L.A. at Home

Design, Architecture, Gardens,
Southern California Living

Category: Film

'Twilight Saga: Eclipse' life-size cutouts selling for $33; will Jacob, Bella or Edward be going home?

Eclipse collage

"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" does not hit theaters until June 30, but you can't escape the onslaught of merchandising for the film.  

My 12-year-old daughter had to be subdued when she spotted Edward Cullen messenger bags and lunch boxes at the ArcLight Cinemas gift shop in Hollywood over the weekend. Looking online, I also found  "Eclipse" throw blankets and Edward Cullen pillows. I even found "Eclipse" first-aid bandages.

But my favorite "Eclipse"-related items are these life-size cutouts of Jacob, Bella and Edward at Nordstrom's  "Eclipse" store. The foam-core board cutouts are like a teenage version of a nightlight: Adolescents can sleep soundly while being protected by vampires and werewolves. The cutouts are $33 each and come with optional background scenery (not shown here). Lip venom is $16.

-- Lisa Boone

Photo credits: Nordstrom


The pop decor of Almodovar's "Broken Embraces"

The interior design in Tom Ford's "A Single Man"

Behind the scenes of the vegetable garden in "It's Complicated"

'Twilight' fans camp out, waiting for 'Eclipse' premiere in Los Angeles 

Legends of La Cienega event pays tribute to Hollywood


If you're driving on La Cienega Avenue between Santa Monica and Beverly boulevards during these first  weeks of May, you might think you've entered a drive-by tour of classic film sets. 

Twenty windows displays, each the work of a notable interior decorator, will pay homage to a stylish Hollywood movie. The displays are in conjunction with the Legends of La Cienega 2010: Celebrate Hollywood, a two-day event honoring design on the silver screen and TV.

IMG_4148An homage to "Auntie Mame," above, at Baker furniture (360 N. La Cienega Blvd.) is among the displays. The 1958 Rosalind Russell comedy features an array of eye-popping interiors and one grand staircase that the title character uses to make dramatic entrances. The movie, which features Hollywood Regency, Asian and Danish modern interiors, is often cited by interior designers as an inspiration

It was created by Jaime Rummerfield, far right, and Ron Woodson, left, of Woodson & Rummerfield's House of Design. With the help of muralist Len Greco, center, on the scaffolding, the team created a  backdrop that conjures up the glamour of the film's Manhattan apartment foyer. 

There is more than just window-dressing to Legends of La Cienega. On Friday and Saturday,  the retailer members of the La Cienega Design Quarter will host a variety of open houses, panel discussions on design trends and a fashion trunk show.

The events are open to the public and there is free valet parking and a shuttle available with validation from any La Cienaga Design Quarter member. 

After the jump: Interior designer Kevin Corn's window display tribute to "L.A. Confidential."

Continue reading »

Event: Architecture and Design documentaries at the Newport Beach Film Festival

The Newport Beach Film Festival, which runs through Friday, April 29, has created an admirable program of documentaries on art, architecture and design. It begins on Saturday, April 24, with a 2:30 p.m. short documentary screening that includes a documentary on Southern California Institute of Architecture founder, Ray Kappe. 

At 3:15 p.m,  "Liquid Stone: Unlocking Gaudi's Secrets," trailer above, examines the still-unfinished Barcelona building by the master of Art Nouveau architecture, Antoni Gaudi. It plays with a 30-minute look at Dutch textile and home decor designer Hella Jongerius. At 6 p.m.: "Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of Rural Studio," which documents how Alabama architecture students create housing for the impoverished. 

The series continues with a doc on urban theorist Daniel Burnham on Monday, films about Palm Springs modernists Donald Wexler and William Krisel on Tuesday and Wednesday and a feature-length documentary on I.M Pei's last masterpiece, the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar.

For further information, visit the Newport Beach Film Festival website.

See the three-minute (and worth every second) trailer for "Journeyman Architect: The Life and Work of Donald Wexler" after the jump.

Continue reading »

Set Pieces: Eye-popping Deco and Pop interiors of Almodovar's 'Broken Embraces' now on DVD

Picnik collage

Pedro Almodovar's "Broken Embraces," which made its DVD debut on Tuesday,  weaves a complex tale of love, betrayal and regret. For design fans, it's simply another example of the Spanish director's brilliant eye for interiors.

Penelope Cruz, above right, stars as Lena, an aspiring actress stuck in an unhappy love affair with a wealthy film producer. He tries to squash her ambition by telling her their mansion needs to be redecorated.

It so doesn't. It has grand 19th century rooms filled with Old Masters and Warhol-style paintings of guns, and a fantastic boudoir inspired by the Paris-based early modernist designer Eileen Gray. The dressing room is complete with a French Deco vanity and a keyhole-back chair found in Madrid, says Antxon Gomez, the production designer for "Broken Embraces."

LOS ABRAZOS ROTOS-C PAOLA ARDIZZONI y EMILIO PEREDA - EL DESEO D.A. S.L.U.5 Lena becomes the star of a film-within-the-film, a comedy set in a bold apartment filled with primary hues and angular contemporary furnishings. "The colors are habitual in Almodovar's film," says Gomez. The seating area, pictured right,  uses a reissued Utrecht sofa and chairs (a 1935 Gerrit T. Rietveld design) and Pop art accents such as the Enzo Mari red apple wall hanging.

Gomez used pieces by contemporary designers, including the Spanish-born Patricia Urquiola. "Almodovar likes her work," he says. "It's interesting and she was delighted." 

See Urquiola's pieces and more of the apartment after the jump.

Continue reading »

Stunning homes and interiors from
'A Single Man' are snubbed by Oscar


The ballots are in and ... the members of the academy failed to nominate "A Single Man" for art direction.

