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INSIDE & OUT : DISCOVERIES : Men of Steel

August 27, 1994|CYNDI Y. NIGHTENGALE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

What palatial estate would be complete without a life-size reproduction of a 15th-Century royal European suit of armor? Made in Toledo, Spain, by descendants of artisans who put together the originals long ago, the detailing on the suits is completely authentic.

Is there a market in Orange County for suits of armor? "Let me just say people there are very familiar with our products," said Bob Khoury of the Noble Collection, which sells the suits and swords and other pieces of period weaponry.

The Lionheart suit ($4,900) is a limited edition piece that is made by only one artisan, who crafts it strictly from memory. All of the work on the breastplate, helmet, knees and elbows is done by hand.

The suits, which stand over six feet, are fully functional and arrive at your home holding a sword.

For information or to order through the Noble Collection catalogue, which is based in Merrifield, Va., call (800) 806-6253.

Hold Everything

Simon & Company's apothecary canisters have the look of antiques, but they are quite contemporary in function.

Designer Simon Scott actually had the bathroom in mind when he came up with the idea, although the canisters hold nearly anything and everything. He wanted something to put his cotton balls and swabs in.

"It was actually a secondary thought to a whole line of housewares I wanted to create," said Scott, 30, of Los Angeles, who is also a jewelry designer. "Doing the jars was actually the easiest and simplest part of the line to do."

The all-purpose jars ($35 and up), available in several sizes, have interchangeable tops that are hand-crafted out of alder wood that's been hand-turned, oiled and stained, then rubbed with beeswax and carnuba wax to protect the finish.

The metal parts on the tops, inspired by old church steeples and Middle Eastern architecture, are brass and zinc coated with a nontoxic varnish.

Scott, who began his canister line about four months ago, will be adding more sizes, including some to be used with herbal candles and to hold jewelry.

Simon & Company's canisters are available in Orange County at Areo in Laguna Beach, Newport Hills Drug and Le Garage in Newport Beach, and Elements in Irvine.

For information, call (310) 659-3882.

Window Dressing

Interior designer Bonnie Sachs' studio shades are meant to add a distinctive look to windows in a variety of room styles. Sachs' collection of valances and portieres are her original designs, which she individually hand-paints on heavy canvas or Ultrasuede.

Sachs, who started her collection in spring 1993, has about 40 standard designs, from Southwestern to floral to dinosaur, that she uses as a starting point.

"Then I customize and personalize them for the client," said Sachs, who also uses tassels and beadwork. "They are very durable; you just wipe them off, so they work well in kitchens, baths and kids' rooms."

Sachs, who lives in Marina del Rey, uses a nontoxic, acrylic-based paint and an acrylic matte varnish.

On average, a 36-inch-wide valance ranges from $250 to $400. Hardware is additional.

For information or to order, call (310) 306-4595.

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