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Secrets of… Mead Quin

By Riley McDermid

Designer Mead Quin.

Peninsula design favorite Mead Quin says she fell in love with the area the first time she did an interior design project here. After studying fine arts at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Quin had originally pursued a career as a painter with a focus on portraiture. But after working for two fantastic local interior designers, Grant Gibson and Martha Angus, Quin says she knew she needed to refocus her life’s work.

Design mantra: My background in art is what drives my vision for space and interiors … each room is a blank canvas, artfully pulled together for cohesion, beauty and function. Less is more. My goal in designing space is to create cohesive, beautiful, functional spaces. With every single thing we add to a particular space, we ask ourselves is it necessary for completion and cohesion? What purpose does it serve? Will it enhance the overall design?

Local style or design heroes: Takashi Yanai. [I] consider him one of my new design heroes. He and his firm, EYRC Architects, have a strong consideration for environment, the context for new buildings, what the land is calling for in a structure, how a building can enhance landscape and how our environment shapes our wellbeing. They are currently working on residential projects on the Peninsula.

Ideal day on the Peninsula: Start at​ Mademoiselle Colette​ for a perfect cappuccino and pastry. The Parisian-inspired shop is a Menlo Park treasure … beautifully displayed treats and simple, chic décor transport you to another world in seconds. Next, I would stop over for a little shopping at​ Jenni Kayne. Her thoughtfully curated home accessories and apparel are simple, elegant and luxurious. [Then] I would head over to lunch at​ Bird Dog. Their thoughtful, tasteful and beautiful approach to food is something to experience! The delicious flavors are coupled with simple and artful presentation. It would end with some time on the coast, particularly Half Moon Bay. The easy breezy coastal town is a quick trip from anywhere on the Peninsula and a simple way to escape the hustle and bustle of life. An afternoon/evening there, walking the beautiful beaches, would finish my day perfectly.

What makes the Peninsula different or unique for you: I love the quality of life in the Peninsula, from the near perfect climate to all the space you don’t get in an urban center. I breathe a sigh of relief just driving down the 280 from SF, looking at the surrounding rolling hills. I think what makes it unique, in addition to the tech centers that  have an exciting energy about them, is how each town — Atherton, Palo Alto, Belmont, Portola Valley — each has its own unique character and charm. Unlike some suburbs that feel largely uniform, the towns of the Peninsula feel very different in landscape and population. I love it and I’m always discovering new gems during my time there.

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