Paul Bricault gathers artichokes from the 3-by-12-foot rooftop vegetable garden of his home in Venice. He grows artichokes, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, celery, parsley, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, plus a lemon and orange tree.

Small-space garden ideas

Small-space gardening isn't impossible. It involves thinking outside the proverbial garden plot. Here we share several unorthodox space-saving ideas from some of our past garden profiles. Have a creative small-space gardening solution you'd like to share? Send it to home@latimes.com, and we'll consider it.
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 Architect Polly Osborne's philosophy: Green is good

Architect Polly Osborne's philosophy: Green is good

After having grown up on the Monterey Peninsula, L.A. architect Polly Osborne couldn't help but take nature into consideration in her work. "It was all around me," Osborne says.

So too were pioneers whose ideas would ripple down the history of green architecture. Will Shaw, one of the founders, with Ansel Adams, of Foundation for Environmental Design, was her stepfather. Lawrence Halprin, a revered elder of landscape architecture, and George Brook-Kothlow, architect of handmade houses, were friends of the family.

This milieu nurtured what have been the hallmarks of Osborne's oft-awarded...

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Ellen DeGeneres will produce "Ellen's Design Challenge," set to debut on HGTV in 2015.

Ellen DeGeneres to launch furniture design challenge series for HGTV

Popular talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres, who is known for her passion for architecture and design, will next produce a six-episode design competition for HGTV, according to an announcement Tuesday.

"Ellen’s Design Challenge," which is scheduled to premiere in 2015, will feature “six competitors as they tackle ingenious challenges to sketch, design and build extraordinary furniture in just 24 hours.”  

“I’m so excited about this show because I love finding really special pieces of furniture,” said DeGeneres in a statement released by HGTV. “...

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'Eco Bungalow' arises Phoenix-like from holiday tragedy

'Eco Bungalow' arises Phoenix-like from holiday tragedy

When Robin Wilson called Steven Ambers in early 2012 to lightheartedly ask why she hadn't received a holiday card from his family that year, the conversation took a surprising twist. The interior designer hadn't been removed from the Amberses' mailing list.

Instead, the L.A. resident and his wife, Cindy, had lost everything in a fire on Christmas Day 2011 when a menorah candle fell over during the sixth night of Hanukkah in their Beverlywood home.

"It was that moment when you say, 'I'm going to do something bigger,' " Wilson recalls. She sprang into action to help them build a new house.

PHOTO...

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Old computers and other electronics must be taken to a specialty recycling center, such as this one in Paramount, where items are disassembled.

Where to dispose of e-waste in the L.A. area

There's an ecological cost to staying connected and entertained.

Computers, printers, televisions, cellphones, stereos, game systems and other electronics may contain lead, copper or other heavy metals or potentially toxic substances. When electronics have outlived their usefulness, it's important to dispose of them properly rather than just toss them in the trash to be placed into landfills.

Los Angeles city and county residents may drop off their electronic waste free of charge at S.A.F.E. permanent collection centers, typically open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Call or check the...

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Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams showroom opens in Beverly Hills

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams showroom opens in Beverly Hills

Considering Mitchell Gold's and Bob Williams' affinity for traditional-modern hybrid designs -- a Scandinavian-style Windsor chair from their spring collection features Tibetan fur cushions -- their new location in Beverly Hills, not far from modern showrooms in West Hollywood, and around the corner from Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn, seems well situated.

Gold said the new Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams showroom is about three times the size of the former studio on Third Street in Los Angeles. "We are expanding our retail stores throughout the country," he said. "We are able to show much more...

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Ed Begley Jr. and Rachelle Carson-Begley are building a LEED platinum home.

Eco-conscious Ed Begley Jr. lives by example

Actor and eco-activist Ed Begley Jr.'s "aha" moment about the environment came during the first Earth Day in 1970. He heard the talk about air and water pollution, and it struck a chord.

He had personally experienced the effects of L.A.'s smog and seen the pollution in Santa Monica Bay from raw sewage. "So I knew that the problems were real," Begley says.

He got involved and made some changes. And he found benefits to using public transportation and riding his bike, turning the thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer, cleaning with baking soda and vinegar products, and eating low in...

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UC Riverside turfgrass specialist and researcher Jim Baird walks through patches of commercial and experimental Bermudagrass that is being evaluated for drought tolerance.

Seven tips for a water-wise lawn

A little education can go a long way toward maintaining and preserving an existing lawn, or establishing a new one, while minimizing water use. Southern California turfgrass experts provide some advice for saving water on your lawn.

Choose the right turfgrass. Warm-season grasses need 20% less water than cool-season grasses — and rebound well with even less water. Some good choices are Bermudagrass, Buffalo grass, Kikuyu, St. Augustine, Seashore Paspalum and Zoysia.

