On a hillside in the creative enclave of Silver Lake in Los Angeles, California native and designer Heidi Merrick enjoys a relaxed family life that mimics the easygoing, modern silhouettes she creates for her eponymous line of ready-to-wear and home goods.
Her uniquely West Coast ethos is influenced by an idyllic upbringing in Carpentaria (a small oceanside city in southeastern Santa Barbara County) and a freethinking, creative family. (Her father is legendary surfboard shaper Al Merrick, and her mom is an amazing collector and seamstress.) “My family are craftsmen,” says Heidi. “My dad is, bar none, the best shaper, and my mom is so visually talented. Our house was always so beautiful. I grew up with strong aesthetics, so I’m fine doing whatever I want to do.”
And so she does in the 1920s Spanish-style home she shares with her husband, Johnny, and her two adorable kids, Hiver and Alfie. The space that she originally dubbed “Santa Barbara Riviera” has a curved exterior, graceful arches, and Saltillo tile. “I got LASIK after we bought the place and realized, ‘We aren’t on the Riviera; that’s Sunset Boulevard,’” she says, laughing. And like the waves she grew up surfing, her home is an organic, evolving environment. “It’s constantly changing that way,” she says. “My art moves once a month. Or I will say, ‘I can’t live with that anymore. What do we do?’”
Throughout the luminous rooms there is an effortless ease and bohemian vibe shaped by furniture and accents that include flea-market finds, hand-me-downs, and designs by local artists and makers. The mix is more a result of an emotional journey than a trendy mood board or textbook design. “How you deal with the space around you and your own mind and heart reflect each other,” says Heidi. “I let something stay that might not be totally gorgeous to other people, but it’s part of me.”
The entry reflects Heidi’s organic design process. “We had a television there,” she says. “The books hid the wires.” The TV didn’t last, but the haphazard array of art titles stayed, now under a painting from her husband’s bachelor days. “I thought it was a sexy single-dude picture. I love it.”
A glass-and-iron coffee table holds part of Heidi’s library of art and fashion books. “My grandmother was a painter, so she had really beautiful museum books that I still have.” The leather armchairs are by an L.A. designer.
“When I finish a collection, my eye turns to my house,” says Heidi. “The inspiration doesn’t stop at work.” In the living room, texture and form converge to create an idyllic California hangout. The daybed is from a now-shuttered neighborhood shop, and the Moroccan rug was found on One Kings Lane.
Heidi eschews an overly considered vignette. “To me, that’s the wrong way to go about it,” she says. “What we’re doing is bringing happiness and love into our homes. That drives my decisions.” The wooden horse sculpture is from Casa Victoria on Sunset Boulevard, and the sconce, like most of the others in the home, is from her mother-in-law’s antiques shop.