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Exquisite

March 29, 1997|CYNDI Y. NIGHTENGALE

From its intricate detail to the materials used to make it, this egg is truly a gem.

It took two years for artisans Chris Eric, Phil Roberts and James Grahl of J. Grahl Design in Newport Beach to create the 8-inch-tall golden egg. They were commissioned by family practice physician Barry Marfleet of Tustin to make the egg of red enamel, platinum, rubies, diamonds, pearls and 18-karat yellow, rose and green gold.

There's a working carousel, and the floor of the carousel is made of mother-of-pearl. Circulating on the carousel are inch-tall gilded animals. At the base of the egg is an inch-tall gold elephant with a Tahitian black pearl.

Marfleet, a lover of Faberge eggs, said he always wanted to try his hand at one, so he pitched the idea to Grahl, and his dream started to come true. "We started on this egg in 1991," Marfleet says. "It is actually a prototype for a bigger one that will be completed later this year."

The egg is has music mechanism that plays two old French songs, and the ruby at the top opens and closes the shell.

The ultimate Easter egg is on display at Black Star & Frost at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. It's bejeweled price? $550,000.

Call (714) 549-2522.

Hare Style

Peter Rabbit, with carrot in hand and a mischievous glint in his eye, jumps to life in Motif Designs' latest collection of Beatrix Potter wallpapers and borders.

There are seven borders, seven wallpapers and four fabrics in the grouping. The images are classic Potter, but the color and pattern compositions are new.

Motif has expanded the traditional pastel Potter palette to include primary colors on a crisp, white background for a vivid presentation. For those who prefer a softer, antique look, the same colors are offered on a muted, textured backdrop.

Other characters from the tales of Peter Rabbit--Jemima Puddle Duck, Mrs. Moppet and the sly fox--are included in the designs, complete with all the nuances from the original watercolor illustrations. (State-of-the-art technology has made it possible for the graduated colorations to appear on wallpapers and borders.)

The wallpapers cost about $20 per roll. The borders are about $18 per 5-yard roll.

For information or to locate the nearest retailer, call (800) 431-2424.

French Dressing

It's possible to achieve a plush decor without spending hundreds of dollars, says Claudia Strasser, founder of the Paris Apartment design firm in New York and author of "The Paris Apartment."

In her book (ReganBooks/HarperCollins; $25), Strasser shows how to decorate with the elegance and sophistication of past centuries on a flea-market budget.

The book is divided into three sections--Philosophies, Transformations and Sources.

In the Philosophies section, Strasser, who fell in love with the lush look while living and working in France, explains the necessary elements of a luxurious style.

In Transformations, photographs chronicle remodels from start to finish. Readers track the metamorphosis of rooms into a Parisian boudoir or a glamorous '40s Hollywood bedroom.

Sources explains how to shop flea markets and supply stores and how to figure out what pieces go with a certain style.

Throughout the book are decorating tips and how-to's on furniture refinishing, lighting and restoration.

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