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HOME & GARDEN
February 13, 2010 | By Debra Prinzing
When Jim Tripp sends a bouquet of Valentine's roses to wife Lauren, he makes sure the flowers are grown locally. "It's important to support organic farmers and make a conscious choice about where our money goes," says Tripp, Aramark's general manager for sports, entertainment and conventions at the Anaheim Convention Center. "Every time I pull out my checkbook, I can make a difference." According to the Society of American Florists, 187 million roses are produced for Valentine's Day, but only a fraction of those are sustainably or organically grown.
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HOME & GARDEN
February 13, 2010
When Los Angeles designer Shawn Littrell ( www.shawnlittrell.com) read about an invasive bark beetle epidemic devastating our local forests, he was inspired to repurpose the insect-ravaged timber. Littrell's MvCvT tables (an acronym for Man vs. Climate Change vs. Trees) are made from wood slated for destruction by the U.S. Forest Service. The split-plank tables are 16 1/2 inches tall and 12 1/2 inches in diameter and are unfinished, so they generate a natural patina. Cost: $800 each. Look for the limited-edition pieces -- signed and numbered -- at Samuel Freeman Gallery at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; (310)
HOME & GARDEN
February 13, 2010 | By LAUREN BEALE
In the latest real-life installment of the Ashlee Simpson show, the singer-songwriter-actress has listed a Mediterranean-style villa on a private street in the Beverly Hills area for $4 million. Simpson owned the property before her marriage to Fall Out Boy rocker Pete Wentz in 2008. The walled and gated compound has hillside and canyon views. There are five bedrooms and 6 1/2 bathrooms in 7,100 square feet of living space on more than half an acre. The living room features cathedral beamed ceilings, walnut plank floors and French doors that open to decks with views.
HOME & GARDEN
February 13, 2010
Ever since the publication of Stephen M. Salny's 2005 book about the work of interior designer Frances Elkins (1888-1953), reissues of her "loop" chair have rolled out in abundance. Now there's a charming outdoor version created by Robert Willson and David Serrano, owners of the Los Angeles store Downtown. Made in L.A., the steel chair costs $2,200 and can be ordered in 200 powder-coat colors, including the mint-green shown here. The idea of creating the outdoor piece came when a set decorator saw the wood loop chairs that Downtown had been producing and said he recalled seeing metal versions on the set of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."
HOME & GARDEN
February 13, 2010 | By Emily Green
Few plants better connote the sheer luxuriance of the California dream as hibiscus. It comes from a clan of plants known as mallows native to the tropics -- where, University of Texas botanist Paul A. Fryxell says, this family finds its "greatest richness." Fryxell is an authority on mallows, a family that he says has more than 100 genera with cousins around the world, capable of tolerating the high climes of the Andes, the hot and dry valley of Palm Desert and the Mediterranean climate of coastal California.
HOME & GARDEN
February 12, 2010 | By Lauren Beale
A Hollywood Hills home owned by TV dance show judge and producer Nigel Lythgoe has come on the Multiple Listing Service at $2,649,000. The contemporary Mediterranean, built in 1972, has 20-foot living room ceilings, two master bedroom suites with balconies and canyon and city views. There are five bedrooms and five bathrooms in about 4,000 square feet. A one-bedroom, one-bathroom guesthouse overlooks a swimming pool with a waterfall. A dancer since childhood, Lythgoe, 60, is executive producer, co-creator and a judge on the dance competition show "So You Think You Can Dance" (2005-present)
HOME & GARDEN
February 12, 2010 | By Lauren Beale
It's not always easy to pinpoint the biggest sale of the year. Mega-million-dollar transactions can take place outside of the Multiple Listing Service, with the homes marketed by agents as "pocket listings." Other times, the buyer and seller work through lawyers, and a transaction is discovered only when the sale is recorded with the county. Here's a look at the Top 5 most expensive residential sales of 2009 in the Los Angeles area last year, as identified by real estate data provider PropertyShark.
HOME & GARDEN
February 10, 2010 | By Lauren Beale
Update: A Beverly Hills house designed by architect Wallace Neff in 1956 for comedic actor Groucho Marx has sold for $8.8 million. The rebuilt and updated Trousdale Estates home, which maintains its Neff footprint, is approached through a motor court with a central fountain. The one-story contemporary has walls of wood and glass and floors of terrazzo and walnut. There are five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a library and a maid's suite in slightly more than 6,000 square feet.
HOME & GARDEN
February 10, 2010 | By Lauren Beale
Actor-producer-director Tom Hanks has purchased the contemporary Pacific Palisades home of veteran producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, according to area real estate agents. The sales price was listed at slightly more than $26 million at Blockshopper.com, a news and market data service. Property records show that the 14,513-square-foot house, built in 1996, has four bedrooms and five bathrooms. Hanks did not respond to requests for comment. Hanks, 53, won Oscars for his work in "Forrest Gump" (1994)
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