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sneak peek: gwendolyn of dear hancock

by Amy Azzarito


When Gwendolyn Mason and Earnest Merritt started Dear Hancock last year, they had to choose between dining space and work space. It was no contest. The couple put two drawing tables on the ends of their dining room table, and in the evenings, when Earnest returns home from his job as a woodworker and an art teacher, they paint right across from each other. They’ve lived in this Los Angeles bungalow for five years, and since meeting in grad school at Cal Arts, the two have made art and design an important part of their relationship. Thanks, Gwendolyn and Earnest! And many thanks to Stephen Chiu for the lovely photographs!Amy A.

The layout of our house is very open. Our fireplace, garden and back yard with a lemon tree, various succulents and palm trees are favorite aspects of our home. When we started Dear Hancock, we transformed our California bungalow into a functional creative work space. As artists, we are comfortable living in an environment that functions both as a studio and as a living space. We also enjoy being able to spend most of the year outside on our backyard patio equipped with cafe lights and a farm table. Our Frenchies are happy, too, because they get to hang out in the yard and bask in the sun as they please.

Image above: Wooden table and fiberglass shell chairs by Modernica. My dream wedding gift from my awesome sister Holly! Painting on the wall: “This Particular Clenched and Floating” by Earnest Merritt. Tulips and green hydrangea are on the table.


Image above: My inspiration board is constantly changing and growing, but some of the mainstays are my painting and illustration heroes: David Hockney, Mary Blair, and Feodor Rojankovsky. Also pictured are the witty contemporary sculptors Rachel Harrison and Isa Genzken. All of the cards that Earnest and I used to leave for each other at our Cal Art’s studios (where our romance for paper correspondence began) are permanent fixtures on my inspiration board.


Image above: We transformed our California bungalow into a functional creative work space by placing drawing tables at either end of our dining room table and by converting our sunroom into our storage room. Earnest works full time as a woodworker and art teacher, but when he is home or on break, we paint across from one another. Before we started our company, Earnest and I hand-painted cards for family and friends for the holidays. Our company allows us to recreate this fun experience all year round.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Gwendolyn’s home tour after the jump!


Image above: Detail of Gwendolyn’s inspiration board.


Image above: A crystal for strength in creativity, figurines and shark book ends from the Rose Bowl Flea market and books. I am obsessed with these Capodimonte figurines, mostly because the same handsome face is used for both the woman and the man figure.


Image above: Shelves in the dining room displaying the original paintings for our cards and stationery.


Image above: House incense burner from A + R and miniature vintage trees from my mom. I am not a huge fan of incense, so I burn sage leaves instead. The smoke comes out of the little chimney.


Image above: Zootsie on the crazy quilt.


Image above: All three dogs from left to right: Zootsie, D.O.G. and Tadpole. Couch from DWR. Rug from Potted.


Image above: Vegetables from our garden and a Nathalie Lete plate in the window. I am in love with all of her work and have a growing collection of her hand-painted plates from Anthropologie.


Image above: Painting outside in the afternoon in January.

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