Blu Dot opens first California store in Los Angeles

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Blu Dot fans have long browsed the Minneapolis studio’s witty e-commerce site, which includes this shipping explanation: ‘Please note, delivery drivers do not walk dogs, cook meals or take off their shirts.’

But on Thursday in L.A., the modern home furnishings company gave shoppers another option, opening the first Blu Dot store in California. Why L.A.? ‘We like it here,’ co-founder Maurice Blanks said during my morning scouting run.


‘L.A. is our second-largest market,’ explained co-founder John Christakos. ‘There is a laid-back quality to our furniture that suits Los Angeles.’

Certainly, the success of the first Blu Dot store, opened nearly three years ago in SoHo, played a role. ‘After opening the New York store, sales in all of our existing retailers went up,’ Christakos said.

Seeing the pieces in person apparently sells customers on the designs. The 3,500-square-foot showroom on Melrose Avenue west of Fairfax Avenue, pictured here, is a handsome, light-filled space for the 150-piece collection, including the retro One Night Stand sleeper sofa in the window ($1,799) and the Eamesian bent plywood Buttercup chair ($799). Also of note: the bright red Desk 51, featuring an ingenious keyboard tray ($699), and the guacamole-hued Nook bed frame and upholstered headboard ($1,499), shown at right.

To complement the playful line, the store will also carry quirky accessories such as one-of-a-kind bird feeders and watches. Mass-produced items include graphic pillow covers from 10 Swedish Designers, denim iPad and iPod covers from Oregon-based MS&Co., baskets and soft sheepskin throws. Some items will be available for cash and carry; other pieces will be delivered, with lead time of about 10 days.

8000 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 761-7212.


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-- Lisa Boone