For a hip home furnishings store still in its infancy, the Art & Design Walk will be a day full of baby steps. The new Em Collaborative Studio is timing its opening with the annual walk, when 150 home decor stores, art galleries, clothing boutiques and restaurants in West Hollywood's design district throw parties, hold sales and stage other festivities. At Em (8761 Beverly Blvd.), Emmanuel Cobbet's Modernist-inspired designs will include polyester resin vases and lampshades, shown here, as well as a lounge chair that turned heads recently at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York. "We made sure the comfort is very good," says Cobbet, a former fashion designer who co-founded the store with Marc Yeber, above. "But we also made sure that one seated in the chair looks very, very cool." The event runs from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday on Melrose Avenue and Robertson and Beverly boulevards; (310) 289-2534; www.avenuesartdesign.com/artdesignwalk05.htm.
Ceramics in their natural state
Creating what co-owner Jeremy Petty calls a "transitional gallery space," postwar furnishings store NoHo Modern turns into an art gallery this weekend with the opening of "Brent Bennett: The Nature of Clay, 1958-2005." The artist's furniture, stoneware vessels and wall plaques made of melted glass and tile (including the 20-inch-square work above, $2,200) are inspired by nature. "They are very Southern California," says Petty. An opening reception will run 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday; the show continues through July 16. 11225 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood; (818) 505-1297; www.nohomodern.com.
Tailored for the room or the wallet
Exhibit A: Despite its name, the Richard Nixon carpet by Jonathan Adler is more evocative of Hollywood Regency than West Wing traditional. Hand-loomed in Peru from llama wool and vegetable-dyed in cream and camel, the reversible area rug is custom made to the customer's size at a cost of $25 per square foot. Jonathan Adler, 8125 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 658-8390.
Exhibit B: One hundred percent synthetic and nearly one-tenth the cost, Kmart's Essential Home Wool Look 1 rug mimics Adler's mad, Mod geometrics with a three-tone pattern on a nonskid rubber backing. The runner shown here, roughly 2 feet by 5 feet, is $29.99 from the Kmart at 6310 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; (323) 933-7306.
Windsor stretches its boundaries
It may be 300 years old, but the Windsor chair never looks out of date. Created by wheel makers and famed for its spindled back, the epitome of Colonial seating is no longer a bare wood bore or whitewashed wallflower. Versions in basic black, from $175 and up, are sitting pretty at home stores such as Restoration Hardware. Scout's honor, however, goes to designer Andrea Newcomer's monumental yet minimalist interpretation: a 15-foot solid oak Windsor bench with five arches and a stovepipe base, $9,800, that marries Americana with California Zen. "I wanted to see how far we could take this wonderful British design," says Newcomer, pictured here. "The more elongated it got, the more modern it looked." Custom sizing starts at 4 feet. Arden House Home and Antiques, 920 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 855-1888.
Additional reporting by Times staff writer Lisa Boone. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.