Question: When I was in Portugal several...

Question: When I was in Portugal several years ago, I bought several tiles that made lovely pictures. Usually they were sets of six or eight tiles. Is there any place in California where similar tiles may be purchased?

Answer: I know the type of tiles of which you are referring and they were very popular in California in the 1930s. The ceramic manufacturers over on Catalina Island at that time produced several similar art tiles. The only current source I know is Art Tile Co., 8445 Colbath Ave., Panorama City, Calif. 91402. The telephone number is (818) 893-2064. The people who operate this firm worked for the Franciscan Tile Co. and are specializing in special designed art tiles such as family crests, logos, diplomas and specialty art.

Q: You recently wrote of Murphy-type beds and where they are available. Could you repeat this information?

A: Modular wall-bed systems are available from several manufacturers, including the original Murphy firm. In my opinion, Sico makes the greatest variety. Many of the units Sico makes are built-ins combined with other wall units such as a chest of drawers and bookshelf/storage units. A unit like this can enhance a smaller room by making everything self-contained, making the room look larger.

Sico makes tables that fold up into the walls. They are sturdy, cantilevered and useful in smaller areas. Also included in their product line is a foldaway ironing board system. Sico's address is : Sico Inc., The Room Maker Division, 7525 Cahill Road, P.O. Box 1169, Minneapolis, Minn. 55440.

Fontaine is president of the Western Regional Master Builders Assn. and a director of the American Building Contractors Assn. He will answer questions concerning home improvements. Phone 213/653-4084 or write him at 6404 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 850, Los Angeles 90048-5510.

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