Look for the big red sofa painted on the side of a building when traveling north on I-95. Notice the parking lot -- Mercedes, Porsche, Jaguar, Range Rover. The Design Center of the Americas is the largest interior-design center in the world -- three buildings, four stories, 775,000 square feet, and 150 showrooms of some very cool stuff. So much cool stuff that the DCOTA, as it is called, recommends the layperson doesn't try negotiating its labyrinthine interiors alone. For two hours, free of charge, the DCOTA will provide an interior designer to decode your interests -- floor lamps in a romantic yet modern style, Mediterranean orange-colored glass tiles, wallpaper etched with line drawings of tiny palm trees, or just a groovy bathtub -- and guide you to showrooms that feature such fare. Or you can bring your own designer. Once inside, the DCOTA is a visual orgy. J. Batchelor, Suite A-428, for example, features the stunning lamps of Israeli designer Ayala S. Serfaty's Aqua Creations. Morning Glory is a floor lamp that looks like an anemone fish. It is made from pleated silk on a frame -- in orange, yellow, cream, rust, and red -- bulbous at the bottom, nipped at the top, and ending with an open, ruff-like mouth that faces the ceiling. The Nikko hotel in San Francisco bought an illuminated line of them. If you decide to buy one yourself, the decorator price for a Morning Glory is $2,570. It's listed at $3,675 retail.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.