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detail driven
Story by Susan O'Connor, Photo by Dero Sanford

When interior designer MG Meyering strikes a pose in front of the camera, he is a natural. It is obvious he has been there before. And when he walks into a room, his eye for proportion and layout are also second nature.

A diverse career history in modeling and retail merchandising in areas such as men’s suits, upholstery, case goods, carpeting and bedding, as well as retail management, have contributed to his current vocation as a designer.

A native of Colorado Springs, Meyering attended high school at the Air Force Academy there. Teachers suggested acting to the young Meyering, but it was a modeling cold call that changed his life. He began a successful three-year stint in that business, modeling in Los Angeles, Dallas, Phoenix and Colorado. He also had a day job at Macy’s in Denver, where he quickly found success.

“I made a lot of money at the time, and bought my first house at 19,” he said. “But working as a model and also in retail showed me early on what a dog-eat-dog corporate business can be like. I was forced to grow up exponentially. In that business, you are forced with decisions and choices that most people don’t face until their mid-30s.”

But, a fork in the road came at age 22 in the form of an offer to move to New York and model for The Ford Agency. Macy’s also offered a promotion at the time.

“Even though I had worked and traveled quite a bit at that point in my life, I was really reluctant about going to New York,” he explained. “Maybe I thought I was too young or thought I might just lose part of myself. I decided I’d have a more stable future with Macy’s.”

The choice was providential. Promoted at 22 to run the furniture departments at Macy’s, Meyering was one of the youngest executives in the company.
“I have always felt that I made the right decision,” he said. “I can look back and see the direction that God has taken my life through the years.”

For Meyering, modeling was the teacher of important life lessons.

“I was very shy, introverted growing up,” he said. “Modeling really helped me learn to speak in front of people and retail taught me good business practices and how to be a team player.”

Sixteen years ago, he launched MGM Designs in Denver, a business that not only focused on design, but renovation and restoration. But, as Meyering and his then-wife sought to raise their children in a simpler lifestyle, a decision was made to move the business and family to Fayetteville, home to extended family.
In 2005, Meyering relocated to Jonesboro and opened his business, Interiors by Design.

Success in the design business, Meyering pointed out, is all about the details, along with skill, common sense and a gut instinct about fashion and what works and what doesn’t.

“At times, it feels like (and picture this) you need to have every grain of dirt in your front yard labeled with its own name and ID number, and you have to bank all that information and be ready to pull it up for any client at any moment. It’s a good thing I’m a detail-oriented person,” he said with a laugh.

If you could pick a city/culture that influences your design most, what would it be? I am a traditionalist at heart, and I love the nostalgic place we call home here. But when it comes to design, I’d have to say New York. New York literally brings the rest of the world to its feet as far as any design — fashion or interior — goes. As far as my personal taste, I love combining the very old with a new idea. Sustainability issues are also very important to me.

Do you think we will continue to see the use of animal prints in the home? As long as there is a love of nature, we will see design evoking animals and their habitat. In essence, animal prints are timeless. They have been a part of design for literally thousands of years. It is the method in which they are conveyed in fashion that makes them a popular trend or temporary fad.

Are there trends of a particular decade that are coming back in vogue? Mid-century furniture design and accessories are and will continue to be an important choice for the young and upwardly mobile part of society. New construction is already showing this. What I am seeing is a huge interest in Hollywood Regency/Hollywood Echo, and I try to put that wherever it will work appropriately if my clients are open to it. It is very bold, beautiful and makes a powerful, personal statement.

Where are the best places to find cool and inexpensive accessories? Never an accessories store. Go to places where you’ll find one-of-a-kind pieces, but be willing to shop and wait for them. Cheap is not necessarily good either and the piece has got to call out to your heart. If you know what your heart is saying to you, you’ll know the piece when you see it.

What is the most random design request you’ve ever had? A creek running through a foyer. We made it happen.

What is your favorite room in the house to re-vamp? The kitchen. It is my personal favorite room. It is where it all starts and the clean-up ends. It recaps memories. It’s the heart of the home. I recently designed a French chateau where a fireplace in the kitchen was big enough to walk into. How cool is that?

What is the biggest mistake people make when accessorizing their homes? Buying accessories in sets, not having a clear décor direction. Rooms should reflect the people who live there. It should never look like the home section of Spiegel catalog.

What do you love most about your work? Why the people, of course! I think what I like to hear the most is, “You’re the expert, you know who we are, go ahead and do your magic.”