Faces: Frances Merrill of Reath Design
We love Frances Merrill of Reath Design because she shows us how interiors can be sophisticated without feeling stuffy and refined but still fun. With bright colors and natural materials, Reath design marries the laid back vibes of Southern California with the traditional structure of The East Coast.
Reath Design, Point Dume Project
Since you've lived on both coasts, we have to ask: What do you miss most about the East Coast, and what's your favorite thing to return to on the West Coast?
Boring, but it all comes down to the weather. I miss fall and fog and thunder, but returning from an icy Christmas holiday to L.A. in January is spectacular; palm trees against blue sky never gets old.
Are there any Californian designers or styles that really inspire you?
We are working on a project up in Berkeley right now and have been pouring over Craftsman and Arts & Crafts Movement books. California Craft can mean such different things in different decades, but I have found that it all works really well together.
Interior design is such a mix of art and science, how do you balance those two notions in your work?
With a lot of behind-the-scenes grunt work by my awesome team. We are constantly trying to make sure that beyond being executed beautifully, our designs are relevant to the way our clients live.
Color is such a big part of Reath Design, is there a color you couldn't live without?
What about color pairings, do you have a favorite two together?
I am constantly being inspired by unusual color combinations. An interesting neutral like camp or army green with a jewel tone can't go wrong.
Speaking of pairings, you're a wife, a mother of two, a businesswoman, and a designer—is your average day a juggle or about planning?
An intense amount of planning that invariably still leads to manic juggling.
What you're favorite time of day?
Thursday morning is trash pick-up on our street, which is my son's favorite time. Our regular frenzied morning routine slows down a little and moves out to the deck so we can wave at the drivers when they go by.
Autumn in a time of transition, how will you morph a bit this Fall?
My life is a constant struggle of trying to stay in the moment, maybe the structured vibe of back to school will help out with this…