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Modern Musings

Get maximum impact from minimalist designs created by Ilan Dei of Venice.

His sparse, high-style furnishings are contemporary, accented with notes reminiscent of the Art Deco and 1950s eras.

Dei, an Israel native, is also influenced by North African culture and the Far East, where he studied architecture and design. He uses a variety of materials, including wood, metals, cast aluminum, brass, glass, ceramics and stone.

The designer, who has been working since 1992 creating pieces for commercial ventures, is moving into the residential market. He opened a showroom, Ilan Dei, in Venice in May.

"Things have been going well," Dei says. "I've taken the furniture out of the Pacific Design Center and put it in an environment more accessible to shoppers."

Among some of Dei's unique pieces is the Bumble Bee computer desk ($2,300, 29 1/2 inches high, 60 inches wide, 36 inches deep) made of maple, mahogany, stainless steel and aluminum.

The Wave bookshelf ($1,600), made of maple, aluminum and copper, can be structured with several units. Each piece is 30 inches high, 60 inches wide and 16 inches deep.

The El Punto entertainment center ($2,500)--maple, aluminum and blue stained glass--is 66 inches high, 40 inches wide and 24 inches deep. The top shelf would hold the TV, but the shelf can also be placed in the center.

Dei says it takes him four to five weeks to complete an order. His showroom is at 1227 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; (310) 450-0999.

Dish Covers

First the television, then the VCR. Now it's the dish.

When new technology becomes a mainstream household product, most of us try to find a place to put it--and hide it. Entertainment centers do the trick for TVs and VCRs. Now, if you have a digital satellite system, you can dress up your dish or take it with you.

Rock On has developed a hollow, faux-granite boulder to cover an 18-inch dish. The realistic-looking boulder also blends in with most landscapes; it is sold with smaller versions for those who want to create rock gardens.

The cover does not block the signal, so the satellite signal stays clear. The boulders ($250; about $50 for the smaller ones) are available at DSS retailers throughout the county. Call (800) 543-5102.

When you're ready to take your home on the road, DSS systems are available for recreational vehicles. Automated systems are operated with the touch of a button from inside the RVs. Manual units can be cranked out of the roof by hand or set on a tripod on the ground. Either unit provides the same movies and entertainment as home-based systems.

Prices vary due to receiver selection and installation requirements.

For the nearest dealer, call (800) 287-5052, (800) 288-8044 or (800) 262-1044.

Clutter Buster

With many homeowners sprucing up their digs inside and out, finding places to store paint cans, tools and other supplies can be a problem.

Look to Rubbermaid for one creative solution.

The company's storage sheds not only hold a bundle, but also they take about 10 minutes to set up. They are made of light, weather-resistant resin, so they won't rot or rust. They have seven interlocking panels, so no tools are necessary for assembly. And they are lockable.

The sheds (about $120 to $320) are available at hardware stores, home centers and garden supply stores.

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