Home decor stores multiplying at South Coast Collection

What makes the South Coast Collection, or SoCo, in Costa Mesa compelling is its layout, diverse offerings and accessibility.

April 05, 2014|By Lisa Boone, Los Angeles Times

On a recent weekday afternoon, the South Coast Collection in Costa Mesa is inhabited by an eclectic crowd — young hipsters sipping lattes at Portola Coffee Lab, professionals in business suits nibbling on carnitas de pato at Taco Maria, moms pushing strollers, and employees from nearby businesses simply enjoying the open-air courtyards.

Designers can be spotted in the design showrooms too, as they stop to eye the furnishings on display in the more than 20 stores specializing in home design.

Sure, South Coast Plaza is just down the street, as are Ikea, Room & Board and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. But what makes the South Coast Collection, or SoCo, so compelling is its thoughtful layout, diverse offerings and easy accessibility, with ample free parking.


PHOTOS: South Coast Collection in Costa Mesa

Though Scalamandre, Rolling Greens, Pal + Smith and Inside 365 have left in the two years since we last profiled SoCo, at 3303 Hyland Ave., about 10 new stores have opened, and several more are coming soon.

The new stores include the mid-priced and the high end, and offer a varied aesthetic. You'll find luxury outdoor furnishings by Brown Jordan and midcentury reproductions and hip accessories — mounted antlers and African baskets — at Brooklyn-based Organic Modernism.

Several national retailers have moved in, complementing older tenants like Pirch Living, Deco Home and Stark Home. Design Within Reach, which sells iconic midcentury furnishings alongside the latest designs, has its largest U.S. showroom here.

And Brown Jordan, which manufactures such products as fire pits, elegant chaise longues and umbrellas, opened its first direct-to-consumer showroom here a year ago.

Curious about solar shades and what to do with that NanaWall? Look no further than the Shade Store, open just a few weeks, which offers a wealth of options for American-made custom shades and drapes.

As a testament to SoCo's growing appeal as a design mecca, several stores have jumped from nearby shopping centers. Sustainable furnishings showroom Environment moved from South Coast Plaza in February, and Mod Shop by Room Service, which sells colorful, affordably priced contemporary designs, transferred from Fashion Island in September.

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