Home furnishings designer Cheryl Maeder is a very busy fine art photographer and owner of wallcoverings and home furnishings line Gardenhouse, but she has made time to tell us about her inspiring life, her love of vintage furnishings and how she creates some of the best home furnishings around.
From New Jersey to Switzerland through Europe to San Fransisco and now in Florida, Cheryl Maeder is discovering new ways of creating living spaces. Her fine art photography gives her the edge to spotting and transforming furniture and living spaces into works of art.
I love her holistic approach to living and designing – mixing her visual arts experience with her love of vintage furnishings, treating each piece she works on as a work of art. Cheryl’s vintage furnishings evolve, with their own fabrics, paint colors and textures transforming into the best home furnishings they can be.
Here is Cheryl Maeder’s story.
by Cheryl Maeder
I am a fine art photographer and designer of a home furnishings line, Gardenhouse, www.gardenhousedecor.net. It all began in my early 20’s leaving my urban town in New Jersey, USA and moving to Zurich, Switzerland, from the Paramus Shopping Mall of New Jersey to becoming “Heidi” in the Swiss Alps. In Switzerland, I picked up my first camera to record my adventures in a Swiss village and later in Zurich and also where I fell in love with vintage furnishings.
In Europe, I would find furnishings wherever I traveled and then repaint and refinish them. I also immersed myself into the world of photography and began photographing for major European magazines. Later, in San Francisco I met and fell in love with my husband, Gary, an artist, metal sculptor and constant source of inspiration.
I opened a successful advertising and fine art photography studio and worked with some of the countries finest art directors. On weekends, as a way to relax, we would search flea markets, antique stores and meet dealers who had a shared passion for vintage furnishings. Giving the existing treasures my own signature style, I filled our home, studio and our friends’ homes with fabulous finds.
Six years ago, my husband Gary and I packed bags and our dog and moved cross country from San Francisco to West Palm Beach, Florida, where I created Gardenhouse. I wanted to combine my love for photography by showcasing it along with my love for ” vintage gone modern” furnishings. For me art and design are one in the same. Gardenhouse grew and became not only a home furnishings line, but a lifestyle, Gardenhouse Décor. It is about integrating the outdoors and nature into our indoor living spaces as well as bringing indoor elements and furnishings to our outdoor spaces which creates a more holistic approach to living. It has been a gift to make my living doing what I love to do. Both the photography and the furnishings fulfill the different parts of who I am.
I love finding a piece of vintage that has strong character and bones. I love taking the soul of the piece and treating it like a work of art. Each item speaks to me differently. I come up with new ideas as I go along. Each piece of furniture requires its own particular fabric, color and paint finish. I like combining raw finishes with elegant fabrics and visa versa. I love the unpredictable, the unexpected… I love taking something that might seem ordinary and creating it into something extraordinary.
Here are some before and after photos for you of Gardenhouse pieces that I have created….
Gardenhouse has taken on a life of its own from its inception from those last years living in Mill Valley, California, when I came up with the idea. I remember one day I was planting in my garden trying to come up with a name for the home furnishings line. I was thinking of all different names for months on end and then all of a sudden there in the garden it hit me… so simple Gardenhouse. That name, so simply, contained the vision for garden-lifestyle living. In January of this year, I launched Gardenwalls, which are nature-inspired wallcoverings. GardenWalls grew out of my clients’ design request to further marry indoor/outdoor elements. Each of the GardenWalls Series features elements that I photographed in nature, ie., the trees, water, sand, grass and wood grain. I wanted to create Wall Art that would accent a room with a fresh, modern approach www.gardenhousedecor.net/gardenwalls
Gardenhouse has been featured in over 25 leading magazines including InStyle Magazine, Best of Home 2010, Elledecor.com, Architectural Digest, Southern Living & Coastal Living magazines among others.
I hope you enjoyed this article by home furnishings designer Cheryl Maeder who blends living spaces and visual arts to create amazing vintage furnishings and wall coverings. Her best home furnishings can be seen at her site Gardenhouse. Cheryl’s previous articles Desert Landscape – Fine Art Photography can be found here and Further Adventures in Palm Springs here.