Dec 13

Q&A with Creative Director Roxanne Hanna

creative director

A conversation with Merida’s new creative director, Roxanne Hanna, as she shares her inspiration for the Tailormade Collection.

Q: What was the initial inspiration for the Tailormade Collection?

RH: Initially the concept was developed around menswear, and as it evolved we were drawn to sartorial detailing.  I realized that there was so much to explore and get inspired by. Our lead designer Martin Emlein and I were in New York over the summer and met with luxury bespoke tailor Miller’s Oath. We also visited the flagship store of menswear designer Thom Browne and the exhibit “Artist/Rebel/Dandy” at the RISD Museum. That triggered a lot of ideas that led to Tailormade.


Thom Browne Fabric


Details at Thom Browne


Q: What was your creative process like, working one-on-one with Martin?

RH: Tailormade was our first collaboration together and it worked beautifully. Martin is an incredibly talented textile designer and really translated our ideas into stunning textiles. We wanted Tailormade to reflect a true “capsule” collection, where there was one design that acts as a foundation—Harris—and the other design elements work with each other. These are rugs that can live in the same space and transition well, yet they each have a distinct personality.  We did a lot of refining of scale, color and design along the way and I think it paid off.

Q: How does the new Tailormade Collection build on Merida’s legacy of product development?

RH: We wanted to create a collection that evolves on our heritage of innovative craftsmanship; Tailormade reflects the high standard of quality that Merida is known for. Using undyed wool yarns and constructions that mimic our plant fiber rugs creates depth and character, which makes each rug unique.

Merida is also known for having the best quality edge finishes in the US, so we brought some new finishing concepts to the artisans in our workroom. One idea was inspired by leather elbow patches on men’s sweaters and blazers. Within weeks we had innovated an entirely new finishing technique.

leather corner

Q: What do you attribute your love of textiles to?

RH: I have always been fascinated by textiles and how they are constructed. I started knitting when I was 6 and by the time I was 8 I was deconstructing and reconstructing clothing by hand stitching. I sewed clothing and accessories through high school… as an undergrad I took a textile history course and it changed my life.  I wasn’t sure where my career path would take me but I knew that I needed to be around textiles.

Q: Has anyone else in your family inspired you creatively?

RH: I draw a lot of inspiration from strong women. My grandmother had a successful career in technology and was also a talented painter so I’d like to think I inherited some of her left-brain/right-brain balance. My husband’s grandmother, who’s 94, was a studio director for a New York luxury linens company. Her embroidery work is museum-worthy.  She inspires me because she’s sharp-witted, extremely creative, and very strong willed.

Q: What creative influences do you draw inspiration from?

RH: Travel feeds my soul and opens me creatively. Sometimes I need the space to observe the interactions between people, places and things. Designers inspire me, too, and I’m lucky that at Merida we get to collaborate with so many talented designers and creative thinkers who appreciate the possibilities of textiles as much as I do.





Nov 13

A Capsule Collection Exhibition in NYC with Zak + Fox

Tomorrow in Manhattan Merida and Zak + Fox will be presenting each of our new American-made collections.

Merida is proud to introduce Tailormade, a capsule collection of flatweave rugs inspired by bespoke tailoring techniques.

Zak + Fox has launched Haz, an enchanting new collection of fabrics inspired by the mystery of Instanbul and Anatolia.

While Merida and Zak + Fox did not collaborate on these collections, Merida’s Creative Director Roxanne Hanna and Zak + Fox’s Zak Profera felt that the two companies share a certain philosophy and spirit. As Zak puts it, “I think there’s a common thread between both Z+F and Merida with regard to how we approach our designs — they are very considered and subdued — naturally, they are bound to ‘play well’ together. Roxanne and I developed a friendship from being in the industry and had a meeting-of-the-minds; we thought it would be a good idea to partner up and collaborate on an event where we could share our relationships, resources, and perspectives in a way that would be beneficial to everyone.  Both Merida and Z+F had new products launching around the same time, and there’s something to be said about a ‘strength in numbers’ approach.”

Roxanne says, “I admire Zak’s creative curiosity and wide eyed view of the world around him.  I love how he draws inspiration from his experiences.

He has a strong point of view without it being narrow.  So many companies try to achieve this but Zak has been able to beautifully convey his aesthetic from the start of his business and it resonates with the design community.”

Merida and Zak + Fox will debut each of our respective new collections, Tailormade and Haz, to press, bloggers, and members of the design trade in Soho, New York City, on Wednesday, November 20.

Explore Tailormade >

Oct 13

Southern California Style with Bonesteel Trout Hall

How do you define Southern California style? Bonesteel Trout Hall provide the answer with a complete renovation of a Pacific Palisades Bluffs residence. Drawing inspiration from the local landscape and vibe, including nearby Santa Monica beach, Bonesteel Trout Hall completed and furnished the project from top to bottom, including the use of a Merida sisal rug.

broadway sisal run in palisades bluffs

image by Bonesteel Trout Hall

At Merida we are inspired by Bonesteel Trout Hall’s choice of a Broadway Tupelo rug for the living room, as it illustrates the pattern’s enduring, classic style. Designer Michelle Trout explained their choice of the Broadway pattern, remarking that the rug is, “the perfect texture and color to play off that coastal vibe we were looking for.” Designer M. Frederick has similarly said of Broadway Tupelo, “It’s a product that works as well in an Upper East Side residence as it does in a California beach house or a transitional space in Brentwood.” Broadway has been and remains one our most versatile designs.

