March 23, 2015
Q&A with David Meitus of STUDIUM
David Meitus, founder of fabulous tile and mosaics company STUDIUM, answers our questions on all things tile.
by New York Spaces
NYS: When and why did you found STUDIUM?
David Meitus of STUDIUM: I founded STUDIUM in 1996. It represented a career change for me; prior to that I was involved in my family match business. But I've been interested in architecture and interior design since I can remember, and always pursued it as an enthusiast and a collector. So starting a showroom was the culmination of a longtime passion.
NYS: What are some of the unique products you offer?
David Meitus of STUDIUM: I think we are always at the forefront when it comes to discovering new materials and vendors, and we can get new product on the floor quickly.
For example, we introduced a collection of contemporary silkscreened waterproof aluminum panels. We've just put a luxe new collection, Woodstone, on display-this is natural stone with a 'leather' finish that evokes the look of wood. We also have a terrific selection of waterjet mosaics that combine marble and glass, a gorgeous pairing that just wasn't possible before current waterjet technology.
But the thing we offer that might be most unique is our service-our ability to work with clients on custom mosaics may be our greatest strength.
NYS: We heard a rumor you recently expanded! What can we expect from your spacious new A&D showroom?
David Meitus of STUDIUM: We expanded to focus on all types of surface materials. We now offer fine wood flooring for the first time. In addition we have more space to showcase new waterjet and mosaic designs, as well as a much larger selection of porcelains. About 35% of the product on the floor right now is brand new. STUDIUM is more of a destination than ever.
NYS: How do you choose which collections to showcase?
David Meitus of STUDIUM: It's always an editing process. So many designers and companies come to us to represent their lines. We look at how a new product fits into our larger collection, and what we're hearing from our clients. At the end of the day it always comes down to integrity-not every design is for me personally, but it wouldn't be at STUDIUM if I couldn't appreciate its aesthetic and vouch for its quality.
NYS: Why did you decide to introduce a wood flooring collection-a first for STUDIUM?
David Meitus of STUDIUM: It was a natural extension of our offerings: Clients come to STUDIUM to select surface materials. It's rare that someone is doing their entire house or apartment in one material, but when clients are picking out their bathroom and kitchen surface materials, chances are they are also choosing flooring for living and dining rooms.
For wood to make sense for us, it had to be unusual. We tried to pick unique finishes and were very selective with our final picks. We are only showing a few designs, but they're fabulous! One of my favorites is a modern herringbone pattern with a subtle silver wash.
NYS: What are some of the new trends you are seeing in the industry?
David Meitus of STUDIUM: Combining stone with glass or metal is a trend-we have several mosaics on the floor now with brass, steel, and even gold accents. Stone paired with glass yields endless options.
Another trend is the enormous growth in stocked designs, what we sometimes call "ready-to-wear." Intricate mosaics and waterjet patterns no longer need to be ordered as custom, and it's been a real game-changer.
NYS: What do you think the draw of "ready to wear" stocked mosaics are to the average homeowner?
David Meitus of STUDIUM: The draw has always been value and lead time: Stocked designs are well-priced and available immediately. What's changed is the caliber of design. Stocked designs no longer begin and end with the standard basketweave; many designs look custom and choosing a stocked item is no longer a compromise in style. While we love our "couture" commissions, this collection has given our clients a much simpler alternative to the custom mosaic. It's been very positively received.
NYS: What do you see designers gravitating to?
David Meitus of STUDIUM: Neutral colors are still what most designers and clients want, so we try to offer a rich array of product in basic palettes and classic designs. Grey paired with white is very popular now, and we've enjoyed assembling an extensive assortment within this scheme.
When it comes to baths, we also see clients prioritizing budgets in similar ways. The master bath always gets the most attention, and designers tend to be more daring when it comes to choosing product for the powder room. We've worked on so many tiny powder rooms with really bold designs: It's a good opportunity to create a "jewel box" of a space.
NYS: Do you work do custom designs often? What is one of the most memorable custom requests you have worked on?
David Meitus of STUDIUM: Yes! All the time, it's one of our specialties. For one repeat client, avid wine
collectors, we meticulously replicated one of their favorite vintages, including the label, in mosaic for the floor of their wine cellar.
NYS: If you could choose a single surface material to use in your home, what would it be and why?
David Meitus of STUDIUM: I got into this business for my love of mosaics, and that would still be my choice. A mosaic in stone or glass, or both, is a classic, elegant, and endlessly versatile medium. I love to create mosaics inspired by other pursuits: travel, art, architecture, literature-or, like our clients, wine!
NYS: Do you have a particular stone, tile, mosaic, or wood surface featured in your home today?
David Meitus of STUDIUM: Probably the most striking example is the floor of our summer pool house. We were so inspired by a trip to India that we adapted designs from the Taj Mahal. It's become known as 'The India Room.'
NYS: What do you see for the future of STUDIUM?
David Meitus of STUDIUM: Good health and success! We strive to continue to offer a curated collection of surface materials with the best customer service available.