Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your cheating boyfriend or sleazy boss? Well here's one that says it all - the Voodoo Knife Holder. Made in Italy, it is the biggest seller at the newly-opened A+R design store in Silverlake (just a hop across the street from Spaceland), and costs $150, including knives. "I had some resistance from friends about selling this because they thought it was too violent, but everyone who comes here loves it," said A+R's owner Andy, who gave me a guided tour of the store at the opening party last week.
The intimate bash was co-hosted by Andy's girlfriend Rose Apodaca, West Coast Bureau Chief of Women's Wear Daily. Despite being one of LA's most well-connected fashionistas (she and Andy are spending the holidays in London with Vivienne Westwood's son, the founder of Agent Provocateur), Apodaca is nice as pie, and was taking care of guests, pouring champagne in plastic cups for everyone.
The couple has been dating for around a year - they met through an ex-girlfriend of Andy's who was also friends with Rose. No hard feelings though - the ex showed up and there were happy hugs all round, and Voodoo Man's knives remained in place.
Andy (a Brit) and Rose share a pad near the Grove but Andy says his heart has always been in Silverlake. "I lived here for 12 years, so when this space became available I knew I wanted to take it." Formerly a vintage furniture store, Andy originally planned to build a restaurant in the space, before changing his mind and opting for a design store instead, adding to the growing cluster of independent lifestyle accessory stores in the 'hood, like nearby Yolk and Rubbish.
Other items that caught our eye included this collection of sterling silver bracelets plated with, er, beer cans, made by an artist in Portland.
And check out these Garlic Cards from Sweden. You peel the garlic and rub it on the card, meaning you don't need a garlic press (which makes your garlic bitter apparently).
We also loved this bendy metal leaf customizable lampshade, which you can twist and meld around a light bulb which ever way you like.
Way sexier than Ikea.
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A+R store, 1716 Silverlake Blvd., CA 90026. Ph. 323 913 9558