about Jamie Merida

The accidental designer

About fifteen years ago, customers at Bountiful, Jamie Merida’s trendy, Easton, Maryland home furnishings store, began to request—forcefully request—his help with their interior design projects. Merida was a bit puzzled.  The shop had no design studio and he no formal interior design training. Intrigued and flattered, he decided to give it a go, throwing himself headlong and talent-first into the effort.

Today, Merida’s design portfolio features high end homes and vacation residences in Maryland, Virginia, Florida, New York, Idaho, and Europe as well as a roster of commercial commissions which have included venerable hotels, restaurants, and professional office space. “Responding to a broad range of clients needs really is exciting,” he says.  “You can never coast when you’re faced with new design challenges all of the time.”

Jamie-Merida

What puzzles Merida now is that his retail customers had to show him the path into interior design. When he thought about it, it was there all along. Merida grew up in Belgium and Kentucky surrounded by art and antiques. His parents, both accomplished artists, ran a thriving fine art gallery and antiques business, and he learned the finer points of the trade at an early age.

When it came time to make decisions about his own career, however, he chose music. Merida trained as a concert pianist, earning a degree from the Peabody School of Music in Baltimore in 1986. After that he began a graduate program in business at Johns Hopkins University. When his parents needed a hand with their art and antiques business, he returned home only to find that he was spending all of his time traveling among the major East Coast charity antique shows.

“Founding Bountiful was, in part, my attempt to settle down and stay in one place for a while,” he explains. It hasn’t turned out that way.

Merida now regularly commutes between his 10,000 square foot Easton store and design jobs that are scattered up and down the east coast and as far west as Idaho.

His business has grown as well. Bountiful has morphed into Bountiful Interiors and Design firm and now boasts the largest design center on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and a staff of three full-time designers. Two years ago, Merida launched Bountiful Flooring to meet the region’s need for a full service, design-oriented carpet, tile and flooring store.

Now that he has earned his design stripes and joined the ranks of other well-regarded “accidental designers” like Vincente Wolfe and Raymond Waites, Merida sees opportunities wherever he looks. He is currently designing a line of furniture and home accents for Chelsea House, sees his work regularly featured in national & regional shelter magazines, has appeared on HGTV, and was regularly featured as a design guru on “Boomer Babes”, a National Public Radio and Sirius XM syndicated radio program.

At 54, Merida feels as if he has just hit his stride. He says:  “Now that I have found my niche, I want to explore every aspect of it. I am particularly excited and honored by the opportunity to create a new licensed collection of furniture and home accents for Chelsea House. My goal with the Tidewater Collection is to bring contemporary spark to traditional design by incorporating colorful and updated finishes and materials. Partnering with Chelsea House to bring the collection to market that I will never have to worry about the quality of the finished pieces.”

“Now that I have found my niche, I want to explore every aspect of it.” – Jamie Merida