AS the architect of the Palm Springs Art Museum, Frank Sinatra's desert house and the mountaintop station of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, E. Stewart Williams helped shape the look of that city. "He was an early environmentalist with his own spin on desert Modernism," says Michael Stern of the Palm Springs Modern Committee, a nonprofit preservation group that will honor Williams at 2 p.m. on Friday with a star on the city's Walk of Stars. Williams, who died in 2005, left a body of work that included the 1954 Edris House, shown above. The star dedication, outside one of his bank buildings at 300 S. Palm Canyon Drive, will be the kickoff to Palm Springs Modernism Week, a 10-day celebration of midcentury architecture and design that includes the Modernism Show with 80 dealers on Saturday and Sunday, as well as a tour of architect Albert Frey's residence and a design symposium featuring East Coast furniture pioneer Wendell Castle. For a schedule, visit www.modernismweek.com.
It's what you want it to be
Inspired by the low Japanese seat called a zaisu, the Zaishu is a flat-pack stool, side table and (when inverted) magazine holder that assembles without nails or glue. The design was introduced in 2004 at the Australian Center for Contemporary Art in Melbourne with stenciled imagery by local street artists. Since then, the Zaishu Project (www.zaishu.com) has incorporated the work of Australian wallpaper designer Florence Broadhurst and traveled throughout Asia and Europe collaborating with artists for limited edition designs that are silk-screened on the exterior surfaces of the piece. The Botanical series Zaishu includes the wild fennel and geranium print ($270) shown here, available at ReForm School in Silver Lake, (323) 906-8660, www.reformschoolrules.com.
Shiny details grab you
Visitors to the recent Maison & Objet home furnishings show near Paris noted a world of decorative accessories in metallic finishes -- a look that already has trickled into Southern California stores. Z Gallerie, which has the distinct air of Hollywood Regency lately, is carrying large-as-life lobsters ($44.95) and crabs ($34.95, above) made from resin and electroplated in chrome for a mirror-like finish. The chain also offers a silver-toned resin horse head ($39.95) as well as white ceramic and resin animal figurines. Southern California locations include Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Pasadena, Long Beach and Corona; for a store locator, go to www.zgallerie.com.
Bohemia tossed in
Indian fabrics have been a key element in bohemian chic since the 1960s. Now, vintage and antique furnishings dealer Pat McGann of Los Angeles has imported vibrant Indian throws and pillows that can add an updated touch of the bazaar to even the most modern environments. Made from hand-spun raw silk and wool, the earthy throws ($385) incorporate saffron yellows and neon pinks. Measuring about 60 inches by 70 inches, the intricately woven pieces also can be used as bed toppers or window panels. The large-scale print of Ganesha, the elephant god, comes in four bright color combinations reminiscent of the work of psychedelic poster artist Peter Max. The 22-inch square pieces, made of machine washable cotton and stuffed with feather and down fillers, are $195 each. (310) 657-8708.
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