Working in design was almost a destined path for Meredith Thayer. Her first job out of college was at the family business — her father’s rug company. From there, she spent over 10 years as a creative director in the home furnishings industry, developing product for leading brands, designing showrooms and working closely with top creative teams in the industry.
When she felt it was time to expand on a more personally creative level, she launched her own business — Thayer Design Studio — where she was able to take on her own clients and create refreshing interiors. Soon after came her own collection of rugs and baskets, all crafted with that simple-yet-detailed aesthetic Meredith is known for. We wanted to know more:
Hi Meredith! You began your career in product development. How did you get your start?
After college I started working for my father’s braided rug business, doing retail and sales. I then took some time to travel, with my now husband, in Latin America and felt inspired by so much of what I saw; the textures, colors and designs of textiles and the natural landscapes of some of the places we visited. I came home and once I ended up back working for the family business, I pushed to do more of the designing. I was given the opportunity to design and enter a rug in an award show, develop a few new product lines and redesign a showroom…from there, it just kept going.
What inspired you to launch your studio, Thayer Design?
I’ve spent a lot of time designing products for other people and have had the chance to work on some pretty interesting projects. I’ve loved all of it, but creatively I was feeling like I needed to expand myself and challenge myself in a way that would help me to continue to grow as a designer.
Starting my studio has given me a chance to really dive into the areas that I love most about design and feel more connected to what I’m creating. Creatively that is so important me…to feel that connection with my products only inspires me to keep going and exploring.
The move to home goods seems natural given your background. What did you envision when you first dreamt up your own collection?
I am constantly thinking and sketching and developing products that I think may be interesting. And there is something I love about the idea of working with a traditional process and pushing the limits of what you can create in these parameters that maintains the balance of the final piece. I envisioned that balance being present in my collection. And really feeling that there is focus and intention in the design with an understanding of the effects of material and process.
How did you bring the idea to reality?
I actually started just cutting baskets apart. And experimenting with different combinations and ideas around form and function.
For the rugs I had many designs I had sketched or developed in the past and I began to focus on refining those and building on the elements of texture and design to create a piece I felt really worked. It’s always a matter of finding that balance between pushing the complexity in process in a way that doesn’t take away the simplicity of the final product.
Do you have a favorite piece in the collection?
Such a tough question! I think my favorite piece is probably the Aya rug, because it was a design that stemmed from a rug I made for my daughter’s room a few years ago. It’s interesting and bold, but softened by the wool yarns.
I also love the texture and tonal combinations of the Pacha rug.
And the V band basket is definitely a favorite…because of the process of how I got there…just sitting there cutting apart baskets.
Do you have any exciting pieces coming down the pipeline?
I do! I have some pieces where I’m exploring the relationship between form and material a bit more, and incorporating some different materials such as fabric and leather. Also diving more into rug designs that push the process for pieces that have an extra element.