Water efficiently.No lawn in any season needs daily watering. UC Riverside turfgrass specialist Jim Baird recommends...

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Outdoor furnishings and accessories are up to 20% off at <a href="http://www.westelm.com/?cm_type=gnav&cm_sp=GlobalLinks-_-Topnav-_-WestElmLogo"> West Elm</a>.

Home decor sales: Ikea, Graham & Brown, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and more

Our latest picks for shopping deals include Ikea, Graham & Brown, Land of Nod, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Check out these sales and share your leads with us at home@latimes.com.
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Drawing a line on the lawn amid water conservation and drought

Drawing a line on the lawn amid water conservation and drought

"This is the irony," mused homeowner Richard Turner as he looked over the newly installed and remarkably realistic-looking artificial lawn in his mid-Wilshire frontyard. "We grow grass to make the illusion that we don't live in a desert. Here I am, enhancing the illusion of a lawn that is the illusion we don't live in a desert."

And there's the rub. The iconic lush, green lawn — part and parcel of a mystique deeply embedded in the Southern California psyche and its landscape — has reached a crossroads. Deepening drought, skyrocketing water costs and burgeoning social consciousness...

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Living Homes in Santa Monica built the first house in the U.S. to be certified LEED platinum.

Sustainable housing an evolving term for architects

It's been more than 40 years since architects started embracing green design principles. Spurred by the environmental movement of the 1960s and 1970s, architects began to think about building homes that were more environmentally friendly.

Today, green has become standard even as the term itself reaches saturation. Green features such as solar panels, low-flow shower heads and tankless water heaters, once considered cutting-edge, are now commonplace in Southern California.

Nearly a quarter of all newly built homes in the U.S. last year were green, according to industry research firm McGraw Hill...

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The classic Eames chair returns in a more sustainable material: a recyclable fiberglass.

Herman Miller brings back classic Eames chair in recyclable fiberglass

The iconic Eames molded fiberglass shell chair returns to vintage form as Herman Miller unveils a sustainable version of the 1950 chair that is made from recyclable fiberglass.

Herman Miller discontinued the popular shell chair during the 1980s due to environmental concerns associated with fiberglass production. In 2000, the company reintroduced the chair in recyclable polypropylene, which is commonly used for outdoor furnishings and stackable side chairs.

Now Herman Miller has introduced a sustainable version in fiberglass that is manufactured without VOC or HAP emissions and has the colors...

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Lite   Cycle founder Kristi Head recently added a new scented candle called Urban Forest to her line of pillar candles. She works in her L.A. studio.

Lite + Cycle Urban Forest candles inspired by L.A.'s Griffith Park

What better ode to the upcoming Earth Day than to go unplugged, swapping electricity for candlelight? Keeping it eco-friendly, Lite + Cycle’s pillar candles are composed of vegetable waxes and pure aromatherapeutic essential oils; each one is hand-poured and hand-wrapped.

The line, founded by graphic designer and artist Kristi Head, launched last year with a minimalist pillar candle in three scents: bergamot, vetiver and lavender.

In September, Head left her native New York for L.A., moving to a guesthouse bordering Griffith Park. On the heels of that move comes her fourth scented...

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Neighbors and their dog walk past the Soffer-Adler home in Rustic Canyon, designed by L.A. architect Peter Kim. The exterior of the home is wrapped in reclaimed snow-fence wood from Wyoming. Petrified lichen on the siding adds a touch of green. A century-old sycamore stands at left.

Rustic Canyon home is a natural beauty

Rustic Canyon's sylvan beauty and funky charm cast its spell on Jill Soffer a dozen years ago. She liked the neighborhood's relaxed environment and abundance of sycamore trees and purchased a home there in 2002.

"There's all this green around. It's not too manicured," Soffer said appreciatively. "People are easygoing, everything is a little overgrown, and the creek in the middle of everything is a little shaggy. You can hear the frogs at night."

She planned to renovate her 1920s three-bedroom house, but hadn't yet when she met and then in 2008 married Greg Adler, who had two young sons. Now...

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The Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts opens its 50th designer house on Sunday in Pasadena.

Pasadena Showcase House 2014 features a Stiles O. Clements residence

Architect Stiles O. Clements had a knack for designing lavish buildings — the Spanish Colonial Revival El Capitan Theater, the Adamson House and the Art Deco Wiltern Theatre among them.

Beginning Sunday, architecture buffs can go inside one of Clements' more low-key residential designs as the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts stages its latest design house in Pasadena.

As always, design trends are on display. Twenty-five designers have transformed the 1915 English Arts and Crafts estate while retaining the home's warm spirit.

Drama comes from the abundant color installed throughout...

