L.A. at Home

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Category: Lisa Boone

The Scout: What's new on Pico Boulevard

Brainworks Home Here in the land of shopping malls and stacked garages, it's easy to get excited about an L.A. district where you can park on the street. And walk.

But that’s just one of many reasons why a day spent in Picfair Village is so enjoyable. Long known for auto body shops and hair salons, the stretch of Pico Boulevard between Fairfax and La Brea avenues now stands out for its eclectic — and growing — mix of stores and restaurants with sidewalk seating.

Pico Modern“When I came here, it was myself, Sky’s Tacos, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles and CJs,” said Pinky Rose Charles, who opened her clothing boutique Pinky Rose nine years ago among the restaurants. “Melrose was so saturated I decided to move south.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Pico Boulevard shopping

The stretch of Pico Boulevard had long been predicted to be the next big shopping district, but the renaissance that Charles and others had hoped for was slow to transpire. Only in the last year have four design stores opened, all within a few blocks of one another. A new development, Pico Hauser Plaza, is slated to open this year.

The mix includes Pilates studios, the kosher and gluten-free Breakaway Bakery, an Eco Dog Wash, Mike's Bike and Skateboard Shop, and Cordially Invited, a stationery and gift store that also has a Southern Girl Desserts cupcake bar and ice cream by the scoop from Fosselman’s, the popular Alhambra parlor.

“There is an element of what is current right now in this neighborhood,” said Erin Adams, who opened Brainworks Home in May. Like many store owners, Adams lives in the neighborhood and augments her art consulting business in the back with her elegant storefront featuring vintage wallpaper, doorknobs, switch plates and other hardware, as well as decorative objects and rehabilitated mid-century furniture such as Marcel Breuer Wassily chairs.

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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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Palisades house aims to make modern feel warm

Vision House L.A.Designer Jill Wolff narrates a pictorial tour of Vision House Los Angeles, a luxury demonstration home in Pacific Palisades, in this latest installment of Pro Portfolio. The occasional feature looks at a recently built, remodeled or redecorated home with commentary from the designer.

Vision house1Project: Green demonstration home dubbed Vision House Los Angeles.

Interior designer: Jill Wolff, Jill Wolff Interior Design, Calabasas. Architects: KAA Design, Culver City, and P2 Design, Newport Beach. Builder: Structure Home in collaboration with Green Builder Media.

Designer's description: Normally, I work collaboratively with clients, but because this is a spec house, I had to imagine a family with a son about to leave for college and a younger daughter. I want people who view this house to come away with a feeling of surprise about its comfort, coziness and warmth. I want them to see that sustainable design really can be comfortable, and that if they’re clever, they can use their creativity to make their own home more sustainable.

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Patio umbrellas for summer: We're seeing a pattern

Frontgate suzani umbrella Patio umbrellas are available in nearly every conceivable color, but what if you’re looking for a distinctive pattern or print? We scouted some of the newest designs on the market and found that whether your look is a bold stripe, a refined damask or modern Scandinavian graphics, these textiles can be less about shade and more about fun. Take a look:

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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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Rapson rocker reissued by Loll in recycled plastic

Rapson rockersToby Rapson, son of midcentury architect Ralph Rapson, was working to put his father's classic designs back into production when he bumped into Loll designer and Chief Executive Greg Benson, whose company specializes in furniture made of recycled plastic. The meeting prompted Rapson to rethink his father's rocking chair as an eco-friendly outdoor rocker made from material.

GreenbeltLineSketches"It became a collaboration between us and Loll to translate the chairs Ralph Rapson drew [pictured at right], to a new innovative  project," Rapson-Inc. President Chris Reedy said.

Rapson-Inc. reissued the modern Rapid Rocker at the end of last year and partnered with retailer YLiving to reintroduce the Rapson Greenbelt line of chairs. The 1939 Greenbelt rocker, pictured on the left at the top of the post, is $1,845 and was originally designed for manufacturer Knoll.

Prototypes of the high-backed armless Rapson Rocker for Loll ($999), pictured at top right, and low-back Rapson lounge chair with arms ($1,099), pictured at the end of this post, were showcased last month at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York and will be on display at the Dwell on Design show in Los Angeles this weekend. As with all of Loll's designs, the pieces are made from 100% recycled plastic.

