Meridith Baer has always had a passion for design, and now she’s one of HGTV’s star home stagers and boasts an impressive list of celebrity clientele. Baer stages more than 270 properties every month and has worked with clients like Brad Pitt, Heidi Klum, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gerard Butler and Robert De Niro. Check out our exclusive interview below!
Tell us about the different facets of what you do, a little bit about your history in design and how your company has grown over the past few years.
In the beginning I bid the jobs, wrote the contracts, collected the money, found or bought or made the furniture, did the installation and created an inventory and photo list of the finished job! Nowadays, I run a large company and still do much of the buying. I had no formal training in design, but when I was 12 my Mom let me arrange her furniture and took my advice on what to buy new. I loved moving things around and changing the look of the rooms I lived in, and I also loved gardening and growing plants in pots and moving them around to create an inviting atmosphere. I started with one house, then did one a month, then one a week…now we do about 30 a week and move out of 20 as well! We are manufacturing most of our upholstered furniture in California and buying containers of furnishings from overseas. I owe my success to the wonderful, talented people I work with!
We see you won a Best of Houzz 2014 award for design. How do you think you earned this achievement and what role does Houzz play in getting the word out about your business/skill?
We were thrilled and honored to receive this award because I am addicted to the site (as are most of my friends)! I think we won because our designs are fresh, young and elegant, and we keep on the cutting edge.
In your opinion, what is the key to successfully staging a room?
Keep it simple, clean, elegant. Make it look easy to do. It has to look comfortable and inviting. The quality of furnishings should be aspirational, just a little better than the homeowner thinks they can afford. We try to keep some of our designs ahead of the curve, but at the same time we show the buyer how to throw in Aunt Helen’s chest and Mom’s silver.
Tell us about some of your experiences with celebrity clientele. What are some trends you are seeing in celebrity interior design?
The younger celebrity crowd is loving mid-century inspired modern at the moment. Think Lautner, Richard Neutra. One-story homes. They also like rustic farmhouse modern styles.
What design/staging trends do you predict for spring 2014?
Less clutter, clean lines, fewer accessories. I predict a mix of rustic, industrial, modern, classic and antique. Neutral palettes with veins of a specific color mixed in…and above all else…comfort!!!!
Check out Meridith Baer’s site to learn more.