When Nino Mier spotted an unoccupied retail space a few doors down from Foodlab, the cafe he owns with his mother, he imagined it as a "not-so-general store."
He impulsively rented the storefront "without a concept," and that might be what makes the recently opened Max & Moritz home store so much fun.
Mier, who developed the store with his mom, Esther Linsmayer, and longtime friend Ashley Bell, said he wanted the store to be like an apartment, with an eclectic mix of home goods, antiques, jewelry and gifts.
His idea worked. The store feels homey, with thoughtfully installed vignettes devoted to items you might not find anywhere else: Hybrid china, whose designs are half Asian and half European, from the Italian company Seletti; white charcoal soaps from the Danish company Sort of Coal; and ceramics and textiles from En Soie of Zurich, Switzerland.
You will find plenty of Austrian and German goods, but also many products from Los Angeles artists: the L Lamp from Venice-based David Kitz, leather goods by architect-turned-designer Alice Park, jewelry by Steven Shein and ceramics by Ben Medansky.
Prices range from $7.50 for a pumice stone to $5,000 for a vintage farm table. The most unique item can be attributed to Max & Moritz's owners: Striking custom pendants made from olive picking baskets ($495 and $1,250).
Max & Moritz is at 7209 Santa Monica Blvd. (a couple of blocks west of La Brea), West Hollywood. It's open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (323) 851-2200.