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SHOWROOM TOP PickS
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When designing, Lavin likes to layer, using elements from the past and present.
Thomas Lavin is one of the youngest entrepreneurs ever to community by participating in countless industry events,
create a highly successful high-end showroom in the Los An- such as DIFFA’s (Design Industries Foundation Fighting
geles area. His foray into the design industry began in 1995, AIDS) annual Dining By Design. He is also a member of
when he was hired by Kneedler-Fauchère in the Pacifi c De- the Avenues of Art and Design’s board of directors. Recent-
sign Center. He quickly rose to become one of their top sales ly, DTM had the occasion to speak with several designers
representatives, due to his boyish charm and gifted eye. and asked them to identify some of their favorite products
In March of 2000, Lavin opened his own boutique show- available at the Thomas Lavin showroom.
room on Beverly Boulevard, with just a dozen furniture,
fabric and lighting vendors. Lavin’s unique lines were crafted
Designers’ Top Picks
by little-known artists possessing exceptional talent. Within
Michael S Smith French Leather Chair: “I love that
a year’s time his vendors tripled. Several expansions took
chair. It’s the perfect scale – a bit on the smaller side, but
place in order to accommodate the newly acquired materi-
it fi ts into spaces where you can’t get two full-size club
als, however, as the business grew so did the unending need
LAVIN
chairs. Its hand-waxed, antique patina fi nish makes it
for additional space. In 2005, Lavin relocated to an 11,000-square-
look like a vintage chair. The leather is beautiful and it has the perfect
foot showroom in the Pacifi c Design Center.
fi nish. It’s great for a media, living or family room,” said David Dal-
Today, the award-winning Thomas Lavin showroom refl ects the dis-
ton, of David Dalton, Inc., Los Angeles.
tinctive style and unique individuality of its founder. Currently tout-
Michael S Smith purchased the inspiration
ing a total of 62 lines of home furnishings, select antiques and artwork,
for his French Leather Chair at an auction years
Lavin continues to unearth new talent and trends – ever cognizant of
ago. The chair, which is fully customizable, and
how they will interrelate within
its matching ottoman (sold separately) are part of
his showroom’s tapestry.
Michael S Smith’s Jasper Collection. “What makes
In addition to running his
the French Leather Chair from Michael Smith a
eponymous showroom, Lavin
perfect piece of furniture to own is that it looks like
has completed a number of
a small armchair but sits like a big chair. The dis-
interior design projects and
tressed fi nish on the vegetable-dyed lambskin is re-
remains active within
markable. This chair is a great value,” said Lavin.
the design
Philip Nimmo Iron Works Bella Fire Screen:
“When looking for fireplace screens, I wanted
something that looked like art, yet is functional
and will protect my kids from the fi replace. My
goal was to break away from a traditional look
and go with something more original and cre-
ative. This unique piece brings something more
to the room and acts as an accessory in a way that a normal fi replace
screen never could,” Amy Finley of Finley Design, Del Mar, Califor-
nia, advised.
The Bella Fire Screen, a wrought iron, hand-forged, hand-cut and
hammered screen, is part of Nimmo’s fi re screen collection and is
available in French black, natural black and acid wash fi nishes. Lavin
said, “The Bella is a fi re screen that designers gravitate to. It is sophis-
ticated, unique and totally couture – a work of art.”
The Michael S Smith French Leather Chair is
hand-waxed with an antique patina fi nish and
measures 26”w x 31”d x 33”h.

1n Design Trade Magazine
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