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Top Picks: Dwell on Design 2012

By Lisa Boone
Among the exhibitors at the 2012 Dwell on Design expo in L.A.: Brooklyn-based designer Jeremy Pickett of Pickett Furniture, who said he designed the Morkt Sammfunn console prototype as a “dream project for myself.” Following a career in music, the designer said he wanted to create “something that’s easy to use” and that evokes the musical memory of “spinning records.” Pickett spent a year designing and developing the retro walnut entertainment center. “It’s both man cave and wife-friendly,” said Pickett. (Pickett Furniture)
After designing interior furniture for more than 20 years, Albuquerque designer Damian Velasquez has created a line of outdoor pieces. His new sculptural Half13 collection is fabricated from steel and finished in powder-coat colors. The collection includes the Philly Club Chair ($2,400 to $3,400), the armless Chair No. 35 ($2,00 to $2,500), Loveseat No. 70 ($3,000 to $4,000), the O Table ($2,400 to $2,800) and the Cube End Table ($900). (505) 884-5200. (Damian Velasquez)
Sacramento designer Brian Schmitt’s new Aspect Pendant lamps for Schmitt Design are slip-cast in translucent porcelain. The lamps will retail for $298 to $268 starting Sept. 1. (415) 298-6462. (Schmitt Design)
The new indoor Rhapsody Modern Playhouse from Cedarworks features stars and cutouts that cast shadows on a bright red chalkboard interior. Maine designer Heather Telo said she wanted to design something modern for children because “there was a void when it came to modern playhouses for kids.” The playhouse ($795) is made of Baltic birch and ships flat; installers are available in Los Angeles. (800) 462-3327. (Cedarworks)
Brad Reed Nelson’s latest design for Colorado-based Board by Design is a mahogany and powder-coated steel Windsor-rondack porch swing made from “smart-harvested” hardwood ($5,400). Available in multiple colors and wood species. (970) 963-1701. (Board by Design)
The Amsterdam collection of cabinets from Holland designer Kast van een Huis is inspired by the Amsterdam canal houses of the 17th century. Distributed for the first time in America by Cool Kids Co. in Miami, the cabinets come in multiple colors and three gable types. Made of Forest Stewardship Council-certified medium-density fiberboard (MDF) with non-toxic paints. $2,199 apiece plus shipping. (Cool Kids Co.)
The XS Sideboard 3 by Christopher J. Walsh of Wfour Design ($1,949) is handcrafted from solid hardwood in Eugene, Ore. Customers can choose from different types of wood, drawers, hardware and leg colors. Shipping is $299. (541) 790-9303. (Wfour Design)
The Cuba playhouse from Play Modern in Kansas is a modular system that can grow with your child, depending on how you configure the cubes. Indoor models are made from Baltic birch plywood with a clear finish, and outdoor models are made from marine-grade plywood with a dark finish. Prices ranges from $999 to $4,499 depending on floor plans and add-ons, such as a roof-top deck and aluminum railings and stairs. (913) 608-7890. (Play Modern)
Kohler’s new VibrAcoustic technology transforms the Underscore bathtub line into a spa experience. The tub features four “experiences,” or original compositions, in which the bather can feel vibrations while listening to music. The tub installs like a regular tub and is controlled by a touch screen. Play music or podcasts by plugging a smartphone, tablet or MP3 player into the bath. $3,200 to $4,600. (Kohler)
Mary Gray and Annette Gutierrez of Potted in Los Angeles have designed the City Planters as only true gardeners can. The planters are designed to tilt forward to help with draining and to float away from the wall courtesy of an aluminum cleat for easy hanging. Each planter ($125) is constructed of steel with a hand-finished and sealed rust patina. (City Planters)
No mass manufacturing for Viktor Skorikov of BeSpoke Creative in Oxnard. “If you don’t like the way the chair fits your body, then I’ll make an adjustment,” said the filmmaker and furniture designer. Skorikov was featured in the International Contemporary Furniture Fair’s Bernhardt Studio young designer spotlight two years ago at the urging of his professor, David Mocarski, chair of environmental design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. The new media console retails for $2,000, chairs are $650 and desks range from $1,500 to $1,800. (805) 931-6036.
The L.A. scene: More design news on our L.A. at Home blog
Home tours: L.A. design profiles in pictures (Christine Atkinson)