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June 10, 2004|Janet Eastman; Tim Sanchez; Chris Erskine

A modern pad for one cool cat

CONSIDER the stay-at-home cat. Felines like the sun and easygoing attitude of island getaways, but without a passport, what can they do?

Perhaps IKEA's wicker bed ($49) can cool their desire for lazing under swaying palm trees. Unlike lowly cat mats, this breezy platform is 2 feet high and looks like stacked, upended huts.

The top is scooped out to make room for purring bellies to sink into a washable faux-fur cushion with a teasing, dangling tail. The base is a hideaway with an arched opening that tickles curved backs on the way in and out. Top-to-bottom walls of woven wicker -- convenient scratching posts -- won't fray under kneading claws.

For more information on the latest offering in the company's PALS pet collection, call the Burbank store, (818) 842-4532; Carson, (310) 527-4532; Costa Mesa, (714) 444-4532; or Covina, (626) 732-4532;

-- Janet Eastman

Your new best frond

CAN'T make it to Cabo? Get Cabo to come to you with an authentic, imported Mexican palapa.

The Spanish word for beach hut, palapa was originally a Tagalog word for coconut frond. Ocean-traversing Filipinos introduced coconuts to Acapulco in the 16th century, and resourceful natives have been enjoying the shady abodes ever since.

Like its southern counterpart, this version from Oasis Furniture in Malibu is exactly what you'd find on the sandy shores of the Mexican Riviera with some convenient differences: It's not a permanent structure. With a wide cement base, this mobile sun screen can also be opened and closed at will, allowing for rainy season storage.

The sun-resistant umbrella comes in two sizes: 7 feet in diameter ($499) and 9 feet ($599), a bargain considering that other less authentic knockoffs retail for as much as $1,500. Maintenance? No problema: A few spritzes of Simple Green once or twice a month, and you are likely to have mold-free fronds all year long.

Oasis Furniture, 3931 S. Topanga Canyon Blvd., at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Topanga Canyon in Malibu, (310) 456-9883.

-- Tim Sanchez

Think of it as a secret tile resort

CLASSIC Tile & Mosaic is one of the tile trade's inner sanctums, usually open only to designers, architects and builders looking for handcrafted architectural accents, lava countertops and other hard-to-find stone pieces. But this weekend, the company's new warehouse will open its adjoining showroom to the public. The business' 11,000-square-foot headquarters on La Cienega Boulevard joins neighboring architectural firms and galleries in the burgeoning design district. The sale will include overruns and discontinued lines of mosaics, ceramic tiles, glass, stone and Italian tile. Discounts will range from 40% to 60% off the usual warehouse prices.

Classic Tile & Mosaic, 3221 S. La Cienega Blvd. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (310) 287-0142.

-- Chris Erskine

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