Von Hemert Interiors

2011-07-28 17:37:14
Von Hemert Interiors
345 N. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA, 92651
949.494.6551
1595 Newport Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA, 92627
949.642.2050
23649 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA, 90505
310.373.0442
vonhemertinteriors.com

carrie@vonhemertinteriors.com

Skill, passion, and time are essential in the creation of anything celebrated for exclusive quality and international distinction. The venerable von Hemert Interiors, regarded by some as the most high-end furniture store in California, is a classic example.

In 1920, somewhere in the vicinity of Los Angeles’ glamorous Sunset Boulevard, German immigrant Anna von Hemert and her husband, Fred Martin, opened an interior design studio and furniture store especially admired for uncommonly luxurious brocades, velvets, and tapestries.

Anna and Fred’s passion for creating lovely living spaces was contagious: by the mid-1940s, Anna’s son, Theodore, who’d apprenticed in New York under several respected interior designers, had joined the company and was designing movie sets as well as model homes in Beverly Hills.

High-end drapery and upholstery fabrics were nearly impossible to get during WWII, but somehow, Anna got them. Her reputation for impeccable taste in upscale custom furniture and interior design grew, as did her business. She, Fred, and Theodore moved the operation to a spot near the city’s famous Farmers Market. It thrived into the early 1950s, when the family and the store moved to Laguna Beach.

The von Hemert legacy continued. Theodore’s son, Barry, had such intense passion for the business that he traveled frequently to Italy to hand-select gorgeously high-end classic furniture for the store’s increasingly distinguished clientele. In the late 1970s, he oversaw the opening of two more stores, in Costa Mesa and Torrance. His wife, Sue, developed her own flair for accessorizing, adding custom floral arrangements and color to the stores’ displays.

By then, von Hemert Interiors had ties with the finest furniture manufacturers in America and beyond. Customers knew the exceptional furniture they’d find at von Hemert was exclusive – no other store in California had anything like it.

In 1988, the first-born of the family’s fourth generation, Mickey, joined Barry on furniture-buying trips to Europe, learning from his father skills that had been compounded through three generations before him: “He taught me to think beyond terms of ‘Is it pretty? Do I think I can sell it?’ I learned to look at furniture the way the best buyers in Europe do. I study each piece, consider its scale, proportions, depth of its finish; if I think it can be improved with subtle changes, I work with the manufacturers to make it happen,” Mickey says.

His sister Carrie joined the business in 1993 after earning an interior design degree, and sister Kelly, who had a business degree, came on in 1994. Barry and Sue semi-retired in 1998. Today, Mickey is President of von Hemert Interiors, Carrie is Vice President and Marketing Director, and Kelly is the Chief Financial Officer.

As might be expected, von Hemert Interiors had become renowned among professional interior designers.

“I think one major reason our company is still here after more than 90 years, even in an economic climate that has hit this industry hard, is our interior design staff,” Carrie von Hemert observes. “These are all experienced talents who have been in the profession for at least half a lifetime, and some have been with us for nearly 30 years.”

Another aspect that sets von Hemert Interiors apart among very high-end stores: Most of the time, when customers see something they like, they can take it home that day. Above all, they like that everything at von Hemert Interiors’ ever-changing showroom is so beautifully superior to the norm – the unique result of four generations of passion and expertise.


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