8.15.2014

merchant

What started out as a pop-up shop five months ago surrounded by the hip neighborhood of Venice beach has since been conceptualized into an amazing little home furnishings store called Merchant. The owner of the shop is Denise Portmans, originally from London, she moved to the west side of Los Angeles in the mid-eighties where she opened a vintage consignment shop called Gotta Have It, and then merchandised it for over twenty years. Mix-matching colors, fabrics, and styles at the consignment shop became second nature to Denise, so it only made sense the next phase in her career would be to do the same for home goods at Merchant.

Denise's creative expertise enabled her to dream up a space that holds a mix of high style pieces while managing to maintain a warm and inviting atmosphere. Walk through the store today, and you will discover a mix of colorful textiles, vintage macrame, ceramic kitchenware, handmade pillows, vintage movie posters, and an assortment of mid-century furnishings. The idea behind the shop is to present a relaxed and familiar environment for the home shopper, evoking memories in its items that many of our parents or grandparents have once owned. While I was at Merchant Modern I felt as if I was hanging out in a friend's living room (one I'd imagine existing in Marrakesh during the '70s), chatting, and skimming the book covers on the shelves while overhearing I Am The Walrus play in the background.

Denise says she wants to inspire people to have more fun with decorating their homes. "The process is adding and taking away, mixing colors, and allowing the space to evolve." Being that she is an avid traveler, it makes sense that Merchant's home goods are sourced from around the world including Morocco, Turkey, and France, with vintage rugs and tapestries dating back up to one-hundred and fifty years. Aside from the global focus, Merchant Modern also recognizes the importance of embracing local artists and their crafts by collaborating with a new creative from the area every last Friday of the month. For the remainder of August Venice Poster Gallery will be covering Merchant's walls until painter Jessica Alley takes over in September. Other artists throughout the store include Sara Marlowe Hall, Jessica Seaton, and Juniper & Fir. There is something pretty for everyone at Merchant Modern so stop by to shop for your home or to just be inspired by what's inside. 

all photos taken by Andrew Peters