Meet The Midge

I don’t know about you, but my thoughts in spring typically turn to…tables. Chairs, too, always chairs, but that’s another post.
But I have enough big tables. I just had this discussion with Marty at the flea market last Sunday when I spied a fantastic German beer garden table and benches.
Slim, narrow, with a deep orange top and long slender benches. What a cool and potentially raucous table/seating arrangement to end a long summer day.
I hovered, I asked the price, I lingered, I sighed, I walked away. I regretted.
But, seriously, where would I put it? Nowhere, that’s where.
It’s a sad day when you come face to face with the realization that you’re out of space for beer garden tables.

What I really need…

Oh, hello!


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Leave it to Potted to anticipate what I really need this summer. The Midge.

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So very Potted. Modern slouching into boho, with the subtle gleam and pattern of glass tiles.
It is for this very reason that I’ve never acquired a shoe habit. Two pairs of uncomfortable shoes or a Midge? Um, no contest.

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The Midge Table was designed by Annette Goliti Gutierrez and Mary Gray, the co-owners of Potted, who’ve brought us such new classics as The Circle Pot, The City Planter.

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And Annette and Mary really have our number, the bespoke one that loves the unique but hates the DIY mess. They’ve given us the option to customize Midge with contrasting “pixels.”
I know they’re looking forward to our endless deliberations on building and pixelating the perfect Midge.
Can the inner row be orange pixels, the outer row grey? No, wait, reverse that.
Okay, that’s my projection on customer relations. Potted’s version is girls going shopping.
They are the nicest, friendliest, cleverest, most helpful, ship-it-anywhere, yes-it-can-be-orange duo you’ll ever have the good fortune to know.

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Potted resolutely insists that their designs be made in the U.S. and that they never be something you’d even think of stowing in the garden shed at the end of summer.
You’ll bring them into your bedroom, your bathroom, your living room. Maybe your Midge never makes it outdoors at all.

We believe outdoor living is as important as indoor living. We are committed to seeking out and designing products that embrace this attitude and bring it home to your garden.”

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It’s been such a thrill to watch how Annette and Mary have taken the energy and enthusiasm for good design that blossomed in California mid-20th century, channeled it, personalized it, and focused it on the garden.
Their little shop in Atwater Village has now become one of the biggest and best sources for the well-designed garden.

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Beer garden table? What beer garden table? Hello, Midge…

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small space big style: Potted shows how it’s done

You’ve gotta get over to Potted’s blog to see their before-and-after photos documenting Potted’s contribution to the California Home+Design showhouse at The Hollywood Lofts.

Follow Potted’s step-by-step photos to find how they arrived at this:


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And this:
(Note the debut of Potted’s City Planter in white.)

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Annette and Mary mix modern and bohemian like nobody else.

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Congratulations on this amazing transformation to an open-air, outdoor room showcase at the Hollywood Lofts for CH+D.
I’ve got until November 18 to see it in person. Reservations can be made here.

Showhouse hours:
September 14 – November 18, 2012; Friday, Saturday & Sunday Only.
Friday: 10am – 2pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 3pm

Dinner at Dustin’s

A word of advice. An invitation to dinner at Dustin’s should never be passed up.
Yes, he is a wonderful cook (Salade Niçoise with salmon, chocolate ganache torte).
But prowling around his garden to see what he’s been up to is the real treat.
Take this sapote tree, for instance, with resplendent floodlit trunk gleaming directly behind Reuben Munoz (staking his claim on the planted salvage container dripping Frankenia thymifolia that’s hanging from what’s left of the tree’s branches, upper right). The last time I saw this tree, its canopy shaded half the yard, a most welcome benefit from any tree. But Dustin finally pulled the plug on the sapote when he broke a toe slipping on one of its many slimy fruits that carpeted the garden and drew in clouds of houseflies. The tree is now reduced to sculpture, its dark, corrugated bark laboriously sledge-hammered away, revealing the tree’s mythic core.

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Mythic tree, mythic summer dinner party. Thank you, Dustin.

(At the table, far right, the back of Annette’s sweet mother’s head, then Annette Gutierrez, co-owner of Los Angeles’ premiere garden design shop Potted, torso of Dustin’s friend and partner in demolition, Jay, me, Gustavo Gutierrez, Reuben. Directly behind me are the collapsed remains of a magnificent gunnera formerly shaded by the sapote.)

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Photos by MB Maher.