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Angelo Surmelis opens home store in Eastern Columbia building

March 07, 2013|By David A. Keeps

Designer Angelo Surmelis doesn’t want all of your business at Angelo:Home, his new, 1,500-square-foot store in the historic Eastern Columbia building in downtown Los Angeles.

“We're all unique; our homes should be as well,” the veteran of "Clean Sweep" on TLC and "Rate My Space" on HGTV said by email. “You should be shopping at more than one place.”

Some readers may not need to. The Angelo:Home collection includes more than 800 products including furniture, lamps, rugs and bedding in an array of styles, all at affordable prices that include shipping from the store's warehouse to your door. Surmelis' own collection is complemented by vintage finds, also at bargain prices, as well as the work of local artists and artisans.

But the heart of the store is the sensibly scaled Angelo:Home line, pieces such as space-saving, upholstered storage ottomans that start at $69.95. Chandeliers are $99.99 and up, steel and reclaimed wood shelving units are $149.99 and comfy armchairs in scratch- and fade-resistant recycled leather are $299.99. A two-seater Napa Springs outdoor settee is $479.95; indoor sofas are $549.99 (with that delivery included).

“It doesn't make the best business sense, but before we opened the store, we decided that we were OK with breaking even,” Surmelis said. To prove the point, Angelo:Home's one-of-a-kind vintage pieces sell for no more than what you’d expect to pay at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

“Just to show we’re keeping it real,” brand manager Ed Baran said from the store floor, “when we need candles to display in vintage candlesticks, we buy them at Ikea."

Styled with a nod to the collage merchandising seen at Anthropologie, the L.A. store is also designed as a test lab for Angelo:Home, the brand. The company's decor is sold through Costco, Amazon and and also is to be available at in-store boutiques in mass-market furniture retailers nationwide.

“We wanted to create a place filled with inspiration,” Surmelis said of his store design. “Everything in our line coordinates without being cookie-cutter.”

Although you will see nail head-trimmed sofas and $24.99 throw pillows in ethnic prints, ornate detailing is dialed down. “This has less to do with colors, patterns and fabrics, and more to do with personal style,” Surmelis said. “We try to offer classic design but with an updated contemporary spin.”

Although many of his products are manufactured overseas, Surmelis is launching American-made bedding and mattress collections and has shown a commitment to local designers. Among them: Sara Petersen, who produces hand-thrown ceramics; Dave Cheaney, who creates city-themed decoupage coasters, candle holders and letter-shaped signs; and Meyghan Hill, who repurposes end-cuts of marble to create Art Deco-inspired bookends.

“Many of the items we offer are only available in our L.A. store,” Surmelis said. “And we're excited about being able to have a local feel and showcase Los Angeles artisans.” As for the location? “I've wanted to be downtown since I moved to L.A. over 20 years ago from Chicago, and the Eastern Columbia was one of the first places I came to visit,” Surmelis said. “I love the energy of the city. Downtown was a no-brainer.”

Apparently. On March 14, Kristan Cunningham of HGTV’s "Design on a Dime" fame, opens Hammer & Spear at 255 S. Sante Fe Ave., in the downtown L.A. Arts District. The store describes itself as a (commence eye rolling) “boutique of curated treasures.”

The Angelo:Home store is at 847 S. Broadway, Los Angeles.

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