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More and more interior designers are launching their own furniture lines. But Los Angeles-based designer James Magni was ahead of the times, introducing his stately rug and furniture collection in 1996. The Metropolitan Barstool (left) boasts a stainless steel footrest and sabots, a leather seat (either your own leather or one from the Magni Classic collection), and a macassar ebony veneer atop a hardwood frame, $5,001. (Also available with a back, $6,993.)

Macassar (muh-kas-er), described by Magni as “a hard and heavy wood with a very fine texture,” seems to be popping up in showrooms coast to coast lately.  Though, as Magni explains, due to endangered woods, expensive “composite” veneers (wood with manmade graining) are also being used. People seem to fall under the spell of its exotic, uneven stripes and lustrous, high-polish finish. “I love the richness in the cognac color juxtaposed with the ebony graining,” says Magni. “The French polish gloss that is hand-rubbed on creates the depth that makes this barstool look as rich as any yacht or jet woods.”

Magni’s furnishings live in private homes worldwide and have been spotted in the pages of the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and Architectural Digest. Like the bar stool, each piece’s sexy yet refined curves reveal their creator’s architecture degree and many years’ experience in the field. The collection has been crafted of what the company calls “the world’s most luxurious fabrics, woods, metals, and finishes,” which might explain why the products are showcased in a 49-page catalog that carries its own luxurious price tag of $75. Visit the Magni Showroom at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood for a look at the full gallery of home adornments. (310) 623-1623

 — Lisa Marie Rovito


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