Home & Design

Chinoiserie elements, such as the ceramic elephant plant stand, keep the room from “taking itself too seriously,” says Marika Meyer. The living room’s window treatments feature the Lilian pattern from the designer’s own collection.

Marika Meyer with her welcoming living room beyond. Portrait: Bob Narod

In the dining room, a performance fabric from Perennials covers the seats of vintage painted chairs, while a graphic, geometric print from Schumacher emboldens the backs.

Setting a lavish table for dinner parties allows Meyer to express her creativity.

A personalized place setting.

In the revamped kitchen, Meyer selected undulating, glazed subway tiles from Mosaic Tile for the backsplash and honed Virginia Mist granite for the countertops. Sourced on Etsy, the colorful, vintage runner hides spills.

The breakfast area boasts a reproduction Tulip Table from All Modern and spindle-backed chairs from Serena & Lily. A vintage pagoda chandelier hangs overhead.

In the library, Meyer enjoys a game with (from left) Colin, 9, and Grayson, 12. Portrait: Bob Narod

On a windowless wall in the family room , a Slim Aarons photograph gives the illusion of an outdoor view. Motifs from Meyer’s own textile line were inspired by patterns found on the bindings of her grandfather’s antique books.

Zoo-inspired wallpaper from Scion animates Colin’s bedroom. Meyer topped the West Elm desk with a blue vintage lamp; the rug is by Erin Gates.

In the primary suite, Benjamin Moore’s Pale Oak provides a quiet backdrop for a three-generation family portrait.

Atop the bed’s Matouk linens, Meyer added a bolster pillow in San Michele and two shams in Roman Fig, both from her collection.

In the living room, a reproduction Oushak rug from Matt Camron grounds a playful mix of furnishings and treasures.

Pattern Play

Marika Meyer fashions the interiors of her Bethesda abode in inimitable, collected style

As an interior designer and mother of two young boys, Marika Meyer passionately promotes functional beauty. “For me, the important message is that you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics,” she asserts. “You can have a home that’s approachable, comfortable and durable yet beautifully appointed too.”

Meyer proves the point beyond doubt in her own Bethesda digs. She and husband Michael, who works in commercial real estate, purchased the post-War Colonial in 2009 just before their first child, Grayson, arrived; Colin came along three years later. Over time, Meyer has crafted an environment that showcases her design prowess, while surviving what she calls, “the chaos of life.”

The living room welcomes visitors to the home. Nuanced neutrals set a sophisticated tone, but durability rules the day. A performance fabric from Perennials covers the custom sofa; its contrasting trim elevates the look. A “very forgiving” velvet covers two armchairs. “Nothing in the house is too formal,” the designer notes. “I like things that feel refined, but I don’t want people to be afraid to sit down anywhere.”

Vintage furnishings, found objects and family heirlooms fill the home. The living room’s cocktail table, for example, was signed by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, a prominent furniture maker until his death in 1976. An antique chinoiserie mirror hangs over the living room sofa and beside it sits a child’s chair that Meyer’s great-grandfather had made for her grandfather more than 100 years ago. Books that once belonged to that same grandfather fill the library’s bespoke, black-painted shelves.

“I prefer a space that feels collected,” says Meyer. “That summarizes my aesthetic perfectly. It is more organic and authentic, and fundamentally reflects the people who live there. This house is very reflective of us.”

Opposite the living room, an “impactful” Farrow & Ball wallpaper envelops the dining room, where guests often gather. “Michael loves to cook, and I love to dress kind of a ridiculous table, so we both get to express ourselves,” the designer reveals. “Grayson says that I put more plants and objects on the table than food.”

Those creative inclinations led Meyer to study fine arts at the University of Maryland and, in 2007, to start her namesake firm. While handling a range of projects, Marika Meyer Interiors also specializes in consulting on construction. That expertise came in handy two years ago as the designer reimagined her own kitchen/breakfast area and improved other spaces.

The casual-dining zone, family room and part of the kitchen sit in an “unusual” 1970s addition at the back. One of the first steps in Meyer’s redo was to remove a dropped ceiling in the breakfast area, which gained nearly five feet of height in the process and now mirrors the family room’s vaulted effect. Freshly installed, V-groove ceiling panels bring vintage charm to both spaces. The dining area’s bay window boasts a new bench seat with concealed storage under its flip-top.

In the kitchen, an upper cabinet that obstructed the view into the adjacent family room came down. The remaining dark-wood cabinets received a coat of off-white paint. As Meyer explains, “The main objective was to make the space feel more open and expansive.” Softly veined granite countertops and a glazed-subway-tile backsplash “bring the aesthetic forward a little bit.” White oak flooring with an ebony stain replaced white tiles throughout the addition (the original hardwood floors in other spaces were refinished to match).

Meyer dialed up the color and pattern in the family room’s recently refreshed scheme. She reupholstered a Lee Industries sofa in a spritely, green-hued indoor-outdoor fabric from Thibaut. “This side of the house definitely goes bolder,” she notes. “I wanted it to be more playful, more fun. It matches the energy of our family.”

