Classic rugs, 53 years young
The Sollo: Rago Modern Auction last week included a 20-by-10-foot 1964 Edward Fields rug that was expected to sell for $300 to $500. The hammer fell at $1,500, confirming the re-emergence of the boldly patterned designs from the custom carpet maker, which also has drawn attention by creating rugs for the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House in Los Angeles. Fields pioneered the concept of the area rug in a 1952 collaboration with renowned industrial designer Raymond Loewy. Now that series of five designs, including Heavenly (shown here), is back in production, looking as strikingly contemporary in 2005 as it did more than 50 years ago. For more information: (310) 652-3058; http://www.edward fieldsinc.com.
Global report: one look, two prices
Far right: For authentic European garden grandeur, take the 28 1/2 -inch-high Gibson obelisk. Hand-crafted in Belgium from zinc, a heavy metal that will stand up to the strongest Santa Anas, it is oxidized to a beautiful finish that improves with age. $1,340 at the Greystone Home Collection, Los Angeles, (310) 358-8787.
Right: Half the size and 33 times less expensive, this lightweight, machine-made-in-China metal with a mottled finish can satisfy one's current itch for architectural sculpture — but is not recommended for outdoor usage. $39.99 at Target.
Santa Barbara Designs has come up with a sunshade that's as kicky and kooky as a Carmen Miranda costume or the kind of flower-bedecked bathing caps Esther Williams wore. The ruffle-covered Mirasol Flamenco umbrella is for "a happy, party look," says founder Fred Hayward, who put a fresh spin on the market umbrellas he first saw in Italy about 25 years ago. This summer, the company will offer the Lily Pond, a dazzler with fish-scale fabric panels on the outside and underside. Color combinations vary. The 7 1/2 -foot-diameter Flamenco, shown here in "regatta watermelon" with white binding and a powder-coated aluminum frame, is $2,300. Bases to match are $375. Call (800) 919-9464 or visit www.sbumbrella.com.