Angelo Surmelis

Let’s just get this out right at the beginning…. I LOVE all things HOME. I have since I was a kid. At six, I started dragging furniture around my parent’s small Chicago apartment in order to change things up, since leaning and pushing on the walls didn’t seem to work. At nine, I was using my paper-route money to buy wallpaper, molding and a saw. That later would become a chair rail and mallard duck wallpaper in my bedroom. Don’t ask. It was my country-kitchen phase — in my bedroom.

A design geek was born.

It’s safe to say that I have never stopped designing, building, wallpapering, and all other sorts of home doings since. I truly believe that the way you feel about your home and your space can change your life. I’ve seen it happen for countless families across the country and I’ve seen it in my own life. 

Along the way in my orbit of design, I spent many years toiling as a mostly out of work actor in New York and L.A. - I wanted to be a part of storytelling, but not getting cast was getting in the way. I was designing apartments for my friends and their friends, all for free because "Who would pay for this?" while waiting tables. A close friend in the TV world suggested I do a show about it. I resisted for about two years because I really wanted to tell stories in theater, television, or film. He and his wife wore me down. Since then, I’ve done more than 10 series and specials on networks like TLC, LIFETIME, STYLE & HGTV, and have appeared on The TODAY Show, GMA, CNN, TYRA. My education background in fine art and set building served me well in this new world, and I discovered that design is another version of storytelling. 

One of the things I love about what I do, is being able to assist others to reimagine their lives through design. It's not about decorating, or trends, but real life style that is an authentic representation of your unique perspective. Helping people discover that, and tell their own story in their home, is one of my all time favorite goose bump moments.

Creativity is not an exact science, so don't believe for a minute that you can't create. There is incredible power in the way we live.

Starting angelo:HOME has been a dream of mine since the wall-leaning days. It combines everything I love and what I am privileged to do. Designing the collections is a passion project from concept to market.

My family and I immigrated to this country when I was about six, from Greece. Designing our home was not at the top of the list. The basics were. But I always believed that making our home, comfortable and the best reflection of our own style didn't have to be a luxury. So, when creating pieces for angelo:HOME I think about the way they will truly be used in every day life, and a lot about budget. 

Thank you for reading and looking around. And yes, the picture of me at the top of this page was taken at HOBBITON. In New Zealand, where the actual sets from the Lord of the Rings movies still exist. Because I'm not only a design geek--I'm a geek. 

Also, wallpaper has made a BIG comeback. I should have kept that extra roll of mallard ducks!

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