Michelle Meredith's Cool Backyard Design Studio

A stone's throw.... Dallas designer Michelle Meredith built a delightful design studio in the back of her Bluffview area limestone cottage.

Here's the back porch to the original cottage, which faces the studio. Robert Bellamy did the the landscaping, while Meredith's former colleague from their days at Trisha Wilson, Guy Courtney, did the architecture.

And here's the facade of the limestone clad cottage. Michelle promises I can see the inside soon...

The front room of the studio is dominated by a wonderful rustic table from Gardens, where Michelle often serves lunch to clients, or uses as a work surface. I like how she mixed these outdoor chairs (she had cushions made for them) with a pair of wonderfully upholstered armchairs.

These upholstered chairs are from Lisa Luby Ryan's Vintage Living. I think a trellis pattern seems particularly appropriate for a backyard studio. This particular pattern is from Hickory Chair.

For my visit, Michelle and her staff invited me to stay for lunch, a hearty chicken and grape salad from nearby City Cafe To Go.

Table centerpiece. These are frosted pine cones, but don't they look like rosebuds?

The sterling belonged to her mother, and the metal chargers, footed glasses and napkin rings are all made by Jan Barboglio.

...an inherited silver candlestick was made a little more modern by setting it atop a glass pedestal, similar to this one at Wisteria. The beautiful embroidered vintage linen belonged to her mother.

The view through pocket doors into Michelle's office (I shot this before Christmas when the decorations were still up). That chandelier is from Culp Associates.

At left, a peek of the small kitchen area, set up with a wine cooler, ice drawer, and sink.

Inside Michelle's office. I love this beautiful blue-gray rug with the glass top desk from Ikea. Michelle has used several of these glass top tables throughout the studio, which she says are perfect for spreading out samples for clients. I really love the watery blue color of the glass.

The desks are all from Ikea, and the white office chairs are Eames. The fantastic bubble glass table lamp is hand blown by Aaron Tate, and designed by Catherine Miller Accents. Click on the photo to see details.

From left to right, Michelle Meredith; Brittany Taylor, an assistant junior designer; and Lacey Carter, a design intern.

Michelle's biggest investment, she said, wasn't in the furniture but in all-new Apple computers and equipment that allow her office to link up with architects and clients all over the world for her hospitality projects.

See that pretty wallpaper behind Lacey? It's all hand printed by Carolyn Ray.

It's a mermaid pattern! The artist came to the studio and painted two accent walls where Lacey and Brittany work (lucky girls!).

Michelle designed a pair of iron book cases to hold woven project baskets. Each project has its own basket (baskets are from Ikea).

Michelle's design studio shows off her talent for creating vignettes with accessories and books. The books are there, too, she says, to inspire the team as they work. They often flip through the pages for ideas or to show clients.

Inside a project basket.

On the opposite side of the room, through these seeded glass pocket doors lies the garage, which functions also as a sample room. It's where Michelle parks her Porsche every night. Go here if you want to read a good story by Christopher Wynn at FD Luxe (complete with photo of Porsche in garage).

A tool closet converted into a space for textile samples and drawers full of beautiful pieces of glass tile, flooring, and various other examples of finishes.

Old botanicals in the powder room off the garage

...Murano fixture in the powder bath. I always love to see what unexpected lighting designers hang in powder rooms.

...a charming visitor who came in out of the cold to warm himself near the window. This chameleon couldn't have picked a more elegant piece of vintage linen to rest on. To my delight, I was designated to scoop him up and put him out, after he caused a mild panic in the room. Michelle noted that he had already begun to change to the lovely taupe color of the embroidery (leave it to a designer to take note of a detail like that!) and once we put him in the backyard landscaping, he began to change to a shade of green...

....white peonies are my absolute favorite. And she found them in the middle of winter!