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August 1, 2009 | David A. Keeps
Sometimes, stress begets success. Take the genesis of the Manana floor lamp by Marie-Louise Gustafsson. While doodling to relax, she drew an armless stick figure that later became the basis for this kicked-back light for Design House Stockholm. The lamp leans against a wall, secured by a nail that fits into a hole in the tubular upright. Five and a half feet tall and equipped with an adjustable shade and dimmer switch, it's ideal for reading or ambient light.
March 23, 2014 | By Bob Pool
A monthlong mystery over who illuminated the big grin on Simi Valley's Happy Face Hill has been solved: Two sisters, ages 3 and 7, did it. "They wanted to surprise me because they knew how much I love the happy face," said their mother, Allison Robertson of Simi Valley. Robertson is a business administration student at Moorpark College who tries to do her studying on weekends. Her husband, Doug, takes Tabitha and Evelyn on Saturday jaunts to give her some peace when she hits the books.
January 30, 2010
Gabriel Abraham found that living in a historic R.M. Schindler apartment in L.A. had one drawback: "It was very hard to install lighting fixtures." The designer found inspiration in French Modernist Jean Prouve's 1950 Potence lamp, which has been reissued by Vitra for $1,560. Working on a more modest budget, Abraham crafted a smaller version of the wall-mounted swiveling lamp, shown above in the Schindler apartment. "Friends got to like it, so I started to make them as gifts, and it caught on," Abraham says.
March 9, 2014 | By Bob Pool
Steve Apostolof had a frown on his face as he drove past Happy Face Hill. The hillside features a 150-foot-wide smiley face that was created in 1998 by a man armed with a weed-whacker and a sprayer of herbicide. Since then, it has become something of a curiosity piece that welcomes motorists on the 118 Freeway to Simi Valley. But in the January dusk, Apostolof couldn't see Happy Face Hill, let alone its enormous grin. "With the sun setting early, the hill was pitch-black," Apostolof said of his trip home from work.
January 10, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Jacques-Philippe Piverger, 35, went from a finance career to the head of a company hoping to bring light to the darkest places. The chief executive and co-founder of Mpowerd was at CES this week demonstrating the Luci solar lantern, designed for campers, eco-devotees and people caught in disaster scenarios -- such as a hurricane. About 3.1 billion people live with little or no access to energy, Piverger said. The Luci lamp, manufactured in Asia, is a transparent cylinder that weighs four ounces.
February 18, 1988
It has come to our attention that the Los Angeles Men's Place, a drop-in center for mentally and/or emotionally ill homeless men and women, is planning to establish a 24-hour supervised home in the Echo Park area. As 37-year homeowners and residents in the area, we heartily support this project. Councilwoman Gloria Molina is to be commended for her support. We urge our neighbors and area homeowners to also support LAMP in this project. Although this is only a drop in a bucket of the tremendous need, every drop counts.
September 7, 2009 | Richard Verrier
Luxo Jr., the squeaky desk-lamp character created by animation guru John Lasseter 23 years ago, is in the spotlight again -- under the glare of a transatlantic lawsuit. The hopping swivel lamp has been a corporate mascot for Pixar Animation Studios since its founder created the character in 1986 for a short computer-animated movie that was nominated for an Academy Award. Lasseter was said to have based the character on his own Luxo lamp. Norwegian lamp maker Luxo filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in New York accusing Pixar and parent Walt Disney Co. of infringing its copyright by selling a limited-edition Luxo Jr. lamp packaged with a Blu-ray version of the Disney/Pixar movie "Up."
December 3, 1989 | From Times staff and wire reports
A glass and bronze lotus lamp sold at Sotheby's for $1.76 million, a record price for a 20th-Century decorative work of art, the auction house said. The lamp by the French artists Daum Nancy and Louis Majorelle had been expected to bring $500,000 to $600,000, a Sotheby's spokeswoman said in New York. Each of its three sockets supports a mold-blown, wheel-carved glass shade in pink and green, with the largest in the shape of a lotus blossom and the other two molded as lotus buds.
May 22, 1993
Mike Downey may know sports, but he doesn't know his legends. In his May 9 column, he says Warren Rychel spends more time in the penalty box than Aladdin does in his lamp. Aladdin spends no time in a lamp. It is the genie who's in the lamp, not Aladdin. ANDY GOLIN Tarzana
March 10, 2002
Please warn our favorite Broadway star Carol Channing ("Her Desert Stage" by Ruth Ryon, March 3) to remove that four-drawer file cabinet and lamp from her bedside in Rancho Mirage. One mild 4 a.m. earthquake tremor could send the lamp crashing down on the bed pillows. Two two-drawer files placed side-by-side (with lamp for bedside reading) will enhance the bedroom appearance and make an excellent place for one more of the Hirschfeld sketches. While we're on subject of quake safety, clay or quake "glue" to hold wall pictures securely above a headboard is another needed quake safety reminder.
