L.A. at Home

Design, Architecture, Gardens,
Southern California Living

Category: Furniture

Summer style: Outdoor chairs that strike a chord

Ligne Roset Fifty
We're calling them airy chairs: outdoor seats whose wire or cord construction makes for an easy, breezy sensibility — the it look of summer, light in silhouette but not on style. We've chosen a sampling of chairs in a range of prices. Higher-end designs tend to have more refinements: Ligne Roset’s Fifty chair and ottoman, pictured here, has a steel frame that has been treated to protect against corrosion and lacquered in polyester so it’s cool to touch (no sear marks on thighs, thank you very much). Nearly 1,150 feet of UV-resistant polypropylene rope are strung into a cool silhouette that  cocoons you in comfort. The Ligne Roset chair retails for $1,435, the ottoman for $525, but we have some other picks that are as much a comfort to your wallet as they are to your back and feet.

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Outdoor beds: Dream designs for an afternoon nap

Outdoor bed: Dedon SwingrestFirst we had the outdoor living and dining rooms. Then came the outdoor kitchen. Was the outdoor bedroom inevitable?

We started to report on cabanarama — how the shaded huts so popular at hotel pools were moving full force to the home — when it became clear that so much of the furniture for these backyard retreats were essentially outdoor beds. Take a look and ask yourself: Doesn't an afternoon nap sound good right about now?

Dedon recently released images of its Swingrest, pictured here, a veritable backyard nest to be released in 2013. The suspended bed will have a rotating Corian side table and optional curtain for privacy.

To see what's on the market now, at prices from $400 to $20,000, keep reading ...


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Dwell on Design 2012: Modern fun this weekend

Play Modern

Kohler colored sinksIt's time to play: Dwell on Design, the annual expo of furniture, fixtures and finishes for the modern home and garden, is running this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Staff writer Lisa Boone and producer Dianne de Guzman walked the convention floor on Friday to get some early impressions.

They found Misha Tome sliding down the Cuba playhouse by Play Modern, above. The modular system consists of cubes that can be configured in different BeSpoke consoleways. Indoor models are made from Baltic birch plywood with a clear finish, and outdoor models are made from marine-grade plywood with a dark finish.

MORE PICKS: Dwell on Design 2012

Above right: Lori Erenberg, left, and Saehee Simmons looked at color samples for Kohler's new sinks in a range of bold hues.

Below right: The BeSpoke Creative console throws some curves, with a sleek white exterior complemented by maple and birch plywood interior.

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Sales galore: A shopper's guide to summer deals

Sale Kartell Masters Sales DwellStudioBeen thinking about buying a Philippe Starck Masters chair, an Alessi coffee maker or that Sunbrella chaise from Crate & Barrel? Now may be your time. The summer sales are heating up. Here are some home and garden shopping leads to build on our sales post earlier this week.

Sale Kartell BloomKartell: All Kartell designs will be 20% in July. That includes Starck's Masters chair, top left, whose silhouette cleverly melds classic Eames, Saarinen and Jacobsen designs. Regularly $269, it will be $215.20. The Bloom light by Ferruccio Laviani, right, regularly $380, will be $304. (888) 405-4899.

Alessi: Modern Italian design firm Alessi has a monthlong “It's a Steel” promotion on select stainless steel tabletop pieces, including the Press Filter coffee maker, reduced from $200 to $160; a Michael Graves tea kettle, reduced from $180 to $144; and the Foix round tray, reduced from $165 to $132. Prices are good at the store in West Hollywood, (310) 276-7096, as well as online at www.alessi-shop.com.

DwellStudio: A 2,000-square-foot section of H.D. Buttercup in Los Angeles is the new L.A. showcase for DwellStudio's line contemporary of furniture, rugs, bedding, art and accessories, pictured at the top of the post on the right. All DwellStudio products will be 20% off through July 15. (310) 558-8900.

Modani: During its 4th of July sale, Modani will have a Starck dining table, regularly $2,950, on sale for $1,090. A king bed that's regularly $3,290 will be $990, and a glass-and-chrome coffee table that's regularly $690 will be $245. The sale runs July 4 to 8 in West Hollywood; (310) 652-2323.


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$42,000 Council Design table versus $799 Z Gallerie piece

Screen shot 2012-06-18 at 9.25.04 PM Screen shot 2012-06-18 at 9.50.06 PMOnly one of these pieces is the $42,000 Periodic Table by One & Co., the San Francisco design firm that put a luxurious spin on the rustic lumber trend. Using a specially developed process, the 44-inch square table is produced by Council Design using reclaimed Douglas fir coated in silver.

The original costs such a huge chunk of change that a smaller version, the 47 (named for silver's number on the periodic table of elements), was released last year and featured on L.A. at Home. The 47 sells for $1,200 at Design Within Reach.

Now, Z Gallerie has minted a lookalike coffee table that sells for $799. Which of the photos is the original Periodic Table, and which is Z Gallerie's Timber Coffee Table?

Keep reading to find out which is which and why they cost what they do ...

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Los Angeles freeways inspire Jeni Tu's curvy new Linea chair

Linea chair by Jeni TuFew would revel in sitting in gridlock a single moment more than necessary, but Jeni Tu's new Linea chair just might bring a little appreciation for L.A.'s freeways. Introduced recently at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York, the Linea chair takes its inspiration from aerial views of L.A.’s freeway system.

