For our new series “Objects of Affection,” ELLE Decor is asking designers and others from an array of fields to tell us about an item in their personal space that is bringing them comfort and solace as they stay home in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. (And here’s what’s keeping the ELLE Decor team happy at home.)
With her background in textile design, including a stint at the Thai company Jim Thompson, it’s hardly surprising that Frances Merrill has become known for her vivid color sense and her love of texture. A native New Yorker, she moved to Los Angeles in 2001; in 2009, she founded her interior design firm Reath, where she creates warm, lived-in homes for her many residential clients. As she told ED last year when discussing a Griffith Park house she created for a young, energetic family: “So much of the work we do with people is figuring out how to make it feel like it could only be their home.” When it comes to staying put in her own residence, these days Merrill is finding happiness in an object that embodies both travel and Mother Nature.
A Vase from Puerto Vallarta
“We bought this vase at a farmers’ market in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a few years ago. Having flowers in the house makes us feel not quite so cooped up. On one of our neighborhood walks, I found a patch of Matilija poppies growing in an empty lot at the end of our street—I have been eagerly waiting for them to bloom. All of Los Angeles is majorly blooming at the moment, and it feels like a gift and a reminder that spring always comes, even in this scary time.” —Frances Merrill, Reath Design
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