The biggest surprise of the new Pasadena store De-Cor isn't its location, a few miles east of Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Sur La Table and the rest of Home Design Central in the city's popular Old Town. Nor is it De-Cor's sheer size, which feels larger than of that of those cross-town shopping destinations. Nor is it De-Cor's pricing, which seems quite reasonable for pillows, poufs and bed covers with the detail and heart of handcrafted work.
No, the biggest surprise is the space itself: smartly modern and sleek in a good way, with a polished concrete floor and sandblasted wood ceiling beams that showcase the vibrantly colored, pattern-rich designs in a thoroughly loft-like environment. The warehouse that had been home to Craftsman-heavy architectural salvage company has been stripped down and skylighted into a modern, 7,500-square-foot emporium of imports from the Indian subcontinent -- bits southern Asia style reinterpreted for contemporary Southern California homes.
Owner Deepali Pareek credited the store's look to designer Sat Garg of the Santa Monica architecture and interiors firm AkarStudios. Pareek opened De-Cor in December but promptly suffered the freak windstorm that downed trees across the region -- and blew out skylights in her new business, forcing it to close temporarily. After reopening, De-Cor stayed under a lot of people's radars, including ours.