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ReTales: Wayne Marmorstein, Owner of Denmark50

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Denmark50 owner Wayne Marmorstein believes in layering. Walking into his Melrose furniture shop, you notice he’s made optimal use of retail space by stacking upholstered chairs on freshly sanded tables in between the Verner Panton barstools and Kaare Klint leather couches. The shop's mid-century modern furniture has a clean-lined, sometimes bare quality, making it malleable to a range of decor. They even refinish and upholster in-house, so if that end table you rescued from the Craigslist furniture cesspool needs a facelift, Wayne’s got you covered.

Why this store, here on Melrose?
I’ve been at this location since 1976. We were originally called Pine Mine and we sold antiques. But the market for Pine decreased, I think it was a generational change; people wanted something different. In 1995 I was in Denmark, missed a flight from Amsterdam to L.A. and I really liked the style and the design of the furniture, so I thought, I’ll give that a try. So I brought some Danish stuff back and gave it a test.

What’s been flying out the door?
Our #1 seller is Hans Wegner Designs.

What are you most excited about in store right now that maybe isn’t flying out the door?
That Hans Wegner black leather Ox Chair. It's rare, they didn’t make it for long. The original had horns and people loved them, but this hornless one is much less expensive.

You have $100 to shop anywhere in LA—where do you go?
I’d go to Whole Foods and buy a $100 gift card so it's quicker for me to go in and out. I just got one yesterday, actually.

Make that $1,000.
What would I buy? Thing is I don’t need anything ‘cause if I did I’d have bought it already. Probably a piece of art.

Say you had to pick a presidential candidate based solely on his wardrobe, who's your guy?
That’s tough because I don’t pay attention to clothing. I just listen to what they say. But I know Cindy McCain is pretty snazzy.

What is the LBD of the furniture world?
A comfortable chair, whether for reading or watching TV, you need a really good lounge chair.