Aug 15

Introducing Service and Installation Director Bob Margies

When it comes to complex installations and attention to detail, you want a master craftsman like Bob Margies on your team. Bob recently joined us after nearly three decades developing his talents and running a successful business as an accomplished installer for top designers. He brings incredible expertise and energy to lead our new Service and Installation practice after many years of working with us on his own:

When were you first introduced to the craft of installation?

My dad started installing carpet in 1972, he would bring his tools home and take on side jobs for friends. Probably my earliest memory was at 5 or 6 watching him make a seam the old fashioned way without seam tape. As I grew, I would go to work with him on weekends.


How did that hold your interest?

My dad was different from all of the other dads. Some of my friends’ dads farmed, some were policemen, and some carried briefcases. My dad carried a giant box of tools. When you’re a young boy, a box of tools is pretty intriguing.

At one point, he was working on the restoration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s house on the Hudson. I remember watching my father recreate this staircase masterpiece.  At that point I knew he did pretty special work, but to see that, in high school, really piqued my interest more. When I graduated high school I wasn’t quite sure what to do. My father offered,  “You can work with me if you want.” I never looked back.

How did you get to know the company?

I’ve known of Merida for years. When Broadway sisal was introduced, I installed it in a beach house, and it was unlike any other sisal product I’ve ever installed. That’s when Merida landed on my radar. I started to see more of their product being installed. Merida was responsible for bringing sisal into the home. Before this, it was known as a commercial product and too rough for residential projects. Merida sisal was incredibly soft and had pattern and texture. It was different. When I started my own company Merida was one of my first relationships. And, one of the first acts of purchasing my new home was to buy a piece of Bali jute and make a big living room rug with a cotton border.

Four years ago I was invited to tour the Fall River, MA mill and that coupled with social media brought us together in a consistent way. Quality installers have always been important to Merida and I was now on their radar.


Why do you have such passion for your work?

There are different levels of carpet obviously, and there are different levels of installation. My dad really had an amazing work ethic. The more complicated the installation for him the more excited he was to just work, and that was passed on to me. Anybody could put in 50 yards of builder basic carpet. But if you take 20 yards and put it on a circular flight of stairs, with a border, the challenge is different. Lots of installers do not like that type of work because it’s so demanding, mentally and somewhat physically. I love the more complicated installation projects, and working with cutting edge product. It’s a passion. Now I’m glad I can take that 28 years of experience and bring it to my current position with Merida.

What excites you about working with Merida specifically?

Seeing product development happen before my eyes with our design team, weavers and craftsmen all under one roof is incredible. It’s exciting to be a part of it and making a contribution. We’re developing strategies for our work force we’ve never had before. I’m teaching our Project Managers skills they didn’t know they needed to possess for their position. That’s exciting to me because it’s productive, it’s valuable and it’s relevant. I couldn’t be any happier to do it every single day.

I’ve been here two months. A lot has happened in 60 days, and a lot more will happen in another two months. It’s a thrill to me.


What do you hope to accomplish overall at Merida?

The end goal for me is to help the company be as efficient and successful as it can be, and to ensure after all the hard work that goes in to producing each order, it’s handed off to an installer that we have 100% confidence in.

Are you scoping a demanding project? Whether or not you’re considering an installation, count on our expertise to help you think through options and manage a project smoothly.


Jul 15

5 Ways to Choose the Right Rug – with Creative Director Roxanne Hanna

Originally written by and posted on Dering Hall:

When it comes to designing a home, rugs are essential—both for providing comfort and warmth as well as establishing a foundation for the design scheme. Choosing the right rug is a key part of the design process, and careful consideration must be given to materials, style and intended location. To help navigate the selection process, Roxanne Hanna, Creative Director of Merida, is here to help with insights about durability, comfort and use. For more than 30 years, Merida has been a leader in rug design, manufacturing its exquisite pieces in Fall River, MA.

credit and interior design: M. Frederick Interiors

1. Focus on Durability for Areas with Heavy Foot Traffic

“For high-traffic areas, like entryways and foyers, it’s best to focus on materials that are a little tougher and less resistant to wear. Sisal, in particular, is a great choice because of its strength,” says Hanna. Wear also extends to the edges, where Hanna recommends leather, linen or an outdoor fabric to increase the lifetime of the rug.

Shop UltraFiber stain resistant sisal rugs >


interior design: Celerie Kemble

2. Consider Style & Maintenance for Rooms Where Family and Friends Congregate

When it comes to areas that you spend the most time entertaining in—living rooms, family rooms and dens—rugs that are comfy yet easier to clean are the best bet. Specifically, Hanna suggests wool rugs, which have fibers that contain lanolin, a natural repellent.

Shop woven wool rugs >


interior design: Ken Gemes Interiors

3. Focus on Luxury in the Bedroom

Bedrooms require a softer touch, and Hanna suggests a tufted rug, which “hybridizes a cushy feel with a look of luxury.” There’s more style options with wool tufted rugs, and they are a bit more welcoming to the feet than other natural fiber options.

