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Arts and Entertainment

Buttercup Buildup

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We're still chuckling over ABC Carpet & Home co-founder Evan Cole's pronouncements in today's "New York Times" Home and Garden profile(found via Apartment Therapy).

Cole has come to LA to reinvent himself with a new home furnishings emporium called HD Buttercup, which is located in the Helms Bakery building in Culver City. A new Brentwood resident, Cole should fit right in with the area's other visionaries.

"I take A.D.D. to a new level," he declares. "I get inspired and change everything really quickly."

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We'd been following the local press's coverage of the HD Buttercup opening, but the "New York Times" piece contains Cole's best quotes.

Our favorite so far

Arriving earlier this month at the Brentwood home of his girlfriend, Rachel Ashwell, the founder of the brand Shabby Chic, Mr. Cole suddenly realized he had forgotten a vase she needed for a magazine photo shoot. He jumped back into his black Corvette and returned home. "Rule No. 362 of a new relationship: never forget what you're supposed to bring," he said. Retracing his steps, Mr. Cole walked through Ms. Ashwell's door with vase in hand, and started joking about her signature white and pink décor: "This is like taking laughing gas," he said. "My mission is to get Rachel a line of paint at Home Depot: Shabby Chic white and the right pink."

Ms. Ashwell is helping Mr. Cole redecorate his home and has already contributed some white slipcovers. "She's white-ifying me," he said.

After some lunch, Mr. Cole swung by a new gallery near H. D. Buttercup called QED, which is outfitting his Brentwood home with art. He sees the emerging local arts scene as validation of the store's location, and he's convinced his new business will drive a Culver City revival. "This is going to be SoHo," he said. "It's going to happen because of Buttercup. The trick is to see what could be, not what is."

The key, he said, are the artisans and architects who have popped up along Washington Boulevard near the 10 freeway. "See! Gallery, gallery - it's starting," he said. "I've studied this diligently. This is the spot. I'd bet my last dollar on it."

Well, he's not the first salesman to blow into town with hopes that our city won't let him down and mess him around...