Design Theory | Linda Meyers

Half of the husband-and-wife team that is Wary Meyers, on how everything from the graphics of the 1970s to her collection of scratch-and-sniff stickers drives her creativity and design ethos.

“It’s finding the balance between tamed and wild.”


Q. Your home is incredible and filled with some iconic pieces. Would you say the interior of your home reflects your design ethos?

A. Absolutely! It has a balance of sophistication and whimsy, high and low, classic and modern. For instance, hanging the opulent crystal chandelier above the Saarinen table, or placing a beautiful fresh flower in a vintage stretched 7Up bottle.

Everywhere in our house is like this—if there’s a nice table with pretty things on it, there’s a giant inflatable banana in the periphery. We don’t take ourselves, or decorating, too seriously. Everything should have a sense of humor.

Q. Can you tell us about your first collection and when you first became interested in collecting?

A. Ever since I stuck a puffy scratch-and-sniff sticker on my Tuesday Taylor Vacation House. So, basically, my entire life.

When I was little, I collected stickers: puffy stickers, scratch-and-sniff, rainbows, horses, puppies, funny sayings—stickers were huge in the ’80s. Also, I loved dolls, and while I had many Barbies, probably my favorite doll packaging was for a Swiss doll named Sasha. It was just a simple tube with a repeated “Sasha doll” in Helvetica down the side. Of course, I also loved Barbie’s various swashy-type treatments and graphics. Again, another balance between tamed and wild.

Q. How have your collections influenced your designs for Wary Meyers?

A. We do a lot of reading, looking through old magazines and books, going to flea markets, searching eBay. Most everything I collect, apart from minerals and a recent binge of Japanese vinyl Smart Dolls, is from the ’70s, which happens to be my favorite decade; the graphics and aesthetics and carefree optimism of that decade greatly influence me and my work.

Q. How do color and scent drive your designs?

A. They usually start out independent of each other; for instance, I knew I wanted to have a red graphic on our liquid soap bottle, and that became Watermelon. For our Maui Wowie Lip Balm, that started with just the name, which is another way we work. The scent became a tropical-vacation-in-Hawaii vibe with the color of a vivid pink daiquiri. Our Forest Primeval candle came from needing a “pine” candle to balance our smoky Mainely Manly candle. But usually I suppose it’s aesthetics first, looking at our collections as a whole.

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