January 30, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
A screen for film or video projection has become a common occurrence at concerts, multimedia being a way of 21st century musical life. A floor lamp on the stage of Walt Disney Concert Hall on Tuesday night was, maybe, a curious homey touch, but hardly eccentric when a green umbrella is the trademark of the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group. The lamp could even have been something stagehands forgot to throw away after the orchestra's last Green Umbrella extravaganza in November, a messily prop-crazed production of Frank Zappa's "200 Motels.
December 28, 2013 | By Jeffrey Head
George Nelson's 1952 Bubble lamps are icons of Midcentury Modernism, arguably some of the most enduring designs of the era. But now that famed illumination, so soft and diffuse, finds itself in the harsh spotlight of one the year's most interesting design disputes. The George Nelson Foundation, which in court documents describes itself as a nonprofit "dedicated to preserving the legacy of Mr. Nelson," filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in May against Los Angeles-based Modernica.
November 18, 2013 | Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
Alex Calderwood, a co-founder of the idiosyncratic Ace Hotel chain where hip patrons mingle amid reclaimed furnishings, died Thursday in London. He was 47. Calderwood's company announced his death on its website but gave no further details. The company's statement called him "our teacher, mentor, guru and most importantly our dear friend. " The Ace - a name chosen, Calderwood told interviewers, because it represents both the high and the low in a deck of cards - draws tourists in Seattle, Portland, Ore., New York, Palm Springs and London.
October 11, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
ATHENS - Locals called Pittaki Street a "public toilet. " Drug addicts and petty criminals frequented the narrow lane, steps from a popular plaza where tourists exploring Greece angle for shots of the looming Acropolis. The scraggle of remaining residents kept to themselves. Graffiti and broken windows adorned grimy walls. Two dimly illuminating streetlights dangled overhead. "It was a very nasty place where you didn't want to live," Stephania Xydia said as she stood looking down the avenue's 200 feet, dusk spilling over the rooftops.
October 10, 2013 | By Craig Nakano
Modernica, maker of those beloved George Nelson Bubble lamps, announced that it is bringing back the Bubble's cousin, the Net. In 1959, the Net Light rolled out to not exactly a fervor. Fewer than 1,000 of the lights were produced before the design slipped into midcentury obscurity. Helping the design's chances for a comeback this time around is a ready market of Nelson devotees and midcentury design fans looking for something a bit different from the now-ubiquitous Bubble. Whereas the Bubble lamps take their shape from metal skeletons, the Net silhouette emerges when fine netting is stretched over a series of metal rings.
September 3, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
The lava lamp celebrates its 50th birthday Tuesday, and though it's more kitsch than classic design, the piece remains just as memorable as mid-century furnishings from Eames, Noguchi and Saarinen.  British inventor Edward Craven Walker designed the lava lamp in 1963 after he spotted an intriguing oil-and-water egg timer at a pub.  "Because it was so completely new, we had to convince people it was worth going with, particularly when it...
July 12, 2007 | David A. Keeps
With a surface resembling delicate ceramics, ostrich eggs have long been used as decorative objects. Recently, lighting designers have taken a fancy to them too. Likening the textured exterior to porcelain, furniture dealer Pat McGann redesigned a vintage lamp by stacking three ostrich eggs on a brass rod anchored to an ebonized wood base. The table lamp shown here ($1,850, including silk shade) as well as a floor version ($2,400) are made locally. 746 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Old toasters are good sellers at shops and flea markets nowadays. The first spring-driven pop-up toaster was introduced by Toastmaster in 1926. Pop-up toasters from the 1940s and '50s usually sell to people who want to use them to make toast. They are dependable and can be easily repaired. Prices are reasonable, ranging from $15 to $30. Toasters from the first three decades of the 20th century sell to collectors who are interested in their design or technology.
July 15, 2013 | By L.A. at Home staff
West Elm previewed its new designs for fall 2013, providing a sneak peek at furniture, lighting and decorative accessories that will roll into stores during the next couple of months. L.A. at Home writer Lisa Boone, producer Dianne de Guzman and editor Craig Nakano reviewed the store's media "look book" and made picks for this new feature, the first in a series of thoroughly unscientific and overly opinionated overviews of mass-market home décor collections. PHOTOS: First impressions of new West Elm designs  We'll share our first impressions and invite you to do the same via reader comments.
July 6, 2013 | By Kyle Schuneman
Lighting can be the most overlooked element in design, especially if you're renting. We inherit whatever fixtures were installed by the landlord and left by the tenant before us. If we're lucky, we may get a wall sconce in the entry or a chandelier that isn't too dated. But usually we're left with a bare-bones start, and the thought of messing with the wiring is overwhelming. You don't have to stay in the dark. Great lighting is possible anywhere. Take your favorite gastropub.
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