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THE SCOUT

First-class Eames

June 19, 2008|David A. Keeps | Times Staff Writer

Charles and Ray Eames became the first furniture designers ever to be honored by the U.S. Postal Service. On Tuesday, nearly 300 design fans and stamp collectors attended a ceremony at the Eames Office in Santa Monica, grandson Eames Demetrios says. The commemorative edition of 24 million stamps, on sale for one year, is available in collectible 16-image sheets, as shown here. "It's not just the familiar furniture," Demetrios says. The images include the Eameses' 1947 Crosspatch fabric design, a still from their 1969 short film "Tops" and a photographic Christmas card of the late Santa Monica-based Modernists. Demetrios adds, "What's really cool is that the stamps are like their furniture -- works of beauty intended to be mass produced." The stamps are available from post offices, (800) 782-6724 or www.usps.com/shop.

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FINDS

The shape of things

Think of it as instant landscaping: Ballard Designs Tole Topiary Plaques put a modern silhouette spin on the neoclassical grandeur of those manicured trees found in country estates. The hand-crafted, cypress-style tree in a classic English box container, shown here, $179.95, is just over 6 feet tall; its 4-foot double ball companion is $119.95. Both water-saving garden decorations install easily on interior and covered outdoor areas and are available in solid white or black with a rust-finish container. To order, visit www.ballard and enter "tole topiary" in the search field.

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MADE IN CALIFORNIA

Solid, pure and simple

Bauhaus simplicity and Asian-influenced silhouettes distinguish the solid wood chairs, tables and cabinets designed and built by Gary Ferguson of caseandgrain, which has its workshop in Echo Park. His eye is evident in his Low Table, $1,600, shown here, made from five expertly grain-matched planks of sustainably harvested white oak. Delicately tapered legs and gently beveled arms are defining details of cube-shaped Chair 3-45, available for $2,200 in salvaged claro walnut and white oak with a vegetable-dyed bridle leather sling seat. For more information, (323) 514-7823; www.caseandgrain.com.

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HAPPENING

Designed with floors in mind

Founded in 1889, the Swedish design and manufacturing firm Kasthall is renowned for its highly textured, richly colored linen and wool rugs. Today, the company debuts its new wall-to-wall carpeting and area rugs, which are carried exclusively in Los Angeles by the furniture showroom Diva. Among the highlights: Daisy, below, a floral graphic that takes its inspiration from midcentury Scandinavian porcelain, as interpreted by chief designer Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg, a 20-year veteran at Kasthall. The hand-tufted rug, also available on a white background, is $182.79 per square foot. Diva/B&B Italia, 8801 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 278-3191.

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