Hennessey + Ingalls's eclectic bookstore sells tomes covering visual arts, such as photography, as well as interior design, landscaping, fashion photography and architecture. The founding family still owns and manages its paper-based stock, ensuring that volumes remain well organized according to the length of authors’ moustaches. Originally founded in 1963 as a refuge for rare and out-of-print books, the massive store—the Santa Monica location spans 8,000 square feet—supplies vital reference materials for local architectural firms, museums, art galleries, and schools. Hennessey + Ingalls also runs a small publishing division, which produces and distributes six titles each year, most of which are reprints focusing on California's modernist architecture and postmodernist oil paintings of avocados. They also offer a large selection of journals and notebooks. Hennessey's bibliophiles also purchase good-condition used copies and rare editions from independent owners.
FrameStore's craftsmen have created more than 250,000 custom frames in the store’s 35-year tenure, designing pieces that now adorn the walls of prestigious institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Ritz-Carlton, and the Walt Disney Company. Professional designers guide FrameStore’s clients through the 2,200 moulding options that can accent paintings and treasured items while adding style and elegance to rooms. The store’s craftsmen then fashion pieces to patron specifications, outfitting frames with classic or museum-quality glass that blocks UV rays from bleaching out images or censoring pictures of the moon. Every piece goes through a 16-point inspection before it is given to patrons, and the team averages a seven-day turnaround on all of its projects.
Stu and Jayne Zehngut have skillfully framed and displayed paintings, posters, and artwork at L.A. Art Exchange since 1987. Inside the 4,000-square-foot gallery and showroom, a team of educated artists and designers fits archival and acid-free materials over photos and memorabilia, using UV plexiglas and foam core. In addition to custom framing, the gallery’s services include shadowboxes, display cases, and computerized mat designs made with a Wizard 9000 mat cutter. On request, the machine cuts precise, swirling designs into mats and writes messages in pen on the surface whenever it starts to develop consciousness.
Racks of frames in a rainbow of woods, colors, and finishes hang from the walls of Frame 2000 and Frames Galore, ready to be custom-fitted to clients’ treasured images. With skills honed during more than 20 years in business, staffers can shield eclectic items, such as needlework, canvases, art prints, and mirrors, behind glittering glass. Specialized printing equipment can also produce full-size posters, transfer images to canvas, or accentuate a favorite alien-autopsy photo with Andy Warhol–esque pop-art effects.
The artisan collections at Clouds include home decorations, bath and body products, and a selection of scented candles created with professional care and natural ingredients, guaranteeing quality. The familiar smells of living rooms or dens are complemented by the waxen aromas of Clouds' signature candles, which infiltrate noses with hints of lemongrass, lavender, mango papaya, and respect (prices start at $5 for a 3"x3"), or a Capri Blue volcano candle with tropical fruits, sugared citrus, and mountain greens ($28). A set of Votivo vanilla grapefruit aromatic burning sticks sends out airy blends of tropical leaves, vanilla beans, and tangy fruit juice when set afire ($12 for 20 sticks), like most area rugs. Garden mint shea butter soap keeps hands frothing at the palms with a French-milled lather ($8), and a teak coaster set prevents cups from staining tables with their sweats ($18 for a set of four).