The chair and pillow fabrics, as well as the rug, are from the designer’s own collection, Marika Meyer Textiles, which launched in 2016. The impetus for the customizable line was twofold: to solve sourcing challenges for tricky color combinations; and to feed Meyer’s craving for “a new creative outlet.” Fabric options expanded last September with the introduction of the Dumbarton Collection, which draws its name from Georgetown’s historic property and offers three gardenesque designs.

“For me, inspiration is everywhere,” the maker reveals. “I’m always looking at things with a critical eye toward pattern. That’s the blessing and the curse.”

Meyer sought “visual quiet” in the upstairs owners’ suite, where she bathed the walls in warm-gray paint. A cherished portrait that depicts the designer’s great-grandmother, grandmother and mother—all of whom shared the name Marika—hangs in the space. The boys’ rooms, on the other hand, brim with exuberance. For proof, look no further than the wallpaper lining Colin’s pad.

The word “fun” pops up often as Meyer describes both her handiwork and approach. The designer’s sage advice for those embarking on a new build or renovation serves as illustration. “Have fun,” she encourages. “It’s a luxury to be able to do it, so there is no reason that the process shouldn’t be as enjoyable as the end result.”

Renovation & Interior Design: Marika Meyer, Marika Meyer Interiors, Bethesda, Maryland.

RESOURCES

LIVING ROOM
Front Door Paint: finepaintsofeurope.com. Rug: mattcamron.com. Sofa: custom by meyerinteriors.com. Sofa Fabric: perennialsfabrics.com. Pillow Fabric: kravet.com. Drapery Fabric: marikameyertextiles.com. Drapery Fabrication: gretcheneverett.com. Round Table: vintage. Table Lamps: vintage through misspixies.com. Wall Paint: Manchester Tan by benjaminmoore.com. Mirror Over Mantel: johnrosselli.com. Mirror Over Sofa: meyerinteriors.com. Side Chair: vintage through hickorychair.com. Side Chair Fabric: marikameyertextiles.com. Arm Chairs: vintage. Arm Chair Fabric: cowtan.com. Chest: vintage.

DINING ROOM
Table & Chairs: vintage. Chair Seat Fabric: perennialsfabrics.com. Chair Back Fabric: fschumacher.com. Rug: starkcarpet.com. Chandelier: circalighting.com. Wallpaper: farrow-ball.com. Drapery Fabric: fschumacher.com. Drapery Fabrication: gretcheneverett.com. Ceiling Paint: Iceberg by benjaminmoore.com. China Closet: vintage. China Closet Paint: billetcollins.com.

KITCHEN
Cabinet Paint: White Dove by benjaminmoore.com. Countertops: unitedstatesmarbleandgranite.com. Backsplash: mosaictileco.com. Stove: kitchenaid.com. Lamp: vintage. Sink Fixture: perrinandrowe.co.uk through fergusonshowrooms.com. Runner: vintage.

BREAKFAST AREA
Table: allmodern.com. Chairs: serenaandlily.com. Chandelier: vintage. Window Seat Fabric: thibautdesign.com. Window Seat Pillow Fabrics: clarencehouse.com; galbraithandpaul.com. Roman Shade Fabric: China Seas through quadrillefabrics.com. Roman Shade Fabrication: gretcheneverett.com. Wall Paint: Pale Oak by benjaminmoore.com.

LIBRARY
Wall Paint: Manchester Tan by benjaminmoore.com. Bookshelves: custom by meyerinteriors.com. Card Table & Chairs: vintage. Chair Fabric: China Seas through quadrillefabrics.com. Rug: starkcarpet.com. Light Fixture: circalighting.com.

FAMILY ROOM
Wall Paint: Pale Oak by benjaminmoore.com. Rug: marikameyertextiles.com. Pink Table & Table Lamp: vintage. Sofa: leeindustries.com. Sofa Fabric: thibautdesign.com. Lucite Table: ballarddesigns.com. Photograph: Slim Arons. Sculpture on Wall: custom.

BOY’S ROOM
Animal Wallpaper: scionliving.com. Desk: westelm.com. Desk Chair: amazon.com. Desk Lamp: vintage. Blue Dresser: vintage through misspixies.com. Dresser Lamp: homegoods.com. Bed: crateandbarrel.com. Pillow Fabric: kravet.com. Mirror: vintage. Roman Shade Fabric: lucyrosedesign.com.

 

 

OWNERS’ BEDROOM

Wall Paint: Pale Oak by benjaminmoore.com. Bed: custom. Headboard Fabric: fabricut.com. Bedding: matouk.com. Pillow: marikameyertextiles.com. Armchair & Drink Table: vintage. Rug: coecarpetandrug.com. Roman Shade Fabric: Lee Jofa through kravet.com. Art & Night Table: vintage. Table Lamp: circalighting.com.

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