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Conversations with the Inspiring Linda Merrill

Today we’d like to introduce you to Linda Merrill.

Linda is an award-winning interior designer based in Massachusetts. Her passion for creating beautiful spaces began early on when she was allowed to select the finish color of her first “big girl” bedroom set at the age of six. Linda received a Certificate in Decorative Arts from the prestigious Boston Architectural College in 2002 and opened her own firm shortly thereafter. In 2012 Linda was awarded the IFDA New England/Design New England Magazine Showcase award for Best Living Space for her Back Bay Penthouse project.

Her blog: Surroundings: offers her unique views on wide-ranging aspects of the built environment from architecture, photographic tours, product reviews, design inspirations, special events and set decor. She was a moderator of a popular podcast series called: “The Skirted Roundtable” from 2009-2013 and her
the first book HOW TO START A HOME BASED INTERIOR DESIGN BUSINESS, published by Taylor Trade Publishing, was released in May 2015.

Linda has appeared on Martha Stewart’s Sirius Radio Channel; NECN’s “New England Dream House”; WHDH Television’s “Room for Improvement”; WBZ-TV’s “Sundays With Liz” and been featured in CAPE COD MAGAZINE, CAPE COD HOME, HOME REMODELERS magazine, THE BOSTON GLOBE Sunday Magazine, THE WASHINGTON POST, NEW ENGLAND HOME MAGAZINE, SOUTH SHORE LIVING MAGAZINE and THE PATRIOT LEDGER.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I started my business in 2002 and things went slowly but steadily. Unfortunately, just as I think I was hitting a good level of business where I was outsourcing some of my tasks, the 2008 recession came along. It was very painful to the interior design industry and my business suffered along with so many others. I think my biggest obstacle/mistake was not having a mentor or mentors in place to help me through the challenges of setting up and running a business, where to invest money, etc. Someone who understood my industry and wasn’t just being a cheerleader, but would challenge my decision making. An entrepreneur can never have too much money set aside to pull from when the right opportunity comes along, but also to pull you through when a down turn comes.

what should we know about Linda Merrill Decorative Surroundings? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am a residential interior designer and have worked with clients mostly along the Massachusetts coast from the North Shore to the tip of Cape Cod. I also do long-distance e-design projects as well. I specialize in warm and inviting interiors, with well coordinated color palettes, traditional New England, but never stuffy. I am comfortable doing classic spaces as well as more contemporary homes as well. I’m proud of establishing warm relationships with clients and I think my ability to mix old with new, modern with classic sets me apart.

Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
My mother for her classic elegance. The designer, Mary McDonald for her bold sassiness. The designer, Lauren Liess for her soulful interiors and ability to juggle a million things plus 5 kids. My friend and fellow designer, Teresa Burnett, for her devotion to friends and family.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Michael J. Lee Photography, Paul Blackmore

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