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THE SCOUT IN THE SOUTH BAY

Holiday cheer at the beach

December 14, 2006|Jake Klein | Special to The Times

AT Growing Wild, a go-to destination in Manhattan Beach for unusual flower arrangements, customers clamor for seashell wreaths this time of year. Intricately woven pine and maple branches are decorated with beautiful tropical shells. Owners (and twins) Lee, above left, and Lisa Hoven, say the pieces lend a breezy, beachy, distinctly Southern Californian air to the holiday home. "Because of our proximity to the water," adds saleswoman Scottie Wells, "the seashell wreaths just make sense." Prices range from $85 to $245. 1201 Highland Ave.; (310) 545-4432; www.growingwild.net.

-- Jake Klein

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OPENINGS

Style that goes coast to coast

"Ralph Lauren fine-tuned my style," says Waterleaf co-owner Suzanne Ascher, far left, who opened the Manhattan Beach store recently with Jill Johnson. Their blend of East Coast preppy and West Coast surfer styles is helping to define the city's sandy sophistication. Standout items include Liberty of London silk cocktail napkins, left, ocean- and tree-themed John Derian Co. decoupage glass plates and designer Cindy Ciskowski's silk-, linen- or raffia-shaded lamps, which Ascher says have been flying out of the store. A line of custom chairs includes the Bali recliner, which Ascher says is "a big hit with the guys." 1210 Morningside Drive; (310) 545-3175.

-- Jake Klein

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TRENDSPOTTING

Young vintage fans are mixing things up

Is midcentury style on its way out? Not from what Gavin Hampson is seeing. The owner of the affordably priced vintage shop Grot in Redondo Beach says the look is still attracting younger shoppers, many of whom are unafraid to blend midcentury with contemporary. "They just buy what they love, what speaks to them," says Hampson, below. "And they don't worry if the mix is 'correct.' " Hampson, a former set painter and self-described "movie business escapee," operates from a humble hut on Pacific Coast Highway, enticing passersby with an ever-changing collection. Though the emphasis is on clean-lined Scandinavian design, shoppers may also find Italian glass pendant lamps or gnarled redwood coffee tables that look like something from a 1960s Big Sur retreat. Recent offerings have included an unusual roll-top desk ($750), shown above, and a Paul McCobb coffee table in maple ($400). Indoor Danish planters in teak start at $275. 205 S. Pacific Coast Highway; (310) 798-0406; www.grotshop.net.

-- Jake Klein

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