Design Diva Retail Tales

Retail Tales


THE CEDROS DESIGN DISTRICT IS STILL a major destination for furniture, accessories and design assistance. After a “David Alan” sandwich special at Lockwood Table, and a photo shoot at Polo Bay Interiors/Duffy’s Designs,(see page 28) I checked out the Chateau Solana Flea Market booth inside Leaping Lotus. That’s interior designer Lynn Harland’s other showroom for antiques, and vintage and Parisian-style goods like pillows. Mais oui.

I ALSO POPPED INTO Nativa’s Cedros Avenue location recently and found owner Mario Scolari holding down the fort and ready to tell me about his latest “design research.” He had been in Oregon buying boggy old wood, some of it from an ancient train station, some of it, no doubt, resurrected in areas of old California like Mendocino. Instead of repurposing it into his furniture designs au naturel, he has given the rustic lumber a finish with gold or silver leaf rubbed into the edges and grain. Shimmering logs are very “New York” he tells me.

ALSO, I’M HAPPY TO DISCOVER Dig, a home and garden shop, has reopened on Cedros after leaving Del Mar’s Flower Hill Mall.

PRODUCTION FINALLY HAS RAMPED UP on Ralph Rap-son’s solid-wood Greenbelt rockers (see photo), first designed for the Museum of Modern Art in 1939. Boomerang for Modern has them in rock maple with webbed leather or American black walnut with webbed cotton.

A RECENT WEEKEND found me in Little Italy at The Bungalow Store, where Catherine and Peter Chester shared how Californians are still ravenously snapping up the authentic Spanish Revival antiques and vintage pieces that the Chesters unearth. Picture this: an industrial loft in Oakland, furnished in authentic Spanish Revival mode via this San Diego source. True story.

A WORKDAY BREAKFAST found me at a coffee klatch/fashion show with local editors listening to the new in-house style advisor for Neiman Marcus, Alex Yanez. He amusingly touted hot pink and yellow hues, floral prints (we already knew that) and other spring trends à la Ken Downing. Trés bien. Silver shoes, reptile skins on clutches and cuffs, and some scuba-suit influences are on the radar for spring.

I ALSO CHATTED WITH Neiman Marcus’ new general manager, Thomas Melody, a transplant from the East Coast, who just bought a hacienda-style house featured in SDH/GL a decade or so ago.

THE ZAHA HADID HOME DESIGN (pictured, above) for a La Jolla owner on Whale Watch Way would be her first in North America. Everyone’s been watching the long, drawn-out approval process that, barring more appeals, is finally over. Public is the executive architect on this one. Controversy, San Diego-style, is bound to continue.

NOT SURE WHAT KIND OF CLAIM TO FAME this is but when I admired designer Cynthia House’s hair style at an event recently, she shared with me that her L.A. hairdresser also cuts Kim Kardashian’s mother’s hair. House’s hair did look good but that’s quite a drive for me.

-Phyllis Van Doren