A “no things” policy is a curious paradox for a retailer, but Merri at Home is a sustainable homewares shop that wants you to buy less. “Everything in our store has been hand-picked with joy and purpose in mind. We don’t want to clutter people’s homes,” founder Penny Davies tells Broadsheet. “We focus on pieces that will be used, handed down and tread lightly.”
Davies launched her footwear label Pieds in 2017, and later started selling greeting cards under the name Merri Cards. In late 2021, she decided to merge the two companies and launch Merri at Home, specialising in small-batch and made-to-order items. She stocks everything from handmade soap to colourful sunglass chains and, most recently, tablecloths.
Part of the shop’s core collection, the tablecloths are produced in super-limited numbers – we’re talking only 12 in the current drop and six in the inaugural sell-out collection. Each is one-of-a-kind, hand-sewn from deadstock fabric in Melbourne. “I think it’s really exciting to use fabric we can find a second home for. And the fact we’re not producing any new [materials] is great,” says Davies.
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Designed with checks, subtle stripes and a tiny bit of sparkle, no two pieces are the same – and they’re numbered and priced individually, ranging from $160 to $260. “We want people to just be able to add plates, produce and fresh flowers from the garden for a no-fuss and effortless dinner-party setting,” she says.
Davies has no intention of scaling up and mass-producing her products, and if you’re looking for sale items, Merri at Home isn’t that place. “I’ve always lived quite minimally and been quite focused on not just buying ‘things’, but the last few years I’ve just started to panic with what is going on in the world. We really need to act, and even little actions can make a big difference”, she says.
“We really try to avoid any language like ‘buy now’ or ‘flash sale’. We have a no ‘thing’ policy – things for the sake of things – and instead are focused on everything having a place and purpose in someone’s home and life. We want people to really make a considered purchase from us and to really love what they buy and use it again and again.”
Merri at Home donates five per cent of sales to Bush Heritage Australia to support its work protecting local landscapes and the creatures that live there.
If the current release is sold out, follow Merri at Home on Instagram for future product drops.