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The man who invented the California Look

Michael Taylor (1927-86) invented what was three decades ago dubbed the California Look: white interiors with stone floors and over-scaled, sculptural furniture, often upholstered in simple yet sumptuous chenille. "In response to the casual West Coast way of life, he broke the rules of traditional design," says Stephen M. Salny, author of the new Norton monograph, "Michael Taylor Interior Design." In homes such as the 1983 Garfield residence in L.A., above left, and architect John Lautner's 1971 Beyer residence in Malibu, right, Taylor "eliminated the boundaries between the indoors and the outdoors, bringing organic elements including boulders, cut stone, trees and wicker inside," Salny says. The lavishly illustrated 325-page book traces Taylor's major California commissions chronologically, revealing clever twists on old-money, old-world interiors and a brawny, rustic modernism that still resonates today. At 1 p.m. Wednesday, Salny will lecture about his colorful subject at the Michael Taylor showroom of the Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., Space B542, West Hollywood; (310) 360-8118. To view a photo gallery of Taylor's groundbreaking interiors, visit latimes.com/thescout.

-- David A. Keeps

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