Angelo collection: bold choices, affordable prices
By Sally Falk Nancrede
Designer Angelo Surmelis thinks your environment can change your life.
Perhaps he knows. He went from living in his car to starring on TV designing people’s homes.
“How crazy is that?” asked the creative genius behind the angelo:HOME collection (www.angelohome.com).
During his journey from car to star, “My space meant everything,” he said. “It meant that I felt better about myself. It felt I could go out and face the world. That’s why I feel design is important. Your home and how you put it together is important.
“There’s power in the way you live. It makes you stand stronger, it makes you feel like anything is possible.”
Kittle’s Home Furnishings was the first store in the country to carry his collection a year ago, and he was in Indianapolis late last month working with Leslie Ireland and Lynne Schipp of Kittle’s merchandising team installing his second generation.
They created seven color stories: red, yellow, orange, blue, purple, green and gray. Each is anchored by one of Angelo’s signature sofas and teamed with coordinating chairs and ottomans. Don’t look for matching sofa and chair sets. The idea is to mix fabrics within colors.
“My furniture is about adding a sense of fashion to your room,” said Surmelis. “You can add one of my print chairs or storage ottomans and instantly update the rest of your furnishings without spending a lot.”
Keep the major pieces neutral, he said. “Add color and pattern with the accent furniture and accessories. Right now, I am really loving how different shades of lavender can really create a sense of sophistication in a room.”
Before you buy, he gives consumers this hint:
“Move your furniture. You get a better sense of your space and then an even better sense of what you really need. It helps you to see your room in a whole new light.”
What is the one piece of furniture everybody should have?
“A great sofa. Spend the money on a really well-made comfortable sofa that will be the foundation for your room.”
Surmelis is known for affordable furniture. So how can you buy affordable furniture that doesn’t look cheap?
“At the end of the day, nothing is ‘affordable’ unless you love it,” he said. “Buying something just for price alone isn’t the answer. All the elements have to work together—style, comfort and value.”
And his most important home tip for consumers: paint.
“It is the least expensive thing you can do to a room for the biggest design bang. Plus, you’ll see everything you have in a whole new way and you will make better choices when you go out shopping for new furniture.”
Chris Nordhoff, visual director and buyer for Kittle’s, said, “The fabrics Angelo used in the new collection are bold but very cool—lots of bright colors, nice stripes and interesting prints.”
He said the collection appeals to a younger demographic, but it’s also flexible.
“Every piece of angelo:HOME furniture breaks down,” he said. That makes delivery through tight doorways and twisting stairs easier.
“We love the line,” Nordhoff said. “It is a differentiator in our stores. We constantly search for interesting niches for our stores, and this collection is certainly unique.”