Saturday, 24 November 2007

The 10 commandments of fabric

This morning I was thinking what I am going to write for my next entry. Minutes later I received an e-mail from one of my best friends. She has a great zest for life and is always looking for ways to improve her life and to live it to the fullest. She is currently in Milan, Italy and her new goal is to meet with the Dalai Lama in the search for her spirituality.
She sent me a list of her 10 new commandments. As I was reading her email I saw a pile of memo samples in front of me and I thought to myself that these commandments could each represent a style of fabric.

Here is the result of this exercise:

1.- Seek lessons of life hidden in every moment.

The Toile de Jouy motifs are a great example of this commandment. They depict scenes of everyday life and the characters always have great expressions on their faces.

The Seasons - Mustard on Ivory
G. P. & J. Baker

2.- Believe that you are always more.

I feel that stripes could represent this mantra because of their repetitive nature that you can imagine going on forever, vertically or horizontally.

Canoga - Caviar
Robert Allen
91% Viscose 9% Cotton

3.- View confusion as a prelude to clarity

Over scaled Florals appear a little busy from afar but their individual forms are very beautiful. I particularly like this example because it displays the tulips during many stages of blossoming or opening which could be taken in several ways: opening up to someone emotionally-giving them clarity as to your true character, or opening your eyes to see a new solution to a problem.

Lieff - Quince
Andrew Martin
100% Linen

4.- Pursue the dream in your heart

Damasks are an example of this commandment because of the fairytale feeling they create, a form that is still as popular today as it was long ago.

Modern Barroque - Cafe
Kravet Couture
84% Viscose, 16% Polyester

5.- Know what you believe in & why

For me, this fabric is a great example of what I believe in. I feel it exhibits the principles I find most beautiful in design. The subtle changes in colour and texture mix beautifully with the balanced geometric shapes.

Inlay - Sienna
Barbara Barry - Kravet Couture
36% Linen ,35% Cotton, 29% Silk

6.- Cherish the Earth, thankful for each breath you take.

Botanicals are a great example of this commandment. Portraying nature in all its beauty.

Fans - Botanical/Foliage
Allegra Hicks - Groundworks
60% Linen, 30% Cotton, 10% Nylon

7.- Nurture yourself as a friend in need

You can find interlocking and harmonizing geometrics in many patterns. They look beautiful because of the relationship they create by fitting together perfectly, never breaking the chain.

La Fiorentina – Ivory/Bark
Groundworks – David Hicks
100% Linen

8.- Create new ways to generate positive energy

Metalics are here to give us their energy - Gold, Silver, Platinum, Coin ...

Key Maze – Coin
Beacon Hill
100% Silk

9.- Find your place through choices you make

I feel this can be represented by black and white fabrics. Most choices we make in life are very black and white, each choice will have a consequence. What makes life interesting is finding the balance of these choices-the yin and the yang.

Angelica Trellis - Domino
Groundworks -David Hicks
100% Silk

10.- Know that your mind is the lifeblood of your future

Blood Orange is going to be a huge trend in the near “future” but it also represents a hunger for life and excitement.

Arboretum - Clay
100% Cotton

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Monday, 19 November 2007

The Design Gene

This blog is dedicated to Inés and Philippine

First of all, I would like to thank all of you who have been reading our blog. It is very encouraging and we appreciate all the positive feedback we have received. You have inspired us to update our blog two times per week .

In the last few years we have all been taken aback with how global our world is becoming and the “6 degrees of separation” between us. This entry is the result of an amazing coincidence and appreciation of design running in my family genes. Last summer I received my Architectural Digest magazine from Spain, and while I was flipping the pages a red piece jumped out at me – “That piece will fit perfectly in my new studio” was my initial thought. It’s contemporary but will still read well in my traditional space.

Iron and Laquer wood - Mueble Bar

I decided to read the article to find out who the creator behind this piece was. Two names stood out in the article: Inés Benavides and Philippine González-Camino. Well, that was a bit of a shock – the last names are not that common and they rang a bell. Then I saw their picture in the article. I must say, Inés and Philippine are just stunningly beautiful and I began to suspect they were members of the family.

