A Day With Interior Designer Stephanie Meyer

Santa Rosa interior designer Stephanie Meyer partners with homeowners, “helping them edit their vision out into a space that supports what they’re trying to do, how they’re trying to live.”

Stephanie Meyer never forgets a space. She can, for instance, still vividly recall an exhibit she visited at London’s Millennium Dome…in 2000. “It was almost like a garden at night. Warm incandescent lights, a lot of mirrors, and foliage you could walk through. I think about that space a lot; it’s stayed with me,” she says. Inspired by that exhibit, along with other incredible spaces she witnessed growing up, Meyer followed her passion into the field of interior design.

After earning her master’s degree, she landed a position with a large architectural firm in Orlando, Florida.

During her decade there, Meyer met and married her husband, moved to Sonoma County, and served as an interior designer on a pair of once-in-a-lifetime projects: the Legoland Castle Hotel in Carlsbad and the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles. She loved the creativity but yearned to put down roots. And so, in 2018, Meyer departed to found her own firm, Aesthete Vagabond Co (AVCO Design) — its name a nod to her continent-hopping upbringing as the child of Jamaican immigrants, born in Southern California and raised in Okinawa, Japan, and East Anglia in the United Kingdom.

Through AVCO Design, Meyer partners with homeowners and business owners, “helping them edit their vision out into a space that supports what they’re trying to do, how they’re trying to live.” Since March, Meyer has been sheltering-in-place in Santa Rosa with her husband, Andrew, and their 20-month-old son.

7 a.m.

Maverick, our toddler, wakes up and lets us know we need to retrieve him — by singing. He has little phrases he takes from different things: “ABC,” “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” We then head to Trione-Annadel State Park to get some fresh air and burn off toddler energy. This is actually where Andrew and I had our first date, so it’s fun to see the park through different seasons of life and different seasons of the year.

8:30 a.m.

Back home, we find our FEED Sonoma CSA bin on our stoop. We get Green Star Farm eggs every week; they’re basically the backbone of our breakfast. I fry some up, along with sweet potatoes.

9:30 a.m.

Maverick is in the nursery, where Andrew is working; he also runs his own business. I sit down at the dining table and start checking emails. I’m texting with clients in Coffey Park who are rebuilding from the fires. They want to go sit on anything they’re gonna buy, so we’re organizing our sit-test day. These clients lost a lot of heirlooms, so going out and buying things is not easy. We’re going through the process of rebuilding and trying to recapture the essence of the home they had, so we’re working through that little by little.

11 a.m.

I make a quick salad lunch and eat with Andrew and Maverick, then leave to meet a client to visit antique shops in Petaluma. We’re looking for chairs to complement the slab table we created for their dining room. Because we’re trying to balance really organic lines, we need a really simple line, like a midcentury modern kind of chair. We check different spots, debate which chairs are appropriate. Then I drive to Sonoma County Shade Company for a drapery coordination meeting. We’re working on bespoke drapes in an embroidered linen. I am so stoked to see them hanging soon!

2:30 p.m.

Head home and get Maverick down for a nap. Once he’s asleep, I sit down and check if a contract was signed, do monthly invoicing. Then I start some catalog work for my online shop. It’s my little place to share things that I think are special, buy-well-once kind of things that are made ethically.

4:45 p.m.

Maverick wakes up; he and Andrew go for a bike ride. We had rotisserie chicken last night; I saved the bones and get those set in the instant pot for broth. Then I head to the post office to mail some orders and drop by Goguette Bread: we just love the owners; they’re so spirited. I pick up sablés and a loaf of pain d’athlète. Back home, the broth is ready. We got beets in our CSA box, so we’re having borscht for dinner! I learned about borscht when we visited friends in Graeagle. It’s super-simple — literally chicken stock, celery, carrots, and onions. We put sour cream and dill on top, and that’s it!

6:30 p.m.

We sit down to eat and talk about the day. Afterward, we read “Bear on a Bike.” It’s Maverick’s favorite; we read it at least once a day. He’s obsessed with bikes right now.

7:30 p.m.

I start Maverick’s bedtime routine. We take a shower, get dressed, brush our teeth, and read “Goodnight, Moon.” Sometimes he throws a tantrum because he doesn’t want to go to bed, and sometimes he just goes to bed, singing his way to sleep. Afterward, I sit with Andrew and we watch something on the iPad. With the earlier sunsets, by 9 we’re sleeping, too!

For information on Meyers’s design work, visit AVCO Design, avcodesign. com