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INSIDE & OUT : Club Lights

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Shades of supper clubs come to light in Ken Higgins’ collection of lamps for the table.

Wanting to bring back the ambience created by candles, Higgins, 38, of San Diego, uses cartridges hidden behind the shades to illuminate his collection, which harks back to the nightclub days of the ‘20s and ‘30s.

His lights can be used indoors or outside.

“I want people to see that you can have candle lighting without the drippy wax and all the mess,” he said.

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Higgins, who graduated with a graphic design degree from Virginia Commonwealth, came to Southern California via New York about seven years ago. He is renovating a home built in 1928 near San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Higgins’ lamps are made of nickel-plated metals because the material is easy to clean and doesn’t tarnish.

His Supper Club light ($120), which is available with two different shades, and the Empire Light ($55), which was inspired by the Empire State Building, are his signature pieces.

Higgins decided to craft his own collection after working on other people’s pieces for a store he formerly owned in La Jolla.

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“I was spending too much time redoing things,” he said, “and now I find doing my own work very fulfilling.”

For more information on Higgins’ collection, call (619) 456-2200.

Instant Breakfast

The Welbilt Breakfast Express is like having your cake and eating it, too.

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All in less than 10 minutes.

The Breakfast Express simultaneously makes coffee, toast and eggs, all to your personal taste.

The toast cycle has three settings--light, medium or dark--and the frying pan has a non-stick coating for easy cleanup.

It took Japanese developers about three years--and thousands of eggs--to perfect the Breakfast Express’ automatic mechanisms. Among the problems was trying to omit egg shell fragments from appearing in the finished product. But in the end, the problem was alleviated.

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“It works perfectly every time,” said Bob Teslinsky, a manufacturing spokesman for the Hyde Park, N.Y.-based company. “It’s a great little machine for the home or office.”

Breakfast Express (about $400) is fully programmable and has two alarms--one to wake you up and another that beeps when the food is ready. And the machine’s functions work independently or together in any combination.

The Breakfast Express will be available in the spring.

For more information, call (516) 365-5040.

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Wood Works

The natural beauty of the wood shows through when pouring beverages from the Ontano carafe, designed by Italian Pietro Manzoni.

Crafted of hand-turned unpainted wood, the carafe has a glass liner to keep hot liquids hot and cold ones cold.

Meant to be used in the home or the office, the carafe ($190 plus shipping and handling) holds one quart of liquid. It is 13 inches high and 6 inches in diameter.

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It is available through the New York Museum of Modern Art’s catalogue by calling (800) 447-6662. Specify item No. 71996.


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