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TRENDSPOTTING

Showrooms display gold furnishings

February 07, 2009|Barbara Thornburg; David A. Keeps

Modern interiors have long been filled with the cool, silver hue of stainless steel, chrome, polished nickel and aluminum. But recently, furniture and accessories in lustrous, golden finishes -- polished brass, bronze and gold-spun aluminum -- have been turning up with increased frequency in high-end Southland showrooms. "Gold used to be very old-fashioned, but it's been so long since designers used it, it's now increasingly sophisticated and avant-garde," says Thomas Lavin, whose furniture salon showcases the golden touch of Madeline Stewart and Orestes Suarez. L.A. designer Philip Nimmo loves the Midas effect so much, he's planning an El Dorado collection of lighting, tables and fire screens finished in 24-karat gold for Westweek in March, when designers from around the country converge on the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood to scout trends. Though these examples are beyond the budget of many shoppers, they embody a look that consumers may see filtering down to mass-market retailers in the months to come. You'll find more picks in our expanded gallery at latimes.com/thescout.

-- Barbara Thornburg

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OPENINGS

Catch 'em on the rebound

Timed to the start of Palm Springs Modernism Week, furnishings retailer Design Within Reach will open its first Annex on the West Coast, with overstock furniture, customer returns, floor samples and discontinued lines offered at 20% to 75% off. The new Annex, part of a DWR store opening Friday, will have pieces such as a David Trubridge-designed, 5-foot-long Koura pendant made from pine plywood and stainless-steel rivets; it's marked down to $1,875 from $7,500. For palm fanciers, the indoor-outdoor Gratia collection of metal and fiberglass planters (shown here), regularly $580 to $675, will be reduced by 20%. 800 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; (760) 322-8750; www.dwr.com.

-- David A. Keeps

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GARDEN

Bloom is off the big shows

You loved them, you loved them not. Citing declining attendance and the loss of corporate sponsors, the organizer of the annual San Francisco and Seattle garden shows announced that the 2009 events would be his last. The shows' founder, Duane Kelly, said that unless a buyer comes forward, the final Northwest Flower & Garden Show will be held Feb. 18 to 22. The final San Francisco Flower & Garden Show will be March 18 to 22 in San Mateo. Attendance in Seattle, the second-largest garden show in the country behind Philadelphia's, was down about 35% last year compared with its peak in 1999. Attendance at the San Francisco show, the nation's third largest, was off about 37% from its 2002 peak. Kelly's announcement follows the decision by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society to cancel its Boston show, which had been the fourth largest in the U.S.

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