Wood is his canvas

BEST known for its outdoor furniture from the 1950s and '60s, the Atwater Village store Grain has added something new to its mix: tables and chests by abstract painter Todd Johnson, above, who learned how to work with wood as a production manager for Roy McMakin's Domestic Furniture Co. Now the South Pasadena resident creates his own architecturally proportioned pieces, which he describes as "Shaker with a Japanese edge." Johnson's Ventilated Highboy ($2,950) is a deconstructed cherry-and-maple dresser that looks like a ladder. Glass-topped pieces sporting hand-painted bases and shelves include End Table With Pink Dot ($2,500). Grain, the exclusive carrier of Johnson's line, continues to offer 20th century designs, including a refurbished Brown Jordan set of two chaises, four spring leg chairs (one, above right) and a coffee table powder-coated in orange ($3,800). The store renovates vintage patio pieces with 250 frame colors and 12 shades of vinyl webbing. 3135 Glendale Blvd., (323) 664-3130.

-- David A. Keeps



The bridge to nowhere

The latest art installation at Materials & Applications in Silver Lake continues to evolve. "Here There Be Monsters," created by the design teams Infranatural and Levitas, consists of a bamboo bridge over a flooded courtyard. Visitors' movements are captured by cameras and processed by computers, triggering changes in the bubbling water below. "Those are the 'monsters' that our visitors are responding too," Materials & Applications director Jenna Didier says. At 8 p.m. Saturday, dancer Sarah Elgart will perform "Drift" to live music by Paul Chavez and projections of filmmaker Ondrej Rudavsky. 1619 Silver Lake Blvd., (323) 913-0915, www.emanate.org.

-- Lisa Boone



Frames of reference

Left: My Brother's Frame by Harry Allen is a hefty replica of an antique frame the designer found in his brother's closet. Cast in plastic, it measures 23 by 18 1/2 inches and holds a 4-by-6-inch image -- a fine fit for postcards. It's also available in gray and black. Price: $275 at Paul Smith, L.A., (323) 951-4800.

Right: Smaller in scale and price, this scalloped and beading-detailed cast-metal frame measures 12 by 8 1/2 inches and can hold the same size photo or postcard. Its sturdy swing-out support allows it to sit on a table or desktop. Price: $24.99 at Urban Outfitters.

-- David A. Keeps



Custom storage, clicks away

Call it the do-it-yourself shelf: At Atlas Industries' Internet site, Web surfers can design and price elegant free-standing and wall-mounted storage units. With nods to Modernist designers George Nelson and Jean Prouve, Atlas designers Thomas Wright and Joseph Fratesi developed a system that Wright describes as "high-end furniture that's flexible and adjustable," with cold-rolled steel supports and a variety of bookshelves, wire racks, drawers, cabinets, file hangers and desktops. Offered in solid walnut, maple and white oak with dovetail joinery, the modules in the as4 shelving system are functional elements of a home library or living room. The unit, as shown here in walnut, is $4,484. (718) 596-5045, www.atlaseast.com.

-- David A. Keeps


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