Angelo Surmelis


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 to make the room bigger didn’t seem to work.

At nine, I was using my paper route money (that was a thing) to buy wallpaper, wood molding, and a saw. All that later would become a walnut stained wooden chair rail, and mallard duck wallpaper in my small bedroom redo. Don’t ask. It was my country-kitchen phase — in my bedroom.

A design geek was born.

There's nothing like the feeling of watching someone see what's possible in their space. When I was working in design/makeover television on TLC and HGTV, helping folks remake their rooms on a budget, one of the biggest questions we would alway get from viewers was, "Why do people always cry during the reveal? It's just a pretty room." 

What viewers never saw were the conversations that took place after a room reveal, when the cameras were off. We heard time and time again how hopeful the makeover made people feel--not just about the room/home, but about their whole life. The tears were ones of possibility. The *pretty room* was just a catalyst.

Helping folks make their home the best reflection of who they are, is one of the biggest joys in my life. It still gives me goose bump moments when I can walk someone into a newly revamped room for the first time. I usually cry first.

We moved to Illinois, from Greece when I was about six. Around the same time I started dragging the furniture around. It was the typical immigrant story; very little money, parents worked long hours in the restaurant/service industry. Dreaming of being in the elite world of design was not on the vision board. Getting a reliable job was. But I wanted to create stuff, to make people's surroundings as beautiful as possible.

The shiny world of design was not available to us, so after many years of being fortunate enough to work in the arts, when the opportunity I had been dreaming about to start a home brand presented itself in 2008, I embraced it, along with my business partner since the start of this, Ed Baran, with one caveat--It had to be attainable.  

Ed Baran is also the sole maker of our made to order a:H candles. He makes each one from the best ingredients he can sources. He even hand makes each label. 

We thank you for visiting our site and looking around.

Please feel free to contact us with your design questions, concerns, and anything else you feel like asking about creating a space that reflects your personal style. 

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