Meet Tobi Tobin, the rock ‘n’ roll Martha Stewart


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Perched on an antique cast iron Empire daybed clad in tufted black patent leather, above, interior designer Tobi Tobin cuts a stylish figure that’s a little more Sunset Strip than Sunset Plaza, where her store keeps company with cafes and designer fashion boutiques. Look around the shop and you’ll spot furniture, sculpture and books, as well as Tobin’s signature bedding, stone flooring, carpets, candles and vintage jewelry. There’s even an authentic Parisian confectionery display case laden with handmade chocolates.

‘I’m Martha Stewart with a rock ‘n’ roll twist,’ says Tobin, who once manned the velvet ropes at L.A. nightclubs.


Working with clients in the music and film business, Tobin has also had the opportunity to develop her own California-casual upholstery, ‘It’s definitely chic, not shabby,’ she says.

One such design is the Belgian linen-covered Dane (as in Dane Cook), chair, $3,600, shown at right. It has a low and lounge-y profile and deftly updates an Asian wishbone chair silhouette with Danish modern simplicity.

Behind the Dane chair: a painting by Edward Lentsch, who will be feted by Tobin during an public reception Tuesday () from 6 to 9 p.m. at 8601 Sunset Blvd.

Lentsch’s stark canvases and Tobin’s custom designs mix easily with the rest of her merchandise: Old World metal chairs, midcentury classics by designers such as Arne Jacobsen and Gio Ponti, and industrial pieces.

‘It’s timeless and educated and doesn’t dictate a style,’ Tobin says of her aesthetic. ‘That’s what I’m all about.’

One thing she isn’t about: color. If it isn’t black, white or the color of wood, metal or stone, Tobin isn’t interested. ‘I never work with primary colors,’ she says.


The store has a strong masculine appeal but is not without a softer side. There’s a glamorous candle closet that stocks 10 different fragranced candles that sell for $85 each, and an upstairs loft offers a full line of plush made-in-the-U.S. Turkish terry cloth towels that run from $15 for a face cloth to $95 for a bath sheet.

See them, and that irresistible chocolate counter, after the jump.

Above: The chocolate bar. Below: The candle room, left, and the Tobi Tobin towel collection, available in the four colors shown.

-- David A. Keeps
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Photo credits: Stefano Paltera / For The Times