Bizarre & Mysterious Statue at Ace Hotel Theatre

A few months ago I went to the Ace Theatre to see Trevor Noah at an interview discussing his new book.  I had never been inside this remarkable theatre and was jubilant to see a lot of the original details still intact.  

The building was the creation of the actors behind United Artists, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin, and the architecture is a riot of styles which has been restored to it 1920's splendor by the folks at the Ace Hotel. Every area held a surprise.


According to the La Conservancy's website, the faces of some of th evil Hollywood producers are carved in the columns along side other gargoyles and grotesques.

I was lured through a red velvet curtain (of course) and  drawn  into this powder room glamorously frozen in time.

Did Mary Pickford ever sit here?

The tiles on the stairways are perfect for a home; theatrical and magnificent, yet whimsical and over the top (what are those animals?)

None of the architectural delights were as fantastical and wondrous as this mysterious shrine which greets you as you enter the lobby. Was this original to the theatre?  If not, why, who, what???


Yep, that's a corona of fingers with matching staff... 

with a herd of bizarre blue cats at her feet.  Fab shoes too...

A quintessential example of why I both love and hate this city is  that no one else seemed particularly intrigued, delighted, or disturbed by this centerpiece--it just accepted like most things in our city.  No staff I questioned knew anything about him.  I was shocked there was no mmention of this sculpture on either the Ace Hotels site or even the L.A. Conservancy site.  Only when I googles "weird finger statue Ace Theatre" did i get to the answer.

The statue is the work of artist Kevin Willis who created it during the remodeling of the hotel and theatre and  also did other installations at the hotel.


It is called Cathedral of Our Lady Fingers. He also refers to him  as the patron saint of feral cats.  No other explanation is necessary in L.A. 

How To: Re-Wire Your Chandelier

HOW TO: Re-Wire Your (My) Chandelier
I recently moved, and now my place is a blank canvas. Which, as a designer, is a lot like Christmas, because it's my space - not yours. However, there are so many things to do. So, I thought I would blog the process. 
*Please don't judge me too hard on the before pictures. I moved in the day this was taken... 
The Chandelier:
A couple years ago, I bought a chandelier for a client, and after deciding to go a different direction we didn't use it. But it was such a great deal, I couldn't see returning it, knowing I would use it in the future. Hello Future. 
Problem - it's wired for ceiling installation, and I rent; which means no cutting in to the ceiling. 
Solution - re-wire the chandelier to have a plug, and swag the cord to an outlet. 
Normally, I would have a licensed electrician do this for a client. But it's for me and I am convinced that I can learn to do this with the help of the internet. 
First, I need new wire. I can't use the wire that came with it because it's ugly and belongs in the ceiling, but mostly because there isn't enough to make it down the wall and into the outlet. 
After searching for a bit, I came across a site that has some awesome cloth covered wire. I'm diggin' the black cotton! I also have to figure out how many feet I will need.... 
So here's the game plan:
...Now to get the supplies, 
and get down to business! 
To be continued...
Posted by jerod lazan on 14 May, 2016 0 comments | Read more →

Handmade Custom Dining Room Hutch Featuring Antiqued Gold Finish , Vintaged Mirrored Doors and Glass Shelves

This week in our wood shop we reserved extra time to build a very custom dining
room hutch that will be finished in a vintage gold glaze with a satin lacquer top coat.
Other features of this piece will be oxidized mirrored door panels, clear mirrored backs
 and glass shelves. There are so many little moulding details that this piece will
need more than the usually production time to complete.

One of the best ways to glue small mouldings is using C clamps that are stretched
a bit to create a bit of tension that holds the corners tightly together until the glue

Working from a picture can be difficult if the size of the piece is almost twice
what is featured in the picture. We like to lay out mouldings to get a actual
reference of the scale in which we will be working.

Our custom wood turner did a simple fluted leg which was perfect for the scale
of this piece.

The carpenters best friend, pipe clamps.

The top is now assembled so the fun can begin.

Now that we have the body of the cabinet built, it's on to building the doors.

A detail of the mouldings... depending on the finish of the piece we will use
a few finish nails to speed up the assembly time. To fill the small holes made
by the finishing nail gun we make a mixture of saw dust ( we use the same
wood that we build the piece in ) and glue that matches the wood color and

Well, it's Thursday evening so time to call it a day.
To be continued.... finally part 2.

