**This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Images courtesy of Metrie.**
Some of you may recall me introducing Metrie to you last year. While the concept of boiserie-on-demand was very appealing, this was the year I fully grasped the possibilities of the collections and gained true insight into the intention of the creative minds at work behind the scenes. What is Metrie, you ask? It's a brand that simplifies - for designers and consumers alike - the process and the selection of adding architectural details to a residential or commercial project.
While their dazzling website and catalogs certainly wow, stepping into a professionally designed space that has been elevated with incredible mouldings, exceptional millwork, coffered ceilings and rosettes leads to true understanding of the transformative power of what some might consider details. There's an "ah-ha" moment followed quickly by a "how quickly can I place an order?" urge.
In July I visited BMC Dallas, Registered Metrie Design Collections Showroom and go-to Dallas source for all things custom millwork and beyond. There, Chris Ludwig (of BMC) and Nate Kuhns (of Metrie) opened my eyes to the true power of the collections and elements for designers, developers and architects alike.
In a sense, the brand has demystified the often intimidating process of selecting and procuring these individual architectural elements by offering them in a series of style families if you will, Modernists will appreciate the crispness of Very Square. Classicists might enjoy French Curves or Fashion Forward. Pretty Simple will appeal to those with minimalist leanings and a love of symmetry. Those seeking a grounded, natural look will gravitate towards the True Craft collection. Something for everyone, regardless of design style, from mod & sexy to classic and sophisticated.
What impressed me most is how designer-friendly the products are. The beauty of the collections is that it makes building a cohesive visual story very easy to do and gives pros a leg up on delivering a very finely appointed finished look for clients. It demystifies what can often be an overlooked (or avoided) step in design through their intelligent product presentation. It's a system they've built that streamlines the selection process by providing a creative story from which to build upon.
For me, the advantage of the collections are obvious. Serving up runway-worthy looks time and time again for clients - regardless of project size or personal style. The flexibility of the various styles makes it easy (even for the non architecturally inclined) to create a stunning custom design for clients - down to custom paint finishes and stains. Couture for the walls and ceiling? I'll take it.
But for clients who need a bit more convincing, communicating the ultimate creative vision is everything, and Metrie delivers here. Big time. The style finder quiz & room styler make it easy to render the design and flesh out finer points of the resulting look. Again, I find myself smitten by just how designer-friendly the system and the online offerings are. It's a dream come true for those of us looking to deliver incredible finished projects without the largess of a team to sketch out those scene renderings or laundry list the many individual elements necessary to achieve the design. Metrie steps in to save the day.
Intrigued by what I saw at the showroom but still left with more questions, I interviewed the creative team at Metrie HQ. Here's what the talented visionaries shared about the products and the thinking behind those stunning scenes:
Q: First, let’s start with how beautifully the Collections help designers, builders and consumers visualize the end result. They are just diverse enough to help anyone achieve the unique look they desire. Can you tell us about the behind-the-scenes thinking and creative process for arriving at the five distinct Then & Now Coordinated Collections? I am envisioning a group tour of Europe to visit some of the most fabulous architectural properties in existence!
A: Thanks Franki, I’m glad that we’ve achieved our objective! Although a European tour would have been fabulous, our design team had almost as much fun scouring museums, libraries, online resources and locales a bit closer to home to identify the five key interior design styles that make up our Then & Now Finishing Collections™. We curated some of the most iconic shapes and looks from thousands and thousands of samples and images and then reinvented them with today’s homes in mind. Our vision was to create collections that were timeless with their nod to the past and the look forward to the future.
Q: I enjoyed the video featuring the designers tasked with designing rooms from scratch using one of the five Finishing Collections. Creatives - being the visionaries they are - often push the boundaries or break the rules on what products might be originally designed to do. Can you share with us how designers have inspired your team at Metrie to consider new introductions or demonstrate additional applications for your finishing products?
A: We are on a constant quest to transform our perspective. To view design, style and art through different lenses. Spending time with designers, artists and creative people from all walks of life reminds us that our job is never done. There is always something new to create, and fresh and inventive ways to bring our ideas to market. My current favorite from one of our interior designers is a layering technique using an inverted baseboard paired with a crown moulding to create more definition and texture where the ceiling meets the walls. It’s a perfect way to enhance a tall ceiling or balance a larger space like a great room.
Q: Your site and your Pinterest boards offer tremendous visual inspiration and explanation for uses of Metrie products. However, in terms of practical application and powerful client tools, the Style Quiz & Room Styler are fantastic for helping clients identify their style and visualize the finished look. They help focus the client as well as make specification very easy. Where did the idea originate for the development of the online tools?
A: As much as this category is what we at Metrie live and breathe, we understand that selecting mouldings and doors can be daunting. These aren’t products that you necessarily think about everyday yet they are the backdrop to every single space in your home. So we knew that we wanted to do something really fun to help people hone in on what they like and how they think about their lifestyle. Once we are able to identify your style through the Style Quiz we can help you bring that style to life with the Room Styler. The best part about having this visualization tool is that it can also help you feel comfortable to step out of your comfort zone and go beyond the basics to explore new possibilities such as wall treatments and ceiling treatments.
Q: It’s great to see the option for Green building with the SPERO™ products. Have you seen a consumer-driven increase in the interest towards eco-wise building and designs? Or does it feel as though its builders & designers are driving the green development projects these days?
A: Sustainability is at the core of every action in our company. We minimize emissions from transportation by sourcing wood from local, responsibly managed forests while working diligently to virtually eliminate waste in our mills. While most of the Green development projects we see are in the commercial space, we are always excited to hear about the people using SPERO in their homes. It’s also a really nice feeling to be involved in making products that have a long existence in someone’s space.
Q: Metrie seems to make marvelous effort to educate designers on the products. Online courses, “grocery” list style breakdowns of what elements are used to achieve various looks, etc. The product lines, catalogs and site are all very user-friendly. Are there any common questions you field from designers who are new to the brand? Are there any “aha” moments you’d like to share to enlighten my professional designer and design-savvy readers to help them instantly understand the solutions that Metrie provides?
A: Our ‘aha’ moment came pretty early on in our journey to discover what we could do to help designers choose their product. We found out that there was very little, if any, information and education on interior finishings in design curricula. This prompted us to get working on developing our Continuing Education Unit (CEU) courses right away to help shed light on a subject that is often seen as an intimidating design task. This was the inspiration for creating our Then & Now Finishing Collections, which we designed to the right proportions and scale. A designer could be creative and have flexibility in their designs, yet still have the confidence that everything works together as they see their project come to life.
Q: And finally… can we expect any new Collections or innovative new products to be added soon?
A: This is my favorite question! Our passion for design, innovation, quality and providing an impeccable experience is what drives us. We are constantly exploring new ways to make using interior finishings a creative and fun process. We have some great designs and new concepts on the boards. So my answer is yes, but you’ll have to wait and see!
Okay, friends. That's all I have to share for now. Thank you, Metrie for inviting me to enjoy a closer look at your collections and your creative process. I definitely gained a rich understanding of the value to professionals (and their lucky clients) by diving deeper into brand. I personally can't wait to put the collections to good use.
Enjoy their blog The Finished Space for major interior inspiration and idea sparking images. Here are a few more dreamy images from their site and a video of a gorgeous bath worthy of Holly Golightly. Enjoy!