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THE SCOUT

Mondrian's fantasy chic

August 30, 2008|David A. Keeps | Times Staff Writer

SEEN

For HIS $40-million redesign of the Mondrian in West Hollywood, Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz goes one step beyond the "Alice in Wonderland" concept of the hotel's original mastermind, Philippe Starck. "This is what Alice found on the other side of the looking glass," says Noriega-Ortiz, pictured. Indeed, when the new design premieres Thursday, the concierge desk will be shaped like a toadstool. Guest rooms feature an oversized mirror on a swivel pole: One side is a sunset-orange-colored looking glass, and the other side is a TV screen. The neo-Rococo curve of the piece is echoed in headboards and daybeds that referenceMon the peaks and canyons of the Hollywood hills, and botanical motifs sprout on lamps, tables and wallpaper. Backlit bathroom mirrors and vanities emphasize the glamour of sparkly golden Silestone countertops. One of Noriega-Ortiz's brightest ideas to steal: a grand chandelier made from a cluster of nine petite, strategically hung glass dazzlers bought online for $99 each at www.greatchandeliers.com.

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INNOVATIONS

Holding a candle

Temptress in a teacup? Designed as a limited edition for the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, this seductive, peony-scented candle from the Australian bath and beauty house MOR does double duty: When the flame finally dies out, the pretty porcelain vessel can be washed out and used with its coordinating saucer. $19.99 each at Provisions, 52 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre; (626) 836-6950.

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FINDS

A model house

Proof that the White House really is wired: this scale model of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the latest in Design Ideas' Doodles Destinations renditions of architectural monuments hand-made from wire. It will brighten up the mantel or desk of any patriot for $92, lame-duck president not included. It's at Zero Minus Plus in Fred Segal, 500 Broadway, Santa Monica; (310) 395-5718.

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SALE

New life for vintage patio set

Sold as Neva Rust iron patio sets, some of the frilliest outdoor furniture since the Victorian era came from the now-defunct company Salterini. After the death of its founder, Salterini embraced the fab '50s with modern designs that are highly prized -- and priced. Reissued by California Living, this new version of the Ribbon ensemble sports a larger decorative backrest and teak arms on a powder-coated steel frame. The five-piece set consists of a glass-topped side table with pairs of armchairs and ottomans, all marked down from $4,100 to $3,100 through Sept. 15. It's part of California Living's biannual sale, also featuring discounts of up to 50% on vintage pieces. 601 N. La Brea Ave., L.A.; (323) 930-2601.

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