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Robert A. McGraw Architect is changing the face of von Hemert Interiors’ 55-year-old store in Laguna Beach. Prominently located on North Coast Highway and Cliff Drive, the remodeled store will feature a classic Tuscan style, echoing the design of many homes along the Orange County coastline.

Robert McGraw collaborated with Barry, Mickey, Carrie and Kelly von Hemert—the members of the von Hemert Interiors’ family-owned business—to create a new presence for the store that would reflect the style of von Hemert Interiors’ sophisticated clientele.

“The simple, yet elegant style of Tuscan inspired architecture will provide a functional and aesthetically pleasing showcase for the imported and domestic home furnishings and accessories offered at von Hemert Interiors,” said Project Architect Robert McGraw. The structure will also complement the Robert McGraw designed craftsman style building at the Rohrer Gallery across the street.


Robert McGraw’s design solution for the von Hemert Interiors remodel will maintain the same footprint and height of the former structure, yet the 4,102-square-foot, one level store will provide a stronger street presence through a faux second level.

The store’s exterior will be composed of natural stone, Stucco plaster and a Mediterranean clay tile roof. Visitors will enter the store through 8 x 10-foot custom mahogany and frosted glass doors adorned with decorative wrought iron grill work and surrounded by custom original tile from commissioned artist Omar Torres. Two large display windows on each side of the doors and smaller windows in the faux second level will be framed with matching wood. A trellis over each of the outlying display windows will provide symmetry around the central grand entrance.

Bob Kahle of Luminosity Lighting Design in Laguna Beach is providing the project’s interior lighting design. Through the mixed use of energy efficient fluorescent and low voltage spot lighting, Luminosity has created a glare-free and impactful look throughout the showroom. In addition, the two large picture box windows on Pacific Coast Highway will draw attention to the von Hemert’s varying designs during the day and night.

“Pay close attention at night, as the lighting in each window box will slowly change to showcase the furniture display differently throughout the evening,” said Kahle. “The ‘light show’ will begin at the same sunset level throughout the year, thus highlighting the showroom differently every half hour, while drawing unique interest to the display every night.”

A new Kalwall skylight will also be built to provide natural light to offset the artificial lighting. Interior design will be provided by von Hemert’s own interior design staff.

“The remodel of our Laguna Beach store will create a more pleasant and inspirational environment for our customers, so we can continue to provide exceptional customer service and an exquisite selection of one of a kind, hand crafted domestic and European home furnishings and accessories,” said Barry von Hemert.

A fourth generation, family owned business, von Hemert Interior’s has maintained a presence in Laguna Beach for over 60 years when the first Laguna Beach store on Thalia Street was opened by Barry’s father Ted von Hemert .

“My family has grown up around the Laguna Beach store, and we are here to stay,” said Barry von Hemert. “We look forward to serving our clientele in a new store better suited to their unique styles and tastes.”

About Robert McGraw Architects

Robert A. McGraw Architects is an award winning design firm that offers a full-spectrum of architectural design services for both commercial and residential projects. Founded in 1987 and located in Laguna Beach, the firm’s services include remodeling, historic restorations and original designs. A Laguna Beach resident, McGraw has served on the Heritage Committee, the Design Review Board of Adjustment of Laguna Beach and has functioned as the Architecture Advisory Consultant for Three Arch Bay, a private community in South Laguna. McGraw has won several awards for his design throughout Southern California. More information about the company is available online at” href=””> .

About von Hemert Interiors

As a leading family-owned home furnishings and interior design business for almost 90 years, von Hemert Interiors has built their foundation on the importance of building close relationships with clients and transforming their interiors into beautiful homes. von Hemert Interiors has created a niche for themselves by providing their clients with complimentary interior design services and carrying an extensive selection of beautiful home furnishings. The product mix in each store is always changing to provide customers with new design solutions. von Hemert’s three showrooms in Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa and the South Bay display some of these famous brand names: Stickley, Baker, Century, Karges, Hickory Chair, Hickory White, Hancock & Moore, Maitland-Smith, Theodore Alexander, and the Charles 9th Earl Spencer’s Althorp Living History collection to name a few. More information about the company is available online at” href=””> .