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Coming in from all over

The elite of the interior design world meet here to learn, show off and -- of course -- to party.

March 18, 2004|Scott Sandell | Times Staff Writer

Interior design mavens will get an eyeful next week as three Southern California trade shows look at what's hot -- and attract some of the industry's biggest names.

Though no longer connected under the banner of the defunct Design Week L.A., the exhibitions constitute the region's largest annual gathering of interior designers, architects and corporate buyers. "It's certainly going to keep everyone very busy," says Eddie Byrd, director of marketing for the Pacific Design Center, which will hold panel discussions, product demonstrations, an awards ceremony and, as at any convention, plenty of cocktail parties.

Although most of the events are exclusively for professionals, the design center will present the sole seminar open to the public on March 26. It's about how to hire an interior designer as well as how consumers can use the center's service to buy items that are usually available only to the trade. It will be followed by a tour of some of the 100 showrooms in the West Hollywood complex.

The week kicks off on Tuesday with the Spring Market at the Laguna Design Center in Laguna Niguel. In addition to displays of new home furnishings in about 40 showrooms, House & Garden magazine's design editor, Mayer Rus, will interview designer Michael Smith. Thomas O'Brien, founder of Aero Studios in New York, will deliver the keynote address.

On Wednesday and next Thursday, the focus shifts to WestWeek at the Pacific Design Center, where the festivities will feature such panelists as architect Richard Landry, designers Michael Berman, David Easton and Kelly Wearstler and editors from Elle Decor, Veranda, House & Garden, Traditional Home and Western Interiors and Design.

In addition, design center President Charles S. Cohen will honor designers and artists with Stars of Design awards: Smith for interior design, Landry for architecture, Charles Hollis Jones for product design, Lorraine Wild for graphic design, Jon Jerde for urban design, Lari Pittman for art and the late Helmut Newton for photography.

To cap off the week, the L.A. Mart will host NeoCon West, devoted to commercial furnishings and interior design, next Thursday and March 26. Not to be outdone in the awards department, NeoCon is partnering with the Southern California chapter of the International Interior Design Assn. for a show that will include lifetime achievement honors for textile designer Jhane Barnes.

Barnes also will deliver a keynote presentation titled "Design Inspirations -- Off the Beaten Path." Meanwhile, HGTV host Joseph Ruggiero will talk about "Outdoor Decorating: The New Frontier," and Corporate Design Foundation founder Peter Lawrence will discuss "The Architecture of Brands: How Companies Are Using Buildings as a Marketing Resource."


For more information:

Spring Market 2004, 23811 Aliso Creek Road, Suite 1158, Laguna Niguel, (949) 643-2929,

WestWeek 2004, Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (310) 657-0800,

NeoCon West, L.A. Mart, 1933 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, (800) 526-2784,

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