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The kitchen in this 900-square-foot house designed by Richard Neutra is little more than a hallway. One side has a range with a vent concealed by the upper cabinets. The other side houses the sink below a ribbon of windows, another Neutra signature.

Small-space living: 13 interiors to inspire

Small-space living requires creative thinking, whether you are living in an apartment, condo, bungalow or boat. Here we share several space-saving ideas and inspirations from some of our past Homes of the Times profiles. Have a small-space tip you'd like to share? Send a photo to home@latimes.com and we might add it to the gallery.
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Sunset updates its garden design advice in 'Western Garden Book of Landscaping'

Sunset updates its garden design advice in 'Western Garden Book of Landscaping'

Some garden advice can be heeded no matter where you live. But much in gardening and landscaping revolves around the specifics of location — weather, terrain, soil type and design preferences.

That's where the redesigned and updated "Sunset Western Garden Book of Landscaping," edited by Sunset magazine's Kathleen Norris Brenzel (Oxmoor House, $29.95, paper), has an edge over a more general guide.

A section on plants, for example, includes chapters on palms, ornamental grasses, tropicals, succulents, cactus and natives. It's not the kind of vegetation you're likely to find in Connecticut...

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Chris McLaughlin envisions a suburban frontyard.

'Groundbreaking Food Gardens' presents 73 themed plans

Go ahead, play with your food, Niki Jabbour seems to be saying in her new book, "Groundbreaking Food Gardens" (Storey Publishing, $19.95, paper).

The author of the bestselling "The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener" and host of the radio show "The Weekend Gardener" enlisted leading gardeners and designers to contribute themed food garden plans to "change the way you grow your garden."

They delivered handsomely. The food gardens in this illustrated book, subtitled "73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden," are inventive, inspiring and instructive — and creatively named.

There's...

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Benjamin Stockham, left, plays Marcus and David Walton portrays Will in the NBC show "About a Boy."

'About a Boy's' Victorian duplex designed to highlight differences

Although the sets for "About a Boy" (Tuesdays on NBC) are built on the Universal Studios back lot, production designer Steven Jordan has created a Victorian duplex so authentic you'd think it was filmed in San Francisco's postcard-friendly Alamo Square.

"From the onset we talked about where in San Francisco can we give our characters the most personality?" Jordan said recently. "So I put them in a 'Painted Lady,'" a colorful Victorian house.

"About a Boy,"based on the Nick Hornby novel of the same name and set in the City by the Bay, details the friendship between a selfish bachelor, Will,...

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The Los Angeles Conservancy's "Last Remaining Seats" film series kicks off June 11 with "The Lady Eve."

'Last Remaining Seats' to show classic films in historic L.A. theaters

Architecture fans can experience the opulent charm of downtown Los Angeles' historic movie palaces when the Los Angeles Conservancy's popular "Last Remaining Seats" film series kicks off June 11 with "The Lady Eve" at the Los Angeles Theatre.

Tickets to the screenings often sell out quickly. Tickets for non-members go on sale Wednesday, April 9, at 10 a.m. Tickets are not sold over the phone, and you will need to create an online account to buy tickets.


FOR THE RECORD:
"Last Remaining Seats": An April 5 article about the Los Angeles Conservancy benefit film series said the series kicks off...
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Home decor stores multiplying at South Coast Collection in O.C.

Home decor stores multiplying at South Coast Collection in O.C.

On a recent weekday afternoon, the South Coast Collection in Costa Mesa is inhabited by an eclectic crowd — young hipsters sipping lattes at Portola Coffee Lab, professionals in business suits nibbling on carnitas de pato at Taco Maria, moms pushing strollers, and employees from nearby businesses simply enjoying the open-air courtyards.

Designers can be spotted in the design showrooms too, as they stop to eye the furnishings on display in the more than 20 stores specializing in home design.

Sure, South Coast Plaza is just down the street, as are Ikea, Room & Board and Mitchell Gold + Bob...

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Keep your devices tucked out of the way while they charge with the new Docking Drawer from JTech Solutions in San Ramon, Calif. The UL in-drawer receptacle simultaneously charges up to four personal devices without adapters. The UL-approved assembly is designed to be installed in the back of a new cabinet or in a retrofitted drawer. Drawer not included. The product is due out later this month and available for pre-order now on Amazon. $169. Info: www.dockingdrawer.com.

Latest in clutter-cutting chargers for smartphones, tablets and more

Our electronic devices -- smartphones, tablets, laptops -- continue to multiply. How to keep them all charged without cluttering countertops and nightstands? Manufacturers are stepping up with charging stations built right into the walls, drawers and countertops. Here are some innovative new products currently available or due out soon, along with one portable option you can use right away. -Anne Colby
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