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Home girls

photo (22)

I wore a tee with neon-bright beads in hommage to Elise, who never met a neon bright she didn’t like.

Cliche but true: there are no friends like old friends.  And no times better than those spent with old friends you don’t get to see nearly enough—which is why yesterday was so stone cold perfect. I spent it with Elise Loehnen, a Lucky ex-staffer of the seriously old school, who pretty much grew up at the place, going from assistant to a full-on senior level muckety muck. Now she’s out in LA running the shopping site Beso, which is well worth bookmarking if it’s not already on your regular rotation. I visit routinely for inspiration.  Elise has always been one of my favorite people to go on hours-long shopping walkabouts with, and after a lively lunch with her boss, that’s precisely what we did. (Only in LA, of course, it’s more of a driveabout.)

photo (23)

Robin Edlow, who has always liked a nice statement necklace, just almost pulls off this wall hanging

But first we hooked up with another former partner in crime, Miss Robin Edlow. Robin worked the PR game back in New York, and now plies her trade out here. Robin is also cheer personified; the only person I’ve ever met who can put a smile on my face every time I see her.

bud vase set

We stopped in at Heath Ceramics, where I promptly went out of my mind for pretty much everything. Maybe it’s just a grass-is-greener situation, but I really do think LA has New York’s ass kicked on the whole design boutique front. My head spinned as I checked out the goods here, including this bud vase set, which manages to be simultaneously midcentury-ish and crafty.

heath kids

I was so nuts for the tomato-soup red plate that’s part of this kid’s dinnerware set that I bought the plate on its own, just so I could enjoy the tomato soup-y perfection of its hue, and serve the occasional verrrry snall side dish on it.

 

stack mug

Also: this mug, and in fact Heath’s entire Rim line, is so excellently Big Sur that it practically qualifies as a classic. I bought four dinner plates of the white rims; I don’t usually invest in dinnerware because I break everything, but these babies are solid, and did not cost a crazy fortune. (Sturdiness aside, I still wouldn’t have bought that pretty mug, though. I really kill all mugs, which is why all of mine now come from Crate & Barrel and cost less than a large latte.)

plastica

Another destination: Plastica, where everything comes in bright, and more bright, and you quickly find yourself getting sucked in to the happy local aesthetic. Before you know it you’re decorating the fictional home  in the hills you are nowhere near actually committing to moving across the country for.

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For instance, for the backyard deck, by the pool (everyone has a pool!): these African chairs, which also come in vibrant-in-a-chic-way Kente patterns.

plastica.rug

Brilliant: This Navajo rug is 100% synthetic. When it gets dirty, you just hose it down. And it’s crazy cheap.

plastica.savanne

Same deal with this runner.

robin.e

Look how nice it is in Robin’s entryway. I’ve been wanting a rug for under my kitchen table for ages, but there’s something so unsanitary—unless you are exceedingly conscientious, housekeeping-wise—about the prospect of a rug under a table where one dines. This makes the notion feel wholly do-able, however.

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Posted on January 16th, 2013 22 Comments

22 Responses

  1. mims says:

    thanks for the eye candy, I love me a good vicarous armchair trip.
    hey those heath studio mugs (i own one I got a thrift) is my least favorite cuppa. Very awkward to drink from, I just stash pens in it on my desk. SO no loss there if you prefer C and B.

  2. Q: Do you know how excited I get when you give us sharp decorating links?

    A: VERY!

  3. meara says:

    love heath and plastica, Carla who owns the shop is my lovely neighbor. If you get a chance to come east visit Mohawk General Store!

  4. Elise says:

    Ahhhhhh best day ever! I’m wearing three of my five purchases (because you can’t really wear sewing notions or a pom pom wall hanging).

  5. Viajera says:

    I was wondering about the result of the great mug debate of 2012. I feel better now!

  6. Viajera says:

    You know, far be it from me to discourage anyone from moving to LA. There are a lot of great things about it. The thing is, as you are already getting to know, the trick is to stay out of your car as much as possible, or at least, never travel in rush hour (which is almost all the time though), unless you can take the subway (We have one!), or you aren’t going very far. I personally enjoy the bus sometimes, but they do take forever too. To be honest, I live in the Hollywood area and sometimes trying to get to even La Cienega (which is near 3rd, where it looks like you went…), by the time I get there, I need a drink!

    So, just my opinion, but it’s more important to live near your friends than to live in any particular part of the city, even though the Hills are great. But maybe they live there so there’s no issue. If you were to move here, I’d want you to have a great time, and this whole location/traffic issue bears serious thought. Otherwise, LA can be lonely, I think.

    • KimFrance says:

      I do love your lovely city a great deal, Viajera, but I would miss my family too much to make the big move for longer than a year. But as far as traffic goes: I know it’s worse in LA, but a girl can go pretty nuts trying to get across town durung peak hours in NYC as well!

      • Viajera says:

        It has been too long since I’ve been in NYC. Wonderful place.

        Well, a bicoastal thing would be good too. You could be here when it’s too cold there, and there when it’s too hot here. We sometimes get our heat in November, so that might actually work. Or not, climate change and all.

  7. Leah Z says:

    Thanks for the eye candy! Those rugs are great. But, just so you know, Heath Ceramics is based in Sausalito…in Northern California

  8. Arin says:

    Speaking of Beso, did you all ever announce a winner for the reader catalog contest that took place last summer?

  9. Elise says:

    Eleanor won the first contest (stumping Kim), but I do not believe that we picked a winner for the second one, which is totally my bad. We’ll do it now!

  10. Rachel says:

    Really fun to vicarious travel along. I am a huge Heath fan. When you come visit our fair San Francisco, hop across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and go to the factory and factory store. Terrific factory tour and history of Heath. My favorite go-to-mug are ones that I bought at the factory outlet store. There like these but with a handle. Can’t find them online. Best coffee cup ever.

    http://www.heathceramics.com/cook-dine/set-cup-set-ruby-red-suede-red.html

  11. Donna says:

    I love L.A., despite the traffic. (Although the traffic is pretty horrible, even compared to my previous home of Atlanta.) I lived in “the O.C.” and had a hard time getting friends to brave the traffic to go to L.A., but when we did I always enjoyed it. I love New York, too. IMO if you live in either one you’ve got a great home. Thanks for sharing!
    Donna
    http://www.prettysparklythings.blogspot.com

    • Viajera says:

      I hear you. I have a friend who lives in OC who goes everywhere on transit. It’s true, this is safer for men, but apparently, it is possible to do. Now, getting by train between LA and San Diego? No, that’s not going to happen in any reasonable way yet. But OC might be getting more doable. I hope so! ‘Cause that is an ugly commute, though I know people who do it.

  12. Sue says:

    Glad you had fun, you hit up some of my faves.

    BTW I am a former NYkr who has lived out here for just under 20 yrs and I don’t drive. Never have. You don’t need to drive everywhere (though LA is a lot bigger than NY proper so depends on where you start) by any means. That cliche especially from NY bugs me; its so very Woody Allen/70s. Been said so often it doesn’t matter if its factual it seems.

    Ok, cranky part done with.

    You should hit downtown LA next visit out here, lots of fun shops and eats – take the train :)

  13. Andree says:

    Who makes that lovely neon beaded tee and is it still available for purchase??