With over 20 years behind their philosophy of “Creating Southern California Beauty,” Bonesteel Trout Hall has a style-defining pedigree. This Palisades Bluffs home is a perfect example of Southern California charm. According to Michelle, this renovation was conceived with “a young, athletic, and casual family in mind.”

sinks light palisades bluffs

image by Bonesteel Trout Hall

The home features elements that draw the outdoors in, with natural- and ocean-themed objects sprinkled throughout. An energetic, informal spirit is captured by casual-yet-elegant whites, tans, greens, blues, and oranges, in shades that are organic and fresh.

living room palisades bluffs

image by Bonesteel Trout Hall

The design reflects Bonesteel Trout Hall’s inspiration and signature style. Michelle explained that, “the unique inspirations were the proximity to the Santa Monica Bay shoreline, the relaxed lifestyle of the clients, and the fact that they wanted a casual, ‘no fuss’ vibe.” The trio completed the entire project, from interior finishing, to furnishings, to accessories, plants and more.

Bonesteel Trout Hall are based in Pacific Palisades, but can bring their signature style of Southern California Beauty to wherever a project is located.

View Broadway Tupelo and additional colors>

See more images of the Palisades Bluff project>



Aug 13

Design Challenge: 3 Designers take on Artful Design and Rug Installation

How a rug is installed can make or break a design as much as any other major element. A rug is often the foundation of a space, and creating this foundation often requires inspired design paired with artful installation techniques. Three designers demonstrate mastery in this area in recent projects using Merida premium rugs that ship in as little as 2-4 weeks, are versatile, and can be installed in a variety of ways.

1. Stairs

M. Frederick Interiors turned a drab New Jersey estate into a bright, fresh living space, and used Broadway sisal on the main staircase.

Stairs broadway

On stairs, Broadway’s pattern becomes dynamic, changing as it curves and folds. Matthew remarked on its versatility:

“I think there is something great about the sisal Broadway pattern and the Tupelo colorway. It is at the same time so classic and so refined and so simple in the way it adds depth and has a really great presence in a space, but its also simultaneously very transitional, very clean, very fresh, and very current. It’s a product that works as well in an Upper East Side residence as it does in a California beach house or a transitional space in Brentwood.” Matthew added, “I look for vendors who are similarly aligned, that want to support the value of the professional design trade, that offer custom capabilities, and they can do it in a reasonable time and on a reasonable budget.”



2. Seaming

Designing for the 2013 Westchester Showhouse benefitting Cerebral Palsy of Westchester, Ken Gemes of Ken Gemes Interiors was inspired by the historic architecture of this 1915 mansion. A design challenge he faced was to come up with a rug large enough to cover the space. Ken used a seamed Stratum rug for this project.

overview ken gemes room

Ken was immediately drawn to the living room not only for its grandeur, but also its function as a social gathering place. Designing with this aspect of a home’s functionality in mind, Ken creates spaces that are both open and warm and invite people to gather in groups.

“One of the biggest challenges of the room was how to transform that enormous white marble floor into something that was going to be more livable and inviting and make the room cozier. The floor itself was magnificent but it was very cold and overwhelming. So when we selected a 33 foot wide by 18 foot long seamed Stratum rug, it pretty much solved all of our problems. Merida rugs for me are like working with a natural material–it’s almost like a wood. You’re layering in texture and you have this beautiful backdrop but it’s not an attention getting thing, it’s one of the elements that tend to make everything sing or work together.”

sisal stratum closeup grey

Because of the agricultural practices in use by Merida’s fiber growers, Merida’s sisal is pure white before dyeing and conveys a beautiful sheen. This light-filled living room took full advantage of Stratum’s lustrous properties.


3. Shapes & Cutouts

Creating a master bedroom for The Hampton Designer Showhouse 2013, Celerie Kemble blended styles and colors to beautiful effect, including with the rugs she chose to use.

Hampton Showhouse by Celerie, Both rugs shown

Celerie remarked on her choices of floor coverings for the room: “We chose the most feminine and classic — a patterned woven sisal called Nasturtium Weave — to speak to the warmth, the organic beauty, and the traditional elements in the room. The ability to bind our sisal in a Metallic Linen Binding, a material that mimicked the texture of our deep charcoal Grasscloth Wallpaper, made our whole room come together.” A design challenge with this space was to create two rugs that worked together yet stood our from one another. Using a bright, circular Catalyst rug for the sun-lit seating area, she had to use a subtler sisal with a number of cut-outs to fill the rest of the space. Her Nasturtium Weave rug was finished on site with fireplace and half hexagon cut-outs.

Hampton Showhouse by Celerie kemble, fireplace cutout

Woven in Belgium by some of the world’s most experienced natural fiber textile craftsman, using the highest-quality sisal, Nasturtium Weave features a rhythmic, organic pattern inspired by the medallion-shaped silhouette of the Nasturtium flower.

View Merida’s full portfolio of premium natural fiber rugs that quick ship in 2-4 weeks >