The doors are all assembled and ready for to be hinged.

The only thing missing are the 2 small drawers but we are waiting till the client
picks hardware to know how to assemble them. The panels are going to be a
antiqued mirror and we need to pre-drill the holes.

Part 3... finishing.
Posted by jerod lazan on 16 November, 2015 0 comments | Read more →

Challenging Interior Design Projects we've taken on in the past few years is Customizing the Interior of a Beautiful Home in Malibu, California.

One of the most fun and at times challenging interior design projects we've
taken on in the past few years is customizing the interior of a beautiful home
in Malibu, California. Nan Meltzer, the amazing project manager/interior
designer ( including the furniture ) created the perfect blend of zen and beach
casual influenced by vintage Swedish design.

I have to say the stairway was probably one of the harder parts of this project
since the house was on the cliff side of the beach and not one even surface to
be found. The stairs had to be built in our shop and installed the day the clients
moved in so we had to get this right the first time.

Day 1: the most important part of this project was getting accurate templates
of the stairway since no two treads were the same measurement. Once we
made the templates we assembled the base moulding which gave us the
foundation to put the rest of the stairway together.

Day 3: Once all the pieces were cut, and lots of pieces there were, we began the assembly of the banister. We used a plywood template with the exact layout of
each section of banister as a guide for the final assembly.

Day 6: Once we finished assembling all the sections back to the house for a
final check. With so many small measurement variations in each tread we had
to make sure everything fit perfectly before we could apply the finish.

Day 6 1/2: Final section fitted for it's new home. I think this was the hardest
section to get right because the ceiling and floor were going in different directions.

Have to say this was one of the best locations to work at, the waves crashing
in the background and a gentle ocean breeze almost everyday...perfect!

Day 9: I think it took under 5 hours to do final assemble, just in time for the
furniture movers.

With the ocean in the background this makes for one nice looking close-up of
the banister.

               Mortise and Tenon Custom Furniture
Have a great weekend
Posted by jerod lazan on 16 November, 2015 0 comments | Read more →

Having a Little Fun with Color Designing Bohemiam Modern Sectional

We are proud to introduce a new collection of upholstery by Robert Petril.
Part of the fun of being in the home furnishings industry is constantly designing
new products. Robert is in the process of designing a whole new whimsical,
casual modern life style upholstery collection ( that was a mouthful ).
Displayed upstairs at Mortise and Tenon this collection instantly transforms the
whole space.

A bit about Robert:
          Philadelphia, PA, United States
I'm a designer of furniture and interiors. I live my life with a passion for all things art, design, and lifestyle. I believe that if you can dream it you can do it. I apply that very basic belief to every aspect of my life and work. After my family, my greatest passion is to design and create things that are new, unique, and on the cutting edge.
Have a great week
Posted by jerod lazan on 16 November, 2015 0 comments | Read more →

Los Angeles Furniture Store Building a Beautiful Custom Mahogany Trestle Dining Table

If only clients knew how much time and details go into some of the custom
furniture we build. This Mahogany trestle dining table gave our manager a
workout since this table had to be built in solid Mahogany, lots of time was
taken just to glue up all the parts before a single cut could be made. Most
wood doesn't come in very thick dimensions so if we want 12" thick trestle
legs than we have to create this the old fashion way, one board at a time.

The pic below is the glued up sections that will be cut into the pedestal part
of the trestle and the leg base. 

During the time of the Italian revival architects thought that nothing was
complete without a pedestal so we feel this table is the most complete
design we make.

After we build the base it's time to work on the top. This dining table was 96"
long and with 2 20" leaves which makes for lots of great entertaining.

We build all our extension dining tables with wood tracks that support leaves
on the ends of the tables. Although  there are times we do the "split in the middle
thing" it's nicer aesthetically to have a beautiful clean top without a break in the

The top on this table had a simple 2 1/2" solid wood border with a hand
picked Mahogany veneer in the middle. I want to mention a bit about veneers
since there is lots of confusion about this material. 
Webster say's it's:
1: a thin sheet of a material: as a
a layer of wood of superior value or excellent grain to be glued to an inferior wood.
The benefit of using veneers is that we can get premium quality wood surfaces htat don't shrink or crack.
When we do table tops that don't have wood headers or frames, then solid wood
is o.k. Wood will move a bit with changes in humidity and alternating grain
won't allow the solid wood to expand and contract which leads to shrinking and cracking.

