Near & Far Aid Designer Q&A Series: t h e m a r a i s
While you didn’t begin your career in design, you are clearly both incredibly talented! Tell us a bit about how/why you decided to make the switch from life in corporate America to collaborate together in the interior design world.
First of all, thank you so much for paying such a nice compliment. It means the world to us. To answer your question, in a nutshell, we both started families soon after leaving our former positions as a lawyer and as a c-suite executive. We had different journeys in the years proceeding and after our babies’ births, but our postpartum search was identical. As forever changed women, we wanted a leading role in the day to day responsibilities for our children, but we also wanted a career. The never ending debacle. No doubt, we were looking for more than a hobby, a friend or busy work. We both wanted to build something. Today, that is exactly what we are doing together. Our vision stretches far. Hopefully, our process gives like-minded women a forum for empathy, camaraderie and inspiration.
How would you describe your design esthetic?
The Marais is a casual, collected and seriously cool lifestyle brand. Curating a collection of home furnishings that blends clean lines of Scandinavian design with natural beauties reminiscent of Bali — a perfect balance.
It’s not easy to seamlessly mix so many different industrial materials and create such a soothing environment. What are some strategies you use for making it work?
We believe in contrast – mixing soft with bold materials. The juxtaposition of linen against metal or woods, like teak with concrete, create a balance that we love and feel appeals to the likes of many tastes.
How have your travels influenced your design?
While our travels have taken us to different destinations, we are both fixated on the organic woods of places like Bali and Tulum, and the clean and uncluttered aesthetic of Denmark. Elissia has been particularly influenced by the play of bold blues found in the south of France, and Casey has more of a natural aesthetic reminiscent of California, her home state.
What’s behind the brand name The Marais? What is your vision for your line of home furnishings?
We love the idea of an eclectic collection, and when thought of our mixed bag our products, our first thought was Le Maraisin Paris. This neighborhood is known for its hip boutiques, designer hotels and art galleries – ranging from casual to swanky.
Our goal is to curate and create a unique collection from sources that are not readily available in the US – ultimately, creating an ideal living space – it’s a balance that keeps the home casual, but is also poised and collected.
Anything else you want to tell us before the House Tour?
Yes — we are launching May 8! Hopefully, our shop on our Web site www.themarais.com will be live by the time you read this. Follow us on Instagram @maraisdesign for our crazy adventures in starting up a business. Thanks for your support!