October 2008

Design Notebook—October 2008

A highly opinionated survey of the best finds on the Los Angeles design scene  by Mayer Rus

Cedar garden bench from Studiolo

I’m cuckoo for Rococo! This cedar garden bench from Studiolo was inspired by an 18th-century Swedish Rococo design and comes in custom colors and sizes. The back reminds me of the cutout on a razor blade. $4,875. 8905 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 310-275-6700, rshapiroantiques.com

Rosewood fabric from Tortoise General Store

The highlight of any excursion to Venice is a stop at Tortoise General Store, where this year, I plan to do my Hanukkah shopping. I adore the wood-grain fabrics that come in three patterns: rosewood (my fave), maple and zebrawood. $42 per yard. 1208 Abbot Kinney Blvd., 310-314-8448

Wares from Heath Ceramics

Nothing says California craftsy cool like Heath Ceramics. For the upcoming holiday season, the company is offering vases, plates and bowls in limited-edition shades of red (bud vase, $25; serving bowl, $75; multistem vase, $85; four dessert bowls, $100). Later this year, Heath will open its own store (designed by the fab folks at Commune) at 7525 Beverly Blvd. Of course, you can still find Heath at OK, the company’s longtime L.A. purveyor. 8303 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 323-653-3501

Design duo Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel with giant bell for bisazza

The European atelier Studio Job, composed of the design duo Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel, has created a series of monumental everyday objects for Bisazza, the fashion-forward manufacturer of glass mosaic tile. Studio Job’s toothsome delights, covered in white gold mosaic tiles, are on view at the Bisazza showroom through November 18. 8371 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-782-9171

hugh hefner toy for kid robot

Whenever I need to stuff a stocking, I head to Kidrobot. The company has recently started dipping its toes into the world of furniture, and I hope they continue wading. For now, I’m looking forward to the October 9 launch of the Hugh Hefner Peecol. Li’l Hef is tricked out in a red robe, ascot and Bunny-emblazoned sailor hat. It’s the perfect gift for the players on your list. $9.95. 7972 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-782-1411

360 Table by Studio Maeurer Hendrichs at TenOverSix, design furniture retail

Fashionistas and design junkies are flocking to the new boutique TenOverSix. Along with its own private-label clothing and accessories, the shop sells furnishings from Future Perfect, an avant-garde design atelier in Brooklyn. I’ve got my eye on this 360 table, designed by Studio Maeurer Hendrichs. The skateboard wheels nurture my age-inappropriate skate-punk fantasies, and the rotating glass top lets me share my tricks and treats with ease. $2,480. 7427 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-330-9355

Elaine Falbo pussy-willow basket at OK

What’s new, pussy willow? After I get my weekly Ficele with Fromage d’Affinois and Apricot-Glazed Ham at Joan’s on Third, I feed my inner aesthete with a trip to OK. Last time I was there, I discovered fabulous hippy-dippy pussy-willow baskets by Portland-based artist and weaver Elaine Falbo. They come in small to extralarge. $165–$315 (XL, pictured). OK, 8303 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 323-653-3501

Hand-felted Eames chair and folded birch bench by Tanya Aguiñiga at reform gallery

Take a seat for this one—and not just any seat. Try a hand-felted Eames chair or folded birch bench by Tanya Aguiñiga, the furniture designer and artist who reinvented metal folding chairs as cozy, intimate objects. Born in the U.S., Aguiñiga lived for years in both San Diego and Tijuana. Through furniture design, Aguiñiga expresses this border identity, coloring her elegant, functional pieces with a cultural flare specific to Southern California. Reform Gallery is hosting an exhibition of Aguiñiga’s work through November 1. 816 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-854-1033

Andrée Putman’s Six Light rug next to a filmstrip of Marlene Dietrich

Great design doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Re: Weave, an exhibition curated by Michael Boyd for Christopher Farr, juxtaposes stellar moments in 20th-century culture with greatest hits from Farr’s carpet collection. For example, Boyd places Andrée Putman’s Six Light rug ($5,500) next to a filmstrip of Marlene Dietrich in Destry Rides Again. October 29–November 28. 748 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-967-0064