San Diego by Design
Objects of Desire
By Thomas Shess
SHOWCASING WHAT STORES and showrooms will offer in 2005 is fairly easy this season. Deep-seated design changes from fashion meccas in Milan and Paris will be few. Consumers are holding to what is comfortable for them. But top designers aren’t discouraged. They’re still offering cutting-edge flash and form for 2005.
Here, we focus on colorful new ideas in furnishings, contemporary kitchen and bath designs and the latest in creative storage ideas.
Design trends, colors and styles appear to be in a holding pattern, according to design pro Jack Burrows of Ligne-Roset in La Jolla. “Brown is the most popular color nationally, and no new shade is popping up to replace it,” he says. But Burrows also says that top makers of furnishings are not shy about pushing new products with bold colors.
He says the reign of jumbo-size furnishing is over: “Adaptability is the key word now, as designers and manufacturers turn out downsized furnishing that can accommodate a dominant trend in homebuilding to produce smaller houses and condos.”
Retailers Beverly Feldman and Phil Feinberg clearly saw the national trend toward small in new dwellings when they founded Space San Diego a year ago. This furnishings showroom in Little Italy specializes in more-compact pieces that have dual uses.
With more stuff, less room and little time to organize, it’s no wonder specialty companies like California Closets are thriving. “ ‘Huge’ is the only word I can think of that describes how our business has been these past three years,” says Mike DeHart, general manager of California Closets on Miramar Road. “Our sales have exceeded the previous year’s by 30 percent.”
There’s currently a big move toward condo living in San Diego, and that means smaller spaces that need more organized storage, he adds.
Storage Solutions Nooks & Niches. Everyone has stuff.Finding a place to put it is the challenge. Space-saving ideas from storage pros include these:
Color Kaleidoscope. In a world of tans and browns, sleek Euro-influenced furnishings have gone color-crazy in 2005.
Bath & Kitchen Pizazz
Beyond. Creative bath design over the years has taken second place to the advances in contemporary kitchens. Welcome to a new dawn. Bath design is strutting its stuff in colorful shapes and colors.
No Limits. International kitchen designers are competing to create the sleekest kitchens around. Ideas may be off the wall, but surely there’s some detail that’ll fit in your world.
|Kagan, King of Kolor We’re accustomed to surround-sound, but what about surround color, as in this Comete sectional from the Roche-Bobois Les Contemporains collection by Vladimir Kagan, a designer so hot he’s molten. Available in La Jolla at Roche-Bobois, 7611 Girard Avenue, 858-459-0297.|
|Fauna & Floral Bold Italian design, high-quality New Zealand wool and Asian artisans come together in Paola Lenti’s Area Collection. The two rugs displayed, Rosa (floor) and Asperla (wall), are woven to display relief images of plant leaves, veins, pedals and stems. Find them at paolalenti.com.|
|French Master Refolo, a modular system that can be used as a low table or bench, is a classic Charlotte Perriand design from Cassina USA. Available at Divan Studio, 7661 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, 858-551-0405.|
|Big Mac Produced by Cassina USA under license from the estate of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, this 1902 Hillhouse ladderback chair with stained black ashwood frame is upholstered in a Mackintosh-color velvet. Available at Divan Studio, 7661 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, 858-551-0405.|
|Recast a Spell Maharam Design Studio’s Textiles of the 20th Century series has reissued Alphabet, Circles and Roman Stripe, three wall-covering patterns designed by Herman Miller’s Alexander Girard in 1952. Girard created more than 300 patterns suited to Miller’s mid-century furniture introductions. Wall coverings by Eames, Jacobsen, Panton, Nelson, Peche and Ponti are included in the series. Available via La Jolla’s Divan Studio, 7661 Girard Avenue, 858-551-0405.
|Peek-a-Boo-Boo Even the staid medicine chest is design fodder in this modern era. The Cube Cutout bath cabinet is 20 inches square and a handy 71.2 inches deep. The wood door comes in white and is from the West Elm catalog, 866-937-8356 or westelm.com.|
Color Me Tanned Popular in Europe, the Idrolux shower lets you tan while you shower. Talk about afterglow——and it’s only $16,000. See idroluxusa.com for dealers.
Way Beyond PH is a glass washbasin with a column made of 310- degree-bent plates in transparent crystal. The crystal basin also is bent and glued to the column with a polyurethane bonding agent. It’s available at Boffi Los Angeles, 1344 Fourth Street, Santa Monica, 310-458-9300.
|Continental Shelves Pagina by Cassina USA solves the dilemma of never having enough shelf space for books and those can’ttoss objets d’art. The lacquered wood is available in blue, white and a combo of black shelves and walnut base. All shelves are movable, and units can be used in tandems of any number. Available at Divan Studio, 7661 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, 858-551-0405.|
|Color Maestro Todd Oldham, wunderkind of furnishings design, expanded his symphony of color with a matching Lina chair and ottoman for La-Z-Boy. Available at the three local La-Z-Boy stores.|
|Vibrant Arcade red vases (Passione, $675, and Nepal, $205) from Modern Living, 8775 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, 310-657-8775.|
|Deco Echo San Diego Magazinepredicts the next great period design rage will be the return of Art Deco. Start with Deco dinette chairs from Williams-Sonoma, $279 each. The Williams- Sonoma 1930s diner lamp in stainless steel is $150. Williams-Sonoma, 7007 Friars Road, 619-295-0510, and 4417 La Jolla Village Drive, 858-558-5755|
|Urban Sleek Here’s a creative home office, especially designed for modern loft living by California Closets. It’s made of maple components with an aluminum finish. Extra features shown include a variety of file drawers, cabinets, correspondence organizers, an adjustable hutch shelving unit and backsplash. Accessories include a CPU holder, mouse support and file-drawer inserts. Available through California Closets, 7550 Miramar Road, 858-695-0882.|