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Outdoor version of Frances Elkins’ ‘loop’ chair at Downtown store

Ever since the publication of Stephen M. Salny’s 2005 book about the work of interior designer Frances Elkins (1888-1953), reissues of her “loop” chair have rolled out in abundance. Now there’s a charming outdoor version created by Robert Willson and David Serrano, owners of the Los Angeles store Downtown. Made in L.A., the steel chair costs $2,200 and can be ordered in 200 powder-coat colors, including the mint-green shown here.

The idea of creating the outdoor piece came when a set decorator saw the wood loop chairs that Downtown had been producing and said he recalled seeing metal versions on the set of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

“That’s when a light bulb went off,” Willson says, “and we spent two years trying to bring one to fruition.”

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Willson and Serrano worked with a local fabricator to adapt the carved wood forms into metal, making sure the scale accurately reflected the original. The seat is made of an outdoor-friendly perforated mesh, and Willson says cushions can be added. The weight of the steel ensures that the chairs “won’t fly off of anybody’s terrace,” he says. Despite the hefty price tag, the chairs are gaining lots of attention from Downtown’s clients.

“We have a client who wants us to make a set with a bronze finish,” Willson says.

719 N. La Cienega Blvd.; (310) 652-7461; www.downtown20.net.

-- Debra Prinzing


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