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Vision House in Pacific Palisades opens for public viewing

Vision House L.A., a newly built home meant to showcase some of the latest in green technology and design, is a project of Green Builder Media, L.A.-based builder Structure Home, L.A. architecture firm KAA Design, the Newport Beach firm P2 Design, Calabasas interior designer Jill Wolff and Westlake Village landscape architect MJN Design Studio
Green "demonstration" houses loaded with what are touted as the latest in environmentally conscious technology and materials may have ebbed with the real estate crash, but a development-and-design team in Los Angeles is about to revive the idea with the Vision House.

Billed as a luxury green demonstration home, Vision House is a collaboration of Green Builder Media and L.A.-based builder Structure Home, which worked with L.A. architecture firm KAA Design, the Newport Beach firm P2 Design, Calabasas interior designer Jill Wolff and Westlake Village landscape architect MJN Design Studio.

Vision House L.A., a newly built home meant to showcase some of the latest in green technology and design, is a project of Green Builder Media, L.A.-based builder Structure Home, L.A. architecture firm KAA Design, the Newport Beach firm P2 Design, Calabasas interior designer Jill Wolff and Westlake Village landscape architect MJN Design StudioSome of the house's features -- an ultraviolet light air-purification system, mold-resistant shower and duct systems, solar panels, a central vacuum system, Gaggenau appliances that include a countertop steamer and a refrigerator with motorized shelves -- are more about function than design beauty. But decorating fans won't be disappointed.

The kitchen, laundry area and bathroom have dramatic textural wall finishes using Porcelanosa tile, at right. Eco-friendly furnishings from Cisco Home include side tables made from repurposed car parts and light fixtures made from reclaimed blown glass. (Asked if the cotton and linen fabrics were kid-friendly, Wolff said she washed all of the slipcovers, brought them to the house in a garbage bag and put them on -- without an iron.)

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Dwell on Design modern home tours begin Saturday

Simon Storey house exteriorTickets are still available for Dwell on Design modern home tours this weekend, in advance of the annual design exhibition June 22 to 24 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Dwell East Side Home Tour The self-guided East Side Modern Home Tour this Saturday includes Simon Storey's 960-square-foot Eel's Nest, shown above and featured by L.A. at Home earlier this year, and designer-developer Jerome Pelayo's sustainable Sunia Home, both in Echo Park. Farther east, the tour will include OKB Architecture + Construction's colorful addition in Pasadena, shown at right, as well as a Buff, Straub and Hensman home in San Marino and Fer Studio's modern update of a 1980s La Cañada Flintridge residence, which we featured back in 2009. 

A Prefab Plus Home Tour on Sunday will highlight a pair of prefabricated town houses designed by Whitney Sanders, Linda Taalman's Back Yard Plug-in Module, a hybrid prefabricated structure using Blue Sky Building Systems in Santa Monica, a Ray Kappe-designed LivingHome in Santa Monica and a Venice residence by Marmol Radziner Prefab. (A West Side Home Tour on June 24 is sold out.). Homes will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; tickets are $85 per tour.

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Woodbury shed poll: And the coolest cabin design is ...

Woodbury plastic exterior Woodbury Oscar the Grouch Woodbury paper exterior  Woodbury cabin interior Woodbury wood interior Woodbury paper 3

Several weeks ago we reported on 17 architecture students in Woodbury University's design-build program who were asked to create three cabins using mainly components of a hardware store shed kit. Each cabin had to sleep two and provide light, ventilation and insulation. We asked readers to tell us which team had the best design. After a week of voting, the results were surprising: We had a tie. With 2,145 votes cast, the green split-level and the orange hammock hangout each received 1,002 votes. The silvery recycled bottle loft was a distant third, with 141 votes.

We look forward to seeing three more cabins, to be built next semester. Meanwhile, you can read our full story and click through a photo gallery of the finished projects.


Simon Story house interiorSmall-space stories

Homes of the Times archive

Eames House moves into LACMA: Time-lapse video

Marmol Radziner house: 360-degree interactive panoramas

Photos: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times


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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 »
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