The directorial debut by fashion designer Tom Ford generated much buzz -- and an Oscar nod for star Colin Firth. But the art direction -- by the "Mad Men" team of production designer Dan Bishop and set decorator Amy Wells -- is what makes the film a must-see for California design fans.

Set in the mid-1960s, the drama unfolds in Santa Monica but was filmed primarily in two locations to the east. One is a lushly landscaped Pasadena residence that in the film is owned by Charley (Julianne Moore), above. It is decorated in an ultra-feminine cream-and-pink Midcentury Hollywood Regency scheme with a Moroccan accent.  

1100208782 Far different is the austere monochromatic modern home of George (Firth), filmed in the iconic Schaffer residence, a 1949 redwood design by John Lautner, right. The two-bedroom house in Glendale (also featured in the film "Happy Endings") is for sale for just under $1.5 million. 

Designed with pivoting glass doors, the open-plan house posed some logistical problems -- like creating a bedroom. The historic house, which is one of Lautner's earlier works, could not be altered. Says Wells: "It was Dan's brilliant idea to bring in cut-to-fit pressure-mounted panels to cover windows and create the walls of the room."

Continue reading »

The dirt on the 'It's Complicated' vegetable garden


Ever since "It's Complicated" was released in theaters last week the online garden community has been buzzing about Jane's (Meryl Streep) vegetable garden, above. Its lushness, colorfulness, perkiness ... well, it's almost pornographic. One doesn't know whether to envy it, or to be concerned about anyone that eats from it.

"The idea was it was meant to look like a real cook's garden," said Jon Hutman, the film's production designer, speaking on the phone from a hotel room in Italy. "We try to make the movies look real, but a very delicious version of real."

Hutman, who does not garden, relied on the talents of greensman Dan Ondrejko, whose previous credits include "Jurassic Park," "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" and "Land of the Lost." After perusing countless garden books they settled on a French potager garden design, which makes sense for the character -- a baker who got her training in France.

While there are no CGI cabbages or rhubarb special effects in the film, this is still not a garden that is humanly possible, even for Martha Stewart. The vegetables were grown in a greenhouse for two months before the  garden scene was shot, and any plant that looked a little scrubby was not used.

There was also a little enhancement. "I probably shouldn't tell you this," Hutman said, guiltily, "but those tomatoes were wired to the vine."

Honesty appreciated, Jon.

-- Deborah Netburn

 Photo credit: Melinda Sue Gordon / Universal Studios

'Paranormal Activity,' the horror of supernatural decor

It wasn't the demon. It was the decor. With apologies to the cult building around the midnight shocker "Paranormal Activity," the most terrifying thing about the film was its claustrophobic, stultifying suburban set. The spooky goings-on unfold inside a San Diego tract house, circa 2006, filled with furniture that looked like a one-day run to Pier 1, Z Gallerie, Cost Plus World Market and L.A. budget favorite Anna's Linens (with a stop at Best Buy for the most honkingly huge TV and some video equipment).

Working on a $15,000 budget for the entire film, director Oren Peli accurately captured the look of an average home where a young and obnoxious day trader is shacking up with his fiancee, a college student who has been demonized by an evil spirit since age 8.

Among the frights: A puffy bachelor pad black leather sofa, a faux Tuscan chandelier, the monstrous faux salvaged-from-a-church headboard and silk orchid arrangement in the bedroom shown here, and a patchwork tapestry shower curtain in gold and burgundy that actually made me gasp in horror.

"It's the modern-day version of a Gothic castle," whispered my movie-going companion.

Too true. The home actually belongs to Peli, a former video game designer turned director who still lives in it -- I hope with some new furniture.

-- David A. Keeps

Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

Anna Wintour rules Vogue from a bistro chair

Picnik collage wintour Here's a myth buster: In "The September Issue," R.J. Cutler's documentary about Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, it is revealed that she sits in a common metal bistro chair. (I'd expected a seat with Chanel-style diamond quilted leather.)

At least the British fashion queen, who also displays Clarice Cliff ceramics on her desk, has chosen a design classic for her throne. It's Xavier Pauchard's 1934 Chaise A, an indoor-outdoor chair still produced by the original manufacturer, Tolix, in Burgundy, France. 

You can get your own for $245 at Sundance Catalog. They're $195 each if you buy six; a white version is only $150. Want it in red or orange? That'll be $275 a pop at the Conran Shop.

-- David A. Keeps

Photo credits: "The September Issue" and Sundance Catalog

AllPosters' sale on thousands of artful wall prints

Picnik collage 2 Cool 4 Back 2 School, Part 6: There's nothing like a poster to jazz up a cinder-block dorm room wall and let everyone on the floor know what you're into. As the hordes head off to school, AllPosters.com has marked down more than 5,000 designs, many under $5.

A quick flick through the first 28 sale pages on the website provides a graphic picture of today's late-teen culture: Girls  like "Twilight," Audrey Hepburn and Paris landscapes; guys gravitate to posters for movies, music and partying. The 8-by-10-inch poster card of a friendly physician, left, is $3.98. The 2-by-3-foot Ramones poster is $4.98.

The sale, which runs through Sept. 7, also offers scores of fine art reproductions from Picasso to Pollack. With these prices, they could be used as gift wrap or dresser liners. (How cool would this Gustav Klimt look in your undies drawer?)

See more designs that caught my admittedly post-post-grad eye.

Continue reading »


Recommended on Facebook


L.A. at Home in Print

In Case You Missed It...

Hot Property


Recent Posts
New home for L.A. at Home |  July 17, 2012, 3:45 pm »
The Scout: What's new on Pico Boulevard  |  July 13, 2012, 8:22 am »
Review: Insteon remote-control LED light bulb |  July 10, 2012, 8:28 am »