“If I can allow myself to really think about everything that’s possible, I don’t miss an opportunity to provide the owners with really interesting, very livable interiors, and to use our team’s artistic capabilities to their best.”
The daughter of a naval officer and the youngest of five siblings, Marguerite V. Rodgers was born in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1953. Her family moved from home to home during Meg’s formative years until finally settling in Maine at age 11, where Meg was as influenced by her father’s ingenuity as by her mother’s appreciation for beautiful things.
Fascinated by composition and color, materials and craft, Meg arrived in Philadelphia as a college freshman in 1972 and soon began to explore media ranging from fibers to wood. By her sophomore year, Meg was designing and crafting commissioned furniture for clients. By the end of her junior year she had launched a long-term independent study program, using eighteenth century construction techniques and the help of friends to build a barn on her parents’ property in Maine.
Meg’s talent for design and her growing aptitude for construction led to a series of gallery, boutique, and residential commissions following her graduation from The University of the Arts. Frequently collaborating with other artists, Meg built the furnishings in her own woodworking shop while working toward a certificate in interior design.
In 1993, Meg took on the design of Striped Bass, a nationally recognized establishment about which Esquire magazine restaurant critic John Mariani would later say, “showed Philadelphia what was possible at the high end.” Striped Bass was designated Restaurant of the Year by Esquire, an honor that would, ten years later, be associated with Lacroix at The Rittenhouse, another Rodgers commission.
Meanwhile, Meg’s work for residential clients was winning accolades of its own. Designing the interiors of private homes, apartments, and condominiums in Boston, Connecticut, Philadelphia, Manhattan, and the Bahamas, Meg earned the respect and the loyalty of clients who appreciated the firm’s steadfast commitment to listening well, designing artfully, and seeing all stages of each installation through.
Today, Meg continues to work on projects that range from private residences and condominiums to hotels and restaurants. Located in a former warehouse building in Philadelphia, Marguerite Rodgers’ office is a warm, inspired place. As you open the door to the offices chances are you’ll be greeted by a cat; you’ll also likely hear laughter. You’ll see the concept boards that trace the history of projects and ideas. You’ll see artifacts and objects that reflect the firm’s work on private clubs, hotels, condominiums, residential spaces within schools and universities, high-end restaurants, and private residences.
The team of 15 people who work with Meg in the Studio share her commitment to craft, her ability to listen, and her pleasure in responding to and satisfying client sensibilities. They are professionals, interior designers and architects, people with a flair for color, texture, and materials who bring a sense of the possible to every project, approaching all commissions with a refreshing depth of imagination. They are original thinkers who pay close attention to the kind of details that set interiors, custom furniture, cabinetry and accessories apart.
INDULGE IN GREAT DESIGN: GORGEOUS GUEST ROOMS
DERING HALL AT HOUSING WORKS’ DESIGN ON A DIME BENEFIT
ROOMS WITH A VIEW
DH SHOPPING WITH MARGUERITE RODGERS
FEATURE PROJECT: MARGUERITE RODGERS
- What’s your go-to classic color choice?
- Shades of brown, cream, green and yellow always seem to find their way in with punches of reds, plum and orange.
- Is there a hotel that’s most inspired your work while traveling?
- Ca’Nigra Lagoon Resort, Venice Italy / Villa Feltrenelli, Lake Garda, Italy / La Sirenuse, Positano, Italy / Park Hyatt, Washington, DC
- Which pieces of technology do you use to document design inspiration?
- For me personally it isn’t technology but my journals, sketchbooks and words.
- Where do you go to spot new style?
- World Events – I believe that current events inform our culture and design reflects the times.
- Do you have a favorite restaurant (for the design and the food, of course)?
- The Paul and Noma in Copenhagen.
- What’s your favorite small museum in the world?
- Sir John Soane’s Museum in London / Wharton Esherick Museum in Pennsylvania / Robin Boyd House in Melbourne, Australia
- How do you usually start your weekend?
- Luxurious PJ’s and hanging out with my family.
- Who or what is your biggest design influence?
- Travel and Movies, Furniture Masters – Esherick / Frank / Ruhlmann / The Viennese Secessionist movement at the turn of the century.
- How do you keep it all together?
- My sketchbook and Outlook calendar.
- Design a garden: groomed or freestyle?
- I have a cabin in the woods so natural ferns, moss, evergreens and secret paths with moments of surprise.