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Five Minutes with Meredith McBrearty

18th March 2021

This week we talk to Atlanta based interior designer, Meredith McBrearty.

Having spent her early career managing high-end residential projects in Washington, Miami, New York and the Caribbean, Meredith opened her own studio in 2009. Since then her projects have been featured in multiple publications, each one exuding timeless sophistication with an abundance of warmth and charm.

Meredith McBrearty - Atlanta based interior designer
Meredith McBrearty

Early memories of interiors

I began taking art classes in elementary school. When I was young, I wanted to redo my room, and my mother had her interior designer do a color rendering board with fabric swatches, wallpaper etc. It began an obsession. I slept with her rendering beside my bed. When my art skills further developed, I realized it was something I loved and wanted to pursue

Journey to interior design

I knew when I grew up, I wanted to be something that I was passionate about. I also knew I wanted to be a mother, and I love the flexibility that running my own business affords me. I love making things “pretty”, but honestly the thing that I have loved the most about this career is the relationships that I have made. I feel so blessed to have the kindest clients. It is a huge honor to be invited into someone’s home and help them think through what is important to them, and how they want to live.

Meredith McBrearty Design

I started my own business in the Spring of 2009. My very first client happened to be a childhood friend who is a starting Quarterback in the NFL. I did the entire house and it landed on the cover of a magazine, which was extremely fortunate! I specialize in residential interiors and I think the biggest thing that hopefully sets me apart from others is that every project is completely unique. I have a wide range of clients and styles!

Meredith McBrearty on interior design
"It is a huge honor to be invited into someone’s home and help them think through what is important to them, and how they want to live."

Inspiration

Since travel is very sparse with the pandemic, I have been grateful for Instagram! I am always learning and inspired by others from all around the world. I still have Shelter magazines tucked in just about every corner of this house and love to pull them out nightly. I have so many old copies with worn, earmarked pages. Good design that is timeless will always be relevant and continues to be an inspiration to me!

Advice for aspiring interior designers

My biggest advice is that you have got to be prepared to work really hard. My Dad used to tell a younger me, “make yourself indispensable”. Seek out the best person(s) you know and ask them if they are hiring. Submerse yourself by researching, surround yourself with knowledgeable people and absorb everything you can, like a sponge!

Meredith McBrearty interior design - A kitchen design for a Texas project
A kitchen design for a Texas project

Reoccurring design details

I have so many clients with young children so there is a big need for fabrics that are forgiving and practical. Because of this I find myself using Perennials 100% acrylic fabrics quite often! You can spray Clorox on them and throw in the wash!

Favourite room to design

Oh goodness – well that’s not easy! If you really made me pick – maybe a living room. It’s often the show pony of the home, but lately most of my client’s desire to live in and use every square inch of their home, whether it’s a formal space or not. A living room is often where your clients will splurge on the special things – the art, the lighting, the upholstery, all of it!

Favourite room in your own home

My favorite room is our living room. It has morphed and changed as our family has changed. I am currently found lying by the fire almost every night with a magazine in hand after we finally get our 3 children to bed.

Meredith McBrearty Atlanta interiors
Meredith's beautiful living room at her Atlanta home

Favourite piece in your own home

This is hard to say because so many pieces in our home tell a story and remind me of certain times in our life. My husband and I have lived in four (big) cities since we met and we have purchased things along the way. One of my favorite pieces might be the gorgeous antique Swedish armoire that I bought when we lived in Dallas. It has moved around to different rooms – it’s currently holding the TV in our living room, but in one prior version and home it held all the baby clothes and diapers for our third child!

Meredith McBrearty interior design Atlanta
A much loved antique Swedish armoire in Meredith's home

Home comforts

For me, the things that make a home comfortable are the pieces that have personal meaning. My bedroom holds a framed piece of art that my son did when he was 3 years old. When things have a deep meaning I think you feel at home.

How you came to work with Collier Webb

I learned about Collier Webb through Dennis Hunt at Ainsworth Noah. I was looking for a specific and beautiful unlacquered brass picture rail system for a project I was working on, and he sent me straight to the perfect source!

Collier Webb brass picture rails in a Meredith McBrearty interior design project
Collier Webb brass picture rails at one of Meredith's recent projects

Favourite Collier Webb piece

I am dying to use the Scallop sconce in a project! It’s beautiful, chic, and unique! I also love the Martini Floor lamp – what fun! I may need this one for myself.

For a further look at Meredith’s beautiful projects you can follow her on Instagram here.

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