I can’t believe that it’s been a year since the first Tribeza Interiors Tour! Last year, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing the amazingly talented Tracey Overbeck Stead. It was great to peek inside the homes of the most celebrated interior designers in Austin and look closely as to what inspires them and fuels their creativity. One big thing about Austin, the designers are laid back, approachable, friendly and their homes? The same way as their talented owners … that is what sets Austin interior design apart — design that’s creative yet never out of reach, beautiful yet never stuffy.
This year, I am so lucky to do a Q & A with one of the designers for this year’s Tribeza Interiors Tour, Meredith Ellis. I was instantly drawn to her aesthetic because of it’s warmth, life and design that’s utterly personal. It’s curated over time with mementos that speaks of a hundred memories.
1. What is the best lesson you learned when you got a gig working with the amazing Bunny Williams?
The most valuable lesson I learned from working with Bunny Williams was to be patient in advancing my career. When I landed my entry job with her at 23 I wanted to be doing the “decorating” and advance up to a designer right away.
I was naive, and didn’t realize at the time how valuable progressing slowly, smartly and really spending several years “working”in the field was important before becoming a true “designer”. It’s not always about being creative, it’s mostly about problem solving, and always being three steps ahead.
Working for someone REALLY good, established, and with major large scale projects taught me so many facets of the business that I never could have known without years of due diligence.
2. I absolutely adore the character & the “life” your home evokes, which vignette/s is your favorite & most definitely reflects your personality?
Hard to say, because I change things all the time! I buy something and then I totally reorganize everything. That’s my favorite part of design… reinvention!
But if I have to answer I would say our Living Room. I love our Living Room because it’s such a combination of Hunter (my husband) and I… I love textiles, and accessories, and I especially love color.
I want people to walk into our home and know something about us… our books, our photos, the artifacts and important things that are framed and displayed all over the room, they tell a story … that is OUR History.
3. Tell me more how you chose the vibrant hue of your kitchen cabinetry. Any advice for people that’s afraid of color?
I wish I could take credit for that color, but it was here when we moved in. It’s one of two colors in our house that has remained. I actually loved it, and worked the rest of the house around it.
We did make it a little bit better though by installing a new backsplash which I thought was more appropriate for the house.
4. What is with English interiors that you are drawn to it?
I think particularly I am drawn to the old English Country houses… they are comfortable, and exude a sense of history without feeling too stuffy. They are elegant and sophisticated. I think of pretty hard wood floors, rush matting or old oriental rugs , ornate bookcases, piles of antique books, perfectly soft and aged linen prints, beautiful dutch paintings and collections of blue and white porcelain. It’s just romantic and relaxing. I think I just described Downtown Abbey.
5. Travel is such a big inspiration for creatives; which of your travels has been the most inspiring for you & why?
I really love San Miguel De Allende. Several years ago my husband and I were married there. But in the planning stages we had the opportunity to go into several private homes & hotels as we did research for places for our guests to stay… you walk down these small cobblestone streets, and the walls are all painted bright colors of aqua and yellow and orange. You have no idea what sits behind the unassuming carved doors. It’s magical… everyone we went into had a garden or courtyard overflowing with bougainvillea, jacaranda trees and greenery. I also love the colonial Architecture, the European influence , and the all around artistic vibe. Not to mention the shopping is pretty great.
Profile Image by Nicole Mlakar, interior images by Amy Bartlam.
Thank you so much Meredith! You are spot on that interior design, apart from creativity is all about problem-solving.
I am so excited to come to the kickoff party and mingle with my design friends as well as meet new ones, shake hands with the best of the best. I also have my walking shoes and tour-goer gang ready to be inspired. Austin, I hope you have your winter outfit for the upcoming tour. Read more about the homes & the designers. Get your tickets here & mark your calendars! See you there!
TRIBEZA INTERIORS TOUR
JANUARY 24TH, 2015
10:30 am – 4:30 pm