Practically a designer from birth, Andrea Beecher knew from a young age she’d be involved in the design world somehow.  With a retail career spanning everything from saving ailing jewelry and accessory stores to designing the floor-plan template for a world-wide fashion retailer, Andrea had already seen it all when she decided to leave retail behind and focus exclusively on design.  On her own she focuses on interior design, but she’s also a co-founder of M3LD.  Working together as design consultants a furniture store, Andrea and Brian Garrett spent hours fantasizing about designing their own furnishings and home decor.  Once mutual friend Jason Frederick added his product and business management experience into the mix, M3LD was born.  Inspired by modern design and working in metal, their pieces use unexpected materials and forms to dismantle ordinary home furnishings.  Andrea recently took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for us.  

 

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Image: Tyson Call

 

What’s your favorite piece of furniture?

This is really hard to answer. For one, it has changed for me over the years as I have learned more and more about design, its history and its artists. So much of furniture design is about innovation of materials and manufacturing techniques of the time. That excites me! That being said, I’m really digging the Get Smart Collection by Milo Baughman right now.

 

What inspires you the most?

Travel. I’ve traveled all over the world and I can’t get enough. Whether it’s the landscape, the architecture or the food, I’m always bringing home ideas. In addition, travel gives me time away from the grind which allows open space for me to dream. That always births new ideas for me.

 

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Image: Marcus MacDonald

 

How long does it take you to come up with a design?

I feel that coming up with the idea can sometimes be the quickest part. It’s so fun when we have product jam sessions; we make an amazing team. One of us usually comes to the table with an idea or part of an idea and we riff together to realize the design.  We all have different ways of visualizing and innovating, that all work together to make the design process so exciting. What takes time is the engineering of the product. How will it be built? What materials would work best? What are the challenges? How can we communicate the design to our manufacturers easily? Can it be made at a feasible price point?  I learn something each time we design together.

 

Who is your favorite artist and/or designer?

Right now I’m all about Patrick Nagel. His iconic 80s pop-art portraits, with their angular graphic shapes and amazing fashion make me smile so much. I’ve even had an artist friend Nagel-fy me for the current version of my business card.

 

What decade do you think had/s the best design?

I LOVE the Brutalist designs of the mid 1960’s through the late 1970’s.

 

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Image: Daniel Beecher

 

Which do you prefer, product design or interior design?

I would say interior design. Sometimes that allows me to use the products I have designed, so that’s a win win. But interior design allows me to tell a more comprehensive story. The story of a space, a brand, a client, etc. The product helps me communicate that story.

 

What’s the best compliment you’ve received about your work?

I had someone tell me that they had discovered a beautiful new restaurant and that it looks just like something that I would love and design. Well, it happened to be one of my designs.

 

What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on so far?

Table X. It’s a restaurant I finished 4 months ago in Salt Lake City, UT. I had the pleasure of designing a modern, fine-dining restaurant in a 100 year old building that has a rich history. I got to know my clients, three amazing chefs, by eating their food, learning their desires and what they feel are their strengths as chefs and what sets them apart. That process allowed me to help them develop their brand that I was then able to communicate through the interior design. Designing for a client is a very intimate process. It’s very personal to be asked to help them craft a customer experience and design an interior that will represent them. I had a lot of fun with scale: two different 8 foot tall light fixtures, an 85 foot wide mural, a steel banister that climbs from the basement floor up two stories and a bank of three 8 foot tall black tufted leather booths. It was all so much fun!

 

What’s your favorite room of the house to design for?

Living Room! I love using color and pattern in layers, and the textiles that are used in living spaces allow for a lot of play and layering to happen. There is also a lot of opportunity for layering light with great fixtures, which I think can be the jewelry in any space.

 

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Image: Daniel Beecher

 

Who would be your dream client?

Someone hiring me to design their boutique hotel.

 

We love your pet food bowls.  Do you think design for pets is often overlooked?

So many people design their home down to tiniest of accessories, but then use ugly pet store accoutrement for their fur babies. The pet product companies have missed a golden opportunity to satisfy the more design-conscious consumer. The design world is finally addressing the average household items in an artistic way so that people that appreciate those details can have some fun. We often design products we feel are missing in the marketplace.

 

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Image: Kirsten Hepburn

 

A lot of your designs are made out of metal - what drew you to metal as a medium?

I’m very drawn to brass and steel right now because they harken back to the glory days of late midcentury design. But also, there is a great draw in the versatility of the material. It can be thin and flexible, thick and rigid, plated, power-coated or aged. Welded or cut by laser or water jet. It’s also a very strong and relatively inexpensive material. The possibilities are endless.

 

Any advice for people who want to get into design?

Don’t hesitate, do it! Discover what makes you unique, what you have to offer and what you have to say that no one else is saying and then leverage that to your advantage.

 

Do you think your experience working in a furniture store gave you more insight into what people will like?

I actually think that our work as interior designers has given us more insight into what people like. Working through the the design process with clients has been very helpful, seeing how people live, learning what works and what doesn’t. But what has informed us even more is that as interior designers we source a ton of furniture, lighting and decor on a daily basis. Seeing what is missing in the market and what is already out there drives innovation for us.

 

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Image: Dallas Graham

 

What do you think the future of design looks like?

I feel that the future of design is actually impossible to predict right now. Crazy, exciting new technologies are born every day, and any one of them could change forever the way we look at spaces and products. The trick will be to embrace and move with those technologies as they arise, and find ways of integrating them, rather than hiding from them, or pretending that they don’t exist or aren’t important.


Thanks again Andrea, for taking the time to answer our questions.  Your passion for design is so evident and inspiring.  We’re proud to carry M3LD products and help them reach a wider audience.  We can’t wait to see what awesome designs you come up with next!



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