Architectural Digest Spain (Article)
Summer 2007

I was really excited with the find and decided to go on-line and check out their website. Following my instincs I wrote them a spontaneous email: "... maybe this is a coincidence but I think there is a history of elegance in the family that has been carried through in the designs you are portraying. I believe your grandmother the very famous and elegant Tía Beba (Aunt Beba) was my grandfather’s sister. Anyhow I just want to congratulate you for your amazing work and wish you all the success in the future."

Iron, Wengué Wood and Leather - Otto chair

The next day an email was waiting in my account – It was Philippine – Yeah! She was my cousin and she was so excited. She knew who I was and was really surprised with the coincidence that we were working in design. Another email – It was Inés – what a coincidence. The connection was here to stay.

Iron and marble - Domino

I'd like to share some details of their peices and my thoughts on their designs. Their pieces are inspired by their lives – what they have seen in the years they lived outside of Spain and their personal experiences. “Every place, every space, every material and form has something to teach us and for this reason, it is important to travel, to study any branch of art, architecture or design”

Galvanize iron and Iroco wood - Omega

The difference in their personalities create unique results – Inés brings the rationality and practicality while Philippine leaves space for the improvisation, provoking a really strong juxtaposition. The lines of their pieces are simple, yet versatile, furniture pieces that work as a unique presence in any space.

Laquer wood - Ecco

All of their pieces are signed and are limited editions. Their philosophy is to create objects for small particles of creativity in the universe of creation. They have been named Mercury, Krypton, Nugget, amongst others. Function is always an integral part of their designs.

Iron and Oak wood - Puzzle

Iron and Glass - Jaula

As we speak, and as many of you know, Meade Design Group is working on our new studio. I would love to include this piece in my new studio design so that I can share a little bit of my heritage and family’s creativity with Victoria.

Iron and Laquer wood - Mueble Bar

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Thursday, 15 November 2007

The Resurrection of the Bamboo Motif

Bamboo is back in a big way, and it’s not just for homes with an Asian flair. Bamboo will be everywhere !

Meurice buttler tray table by Johnatan Adler

Bamboo Pillow

Furniture made with Bamboo Cane was all the rage in Victorian Times, and re-emerged itself in the 30’s, the 60’s and the 70’s. This resurrection may be a result of the trend that Philippe Stark initiated with his world famous Ghost Chair - a modern interpretation of a Louis XVI chair made in translucent acrylic.

Jacques Adnet (circa late 1930"s) - stool

Jacques Adnet (circa 1950’s) - coffee table

The same concept is happening today with the use of bamboo cane as the muse or model for a new classic that has come to stay.

Area rug by Allegra Hicks
The Rug Company

Jonathan Adler Meurice Floor Lamp with Black Shade

These materials and applications are a far cry from the traditional hand-made pieces and can be used in any modern interior.

zen teapot

Cole & Son Wallpaper

The Patina Collection - Saigon

Jonathan Adler Meurice Chandelier in Polished Nickel
also locally available @

The bamboo cane is natural, sophisticated and reads extremely well in any interior design application from the traditional to the contemporary room.

De Gournay hand painted wallpaper

Japanese & Korean collection
Bamboo in argent design colours

As a material, bamboo has been a breakthrough in sustainable development due to it’s incredibly fast growth cycle, in contrast to our limited supply of global hardwood. Bamboo has become increasingly popular as a building material and as flooring partly as a result of it’s natural beauty and incredible durability but now this eco-friendly product is ready to take on the furniture, textile, and accessory market!

bamboo chairs

First used in China over 5000 years ago to create books, food and buildings, Bamboo has been reinterpreted over the years for many purposes. In addition to furniture and flooring, bamboo may also be used for soft materials like bedding and clothing. Bamboo has also been used throughout the centuries in art, but now, you don’t have to look far to find it being used in wallpapers, fabrics, furniture and more as a simple motif.

