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Sept. 8 block party celebrates design district in La Jolla

The fourth installation of What’s Up Girard, an event involving 11 businesses promoting La Jolla’s design district, will be Saturday, Sept. 8, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Located on a four-block stretch of Girard Avenue in the Village, the district has been more than 20 years in the making. It now boasts several of the top international contemporary and transitional design collections in the world.

During the weekend event, select showrooms on Girard Avenue will unite with acclaimed industry experts hosting a diverse array of upscale interior seminars. The district will present interactive lectures on a variety of topics including design trends, green-friendly interior tips, tradition and innovation in textiles, famous architecture, how to pick a designer or builder for your home project, antiques as a sustainable option and making your home extraordinary with accessories. Design Seminars will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. and are open to the public with no admission.

What’s Up Girard 2007 will target a wide range of individuals, from those with a basic knowledge of decor, to seasoned professionals interested in learning more about the latest interior trends.

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Showroom soirees at various participating businesses, by invite only, will continue from 6 to 8 p.m.

Sheryll Jackman of Seaside Home, an interior design shop showcasing the “coastal lifestyle,” said the annual block-party event has been gaining momentum since it started four years ago. “It was started by a little design group to get some interest in the area,” Jackman said. “But it had been a little fragmented. We (Seaside Home) helped consolidate it. We brought in what used to be high-end home furnishings, and blended it with interior design-driven, service-oriented home furnishings - beds, baths, gifts, crystal, tabletops, the whole gamut.”

Jackman noted the event’s open-house format is an attractive calling card. “It’s a way to get people to La Jolla, to get them to recognize it as a design destination,” she said. “If they’re building a home, or remodeling, or just doing some furniture or decorating: They can do it in La Jolla.”

Phil Coller of Everett Stunz fine linens, noted events like What’s Up Girard have created a synergy among businesses in the design district, enhancing efforts to promote the district as one entity. “There are about 20 different stores who provide interior design products and services of one form or another in the two or three blocks at the east end of Girard known as the La Jolla Design District,” said Coller. “You have everything from art and antiques at one end, to doors, windows and bathrooms with actual sinks. There’s a whole range of interior design services available on Girard, as opposed to the prospect end (of the Village), which is the tourist end.”

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Coller said La Jolla’s Design District draws customers from Camp Pendleton in North County out to Calexico in Imperial County, even from Mexico.

Best of all, said Coller, businesses in the design district complement - and refer - one another. “We (Everett Stunz) send people to other places in the design district, to Waterworks to buy a sink, Roche Bobois for bed frames, etc. That’s the key, trying to create a destination district for people who want to do some interior design work in their homes.”

Businesses participating in What’s Up Girard, and the goods and services they offer, include:

  • Roche Bobois, contemporary, 7611 Girard Ave., 858-459-0297: The Les Contemporains collection of Roche Bobois invites you to enjoy the latest trends in interior design, www.roche-bobois.com.
  • Panto, 7629 Girard Ave., 1-877-GO-PANTO): Panto is the largest, three-generation Italian manufacturer of windows, doors, entry doors and garden furniture, www.panto-usa.com.
  • Waterworks, 7631 Girard Ave., 454-0446: Since 1978, Waterworks has been highly regarded as a premier design resource for everything related to water. Their exclusive designs now encompass bath and kitchen faucets, surfaces, bathtubs, washstands, accessories, home furnishings and more. www.waterworks.com
  • Nestlife, 7636 Girard Ave., 858-454-4220): Nestlife enjoys a long-standing reputation as a premier source for fine china, crystal, linens, unique gifts and home accessories created for people who see home as sanctuary, www.nestlife.com.
  • Design Studio West, 7422 Girard Avenue, 858-454-9133: Design Studio West prides itself on creating beautiful kitchens and bathrooms emphasizing value in a custom-designed kitchen or bathroom providing “turn-key” services from concept to completion, www.designstudiowest.com.
  • Ross Thiele & Son, Ltd. , 7425 Girard Ave., 858-454-7296: The design services of Ross Thiele & Son, Ltd. are tailored to meet the specific needs of the client, whether it is selection of fabric for re-upholstering a sofa, or complete interior packages for new construction. We are available for consultation, space planning, and the complete process of design development and implementation, www.rossthiele.com.
  • Divan Studio, 7661 Girard Ave., 858-551-0405: Divan Studio is the exclusive representative of Italian-based Cassina and Alias in San Diego. The collection is rigorously simple in form and highly defined in character, with an emphasis on indoor/outdoor flexibility, www.divanstudio.com.
  • WmOhs Showroom, 7541 Girard Ave., 858-459-3757: WmOhs Showrooms is San Diego’s exclusive dealer for WmOhs timeless handmade cabinetry, long regarded among the highest-quality cabinetry manufactures in the world, and is represented by only the finest kitchen design professionals. www.wmohs.com.
  • Material Things, 7661 Girard Ave., 858-551-0873: Material Things is the nationwide distributor of innovative fabrics by NUNO Corporation, a company that stands at the forefront of contemporary textile design. Combining traditional weaving techniques with state-of-the-art materials and manufacturing technologies, NUNO’s unique designs rely heavily on the expertise of Japan’s master crafts-persons and their centuries of accumulated experience, www.materialthings.us.com.

Call 619-795-0151 for more information about The La Jolla Design District and What’s Up Girard.