Comfort and content live within smiles.
Such is the experience of Los Angeles’ Merchant, a quaint, curious but familiar store housed in the city’s Venice neighborhood. Denise Portmans, its firecracker owner, graciously allowed Merchant to serve as the backdrop for our recent shoot. To boot, she offered up her impeccable styling finesse blending our world with hers perfectly. Afterward, she took the time to share with us some of her inspiration and purpose in curating such a thoughtful and eclectic assortment of home items.
“I source mainly vintage… mid-century furniture, art, rugs and ceramics, though I also carry a handful of modern local designers’ jewelry, macramé, porcelain and wood sculptures.”
Her most treasured items are “unusual but unique, beautiful and a little different from the average store. That said, I’m mainly drawn to texture and color.”
“My mum was an amazing artist and potter. She was a huge inspiration and had a big impact on my taste and style today. She possessed a great eye and found beauty in everything.”
Her favorite place for inspiration? Topanga. “It’s where I like to go, to get away… it makes me feel free and inspired.” And what item makes her happiest? Rugs – Kilims, Beni Ourains, and Boucherouites.
“The only thing I wish I had kept — and regret selling — is a beautiful 1970’s Don Freedman signed tapestry – a jute macramé hand-woven wall hanging.” Denise may inspire her customers a little too much. But to be sure, you’ll leave Merchant with a smile and a promise of coming back.
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3002 Lincoln Boulevard Santa Monica, CA 90405
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