Ralph Lauren Flattware

Bedding by Lulu de Kwiatkowski

Now with the use of modern materials and concepts this inspiration can take on any number of forms without looking cliché or lending itself strictly to the Asian style. With the right finish or setting Bamboo may be applied to any décor. With it’s natural class and texture I believe it is a great addition to any home!

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Monday, 12 November 2007

10 things that make me happy

When I decided to start a blog and what to write about, a rain of ideas came to mind – Why is Britney Spears shopping for a Chandelier? – Why you can see so much geometry around us – Why we follow trends – The best new materials – Who I think has the best logo or the best business card – What moves me?... and I start thinking What moves me? … What inspires me? Then I realized that the things that move me are the things that make me happy. I have always dreamt that a magazine would ask me for my list of ten favourite things. I believe these things reveal a lot about who you are. So, I must admit I am writing this post with a personal and narcissistic interest.

There are three reasons why I wrote this entry: the first reason being to fulfill my long kept dream, second is to share part of my personal life and third is because I believe this will be an answer to one of my favourite clients who keeps asking me what I like and why?

1.- Chubby Birds
I love the volume and strength of the word “chubby” amongst the fragility of a bird.

Chubby Bird
Bronze Bird by Fernando Botero (Medellín, Colombia)

2.- Fornasetti Plate – (# 82)
It is a great example of a mix of classic, surrealistic and cheeky.

I feel that his work has been described very well on his website: “Piero Fornassetti’s lesson deriving from his oeuvre is the rigour with a strong imagination and an elegant and mystical sense of humour. Fornassetti’s work spreads joy into our everyday life so full of minimalist and ‘expiatory purism’”.

3.- Virginia D. de Beovide (Tributo a la Reina de los Cielos - Book)
A book that my great great grandfather gave to my great great grandmother as a wedding gift on their honeymoon in Paris – March 23, 1878. This book is an absolute work of art as it includes LVII (57) original etchings by Lorenzo Elizaga, silk pages, and gold leaf embossing throughout. For me this book represents what romanticism is and is a constant reminder of my family.

Virginia D. de Beovide

4.- To design
I have a very sexy profession.

5.- Sphere
The first object d’art that I designed for my collection Accentus. Sphere is a piece that mixes two of my favourite materials: cantera stone and silver. What moves me is the story behind the piece and the pleasure of seeing it become a reality.

Sphere by Ivan Meade

6.- An old photograph of my mother that was taken a couple of days before her wedding
It’s a beautiful photograph – and a funny reminder that although she was always telling me to sit up straight she is not so perfect herself and is not sitting up straight in the picture.


7.- La Velata - 80 inches wide by 95 inches high
It is a sepia version of La Velata by Raphael that I have in my living room. I love the overscale proportions of the piece and how the juxtaposition of the piece works in my space. I found this piece in a second hand store and I was told that it belonged to a hotel that caught fire up island. In order to bring the piece to my condo I had to cut 24 inches from the bottom and reframe it. Ssssssssssh don’t tell anybody.

La Velata
8.- Vanilla ice cream (Häagen-Dazs preferred)
It helps me to keep my figure.

Vanilla Ice Cream

9.- Antidote by Viktor and Rolf
I wear it every day

Antidote by Viktor and Rolf

10.- Horses as subject matter in art.
Their presence, their elegance, their movement...

Horses Neptune with Four Sea-Horses by Leonardo da Vinci

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Meade Design Group - The Blog

I have created this blog to act as a reference for design finds, inspiration, anecdotes and lessons I have learned from my five years of experience running my interior and graphic design firm, Meade Design Group.

Please feel free to check out my links to the right. Here I have compiled all of my favourite websites for things like great designers, hot items and fabric resources. I hope to keep these and my entries as updated as possible to keep you informed with what trends to look forward to and which to avoid, along with any other knowledge I can pass on!

Check back often, and don’t hesitate to post any comments, questions or suggestions that will help make this blog a good resource for you! If you would like any more information about myself or my company, please check out my other websites at:

Yours truly,

Iván Meade-Treviño

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011