ANTIQUES dealer Nathan Turner has a sort of design X-ray vision. He can see through the heavy needlepoint and Napoleon toile upholstery on the 19th century Belgian furniture to see the gracious forms that lie beneath. Thus, he was inspired to fashion a contemporary version of Belgian roll arm seating as well as 20th century modern ottomans and a table in a new collection for Elite Leather. The designer, shown here on the Helsa sofa, which retails for $6,600, created the three-seater with one long mattress-style cushion. "I wanted something you can plop onto and spread out on instead of thinking you have to sit in one section," he explains. Coordinating Helsa armchairs in the foreground, $2,800 each, are flanking Turner's Blanchard ottoman, $600, which is a scaled-up version of a 1920s French footstool. For his Timms coffee table with polished stainless steel legs, Turner prefers luxe leathers such as crocodile print or this nickel metallic. With the table at $3,125, he adds, "coasters are not optional." Nathan Turner, 636 N. Almont Drive, West Hollywood. (310) 275-1209 or www.eliteleather.com.
L.A. Mart's anniversary indulgence
The L.A. Mart Design Center celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend with its annual Furniture Sample Sale that will be open to the public. To-the-trade showrooms throughout the building will welcome shoppers and offer savings of up to 70%. Visitors also will be able to register in the mart's new Buyer Services Program that will allow consumers to buy pieces year-round from vendors who usually sell only to design professionals. Top furniture lines such as Hickory Chair, Henredon, Martha Stewart Signature and Barclay Butera will be featured during the two-day sale, along with rugs, fabrics and lighting. This polished nickel-and-glass Conti chandelier by Arteriors Home be $1,110 -- 50% off the suggested retail price of $2,219. Admission is $10. 10 a.m. to m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. L.A. Mart Design Center, 1933 S. Broadway, Los Angeles. (800) 526-2784, www.lamartdesign.com.
MADE IN CALIFORNIA
Jim Turner must've been channeling Carrie Bradshaw, the shoe-obsessed lead character in this weekend's "Sex and the City" movie, when he designed this stylish ottoman based on a 1930s model. Not only is its tuck-and-roll upholstery in black patent leather suitable for a pair of pumps, it also has a fashionable Chrome Hearts-style fleur-de-lis embroidered on top. The extra bonus that will make Carrie wannabes flip their lids: An interior storage area, shown here, lined in a Pucci-esque print with 14 shoe pockets. Available in custom fabrics, the version shown here is $1,700 at Turner's retail store, Period, 708 N. Wilton Place, L.A. (323) 461-6567, www.periodcollection.com.
Dreamin' of Baja
Though it is aimed at college-bound students, the dorm room collection by Sami Hayek for Target is too cool to be just for school. The Mexican-born, Los Angeles-based designer's bedding ensemble, shown here, fuses California modernism and bright Baja colors in queen, full and twin sets. The comforter and matching shams are $49.99 to $59.99, pink diamond pattern sheets, $19.99 to $39.99, and embroidered, square accent pillow, $14.99. The line includes lighting, a desk and chair, storage units and accessories including the piggy bank, shown here, $14.99. At select stores or www.target.com