Just call San Diego native Summer Meza a Jill-of-all-trades. She’s a furniture maker and collector extraordinaire, and her company, MODERNHAUS, showcases the best of vintage-meets-modern designs alongside contemporary pieces made from natural materials. After ditching her bank cubicle to indulge her creative pursuits, she began her design career within a strict midcentury-modern rubric, eventually branching out after realizing such tight specifications allowed for little creativity. Beyond filling her collection with sleek aesthetics, she aims for each piece to serve a purpose. “What good is a piece if it’s beautiful but you can’t really use it?” she says. “[My designs] are made for livable spaces.” Meza’s current favorite, which she describes as a “dream come to life,” is her Memory of a Circle chair, which puts comfort first and is offered in a variety of colors. That knack for functional and fashionable design is currently being put to the test in her new 1960 midcentury-modern Mt. Helix home, which she touts as the ultimate “green” restoration project. Also on the docket is her capsule wardrobe collection, which is comprised of chic, architectural, Japanese-inspired pieces that she’s toying with offering to the public. Here, Meza sounds off on the products that keep her creative wheels turning.
1. Arc Drop Earrings “These are ear sculptures. I love functional art, especially because I’m out of wall space!” $219, at anniecostellobrown.com
2. Big Sur Candle “I crave this scent. Who doesn’t want to be reminded of Big Sur?” $55, by Norden Goods at Moniker General, nordengoods.com
3. Custom Weaving Commission “Janelle Pietrzak’s [textile] works are inspired by the natural California landscape. She incorporates her own handmade ceramics into some pieces.” $350-$10,000, at allroadsdesign.com
4. Olive Burl Cubist Coffee Table “Milo Baughman is one of my favorite midcentury furniture lines—minimalist silhouettes with that gorgeous, ornate olive burl.” $1,250, by Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin, at modernhausdesign.com
5. Memory of a Circle Chair “This chair is comfortable, minimal and looks good everywhere.” $750, at modernhausdesign.com