By Michael McCarthy By Michael McCarthy | October 26, 2020 |
Designer Jamie Merida used a warm color palette, decor with a 1960s vibe and a custom chandelier by Viz Glass in the living room.
A blank canvas in the form of a new home is to an interior designer like Jamie Merida (jamiemerida.com) what a snowy mountain is to one of the world’s best downhill skiers: endless, bold possibilities. Easton Shore- based Merida, who’s renowned in design circles around Washington, recently had a 1,900-square-foot newly constructed home in Cabin John, Md., as his canvas. Bonus: He adored his longtime clients, an investor in a variety of business ventures and a cybersecurity executive, who are empty nesters looking to stay close to the District but enjoy the calm of old-growth trees in a contemporary home with midcentury modern touches.
“Our approach is always to respect design traditions of the past while making them feel fresh and comfortable for today’s lifestyle,” says Merida, who notes the home was designed by architect Benjamin Ames (amestudio.com). “We had a modern floor plan and amenities to work with, but also the incredible midcentury modern architecture to use as our jumping-off point.” Merida chose furnishings that fit the style of the home; he also opted for a warm color palette that salutes the 1960s. The designer didn’t want to compete with the natural splendor outdoors, so he employed lots of whites to keep things feeling clean and fresh.
The home’s exterior is a blend of modern and natural materials, perfect for its woodsy setting.
Collaboration was key to the project, as Merida and lead designer Denise Perkins were in sync with their clients from the start. “The couple owns a great collection of modern art, which we helped them edit for this home and made the focal point—especially in spaces like the dining room,” says Merida.
But the bulk of the design inspiration emanated from the architecture itself, says Merida. “Architectural details like the stair railing gave us clear design direction,” he says. “We highlighted that stunning railing by tucking a beautiful and functional breakfast nook under the stairs. We were also careful to use motorized Hunter Douglas window treatments— which fully retract—to maintain the clean lines of the architecture and avoid obstructing the views.”
An enormous kitchen island accommodates owners who love to cook.
Because the couple loves to cook, Merida knew a big island was a must. And because the kitchen ceilings are lower than the adjoined living space, he and Perkins kept everything white and bright. “The island provided opportunities to reinforce the overall design approach with the warm wood on the back of the island; colorful upholstery on the stools; and a very cool, modern faucet,” Merida says.
The living room, as Merida says, truly showcases the home’s identity as a “luxury treehouse for grown-ups.” The aesthetic coup is a custom handblown glass chandelier with a range of color variations as natural light is ushered into the space throughout the day. “The furnishings and shag carpet have a very cool midcentury vibe, and they’re very cozy and comfortable as well,” says Merida. “The room really invites nature in with huge windows looking out to the trees. We played that up with the gorgeous wood on the ceiling and slate fireplace.” Upstairs, Merida followed a similar theme in the master bedroom and bath, which features an alcove with a white soaking tub and a wood accent wall.
Not surprisingly, the clients were thrilled with the results. “They keep coming back to us to help with other projects and properties, so I guess we’re doing something right,” says Merida. “One of the joys of this type of work is becoming friends with your clients as you go through different projects and phases of life together. It’s rewarding on so many levels.”
The master bedroom features abundant bright hues and neutral tones.
Cabin John, Md.
Entrance hall bench
Atlas Stone Fabricators
Kitchen countertop fabrication
Dining room custom table
Kitchen breakfast table
Dining room chairs
Dining room light fixture
Living room custom chandelier
“Chanel Feather Headdress (B) New York” (1994, toned gelatin silver print)
Kitchen bar stools
Photography by: Robert Radifera