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Two shows, hundreds of looks

For designers premiering their latest at CA Boom and Westweek, key elements are glamour, Asian style and the color red.

March 29, 2007|David A. Keeps | Times Staff Writer

WHAT'S new on the home front? This week, two decidedly different events -- Westweek and CA Boom -- roll out the latest looks in furniture.

Sponsored by the Pacific Design Center, the three-day Westweek opened Wednesday and features a flurry of product introductions aimed squarely at L.A.'s big-budget professional decorators. By comparison, the CA Boom exposition, opening Friday to the trade and Saturday to the public in Santa Monica, is a scrappy showcase for the cost-conscious contemporary furniture crowd that believes in the democratization of design (yet doesn't mind paying the $20 admission).

At CA Boom, craft-based artisan pieces will mix with mass-manufactured decorative elements such as Bored Inc.'s Decorama, a new line of vinyl wall art.

The show's emphasis will be on the modern -- design that is driven by function and often employs humble materials to create futuristic forms. Local designer Seth Ernsdorf, represented by the downtown L.A. showroom Ford Brady, turns a ridged concrete bowl with an archeological vibe into a centerpiece with the addition of dozens of tea lights.

Edging past the citrus greens and oranges of the midcentury obsessed, red is a staple of contemporary design this spring. CA Boom exhibitor Alberto Frias uses the color to enliven 3sum, a fiberglass three-seater.

The color will make a statement at Westweek too. Architectural cabinets and

bookcases designed by Christian Liaigre at Holly Hunt showroom get a shot of Chinese red. The Scatter chair by Dakota Jackson is composed of an upholstered red seat on a tubular steel base. (In an unusual move for a showroom that normally sells only to the trade, the chair will be available to the public for $450 at

Another theme among Los Angeles designers showing at Westweek: Hollywood glamour. Kevin Kolanowski's Manhattan chandelier is a multiple-pendant fixture strung with smoky topaz chips that shimmer like the sequins of a Jazz Age femme fatale. The Julius bench by Gregorius Pineo has a neoclassical

opulence that conjures Claudette Colbert lounging on it as Cleopatra.

The reduction of Asian motifs into decorative elements is a trend that adds sophistication to minimalist furnishings. Nowhere is this more evident than at Troy Adams Design, best known for its luxury dressing rooms but now boldly stepping into the great room. Adams will showcase a Sub-Zero refrigerator behind an interpretation of a tansu chest made of combed oak and finished with sanded stainless steel handles. He also will place a teppanyaki grill in the center of a $15,000 dining table topped with enameled lava stone. Naturally, it comes in red.


Tricks of the trade for viewing

The closest thing L.A. has to an official home fashion week arrives in the form of two events, one geared to the public and the other for the trade.

CA Boom: Modern furniture, lighting, decorative accessories, building materials and prefab housing. Open to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Barker Hangar, Santa Monica Airport, 3021 Airport Ave. $20. (310) 394-8600,

Westweek: The event is geared to interior design

professionals, but panel talks and showrooms (usually trade-only) are open to the public. For a schedule of events:

-- David A. Keeps

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