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THE SCOUT

Heart of stones

November 03, 2005|David A. Keeps | Times Staff Writer

FOR Olivier Morange, being a stoner is serious business. The French designer scours the globe for exotic quarries including powdery white limestone from Brazil and coppery slate from India. Last week he opened LivinStone, a showroom for upscale tile, custom surfaces for kitchens and baths, furniture and accessories. His lofty, cream-colored renovation of a barrel-ceilinged storefront on La Cienega Boulevard includes an indoor Zen garden installation, above, a custom order. Other stars of the showroom are Morange's designs: monolithic Parsons consoles and tables constructed from square slabs of stone (from $3,500) and glass water walls framed by solid stone (from $4,500). Go by the store and you'll see a magnificent bathtub in the window. Described by Morange as "wider and lower than traditional tubs and built to hold two," the white limestone Womb lists for $28,000. 937 N. La Cienega Blvd.; (310) 659-0600; www.livinstoneusa.com.

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MADE IN CALIFORNIA: It's the ultimate boxed set

Jeffrey Seaton's nesting boxes hold a surprise: Every set is crafted from a single block of wood. The Ojai artisan saws each successive box from the core of another, then shapes them all into matched pieces. The rich, reddish tone and almost-black veining of cocobolo enhance the Elliptical Monoliths design, shown here. Seaton says the intricate woodwork and seven-step sanding process are so time consuming that he makes only a couple of Elliptical Monoliths a year. One of them -- a 15-inch-tall four-piece set priced at $1,250 -- will be exhibited at the Contemporary Crafts Market. More than 250 artists from across the country will show furniture, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry and other wares from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St. Browse, buy or simply meet artisans such as Seaton and wife Katrina, who crafts the patinated copper accents in the couple's other works. General admission is $6; kids 12 and younger are free. For details, call (310) 285-3655 or go to www.craftsource.org.

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OPENINGS: Bed and breakfast

At the Whole Foods in West Hollywood, shoppers can buy organic cereal, gluten-free muffins and, as of Friday, a table at which to eat it all. A 2,000-square-foot Lifestyle department opened with eco-friendly furniture, dinnerware and sheets. The Bella bed (full-size version above, $3,999) is framed in sustainably forested wood and upholstered in hemp canvas. Similar merchandise is being added to existing locations and rolled out as a store-within-a-store in all new Whole Foods, says George Khoury, vice president. 7859 Santa Monica Blvd.; (323) 848-4200.

Additional reporting by CRAIG NAKANO

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HAPPENING: The `fab' of prefab

Marmol Radziner and Associates has taken the flab out of prefab. The Los Angeles architecture firm's new eco-friendly, energy-efficient steel frame modules start at about $215,000 for a one-bedroom with one bath. They're manufactured in Vernon and then shipped, ready for buyers to add their own interior furnishings and exterior finishes. On Saturday, the company is scheduled to unveil the Desert House, shown here, a four-module prototype configuration with 2,000 square feet of interior living space. The open house runs from 1 to 6 p.m. at 14875 McCarger Road, Desert Hot Springs. For information call (310) 689-0089 or visit www.marmolradzinerprefab.com.

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