Sausalito-based Serena & Lily's first store in Southern California is a lot like Los Angeles -- relaxed, colorful and contemporary.
Anchored by a pair of long, tall islands in the back of the showroom, the sun-drenched space, opening Wednesday, has the feel of a retail store with a serious side for design professionals. All are welcome. Chief brand and innovation officer Aaron Mutscheller says he views the islands as collaborative work spaces where you might find interior designer "Nathan Turner at one end and a homeowner with a stroller on the other."
The showroom is stocked with Serena & Lily's colorful, graphic bedding, textiles, wallpaper, and rug collections, as well as selected furnishings, lighting and accessories. And its location in the West Hollywood Design District means it is within walking distance of other design stores such as Design Within Reach, Restoration Hardware and Arteriors, among others.
The store eschews a cash and carry business model in favor of creating an environment where customers can sample goods in person, place an order in the store (or online at home) and receive the items two days later.
With assistance from on-site design advisers, shoppers can view headboards, sit in the latest bistro chairs, touch pillows and throws and experiment with more than 300 fabric swatches -- along with wallpaper and rug samples -- on one of the islands nearby.
Asked to describe Serena & Lily's aesthetic, Mutscheller doesn't hesitate: "Fresh," he responds. "Our furnishings work well with everything from Midcentury Modern to Spanish Colonial. That's why it made sense for us to open here -- the design community is so strong and diverse."
For co-founder Serena Dugan, the designs move beyond the variety represented by Southern California architecture and design. "I think our brand translates as flexible," says Dugan. "When people use the term 'eclectic,' what they are really describing is a personal and cultivated home."
Serena & Lily Los Angeles, Design Shop, 8422 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. www.serenaandlily.com