Shop tufted wool rugs >


interior design: Cloth & Kind

4. Choose Jute for Spaces Where You Want Texture and Comfort

“Jute is a great alternative to sisal,” explains Hanna. “It has a wonderfully textural look while still being soft to touch.” A jute rug works great in the living room where a departure from the typical wool rug is welcome without sacrificing feel.

Shop hand-braided and woven jute rugs >


5. Use a Flatweave for Spaces You Didn’t Think Needed a Rug

Flatweave rugs are some of the most popular and versatile rugs on the market today. “Flatweave rugs are thin, soft, durable and can work really in any room,” says Hanna. Especially great for stairways and kitchens, a flat woven rug provides a quick, easy way to bring a dash of excitement without the fuss.

Shop flatwoven wool, sisal, and sisal blend rugs >

Jun 15

3 Featured Spring Retreats

As we say goodbye to spring and officially embrace the summer season, we want to share a few of our favorite spring projects published in top shelter magazines over the past few months. Designers Beth Webb, Megan Winters, and Susan Bohlert Smith created stunning interiors that make elegant use of light and build excitement for the changing seasons. Presenting three inspiring spring retreats with sun and soul, from Chicago to Costa Rica.

Veranda May 2015 – ‘Light Touch’
Designer: Beth Webb

Beth Webb designed an airy, calming retreat in a Costa Rican paradise. The perfect lead-in to summer, this home is both dramatic and at-ease—a mix of awe-inspiring grandeur and casual elegance. With the goal of keeping the mood both relaxed and fresh, Webb used a neutral palette with regional influences and pops of color.

(click to enlarge) A gorgeous living room with tropical sun and breezes. With a Bora Bora jute rug. Veranda / Laura Resen

Rug featured: Boardwalk Braid Sunrise jute.


Elle Decor May 2015 – ‘Going for the Gold’
Designer: Megan Winters

Megan Winters’ own Lake Forest home was featured in last month’s Elle Decor. High contrast black and whites serves as a base for her to add accents of gold and pink. While pink is her favorite color, she challenged herself to all but leave it out of this first floor. Winters’ architectural interior design style of straight lines and sharp contrasts provides a counterpoint to the organic natural elements of the outdoors.

Megan winters living room with Merida Mayon Abaca rug

The living room, with a Mayon abaca rug. Elle Decor / William Abranowicz

Megan Winters living room with a Merida Mayon abaca rug

A second view of the living room. Elle Decor / William Abranowicz

Megan Winters dining room with merida mayon abaca rug

The dining room, with another Mayon abaca rug. Elle Decor / William Abranowicz

A niece's bedroom, with Grand Tournai wool & sisal. Elle Decor / William Abranowicz

Rugs featured: Mayon abacaGrand Tournai wool & sisal.


Traditional Home June 2015 – ‘Legal Ease’
Designer: Susan Bohlert Smith – Bohlert Massey Interiors

On Florida’s beautiful Golf Coast, Susan Bohlert Smith set out to create spaces that allow attention to shift to the spectacular ocean and dunes of the natural environment. She chose earthy neutrals for a softer interior that compliments the views while maintaining textural and stylistic interest. Bohlert Smith mixed casual and formal elements to create a space that is both relaxing and grand.

The living room, with a Bora Bora jute rug. Traditional Home / Colleen Duffley

The sitting room, with a Broadway Glacier sisal rug. Traditional Home / Colleen Duffley

The bedroom, with a Madagascar sisal rug. Traditional Home / Colleen Duffley

Rugs featured: Bora Bora Sunrise juteBoardwalk Glacier sisalMadagascar Glacier sisal.


May 15

Introducing UltraFiber, sisal built to perform

Two of our newest products are setting a new standard for stain-resistant performance in beautiful Belgian sisal. Avant and Urbana are woven in 100% natural sisal treated with UltraFiber, an innovative stain-resistant, fire-retardant technology deep at the fiber level, making it safe for children and pets. Merida UltraFiber rugs ensure durability and long-lasting protection for high-traffic areas in residential, retail, or hospitality settings. Spun, mixed, and woven in Belgium. Hand finished in Fall River, USA.

Avant, our newest sisal pattern, features a unique herringbone construction that creates visual interest while remaining handsome and refined.

Avant is available in 6 earthy colorways.


Urbana is already established on the floors of boutique hotels, top tier fashion brands, and charming residences.

UltraFiber combines the warm, earthy colors and elegant weave structures of sisal with unprecedented fiber level stain-resistance, and is surprisingly durable for high-traffic areas. Whether your space will see a lively stream of customers, or family, friends and tipsy guests, UltraFiber is a smart solution in durable, natural sisal.

Explore UltraFiber >