What makes a purchase “worth it”? The answer is different for everybody, so we’re asking some of the coolest, most shopping-savvy people we know—from small-business owners to designers, artists, and actors—to tell us the story behind one of their most prized possessions.
Growing up in a family of artists, Tezza Barton was exposed to every imaginable medium of creativity. Her early interests lay in music and fashion design, but her focus shifted to photography as a college student at the University of Utah. As she learned to master the camera, she developed a distinct visual style that has helped her amass over a million Instagram followers and become an authority on social media aesthetics.
The success of Tezza’s account led to the launch of a self-titled photo and video editing app, which her husband Cole Herrmann developed and has been downloaded by over 10 million users. The duo also collaborates on collage kits, apparel, and a line of sunglasses called Lello. “Accessories are the perfect beginning or end to an outfit,” Tezza shares. “You don’t have to wear cool clothes if you know how to accessorize and I think that applies to your home, as well.”
Tezza and Cole operate their businesses and raise their baby daughter Coco in the Venice, California house they purchased in 2020. The previous owner had renovated it flawlessly, with plaster walls, light wood floors, and seamless doors inspired by Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen, so the couple didn’t need to make any updates. A lush, secluded backyard with a pool completes the zen appeal. “We call it ‘The Spa’ because it just has that feel,” Tezza explains. “It has a mix of Mexico, Japan, and Belgium vibes.”
Tezza’s most cherished furnishing is a large Verellen Theo Sofa upholstered in cream-colored bouclé wool. Its rounded back and curved edges offer the soft, organic silhouette Tezza was looking for, while its sustainably sourced lumber frame, recycled metal coils, and plant-based foam cushions are in line with her eco-friendly values. Most importantly, it comfortably accommodates nine people at once. “We ordered it extra deep,” she says. “If we didn’t, it wouldn’t be nearly as inviting. It’s something you want to sit on all day.”
For six months, Tezza and Cole lived in their new house with nothing but a card table because they wanted to carefully curate the space with custom-crafted investment items. The big, cozy couch finally arrived from Verellen’s High Point, North Carolina headquarters in mid-2021. It was the first delivery, aside from a slew of Marc Phillips rugs, that allowed the couple to start really settling in and making the place their own.
Tezza’s treasured sofa serves as the centerpiece of the living room, which also features a vintage Caprani floor lamp, velvet armchairs, and a blob-shaped marble coffee table that she designed herself and had custom-made in Salt Lake City. Each element contributes to the luxurious, neutral look of the space, but the couch is still the star. “Right when you walk in, it’s the first thing that you see in front of our big window,” she adds. “It sets the tone for the entire house and that’s why it’s my favorite piece.”