striped dhurrie in the center of the room. The photo was taken more than forty years ago, but the room looks great today and will look great forty years from now.

Image Billy Baldwin Remembers via Peak of Chic

Stripes are a big part of your brand. What does a stripe do for you?

Anyone who knows me knows I love stripes, in both fashion and interiors. Stripes are season-less… timeless and classic. There’s a graphic nature to it that works with everything. It can work with a floral print or a batik. Stripes go with anything and there’s something appealing about it that makes a room approachable.

Palisades Denim

How does your fashion background inform your interior design approach?

Working in fashion you learn so much about solid and print, hard and soft, classic and trend – that all relates to interior design. And the way you merchandise or lay out a store is similar to how you would do a living room. The fundamentals are the same.

Presidio Chocolate

As a designer, what’s most important to you in a partner?

Besides the quality of their rugs, what attracted me to Merida was the integrity of the company and the people. When I first met [CEO and owner] Catherine Connolly and [creative director] Roxanne Hanna, there was this feeling that there was a common sense of who we all were. And that’s a special thing that’s hard to translate. There’s a genuine spirit to what they do that’s really important, and that spirit comes across in the finished product.

Brentwood Red

Explore California Stripes