Our manager was proud of the seamless fit between the apron leaf and the table.

It's fun to take a peak under the table.

On Monday we will be sanding and prepping the table for finish. This table
will have some secrets since the base will be finished in a glazed black paint
which will hide the solid Mahogany wood beneath. Maybe in a 100 years
someone will want to refinish this table and realizes the beautiful material hidden
from the world.

Detail of the Mahogany dining table top, we used a alcohol stain and gloss lacquer
top coat, turned out pretty amazing.

Posted by jerod lazan on 16 November, 2015 0 comments | Read more →

Custom Eclectic Wine Hutch with Interior Bar and Mirrored Back

This will be a fun furniture piece to build which will complete the dining
room for this client. We already built a custom dining room table and a cool
sideboard ( I need to find the pics of this). Sarah (our in-house designer)
wants to blend a few elements together for this sideboard/bar, a bit of
classic and a bit of whimsical. The top will create the drama and the Asian
lattice work door panels will add the texture. Inside there will be a wine
rack and wine glass holders highlighted by a mirrored back panel, interior
lighting and glass shelves.

We are just starting our search for the perfect lattice panels. Some pieces
of furniture take more time to resource the parts than to actually build them.
Stay turned for a progress report on this piece. I think a week will be needed
to bring all the right elements together.

Just wanted to mention if you're looking for a great interior designer that
can design great pieces of furniture as well as a whole home, check out
Sara Ingrassia's work.

Thanks Jerod

Posted by jerod lazan on 16 November, 2015 0 comments | Read more →

Building a Custom Plasma Cabinet for the Perfect Space

No two plasma cabinets are the same.  Every time we build one for
a client the cabinets need to accommodate completely different
components, plasmas sizes and an amazing host of unusual objets d'art.
This is one of our house favorites: the mid-town plasma console which
can be built in reclaimed lumber (mostly Douglas Fir ) poplar, mahogany
or whatever our clients request.

This particular plasma console was built out of poplar and finished in
a light brandy glaze with a satin lacquer top coat. The hardware we
used was purchased from Robert at Mother of Pearl in Studio City.
If you're looking for unique high quality hardware and expert advice
speak with Robert ( )

The client wanted two pullout shelves for DVDs but I wonder how
much longer these will exist. Lets see...since my beginnings of consuming
media, we've seen records, 8 tracks, tapes, laser disks and stuff I can't
remember that has become obsolete.

We used 3/4" inset euro hinges and full extension Accuride glides
with a 75 pound rating. Old school technology is heavy duty.

For 21 years we have been building custom one of a kind furniture in
our Los Angeles factory. If you're finding it difficult to find that perfect
piece of furniture,  give us a call or stop by and we will design your
next family heirloom.

Thanks from the crew at Mortise and Tenon
Posted by jerod lazan on 16 November, 2015 0 comments | Read more →

New Furniture Design Introductions for the Las Vegas Furniture Show.

Twice a year Las Vegas puts on a special design show, the Las Vegas
Furniture Market in January and August featuring 1500 manufacturers.
Thousands of retail store owners, interior designers and architects/builders
shop for the newest design trends and products. Trade shows are our way
to spend time with our vendors, discover upcoming trends and reconnect
with old friends.

Not only are we retailers, but for 21 years we have been manufacturing
custom furniture products for sale to the trade and other stores. Our
newest collaboration is with Haute_House custom upholstery in
Los Angeles, just a stone's throw from our own factory. Since wood and
metal designs are our strength we worked with Casey Fisher (the creative
force behind Haute House) to create complimentary designs.

Glam is Casey's middle name and he always seems to amaze us with what
starts out as a simple idea and ultimately becomes a glamorous reality.

One of our metal creations, the Strap Console table. Made of 1/4" thick
solid iron with a reclaimed wood top. Each piece is finished to have the
feel of a old vintage antique.

Every show room has something to say and ours is all about the endless
possibilities of design. If you are a interior designer, retailer or have hospitality 
projects our services are available.

Posted by jerod lazan on 16 November, 2015 0 comments | Read more →

Any Guesses What This is a Picture of?

Hint...a evening walk around Barcelona

                                                    Any guesses?
Posted by jerod lazan on 16 November, 2015 0 comments | Read more →
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