Q&A | Frances Merrill

It was pretty much a no-brainer that I would have a major girl-crush on Frances Merrill of the interior design firm Reath Design. She's worked for two of my favorite places in L.A.: Commune Design (The Ace Hotel in Palm Springs was pretty much Frances' life for a while there) and Lost & Found. It's always interesting to meet someone in Los Angeles who brings a decidedly East Coast flavor to the West Coast—Bean totes and all—while still maintaining an honest sense of place. She, like many entrepreneurs,  has an insatiable spirit for adventure, and moved to L.A. on a whim when she found out a friend was driving across the country. Merrill started her own firm three years ago, and just last month moved her office from her home garage to a nearby Silver Lake HQ (mostly to make more room for her two little ones). I can't state enough how much I love her style, both her rustic yet comfortable interiors, and the fact that she wears a vintage down vest with patent leather loafers. I sprinkled in a few photos of some Reath interiors below, I'm sure you'll agree: They're pretty great.
If not in Los Angeles, I would live in...New York or Maine.

My dream holiday would be to...Morocco or Ireland.

My current obsessions are...

Food:  Love love The Canal House Cookbooks, their braised escarole with white beans is the ultimate comfort food.

Music: My 3 year old is currently obsessed with The Beatles...it is hard to play anything else around our house these days.

Fashion: My husband just gave me the square monogram ring from Mannin.

Retail Stores:  Always and forever Lost & Found.  And no matter what time we land in Portland, we always stop at the 24-hour L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine. I love L.L. Bean at 2 a.m.!

I channel my childhood self when I...read in the car.

The fictional characters I most relate to are...Miss Marple, I really want to be a detective.  And Wendy from Peter Pan, I like a gang of boys around.

If I had to be outdoors all day I would...cook a big meal over an open fire.  There is a photo in one of the Canal House Cookbooks of one of the authors making paella over an open fire in what looks like a 4-foot pan and stirring it with a wooden spoon the size of an oar. Preparing it and the ensuing party seems like a pretty good way to spend a day.

My favorite quality in a man is...curiosity.

My favorite quality in a woman is...independence.

I'm terrified of...not being able to take care of my kids. And rats, I am really afraid of rats...
My dream car is a...Jeep Wagoneer. 

 My cocktail of choice is...an Old Fashioned.

The beauty product of choice is...blush.

My friends and I like to...cook, eat, and talk about what we are cooking and eating.

If I could go back in time for one decade it would be...England in the late 1800's for the houses, and Malibu in the 1960s for the fun.

As a teenager I was totally into...making mixes, quote books and collages, patching my jeans, sneaking out, smoking, playing cards.

I tend to splurge on...groceries, sweaters and kid's clothes.

Sharing a closet with my husband (literally)...is what makes me have Tomboy Style.


Joy said…
Nice interview. Her home looks amazing.
Anonymous said…
I love Commune!! She's definitely east meets west, love it.
Alexandra said…
Another great interview. And beautiful interiors.

Heidi said…
Lovely post. Thanks for sharing.
Laurel Canyon said…
Maybe my favorite TS post in like, forever. Kind of getting crushy envy over the interiors sprinkled with the great shot of white jeans which are super seasonally appropriate with a down vest in LA. Also that tomboy hair, did you notice always being friends with girls with that hair? They are so cool. LOVE.
jill yee said…
She has great style! I want to check out this 24hr l.l.bean store
Unknown said…
I think east coast style is quintessential tom boy style! Love her answers, especially the Jeep Wagoneer.
Anonymous said…
Sometimes you can just tell a person is a style icon in the making and I'd say she is one of those people.
sweetbugfarm said…
Those shoes! Please, I love them!!

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