Christmas in February: New Work from James Merrell!


The only thrill that rivals happening upon a new photographer to love? Discovering that one of your favourite photographers has added more work to his portfolio! I’ve done my fair share of drooling over James Merrell, so imagine my delight when I learned via Humble Happenings that Merrell has given us a smorgasbord of gorgeous new images to sink our teeth into. Merrell beautifully captures color and pattern in a way that is at once glamorous and graceful, never garish.


Don’t these wallpapers seem to have grown organically on the wall? Through another photographer’s lens they could easily commandeer the shot, but Merrell manages to respect their presence and personality without allowing them to overwhelm–even in the photo below, in which the wallpaper covers the ceiling! I would love to know who the stylist was for these vignettes…


The colors in this scene captivate me. Yellows and corals, magentas and aquas, all set against a clean brilliant white: they make me want to catch a plane to the Caribbean! Of course, that’s not saying much given that everything makes me want to go on vacation these days…but you know
what I mean.


Merrell is my undisputed master of creating that ‘Haunted Granny’ look. It’s a sense of being suspended in time, of objects gathered over decades and then suddenly abandoned. Details like a door left open, a bike haphazardly tossed aside, paint faded as though from exposure to the sun. The result is an interior that feels at once considered and casual.


Even more Haunted Granny: this setting reminds me of the scary stories I used to torture myself with when I was a kid. I guarantee that if you were to look over your shoulder and out the window, you’d see a ghostly face staring back at you. Though the fright would be worth it if it meant having a chair that cool!


What Haunted Granny’s roost would be complete without hordes of knickknacks and ephemera threatening to take over the house? Somehow everything seems worthy of collecting when placed under a glass dome.


The amazing thing about Merrell’s photographs is that they always leave you wanting more. I love the industrial details of this bathroom: the laboratory stool, the chemist’s cabinet, the spare pendant light. But don’t you want to know what the tub and toilet look like?


Same story here. A gorgeous kitchen island has me envying all that counter space, and a gas stove on wheels? Be still my heart! Yet so much has been left to the imagination too. What about the fridge and the sink? The room through the doorway on the left? It’s the mark of a great photographer when an image not only satisfies with what you do see, but inspires with what you don’t.


And of course who could forget Rita Konig’s parlour as featured in Domino? Merrell recorded it so beautifully, and it relieves me to know that Domino will live on not only in the hearts of readers, but in the work of the visionary photographers who brought us such pleasure each month.


All images courtesy of James Merrell.


19 Responses to “Christmas in February: New Work from James Merrell!”

  1. Luphia Says:

    fabulous shades indeed! i am particularly in love with that blue dinning room, i thought i’d prefer pale blues but I LOVE that shade!

  2. josephine Says:

    “haunted granny” – i love it!

  3. milly {elephants & redwoods} Says:

    I have an obsession with British Flags…so cool!

  4. milly {elephants & redwoods} Says:

    I have an obsession with British Flags…so cool!

  5. milly {elephants & redwoods} Says:

    I have an obsession with British Flags…so cool!

  6. christina Says:

    Well said, Anne! Wonderful photographs. I especially love the two with the wallpaper. So striking, yet not overbearing. And that room with the white walls and the bright colors, I was just thinking that it reminds me of Rita Konig’s place. 🙂

  7. cupcakes and cashmere Says:

    that first image, by far, is my fav. i love everything about it and would dream to host a formal cocktail party there.

  8. FRANCO Says:

    wow I love this, my fave is pic#1
    you a very nice blog,
    I would love to interchange links, let me know 😀

  9. Joanna Says:

    The third and fourth images are just WOW.

  10. Jen Says:

    I am really feeling that style. What color were the chairs in that dining room? Hmmm I feel inspired!

  11. Kristin @ Contented Me Says:

    those shots are wonderful. i’ll be tagging this post for sure!

  12. dwellings and decor Says:

    Oh how exciting! That wallpaper is stunning!

  13. Rachel Says:

    I love your description of “Haunted Granny”!!! LOL – but it’s so fitting and perfectly descriptive!
    I love that enty shot with the aqua walls, black and white floors, and red door. That’s greatness.
    By the way, I would upholster your grandmother’s chair in a solid, like a mohair or velvet. That way you could move it around with you and it would pretty much go with anything. I also love to see interesting chairs treated as sculptural forms. But that’s just me… a mod geometric print would be fun too!

  14. Jamie Says:

    oh I love all the collections of art and objects- the arranged construction of chaos and clutter – beautiful!

  15. callie grayson Says:

    FANTASTIC! post.
    James Merrell is at the top of my list of favorite photographers!!!
    he is absolutely amazing, the way he uses the light!! with that door ajar, makes me swoon!
    thanks for sharing his new images! now off to his site to swoon some more.

  16. Michelle Says:

    Sweet Union Jack lounger! That thing is awesome!

  17. The Deco Detective Says:

    Thanks for letting us know Anne! I’m off to have a look.

  18. The Deco Detective Says:

    …Ok, I’ve looked, and there was no way I to avoid blogging these… I’ve linked to you. Thank you my dear =)

  19. robin pulsifer Says:

    i’m oooing and aaaahing at every picture. there are truly so many talented people out there on this planet from designers, artists and the photographers that help us see them all here in blogland! 🙂

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