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Stars go treasure-hunting at the L.A. Antiques Show gala

April 22, 2010 | 12:58 pm

Mcdowell-family You're not the only one who watches house-flipping and remodeling shows with barely concealed domestic lust. Celebs do too. The difference? They have the cash to pull it off.

That's what brought burlesque diva Dita Von Teese, "Grey's Anatomy" hunk Justin Chambers, Natalie Zea, "Extreme Makeover" alum Tracy Hutson and other well-heeled style mavens to Santa Monica's Barker Hangar on Wednesday evening for the gala opening of the L.A. Antiques Show benefiting P.S. Arts.

BFFs Courteney Cox and Jennifer Meyer (who's married to Tobey Maguire) came without their husbands, while Malcolm McDowell cruised the aisles with wife Kelley and 15-month-old Seamus, proving that you're never too young to develop expensive tastes.

Looking to trick out her Santa Monica home, actress Amber Valletta brought along designer Ross Cassidy to help her hunt for treasure.

Valetta "I'm a big antiques fan," she said. "I've been collecting for about 16 years. Tonight I'm not looking at anything in particular.

Cross "Over the years, though, I've collected Biedermeier,  Tiffany, some French antiques, English antiques, country antiques. I've got old paintings, textiles. I've collected quite a bit, especially in the past. Now I don't buy nearly as much, but I remodeled so I'm buying some stuff for the house again and looking at turn-of-the-century Belgian tables, things like that."

Marcia Cross knew what she wanted before she walked in the door -- an antique wooden sign that read "Flowers for Sale Here."

"Because my husband and I met in a flower shop," she said. "I'd seen it online. Don't ask me where I'm going to hang it. I have no idea. Maybe in the backyard. Who knows?"

-- Irene Lacher

Top photo: Young Seamus, Kelley and Malcolm McDowell at the 15th annual Los Angeles Antique Show opening night preview party in Santa Monica. Credit: David Livingston / Getty Images

Photo, above left: Actress Amber Valetta. Credit: Stefanie Keenan / WireImage

Photo, above right:  Marcia Cross and her husband, Tom Mahoney. Credit: David Livingston / Getty Images