The Expert - Meghan Eisenberg Says More Is More When it Comes to Marble
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Meghan Eisenberg Says More Is More When it Comes to Marble

The Expert Team
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Photo by Harris Kenjar

In three short years since starting her eponymous studio, Los Angeles-based Meghan Eisenberg has risen to be one of the design world’s most exciting new names.

Her experience spans far beyond 2019—she cut her teeth at high-end firm Joan Behnke & Associates and grew up living and breathing interiors via her mother—a residential designer—and her grandfather—a mid-century architect. It’s no wonder her keen eye landed her a major feature in Architectural Digest last March that, for lack of a better term, broke the internet.

The way Meghan effortlessly mixes a bold floral print with iconic Danish razor chairs and can make a marble-clad bathroom feel so understated and elegant is an innate art: balancing minimalism with richness, elegance with playfulness, and the expected with the unexpected. Here, she shares her biggest architectural pet peeve, her dream project, and the one home trend that definitely needs to go…

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Photo by Harris Kenjar

Photo by Harris Kenjar

You’re designing a room—where do you start?

I start by considering the architectural style of the house and the client’s personal vibe. From those two pillars, I can create a vision for the space in my mind: is it formal, playful, classic, contemporary, avant-garde? It’s all about finding the right balance, so if the client is playful but the structure is classic, I might choose furnishings with a more formal silhouette and pair them with an unexpected fabric.

Name an architectural pet peeve that almost always needs fixing—big or small?

When I walk into a home and find myself greeted by a sea of downlights. Far too often, an unnecessary amount of downlighting makes a home feel outdated and much like a spec house. Whenever possible, I prefer a clean, dry wall (or exposed wood) ceiling with a mix of surface-mounted light fixtures, sconces on the walls, and lamps at eye level to illuminate a space.

If your interiors were a fashion icon, who would they be and why?

I have always been inspired by the way Coco Chanel changed the fashion world. Her line was born from the desire to abandon the complicated and uncomfortable designs of her time. Instead, she went on to create a casual fashion trend that was effortless and elegant. It was innovative while retaining all the classic elements. I am someone who likes to work within the boundaries of timeless interiors, but then within that structure, I really thrive on experimenting and finding new and unexpected paths.

What are you dying for a client to request?

Hmmm… For a client to ask me to design their second home in Italy?? Perhaps a dilapidated villa in Tuscany that needs to be restored and reinvented! Or I would gladly furnish a Milanese pied-à-terre, an English country house, or a seaside retreat in Menorca… I am very drawn to a European design sensibility and love historical homes, so it would be exciting to find a way to bring in my own style while paying homage to the culture and location of the project.

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Photo by Harris Kenjar

Which design trend needs to be retired and which should make a comeback?

We need to retire the cookie-cutter “farmhouse” (love an authentic farmhouse!). Let’s bring back hand-painted privacy screens as a nostalgic way to create room division in the new era of open floor plans.  

Where to save / where to splurge?

There aren’t many places to cheap out when buying fabric, finishes, and furnishings. I always encourage my clients to buy less but invest in great quality pieces that will last a lifetime. The areas where it’s easier to save money are vintage accessories or artwork. It’s amazing what a good re-frame can do!  

What should you always buy vintage? What vintage pieces are you eying right now?

I love all things vintage, but if I had to choose, I would go with lighting. It always feels unique, adds a dimension of the past, and doesn’t get the same wear and tear as furnishings so it’s more family-friendly. I am always looking for old Italian lighting from Stilnovo and Azucena as well antique Murano glass pieces…

What hotel anywhere in the world represents ultimate luxury and comfort to you and why?

Most definitely a Relais & Châteaux! There is nothing I value more than traveling somewhere new and instantly feeling in sync with my surroundings. Because their hotels are both independently-owned and exist with the intention of being a living expression of a place and its history and culture, I know I am going to get a high-end but authentic experience. That is luxury and comfort for me.

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Photo by Harris Kenjar

Photo by Harris Kenjar

Describe your dream sofa: what does it look like, how is it built, and how does it feel?

Since large upholstery pieces are a big investment, my dream sofa is timeless and transcends styles: it can fit into either a modern or traditional home. It is soft but supportive because it has a down and feather envelope over a foam core and it has an 18” seat height so all the grandparents can get up without assistance! 

What elements (or brands!) make up the perfect bed?

I am a Parachute fan girl. I love everything from their bedding to their inserts—they even have an amazing organic mattress that my clients love because it’s firm but still cozy. It’s a well-priced one-stop bed shop for many of our projects.  

Marble: all over or in small doses?

All over. I like simple yet impactful.  

You’re sitting down for breakfast: banquette or kitchen island?

Banquette all day! Some of our best family time is over breakfast. I want to lounge and drink my coffee in comfort. 

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Photo by Harris Kenjar

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Photo courtesy of Meghan Eisenberg.

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