By Athena McKenzie | Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet
Iván Meade creates a timeless experience for his clients with sophisticated details and decor.
Before you even enter the studio, while you’re still climbing the steep stairs off Government Street, you get a sense of what’s to come. The air itself smells sophisticated, carrying the warm notes of rosewood, amber and vetiver.
“I’m trying to create an experience for my clients and visitors,” says Iván Meade of his interior design studio. “When someone opens the door here, I want them to feel like they’ve arrived somewhere. It doesn’t feel like you’re in Victoria.”
Visitors are greeted by a soaring ceiling, a dramatic mid-century modern chandelier and an intriguing mix of furniture and art, from an antique upholstered chair and Edwardian bookcases to vintage Knoll Warren Platner armchairs.
“One reason I put so much effort into this room is because I spend half of my life here — I wanted it to be an extension of my house.” — Ivàn Meade
“When I design something, I want it to be in style for at least 10 years,” Meade says.
“A timeless design is not easy to achieve, but I think it’s possible when you do have an interesting mix. That was the idea for this space — to create something with the juxtaposition of different styles. It’s a more European feel, and Victoria has the architecture to do that.”
When Meade found the space 12 years ago, he wanted to play with the heritage building’s character, which had been stripped away. He added back tall baseboards and played up the high ceilings.
While it is his work studio, it is a very personal space. “I wanted to have references to my family home in Mexico,” he says. “The upholstered chair and that chinoiserie table are very similar to items I used to have in the house where I grew up.”
Particularly striking is the large round mirror over the long table, where Meade holds his client meetings. The bottom is painted in grey swirling clouds with bolts of gold. It’s one of Meade’s own creations.
“It represents a life experience,” Meade says. “Ten years ago I went through a very bad period in my life when I had cancer. I was reading about this Japanese technique, Kintsugi, where if they break a bowl, they built it again by filling the cracks with gold. I wanted to tell the story that while I went through something really bad, now I’m getting back. Finally, I feel like I’m getting back.”
This article is from the March/April 2020 issue of YAM