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Plain and Simple


The accent is on form, not fussiness.

Simple shapes with a Far East flavor are the focus of tabletop designer Laurie Gates' two newest spring collections, Kyoto and Swirl.

Gates, who is based in Los Angeles and also designs for Mikasa and Sur La Table, recently visited Japan, where he was inspired by the country's centuries-old temples and modern skyscrapers.

These elements come into play in the Kyoto collection, with its hand-painted spirals, harlequins or graphic stripes.

The grouping includes a square-footed charger ($40), a coup-shaped dinner plate ($35), a square dinner plate ($35) and salad plate with a raised foot ($30). Completing the service is a soup/cereal bowl ($30), salad/pasta bowl ($75), a deep serving bowl ($90) and a covered casserole ($90 for 2 1/2 quart, $120 for 3 quart).

The Swirl collection, an ode to the serenity of Japanese gardens, features undulating edges for a look of fluidity and accents of platinum or gold. This grouping includes a dinner plate ($35), pasta plate ($30), salad plate ($30), soup/cereal bowl ($30), cup and saucer ($35), oversized latte cup ($27.50) and a deep, decorative bowl ($90).

Both collections are available in matte white, khaki, black or celery.

Call (310) 575-1418.


Dress up your resin chairs with the canvas Chairslip by Home and Style of Laguna Beach.

The covering, made of a pliable canvas, stays bright and vibrant for years, says its designer, Karen Cole.

"The canvas is lightweight, but it's like the one used for boat covers," says Cole, who came up with idea about a year ago. She needed extra seating for entertaining and wanted to spruce up the chairs for indoor use.

"The Chairslips are machine washable, rot resistant, mildew resistant and UV resistant and, naturally, water repellent," says Cole, who also uses the Chairslips at the Laguna House, an inn she owns with her husband, Donald. "And not only do they dress up your chairs, they make the chairs more comfortable when it's hot outside."

The Chairslips are available in two stripes--forest/white or navy/yellow ("Yale")--and four solid colors, natural, forest, navy and teal. They fit most standard and high-back resin chairs. Standard size costs $39; the high-back style is $42; plus shipping and handling.

For more information, call (800) 565-5831.

Metal Detector

Bosch's digital metal detector makes it easy to drill a hole before hitting rebar and other metals.

The detector (about $50), which recognizes steel, iron and nonferrous metals, has a scanning depth of up to 3 1/2 inches. It also has a built-in marking device so you don't lose your spot. The detector's handle has an ergonomic design and an automatic cut off to extend battery life.

The detector, which has easy calibration and a battery charge indicator, is available at hardware stores and home centers throughout the county.

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