A certain area of Melrose Avenue long ago cemented its reputation as an interior design district, but a newcomer is helping to bring fresh energy to the street farther east.
Consort is the creation of Mat Sanders and Brandon Quattrone, New York City transplants who started putting down L.A. roots three years ago. Sanders, also editor at large at MyDomaine.com, and Quattrone, an architect by training who was on staff at Shop Architects and joined SoulCycle's development group as the indoor cycling company expanded westward, quickly gained prominent entertainment industry clients such as Jessica Alba and Jimmy Kimmel.
"Everything kind of blew up being out here," Sanders said, so the couple decided to "launch a store and bring what we were doing to life." Consort's own lively mark on Melrose in an understated midcentury building opened last month between Highland and La Brea avenues, near other furnishing destinations including Lawson-Fenning and Galerie Half.
"Here is where we're letting our imaginations run wild," Sanders explained about the former art gallery, where now "we present everything we love in the home space." Marie Goble, their first L.A. home interior design client, wound up partnering with Sanders and Quattrone on the retail component. In addition to brick-and-mortar, the firm is expanding its e-commerce operation.
The items they're drawn to and their approach to composing living and working spaces all "definitely have a little bit of an edge." There's the irreverent corner "library" area, for instance, filled with books, art and hand sculptures posed in an impolite gesture that the duo assembled in the middle of the night.
Sanders described the corner as "a product of our insanity," pointing to the eclectic combination that includes geometric art by Kris Tamburello, a marbleized patterned surfboard from Wax Surf, Caris Reid paintings and photographs by Andrew Arthur.
Other zones are calmer without sacrificing fun, such as the bedroom setup with a throw-pillow-loaded bed that's from Consort's custom furnishings line. Welcoming sofas by L.A. interior designer and style guru Estee Stanley are on display, along with choice vintage pieces, notably a pair of Marco Zanuso chairs covered in blush fabric. "We love Italian Modernism, and a little bit of futurism," Sanders said.
Speaking of blush, this year's Pantone colors confirm Consort's already zeitgeist-targeted sensibility. Pale blue and pink shades are seen throughout the boutique, from walls to pillows to upholstery, but that was already part of the plan. "We've done so much blush and light blue in the last year," Goble added.
Other makers Sanders, Quattrone and Goble are proud to show off include Australian artist Shilo Engelbrecht's textiles made from digitized images of her canvases, as well as Pletz lighting, a Brooklyn-based company that caught the Consort team's eye at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. Posh, modern floor coverings come from Woven Accents.
The dining room area is well-suited to smaller-scale gift shopping, since there's a wide selection of tabletop wares, ranging from locally handmade Lux/Eros studded ceramics to Canvas Home basics; the idea is "to layer fun, beautiful stuff, and mix high and low," Sanders said.
The shop is an extension of Sanders and Quattrone's enthusiasm for the city's creative spirit and camaraderie. "L.A. is this land of opportunity," Sanders said. "Everyone we wanted to work with has amazingly come through." (They still have clients in New York too.)
As for the general vicinity and their neighbors, Nickey Kehoe on Beverly Boulevard and Lawson-Fenning have already been go-to resources, so the Consort crew is thrilled to add its own aesthetic point of view to the community.
"This is a fantastic adjacency, and we'll only feed each other," Sanders said.
Consort, 6918 Melrose Avenue; (323) 930-5688.