WEDNESDAY FEATURE: ETTA DESIGNS

This week's Michael Smith alum is different from all others, Rachel Winokur has made a depature from the excessive resource-guzzling behemoth mansions and started an eco-friendly design firm, eTTa Designs.  I asked Rachel about her favorite things.

Favorite candle?  Most any non-toxic, elegant and lovely smelling one like Eco Candle & BsaB Candles
Fashion Designer?  I've found some terrific treasures at a local swap store, Give and Take, but specifically, I love eco, sexy, and funky Linda Loudermilk
Special occasion restaurant? Gjelina in Venice (CA) because of its delicious menu supporting local, sustainable, and organic practices whenever possible, served in a cozy setting, especially the romantic outdoor area.
Favorite casual restaurant? Rose Cafe in Venice (CA) for its healthy menu made without artificial colors or flavors and great vibe with rotating art exhibits.
Flower? Gardenia
iphone or blackberry? BB
Art? A fan of contemporary artists like Dirk de Bruycker because of his use of color and dreamy organic shapes.  Necessary extravagance? It's a toss up between the only organic fair trade chocolate in the US, Theo & handmade embroidered cashmere and silk shawls/blankets from Andraab
Shoes?  Adorable, preppy and sexy wedges from eco-friedly and vegan Beyond Skin
Favorite furniture/design/home shop? Basal Living from Cisco Brothers
Watch? For special occasions, my Grandmother's bejeweled Corum.
Dessert? Flourless chocolate cake.
Vacation Destination? I've travelled the world, but I always cherish my trips back home to New England in and season to visit family and friends.
Favorite Charity? Wide Horizons for Children, my nephew was adopted from Ethiopia and this organization is helping provide ambulances and clinics to help eliminate the journey of thousands who currently walk for days to get medical care, usually to give birth, and who often end up losing their babies from the walk.
Favorite city to shop? Los Angeles
Favorite discovery? I'm totally into my recent eco and global discoveries like surprisingly elegant baskets woven from old telephone wire handmade by South African Zulus!
Biggest inspiration?  Mother Nature, especially the coastline.
Favorite book?  I have so many favorites, including many design books like, Natural Style: Decorating with an Earth- Friendly Point of View by Janet Sobesky.
Piece of Jewelry? Unique custom vintage pieces from my Grandmother.
What are you working on currently? Part of the Design Team for Opportunity Green with Gensler.  Various public areas of Hotel Casa Del Mar and a Mammoth condo.

Interior photos courtesy www.ettadesigns.com