Name: Carrie Gifford & Hal Mertz
Location: Los Feliz; Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,500 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years; rented
This is by far one of my favorite tours that I have ever gotten to shoot for Apartment Therapy. Not only is their home gorgeous, open and welcoming, but Carrie and Hal are also some of the most genuinely kind people I've ever met! Owners of Red Cap Cards, Carrie and Hal are a savvy business team with nineteen illustrators designing special greeting cards for them (most recently in the news — Caldecott Medal winner, Jon Klassen and Ezra Jack Keats award winner, Christian Robinson).
Their home is a beautiful illustration in and of itself. Adorned with pieces of vintage bohemia, including woven tapestries and macramé artwork, the space is also peppered with elements of modern design, such as their gorgeous dining chairs. Clean and open, with bursts of fresh flowers here and there, Carrie and Hal's home is a breath of fresh air. Plus—if you stick around long enough, you just might get to sample one of Hal's famous cocktails!
My biggest question for the couple was how they kept their space so tidy with two adults working from a home office and a young daughter in and out of rooms with her toys! They explained that they clean as they play, and showed me some secret toy hiding places. Hint: see those baskets next to the fireplace with the lovely fabric covers? A secret toy basket!
Carrie and Hal's space is a perfect example that you don't necessarily have to own your home to make it your own. Perfect for the three of them (and Bartleby!), they've made a house into an elegant home. Enjoy!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Minimal, Mid Century, Bohemian? We mix it all up.
Inspiration: We love texture and a home that you use. We love a wood table that can take a beating, furniture that you are not afraid to sit on and cozy furry spaces where we can read books to Arlo. A home with lots of love, light and laughter is an inspiring home to us.
Favorite Element: That we use every space in the house. There isn’t a room that we don’t take advantage of.
Biggest Challenge: Keeping a house clean with a child. We manage to do it, but it’s a lot of work.
What Friends Say: That our house is very clean and inviting. They also love stopping by any time after 5pm because they know Hal will be mixing up cocktails.
Biggest Embarrassment: Our poor Staghorn fern (who we call Mr. Diggleby) that I am struggling to keep alive. My Granny had the most amazing green thumb. She had Staghorns that were the size of my kitchen. My thumb is a bit yellow, but I’m working on it.
Proudest DIY: Our backyard. It was something we thought about doing for a while, but once we decided to do it, it was done in a week. Since we are renters, we had reservations about investing in a house that we may not stay in. Yet, it’s always a good decision to invest in your space. So we created a small budget and basically added 1000sft to our cozy house. Now we are outside all the time. It was great choice for us.
Biggest Indulgence: Hal's coffee roasting garage. You guys didn’t see this, but Hal has a 10 pound coffee roaster in there. It’s a pretty amazing set up and we indulge in his delicious coffee every day.
Best Advice: Use your space. We love to entertain our friends and neighbors. We work from home and our house has an open door policy. There is a constant flow of visitors that always bring a ton of love into our home. For us, that’s living.
Dream Sources: Lawson-Fenning. They always have an amazing collection eclectic treasures.
Resources of Note:
• Tall Ceramic Lamp—Marshall Studios Martz Lamp. We are obsessed with Gordon and Jane Martz. We just began our collection!
• Painting about the couch—Souther Salazar
• Painting behind Tipi—Hal Mertz
• Painting—Souther Salazar
• Succulent garden we made
• Ceramics in case—Heath Ceramics
• Dining chairs—Eames
• Fiber Art wall hanging—Is 1950’S Estate piece that I bought from a fiber collector. The artist was from Los Angeles, yet the name is unknown. I’m a huge fan of fiber art and texture.
• Ceramic bowls—Heath Ceramics
• Coffee on counter—Black Coffee
• Ceramics on desk—Adam Silveman from Atwater Pottery and Heath ceramics
• Tall pot—Roger Herman
• Vintage Macrame—gifted to us by a friend
• Lamps—West Elm
• Painting of Elephant—Souther Salazar
• Painting on dresser—Joey Chou
• Dresser—D.I.Y. project
• Dolls on bed—Carrie made. "In fact that's how we started our business. I made dolls that came with hand made cards. Long story short (very short) it was a lot easier to make cards then toys! The doll with the red cap is where we got the name Red Cap Cards."
Thanks, Carrie and Hal!
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(Image credits: Andie Powers)