AFTER 50 years in the gourmet cookware business, Williams-Sonoma is coming out of the kitchen. Friday, the company’s Williams-Sonoma Home division is scheduled to open its first store in a two-story, 18,500-square-foot flagship space on Beverly Boulevard, done up with oak floors, marble counters and raffia wallpaper. “People in Los Angeles appreciate design and style,” says Dave DeMattei, seated above, president of emerging brands for the San Francisco-based catalog and retail giant. “We’ve sold so many pieces of classic investment furniture, including $3,000 to $5,000 sofas, through the mail, we are really looking forward to giving people the opportunity to see and touch the furniture.” Designed by Napa Valley residential architect Howard Backen, the store is laid out like a family home and will be staffed with interior designers who provide on-site and in-home consultations. “Luxury is a key word,” says product development vice president Stephen Brady, standing, a former designer for Ralph Lauren Home. “A lot of the inspiration comes from Europe, the Paris flea markets, Italian woodworking, Czech crystal, Moroccan tiles, English silver and enamel.” Bedding, tabletop, barware and accessories are cash-and-carry, and custom furniture will have a 45-day turnaround. 8772 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 289-2420.
FINDS: Showered in the stylings of Chanel
Linens ‘n Things may be banking on Oprah’s model-handsome guest designer Nate Berkus, whose Hermes-inspired housewares hit shelves last week. But the bed-bath-and-more store has other chic tricks up its sleeves. In a classic case of going cuckoo for Coco, Linens ‘n Things is offering a copyright-careful Chanelle shower curtain (shown here) for $29.99. The pink, black and white tweed drape, complete with piping and fabric-covered button detailing, may have the first madame of fashion screaming “Quel horreur” from the grave, but it is an irresistible complement to the mock croc and patent leather-trimmed Fashionista Vanity Set. (Mon dieu, who comes up with these names?) The Fashionista tissue-box cover above was picked up at the Burbank store, on sale for $11.99.
HAPPENING: A world of treasures
Museum-quality pieces from a world of native cultures will be on view and for sale at the Los Angeles Asian & Tribal Art Show. Anthropos Gallery of Laguna Beach will exhibit the Mayan vessel from AD 550 to 950, below, valued at $25,000. Other treasures: Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, Hopi Kachina dolls and 19th century Navajo blankets. The show opens with a preview ($50) from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight benefiting the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. General admission ($10) runs 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, (310) 455-2886, www.caskeylees.com.
SEEN: Hollywood Regency back in the spotlight
Summon your inner Joan Crawford or just slip on something with shoulder pads. After an invitation-only event tonight, Grace Home Furnishings in Brentwood will open its doors to the public for a monthlong celebration of Hollywood Regency design. Exhibits will address the work of midcentury Los Angeles architects John Elgin Woolf, James Dolena and Paul Williams; interior designers William Haines and Frances Elkins; and Hollywood art director Cedric Gibbons. The store also will preview items from Jonathan Adler’s MGM-movie-inspired upholstered pieces for Rowe Furniture and highlight Grace Home’s Hollywood Regency collection, shown here. The 20-piece line designed by store owners Roger Stoker and Michael Ostrow includes two sofas, slipper chairs, a dining table and buffet, and mirror-clad boudoir furniture. Grace Home Furnishings, 11632 Barrington Court; (310) 476-7176; www.gracehomefurnishings.com.