Modern living: A 2011 spin on a 1951 photo


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The Times photo studio was abuzz (and aflame) earlier this week as we re-created an October 1951 Los Angeles Times Home Magazine cover, swapping out the furniture of the past with California design of the present.

Inspired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s authentic restaging of that 1951 scene, the Home crew earlier this month took key elements -- indoor armchair, patio chair, planter, fire feature and so on -- and nominated contemporary California designers and manufacturers who embodied modern living. We added a category, pet beds, to acknowledge the larger role that pets play in our lives (and our pocketbooks). Then we asked you to vote.


More than 6,700 votes were cast, and the designs pictured in the photo at top represent your favorites, assembled and staged by writers David A. Keeps and Lisa Boone with an assist from Katy McNerney. Your choices -- a rechargeable LED outdoor lamp, a computer-cut room divider and more -- spoke volumes about what modern living means today.

PHOTOS: California design poll nominees and winners

INTERACTIVE KEY: The 2011 photo deconstructed

The Letterpress rug from Commune, whose design is shown in more detail at right, was a reader favorite. Along with readers’ picks, we set up the new ModSeries bookcase from Mash Studios in Venice and added decorative accessories by artisans carrying on the tradition of California craft. On top of the case: glass decanters by L.A. artist Joe Cariati; and a cloth and ceramic bird sculpture made by Tanya Aguiñiga of Los Angeles and sold at Reform Gallery. On the shelf below, from left: a handmade ceramic vase by Adam Silverman of Atwater Pottery; a handmade ceramic vessel by Antoinette Faragallah at Gray Gallery; and a Ray West pot and a Bill Burch glass vase from OK.

On a middle shelf, from the left: Blue and yellow Hybrid vases by Silverman for Heath Ceramics; a cast concrete Future Fossil movie camera by Bughouse Design; and a printed plywood Sereno rabbit bookend by Wolfum.

Atop the orange-cushioned dog bed in the foreground: Lars, a toy by Janie XY, from L’Elephant Blanc in West Hollywood.


The inspiration: LACMA re-creates 1951 Home cover

‘California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way’

Time-lapse video: Eames House living room moved to museum

Eames House launches preservation project

-- Craig Nakano