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You can always spot the active Californian: Their faces have a healthy glow, their cars are big enough for ski gear (and the dogs) and their houses have a lived-in aesthetic that's both comfortable and good-looking.

A new furniture line is a bull's-eye for such sporty style. Made in Los Angeles, the six-piece Inheritance Collection is designed by former satchel-maker Stephen Kenn. He takes Army lean-to canvas, then washes, softens and stretches it across rusted-then-clear-coated steel frames to make contemporary couches, chairs and stools.

So far, so eco-cool. But what are really distinctive are the seats' buckled-leather-and-webbing straps--replicas of WWII mule belts (straps used for pack animals). Not only do they make the furniture backs as attractive as their fronts, but the straps also can be tightened to retain a crisp appearance. The enzyme-treated canvas doesn't show stains, either.

Pieces cost from $450 to $5,000 and can be viewed by appointment at Kenn's downtown headquarters. Each custom-made piece takes a month to produce. That's not so long to wait to have pieces rugged enough to withstand anything from a panting Russian wolfhound to a spilled Black Russian.

Stephen Kenn, 1250 Long Beach Ave., Ste. 120; 213-422-8064 or

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