When disaster strikes, there are always opportunists waiting in the wings: companies who try to get you to buy more stuff because they’re donating some puny percentage of sales to relief efforts. I’m always left thinking: nice try, but I’d rather have all of the money go to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders.    That’s how Handmade for Japan is different. Organized the day after the earthquake and tsunami by potter Ayumi Horie, Kathryn Pombriant Manzella and Ai Kanazawa, the benefit will auction donated homewares by artists who have some connection to Japan or who work in the traditional aesthetic of Japanese craft and design.

What is this terrifying table you ask? Who could possibly own this assault on good taste and decent design? Is someone trying to scare their kids? Is it...(god help us) ironic? Or do you feel like you absolutely, positively must own it? If you fall into the latter camp, lucky you. This table, designed to look like bones, was a gift from none other than our favorite tiger blood-coursing, adonis-DNA-having warlock , Charlie Sheen to Slash. And it's up for auction this weekend.

Seriously, I can't imagine a better place to wake up in. It can be yours for $7.895M.

For the last decade, the evolution of television design has been to make flatscreens increasingly thinner and less intrusive. Now, designer Michael Friebe has created a transparent flatscreen that basically makes the problem of concealing a television a non-issue.

Heddie Chu's shopping knows no geographical bounds. Her work at NC2, an architecture and interior design firm, takes her around the world, and she uses the opportunity to scour markets (both flea and otherwise). The San Franciscan sells her new and one-of-a-kind finds on Emerald Fish, her online emporium. This week she launched a virtual market inspired by Les Puces, her favorite French flea market.

Oakland-based non-profit Estria Foundation has kicked off its ambitious Water Writes project, a public art initiative focused on the worldwide water crisis.

While a well designed retail store should ideally showcase its products, few stores are able to so fully realize this goal as the new Aesop store on St. Honore in Paris. Melbourne-based March Studio used 3,500 pieces of wood on the walls, floors, and ceiling of the skin care store to create permanent shelving and beautiful dimension to the space.

  Most of us put up with the standard-issue 5-by-8-foot space allotted to bathrooms. We think that's insufferably inadequate for such an important room,  especially if we have to share. So here are five baths we'd happily trade up to.

For years we've written about how the kitchen has become the contemporary family room. But what happens when you are a modern family living in an older house where the kitchen's main role is utility? There are two choices: either (as the song says) love the one you are with or (the more exciting option) make it an everyday space that you can love.

For the naysayers who claim no one ever walks in L.A., a stroll around Sunset Junction in Silver Lake may finally put that myth to rest.


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