WHEN TALENTED PROFESSIONALS TALK, WE LISTEN.
ADMIT IT, YOU HAVE AN INQUIRING MIND, AND YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE TEAM DESIGNING YOUR DREAM HOME. WE UNDERSTAND THE INCLINATION. SO WE DECIDED TO BRING YOU SHOP TALK-CONVERSATIONS WITH THE TALENTED PROS DESIGNING, BUILDING, & OUTFITTING YOUR HOMES..
Merike Mighell, Owner & Principal Designer
Kodu Design’s owner and Principal Interior Designer, Merike Mighell, strives for order, clarity, and beauty in her work. Creating functional, interesting spaces that combine timeless forms with inviting textures and honest materials is her signature. Inspiration comes from many sources, including a storied setting in the Pacific Northwest and her Nordic roots. During the 30-plus years that she has practiced as a registered Interior Designer, she has built a significant body of work that includes residential, multi-family, commercial, and hospitality projects.
What services do you offer?
My company, Kodu Design LLC, offers Interior Design Consultation for existing and preconstruction homes, residential developments, businesses, and hotels. We take you from initial design concept through to the completion of construction with services that can include: Programming, Schematic Design, Feasibility Studies, Research and Development, Concept Development, 3D Visualization, Working Drawings / Contract Documentation, Outline Materials Specifications, Construction Contract Administration, Furniture Procurement, and Coordination. We work in collaboration with owners to create, improve, alter, and/or renovate interior spaces.
What geographic areas do you serve?
I enjoy working with like-minded clients in, or accessible from, Bend and/or Eugene, Oregon. I continue to welcome projects and unique opportunities from further afield as well, such as Portland, OR, Vancouver, BC, and Seattle, WA.
Do you have any special certifications?
I have a BAA degree from Toronto Metropolitan University located in Ontario, Canada. I am a registered Interior Designer with NCIDQ Certification; this is my industry’s recognized indicator of proficiency in interior design principles across the USA and Canada and signals a designer’s commitment to the profession. I am a member of the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), IIDA (International Interior Design Association), and the IDC (Interior Designers of Canada).
What are your superpowers?
Space planning is one of my superpowers. I improve the function of a space and can offer contemporary logical solutions to complex challenges.
I recognize that interiors need to be a cohesive part of a whole, and that there needs to be a connection to the architecture, the site, the surroundings, and to the client.
Tell us about a favorite project:
One of my favorite client families involved me in the rebuilding process of their 11,000-square-foot home after it was damaged in a fire. It has been an honor to have worked with this family on residential and multi-family development projects in Vancouver since 2008.
I reviewed “in-progress” plans for this fashionable family and immediately knew we had to expand and improve all walk-in closets and ensuite bathrooms. I added furniture to the plans so that my clients could better judge and comment on the intended use of space. I visually connected the formal living room to a writing and meditation area through Liaigre-inspired bookcase-lined arches flanking a two-sided fireplace. A better entry experience was created from the garage, and a room was designated for ping pong, a favorite sport of the head of the family. Staff bedrooms were altered to be more functional and to have more privacy.
After the rebuild was complete, I was invited back to continue to work on the interiors. Existing pieces of art and furniture, both historic and modern, were incorporated with new art, furniture, and accessories and carefully choreographed to provide a solid foundation for the layering that happens over generations. A good interior can be compared to a well-tailored “little black dress.” A quality piece will long outlast trends and has the potential to be accessorized in many ways.
Tell us about a favorite experience:
Early in my career I had the pleasure of meeting and working with one of Canada’s foremost architects, Arthur Erikson. Arthur Erickson served for many years on the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Oregon, and he was the first Canadian to receive the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects in 1986. We met while working on the conversion of an office building, of his design, to a multi-family residential condominium building with an additional four or five stories, also to be of his design. The firm that I worked for, BBA Design, was hired to design the interiors and we were to run everything past Arthur. When it was time to review the interior finishes, I nervously described the two finishes schemes to Arthur. One featured walnut, and the other scheme featured white oak. Arthur asked many, many questions about the wood, and then told me with a smile: “I don’t like wood.” He wasn’t joking.
We came back with the idea to add an all-white scheme called “Arthur’s Choice.” The result was pared-back and elegant, a subtle layering of tones and textures, a beauty born of simplicity that would shift the focus of the suites to the views of Stanley Park over Vancouver’s Coal Harbour.
The project’s white-on-white Sales and Presentation Centre with its white-on-white display suite won a “Best of Canada” design award.
What is the difference between good design and great design?
My favorite quotation in answer to this question (and I don’t know whom to attribute it to) is: “Good design tries to impress; great design gets out of the way.”
Do you have a favorite recreational activity?
I enjoy swimming. There is something about the rhythmic side-to-side movement that can induce an almost meditative state.
What places in the world do you find most inspirational?
I love the Pacific Northwest. I love where we live. It inspires, refreshes and recharges. I feel as if I have not explored it enough. I can’t get my fill of the art, the places, the history, the stories, and the legends. It is both majestic and it is mysterious.
What is sure to make you laugh?
It doesn’t take much. I love to laugh, and I love to be with people I can laugh with. My husband’s sharp wit and crazy antics never disappoint.