18 Apr Designers’ Forum, April 2012
The story of rugs from Mekizodesigns
“We are selling flooring, after all,” she says. “But for me, I am interested in the story of how something began. What inspired me, and who or what is the latest trend in color for fashion trends and textiles for the home.”
It only took about 30 seconds for me to figure out that Melanie is an artist, and that this touches everything she does. Her new silk and wool rugs have standalone appeal. But I now want to know the story of how this began.
A fashion designer by trade, now living in Vancouver, BC, Melanie says her new rug designs are the culmination of a 15-year journey. She first opened a design studio in Halifax, where she extended her design skills to a number of mediums, including painting, landscaping
and furniture design.
Next, she made Zen gardens by hand using recycled materials, and they were sold by a chain of eco stores across Canada. From there, she moved to Toronto and opened Fields of Grain, an organic café and Breadery, while continuing to sell her paintings and furniture. With her next move to Vancouver, her design skills were merged with the flooring industry, in which her husband, Richard, was an executive. The couple now owns and works for Interior Surfaces, with Melanie in charge of design and marketing, and Richard in charge of sales.
A natural transition
Richard represents a lot of products. So what inspired Melanie to design and produce her Mekizodesign silk and wool rugs?
“It was simply a natural transition for me,” she says. “It will keep evolving, but my designs are very personal, almost like a painting, actually, some of them are my actual paintings, and we translated them into rugs.”
Okay. That tells us how this began and what inspired Melanie to design rugs. What can she tell us about those home color trends she likes to stay on top of?
Trending toward earth colors, primitive patterns
In the United States, you can always expect Maine and California to be complete opposites, she says. And expect Canadians to be complicated because they are directed and inspired by the multiculturalism that envelops them, Melanie says.
“But the overall culmination in fashion and homes seem to be the tribal patterns or colors of the earth,” she says. “For my 2013 collection, I have some amazing tribal patterns we call Ikat — a pattern seen in the indigenous cultures all over the world. The trend first started in pillows, but now I see it in furniture upholstery, and it is just a matter of time for the rugs. My translation will be the one I am most proud of.”
So, look at more pictures, and you’ll see that there’s a bit more than silk and wool going into Mekizodesigns’ rugs that are hand- knotted at 100 knots per square inch in Kathmandu, or its hand-woven Abaca Rugs, made in the Philippines.
“Design and art are something I see in a shadow or a wall and anything that can be translated into a functional piece,” she says. “I have hundreds of photos of beaches, and the contents of the sand mostly plastic…I get very emotional, and that emotion can become a painting or art, and sometimes can become a hand-knotted piece of rug.”
It also can become a blog that is free of regurgitated information.©
— Nancy Kibbee is editor at naturalinteriors.com