Prior to founding Mead Quin Design, Mead was a successful fine artist focused on portraits. Driven by a desire to enrich everyday lives through both beauty and functionality, her designs are backed by thoughtful planning coupled with careful selection of high-quality items that are meaningful and adored, rather than just pretty. While every detail is thoughtfully considered, Mead’s keep-it-simple, lighthearted approach results in enjoyable experiences and lasting relationships.
What is your background?
My background is in fine art. I studied art in school and painted commissioned portraits professionally for years before diving into the world of interior design.
How did you get into design? Have you always been aesthetically minded?
I’ve always loved color and design but was focused on it as related to fine art and painting. I dove into the world of interiors when going through a life shake-up that necessitated steadier income. I sensed that I could treat interiors like paintings… pulling together the necessary shapes, colors, lines and textures to create a complete and cohesive space.
How do you achieve such a clean look without it seeming too precious and austere?
I am constantly massaging the line between just enough and too much… edit, edit and edit again. We want the homes we design to be comfortable, livable, distinctive, curated and complete but also want them to remain simple, uncluttered and peaceful. Finding that space is unique to each client and requires thorough fine tuning from the beginning of a new project to its completion.
I like to start with the big picture, taking in the bones and feeling of the space we are working with. From there, layering quiet, neutral colors and textures to block out the larger pieces of space. After that, we start pulling in richer colors, art, items that reflect our client’s personality to help make it their own. My goal is to thoughtfully select materials, colors, items that have purpose and add to the quality of space and life being lived in it.
If someone is working within a strict budget where do you encourage them to spend and save?
It is important to spend on items that are used often such as your living room sofa. Buying high quality, well manufactured pieces for these spaces will help the room hold value over time. Well made items hold their shape, color and beauty with use… important for personal budgeting as well as our environment. My philosophy is to purchase the highest quality product you can afford so that you are replacing less over time.
Window treatments are another area I encourage clients to spend. Well constructed window treatment not only hold their form and function over time but frame a room beautifully and are an important part of the larger picture.
Do you have a signature that finds its way into every project?
Our aesthetic is modern but elegant… we’re calling it “soft modern” 🙂 I think this is a look that works its way into all of our designs.
Is there a current trend that you think will endure?
White! It is back and I am loving it. The recent run with grey is still chic and lovely but if feels good to be back to white. I love how the right shade of white can freshen up a room in an instant. It is the perfect backdrop for a myriad of styles. And, it holds its own through the passing of time. Simply White by Benjamin Moore is my current favorite. All White by Farrow & Ball is a close second if you have a little more money to spend.
Do you tend to have tried-and-true favorites that find themselves into every job?
We have used Stacked Box Nightstand from Lawson-Fenning over and over again. They are beautifully proportioned, modern and super functional with two big drawers for storage. The color can be completely custom… and done in polished lacquer!
What is your favorite recent project and what made it so special?
We just finished a home in Danville that I enjoyed immensely. The client hired a wonderful art consultant, Artsource Consulting, before bringing us on board and filled her home with a beautiful collection that we had the privilege of working around. I love, love working with art consultants to curate art for our clients… buying art for beauty is a wonderful thing to do but buying art that has been thoughtfully and smartly curated takes it to a whole new level. Designing our Danville client’s home around her collection was a fun turnaround. We challenged ourselves to select interesting, well designed pieces that would not detract from the surrounding art.
Do you have a fantasy project?
A beach house. The ocean is my happy place. Would love the opportunity to bring two things I love and feel passionate about together.
What are your favorite pieces on Previously Owned by a Gay Man and how would you use them in a project?
Love this light, thin, modern Bruno Fattorini dining table… it’s simple construction and easy dimensions would make for a beautiful dining space in most homes. Pair it with these timeless B&B chairs and this beautiful piece of Bay Area photography and you’ve got yourself a chic dining room.
Enjoy more of Mead’s beautiful designs.