Meridith Baer is the woman behind the largest home staging company in the world. Her company, Meridith Baer Home, has been designing interiors for magnificent country estates, swanky city lofts, and everything in between, creating beautiful and interesting spaces that feel like home. If staging hundreds of for-sale homes wasn't enough, Meridith also has two exciting side projects. The first is renting her insane warehouse of furnishings to L.A. set designers (it's the size of a couple airplane hangers!). The second is starring in her own brand new HGTV show, Staged to Perfection where Meridith and her team tackle luxury homes currently on the SoCal rental market.
It's incredible how Meridith manages to take a raw, empty space and turn it into something that feels sophisticated, beautiful, and homey (even though no one lives there!), and we couldn't wait to hear her answers to our Designer Crush Q&A.
1. Where do you currently live in CA and what's special about how you've designed your personal space?
I live in Brentwood on a quiet equestrian street, which to me is Paradise. Cliff May developed the area in the '50s. Every day I get to hear the "clip clop" of horses walking down the street and the laughter of children. So, having found the spot where I want to spend the rest of my life, I built (remodeled down to the studs, a home built in the early '50s) my home so that it was about the outside...it is the opposite of a courtyard house. Every single room looks out at the gardens! I wanted more space, so I removed 150 truck loads of dirt to open up the property and bring in more light. I have lots of water features, including a small infinity pool with a weeping wall waterfall. I'm always out in the garden clipping and planting! Indoors, I created simple, elegant comfort and have around me all of the items I love and have collected over the years.
2. What's your dream design project? Who would it be for (dead or alive)?
I honestly love every job I work on, big or small. It would have been a hoot to work for William Randolph Hearst and travel around the world looking for treasures for his castle. And I would love to do a hotel: lobby, restaurant, outdoors, and all of the rooms.
3. In real life, what's your favorite design project you've completed to date?
My own home!
4. You've been gifted a fabulously furnished dream home but can only bring one item from your current space. What would it be?
5. What's your creative process when designing a space?
I often just start in one corner and get it right and then branch out, but once I start, I am completely "in the zone," and nothing else matters but bringing the room to life. My process starts with being in the room and getting to know it, finding out what it wants to be.
6. Where do you score prized interior design items? Any shopping tips?
The answer is simply "everywhere." Driving down the street, I am always looking for new shops and what is in the window! I go to estate sales every week, buy at auctions, cruise the web, attend furniture and gift shows all over the country, flea markets...I am a hunter!
7. Ever had an epic DIY disaster? What project would you never take on again yourself?
Moving a mountain...which is what I did at my house. I love the space and light but I could never go through that again!
8. What new design trend are you excited to integrate into your next project?
Recent trends have incorporated modern furnishings and art into every style home. I like to bring Asian and Italian and French into modern homes!
9. Lightening round!
Beach or mountains?
Mountains, because I try to stay out of the sun now.
Twitter or Facebook?
Facebook, but I don't really use either.
Architectural Digest or Wallpaper?
Wallpaper for surprise and what's new.
Should you spend money on a fabulous bathroom or kitchen?
Would you rather shop new or vintage?
Vintage, because of the hunt.
Great view or perfect pool?
SF or LA?
LA for living, SF for visiting.
10. What's one tip you wish someone had told you when first starting out in the design world?
There are no rules!
Want more Meridith?