When one thinks of the police, one thinks of rules and regulations. You don't think of cutting edge design, a great use of space or wonderful plazas. Working with a no-man's land of concrete, the creative design team created an urban civic center that turns the LAPD's new 500,000-square-foot, 10-story, headquarters that is less like a fortress and more like a downtown destination. 

We are extremely excited to introduce the newest member of the California Home +Design blogging team, former ReadyMade Editor-in-Chief, Shoshana Berger.   Shoshana got her magazine chops at Wired in the pre-Facebook era, then went on to write for The New York Times, Spin, Salon, The San Francisco Chronicle, Business 2.0, Travel and Leisure, and Sunset. In 1999, she became an editorial director for Young & Rubicam’s Brand Futures division. She cofounded ReadyMade magazine in 2001 and served as its Editor-in-Chief for nine years. She is the coauthor of ReadyMade: How to Make Almost Everything (Crown, 2005), which was featured in the 2007 Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial. She has lectured and taught workshops at Stanford, the Dallas Museum of Art, IDEO, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and in Clay Felker’s magazine program at UC Berkeley. We are thrilled to have Shoshana blogging for us weekly on  Check back Wednesdays for her chronicles of the California luxury DIY movement. So without further ado, here's her first piece on Berkeley-based custom furniture-maker, Thomas Wold. 

The time change in the fall is always so brutal. However, cold, dark, rainy nights are a great excuse to wrap yourself up in a soft and warm cashmere throw. While they can be pretty pricey, they're worth it to make the long nights a bit more bearable, and they make great gifts, too.  And right now solid cashmere throws are on sale at Williams-Sonoma Home.  With 16 colors to choose from, the only real question is which you'll choose. 

Houses say a lot about their owners. Some are warm and cozy, others build to intimidate (Versailles, anyone?) A  house ready to do just that is for sale in Los Angeles.

In these modern times, we've all come to expect the world at the click of a button.

If the kitchen is the new living room, shouldn't it have a sofa? The owners of this Peninsula home, Steve and Sharon, posed that challenge to architect Andrew Mann, and the result is a built-in window seat on steroids that works like a sofa, provides extra storage and looks fabulous.

Last year Heath Ceramics sold gorgeous limited edition ceramic canisters with black American walnut wood lids.  They were a collaboration between renowned potter Alma Allen, Heath Ceramics Director Adam Silverman, design firm Commune, and Heath Ceramics.  This past weekend in Los Angeles, Heath unveiled a new collection of one-of-a-kind pieces from the same talented group.

  Artists get to build unconventional houses. Here's one for sale in Tujunga made of industrial steel components and wrapped around a swimming pool.

I'm not a coffee drinker. When it comes to caffeine I have the tolerance of a two-year old, so anything more than a sip of the dark stuff and I'm up into the wee hours rearranging furniture (aka the design addict's answer to counting sheep). That said, I'm still excited to visit the newly opened MA•Velous in San Francisco. It's not the beans that are drawing me to this coffee shop and café, though with six different ways to brew each artisanally-grown cup, I'm tempted. Instead, I'm anxious to check out the eco-friendly interiors by Adeeni Design Group.

Contemporary Baroque? Country French-Hollywood Regency? Surreal modern historical? Whatever you choose to call it, by adding a plexiglas seat and back, San Francisco designer Maloos Anvarian has taken an antique chair and brought it into the 20th century. The result is unexpected, quirky, but elegant.  


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