L.A. at Home

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Category: Shopping

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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Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles: Scouting the new market

Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles
Low-slung Warehouse No. 10, freshly painted in a bright navy yellow, opened its doors Friday as Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles, a crafts fair-meets-foodie market in San Pedro. More than 3,000 people marked opening day by sampling gourmet donuts, alcohol-infused cupcakes and handmade wares at more than 60 booths set under an open-truss ceiling with whirling fans. (That's Janeen Gudelj, owner of Donut Snob, pictured here, holding one of her handmade creations.)

Crafted Donut SnobCrafted is the brainchild of Wayne Blank, known for his transformation of an old Southern Pacific rail yard into the Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica.  For the last 18 months, Blank and his partners, real estate developer Howard Robinson and designer Alison Zeno, were busy turning the 1944 naval warehouse into what they hope will be the country's largest indoor craft market operating year-round, with as many as 550 vendors.

With Alicia Murphy's indie folk music playing when the doors opened at 11 a.m. Friday, crafts aficionados headed down the aisles and watched artists in action -- painting doghouses, cutting paper rosettes, carving leather, crocheting bracelets and tying nautical-knot key chains.

The 10-by-10-foot stalls were filled with jaunty felt hats and recycled leather bags, bookends made of old LPs and candles shaped like macaroni and cheese. For the foodies, there were artisanal moles and marmalades, gourmet pickles and truffle salts. We scanned the booths for this sampling of the crafts and craftspeople at the new market:

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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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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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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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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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Big sales: Andrew Martin, Madeline Weinrib and Classic Tile

Andrew Martin, Madeline Weinrib and Classic Tile & Mosaic are selling high-end designs at deep discountsJune gloom won't matter much to those who brighten over home-shopping bargains. It's that time of year when some showrooms begin making space for new collections for fall, traditionally the big season for redecorating. Here's a sampling of sales that are underway or starting this weekend:

Andrew Martin, the Andrew Martin, Madeline Weinrib and Classic Tile & Mosaic are selling high-end designs at deep discountshigh-end contemporary furniture showroom in the Pacific Design Center, pictured at the top of this post, has started a floor-sample sale open to the public 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Friday. Company founder Martin Waller's tables, sofas, chairs and accessories need to be cleared out of the showroom because of upcoming remodeling. A Seine chair, pictured at right, usually retails for $3,555 but is on sale for $995; a Northumbria Library Cabinet, originally $2,995, is reduced to $995. 8687 Melrose Ave., Suite G295, West Hollywood.

Madeline Weinrib makes Andrew Martin, Madeline Weinrib and Classic Tile & Mosaic are selling high-end designs at deep discountsher West Coast premiere with a pop-up sample sale of her artisanal home accessories from Thursday through Sunday. Her East-meets-West, colorful and graphic aesthetic runs through pillows and rugs as well as one-of-a-kind furniture and fabric. Her 18-inch ikat pillows, like the one pictured here, originally $525, are on sale for $269. Cotton carpets measuring about 3.5 feet by 5.5 feet, originally $375, are on sale for $199. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 8473 Melrose Place, Los Angeles.

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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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Garbage Maven: Look for a new, improved recycling label [Updated]


Anyone who tries to do the right thing and recycle has experienced it: the utter confusion that certain products induce with their packaging. But a new label tries to address the vague and oftentimes misleading recycling messages.

The How2Recycle label, pioneered by the nonprofit environmental group GreenBlue, will soon appear on Yoplait yogurt packs, Aveda acne pads, Orville Redenbacher popcorn and a few other brand-name products as part of a pilot program to reduce consumer confusion and to encourage more recycling.

The new label is based on the On-Pack Recycling Label used in Britain and can include up to four icons indicating if a material is widely recycled (such as cardboard), recycled in limited cases (such as Yoplait's plastic yogurt cups), not yet recycled (such as mylar) or requires store drop-off (the case in many cities for plastic grocery bags).

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