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February 8, 2010 | By Patrick McGreevy
Even as the state grappled with a budget crisis last year, bureaucrats spent nearly $45 million on new vehicles, almost $30 million on new furniture and more than $2 million on off-site meetings and conferences, a legislative panel has found. The expenditures were outlined in a report released Monday by the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review, which plans to call on state agency managers to explain their spending at a hearing Wednesday. "These expenses came despite an executive order from the governor last year for each state agency to cut costs and eliminate vehicle purchases unless they were for emergency purposes," said Mark Martin, a consultant for the committee.
December 12, 2009 | By Debra Prinzing
Its exterior is classic California bungalow with beveled siding, wood-trimmed windows and a cheery gabled roof. But inside the Venice house, owners David and Jennifer Ritch live with clean lines, an open floor plan and modern furnishings. Can the two styles -- cottage and contemporary -- coexist? How can 1906 California architecture meld with the design preferences of its 2009 occupants? The Ritches asked themselves those questions when they decided not to demolish a 950-square-foot bungalow that the city of Los Angeles had already cited as a public eyesore.
October 10, 2009 | David A. Keeps
Barbra Streisand, a well-educated student of antiques and vintage decorative arts, has finally declared a major: "Eighteenth century American furniture and the design of the architects Greene and Greene are my special love," she says. Think of it as a stylistic downsizing. Because her current three-house compound in Malibu is devoted to these particular genres, Streisand is auctioning nearly 500 items from other periods and styles -- Louis XV and XVI, Georgian, Art Nouveau, Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright and Art Deco -- that once furnished homes in Beverly Hills, Malibu and Manhattan but have long been in storage.
May 12, 2009 | Corina Knoll
Forget that you're standing behind a giant green dumpster in a driveway cluttered with dusty relics of someone's past. Forget the musty smell, the awkward silence. Now stare down that shabby $5 metal cabinet. Do you see trash? Treasure? If you're Alexis Hadjopulos or Tom Whitman, you see an industrial vintage piece worth well over its garage-sale price tag. Which is why that metal cabinet is now pictured on their online furniture store,
May 2, 2009 | David A. Keeps
GIVEN the demands of the global recession, one might expect inspiration and innovation to be in short supply at the world's most important home furnishings show, which closed here Monday. Yet the 2009 Salone Internazionale del Mobile, where top designers showcased their latest looks, offered proof that lean times can inspire fresh thinking.
April 15, 2009 | Andrea Chang
Faced with a significant sales slump that forced it to close some stores, Z Gallerie Inc., the eclectic Gardena-based home furnishings retailer, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The privately held company has 57 stores in 18 states and said it had sufficient cash to continue operating its business, including keeping all locations open and taking custom furniture orders through its stores and website.
March 7, 2009 | David A. Keeps
In the furniture section of Office Depot in Studio City, interior designer Lauren Rottet identifies the most common misstep in setting up a work space at home: "Because it's quick and easy, there's always the temptation to buy a whole room ensemble -- matching desk, chair, cabinet and hutch -- but they really dominate a room, and chances are you don't need all four pieces." She moves on, gravitating to the simplest desk -- nearly black with unfussy hardware.
February 14, 2009 | Roger Vincent
A nearly new but struggling shopping center for home furnishings near South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa has been purchased out of foreclosure at a fraction of its original value by Orange County investors who hope to nurse it back to health. South Coast Home Furnishings Center, which sold for $100 million before it was completed in 2007, was bought again for about $39 million Friday by Burnham USA, a commercial real estate developer and investor.
February 7, 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.
January 31, 2009 | Debra Prinzing
Standing 6 feet, 4 inches tall, wearing an orange linen shirt and blue jeans, animator Don Hahn strides through the foyer of his newly renovated La Canada Flintridge home, juts out his square chin and proclaims, "I wanted a Mr. Incredible house." As a producer of Disney blockbusters including "The Lion King," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Beauty and the Beast," for which he received an Oscar nomination, Hahn has worked on some of Hollywood's biggest animated hits.
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