Los Angeles designer Frances Merrill infuses a restored period residence with whimsy and personality while staying true to its history
Think for a moment of your typical home for a young family. Chances are a 1914 Craftsman—painstakingly restored to its original splendor, from the wall trim down to the lighting fixtures—wasn’t the first image that popped into your head, but that’s just what made one Berkeley, California, project so appealing to Los Angeles designer Frances Merrill, principal of Reath Design.
“The previous owners had done a remodel that was very faithful to the era,” she says. “Every detail was really beautifully done. But it was sort of serious for a young family; it could look imposing and formal. The goal became figuring out how to make it lighter without changing the look of the house.”