“I was interested in exploring how a continuous 2-D strip of material can become a 3-D form," Tu said, which then led to thoughts about how freeways curve and twist over and under themselves.

Tu, 32, grew up in San Diego, studied literature at Harvard and began pursuing a career in design three years ago. Her Linea is made of powder-coated steel topped with a Wilsonart walnut laminate. The chair’s surprise pop of cherry red may remind some of Christian Louboutin's signature red undersoles. For Tu, it references the endless ribbon of freeway taillights.

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Cappellini hits sweet spot with Candy table, Lace lamp

Giulio Cappellini No, it's not some Don Draper-devised take on Rodin's "The Thinker" staged with midcentury modern accent tables. This is Giulio Cappellini, artistic director of Cappellini, the Italian furniture manufacturer known for more than 30 years for discovering talent and producing works by designers such as Jasper Morrison, Marcel Wanders and the Bouroullec and Campana brothers.

For those who equate high design with out-of-reach prices, here's a pleasant surprise: The new Candy table, pictured here with Cappellini, is set to land in the U.S. this fall with a price around $300. 

On a recent visit to Los Angeles, the dapper Cappellini, 54, sat down with L.A. at Home and answered some questions about his life, his work, the current state of design and the surprising material used for that Candy table.

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Ilan Dei's new outdoor Cord furniture

Lounge on Beach
Venice designer Ilan Dei will premiere his Cord Collection of outdoor furnishings at a launch party May 9. Dei's new designs are sculptural, durable and fun. The lounge chair ($799), ottoman ($399), sofa (below, $2,999), dining chair ($499) and bench ($999) consist of vinyl cording and powder-coated steel tubing. They come in four color combinations: orange/white; moss/gray; sage/sage and lime/lime.

The seating is available online now and can be previewed at the party at Ilan Dei Studio, 2100 Zeno Place, Venice. The party is open to all and will include food, drinks and DJ from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.


Ah, Venice -- a beach community known for its surf, sand and colorful inhabitants.


SlingJim Rash: "Community" actor's quirky garden

Coming soon to California: the prefab G-Pod

Iconic sling chair gets remade for the great outdoors


-- Lisa Boone

Photo credits: Mimi Haddon

A salvaged-wood revolution: Turning more fallen trees into furniture

Salvaged wood furnitureThree men in neon-colored hard hats push the blade through a black acacia tree trunk, slicing it into three 1/2-inch-thick slabs and exposing stunning lines and swirls.

"That acacia's beautiful," said John Dominguez, the director of a 2-month-old partnership between Anaheim-based West Coast Arborists and Woodhill Firewood in Irvine, adding that the old-growth grain is something that "you'll never see" on the market today.

It takes eight minutes to cut each 11-foot-long slab because the wood is so hard, said Tom Rogers, owner of Woodhill Firewood, which takes in 600 tons a day from tree trimming and removal jobs. The acacia should yield eight to 10 slabs, he said. Each might surpass 250 pounds, and with luck they'll be sold to artisans to make tables and other pieces.

The tree, which fell in Monrovia Canyon Park in December, and a nearby deodar cedar that fell in Arcadia, are examples of how the popularity of salvaged wood furniture has produced a secondary trend: rising efforts to ensure that urban trees, including those that fall during storms, don't end up in landfills.

It's not a new idea to turn such trees into lumber, and some communities such as Lompoc have embraced it. The state has even lent equipment to those who want to try milling. But until recently, trees that fell or were removed by homeowners and cities in Southern California were mostly treated as trash -- perhaps firewood or mulch, officials say.

PHOTO GALLERY: How salvaged trees become hand-crafted furniture

Dominguez, who has been charmed by wood since playing standup bass in youth symphonies, said he would like to make more connections with furniture makers and wood artisans and see more closed-loop recycling: A tree falls and gets turned into lumber that's used in flooring in, say, a city building. "Walk into City Hall, and you're walking on street trees," he said.

Ferris Kawar, a recycling specialist in Burbank, says about 1% of what goes to the landfill is wood -- an amount he calls "obscene." Branches from downed trees become mulch, he says, but the trunks often go to the landfill.

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Concrete furniture on a diet: Cool looks, lighter weight

Dune Green-formPantone declared a kicky orange called Tangerine Tango as color of the year, but one of the most interesting shades hitting stores and websites this season is the cool, calm, collected gray of concrete. The material’s sheer weight made it too difficult for furniture makers to manipulate and too expensive for retailers to ship in years past, but lately designers have been experimenting with lightweight composites that allow a shopper to carry a concrete side table without getting a hernia.

Spindle table Zachary BitnerZachary A. Bitner said one of his chairs in traditional concrete would tip the scale at 350 pounds, but when the same chair is made with his formulation of coarse sand and fiberglass, the weight drops to 50. The lighter composite needs no sealant and makes the piece easier to move and more resistant to cracking than concrete, Bitner said.

His Spindle table, right, has a shapely silhouette that would be difficult to deliver in traditional concrete. The design comes in two sizes, $349 to $499. It can be ordered through Hayward’s in Santa Barbara, (805) 966-1390, or through the designer's site, www.zacharyadesign.com.

Green-form, a Santa Monica firm that specializes in fiber cement furniture and planters, achieves the shifting-sands silhouette of Dune, pictured at the top of the post, with Portland cement, synthetic and organic fibers, water and microscopic air pockets. Sheets of the material are rolled out, cut and shaped by hand. Price: $1,123 to $1,271 per piece.

Keep reading for about 10 more designs ...

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