A creative tsunami is the best way to describe the La Cinega Design Quarter’s LEGENDS event. Imagine having your entire design tribe in one spot…all of your favorite designers, vendors, artists and editors combined with the perfect mix of educational, inspirational and social events in sunny Los Angeles. Often referred to as the “Coachella” or “Fashion Week” of design, LEGENDS broke records this year with over 10,000 RSVPS coming from design aficionados representing 6 countries and 24 states in the US. The 3 day affair brings together VIPS and tastemakers from the worlds of interior design, decor, art, fashion, and architecture for receptions, keynote panels, cocktail parties exhibitions, book signings, personal appearances and special events. This year I was honored to be an ambassador covering the events for social media and mixing and mingling with all of the attendees.
Design fans are constantly seeking beauty and Los Angeles is the perfect backdrop to find inspiration with its stunning scenery, gorgeous showrooms and interiors, and insanely attractive Angelenos. I arrived a day early with my “blonde” (using that term loosely!) brigade/ travelling partners in crime: Tami Ramsay of Cloth & Kind, Julia Buckingham of Buckingham Interiors and Holly Phillips of The English Room who found us our amazing, yet dangerous house in the Hollywood Hills for our west coast adventure. While it may seem that it is “all play / no work,” it is quite the opposite. The ongoing conversation is a design think tank…linked to what inspires us, how to manage our respective practices, and how to troubleshoot different aspects of our businesses. I could not be more grateful to have this trusted group of confidantes. From Paris to High Point to LA, these girls provide constant entertainment and creative energy wherever we go.
Of course, we like to hit all of the LA hot spots to absorb everything LA has to offer. The Ivy is always the first stop with its bold colorful setting, amazing food, and hopes of always seeing a celebrity. Sighting #1: Lisa Vanderpump / Fedora Sightings : 2
Our spectacular view from our house nestled up in the Hollywood Hills.
Last year for LEGENDS we stayed in the iconic Sunset Tower Hotel.What amazed me about the setting was how the hotel transformed from day to night. The terrace and views are spectacular during the day, but the atmosphere at night above the twinkling lights of Los Angeles and the dramatic lighting is something to behold.
“Designed in 1929 by architect Leland A. Bryant, the Sunset Tower was a trendsetter from the moment it opened. Its dramatic setting on the Sunset Strip and elegant Art Deco styling, together with its proximity to famous restaurants and nightclubs of the 1930s & ’40s, contributed to its landmark status. West Hollywood has always catered to celebrities wishing to draw attention to their star power. The Sunset Tower embodied these aspirations, counting among its former residents Howard Hughes, John Wayne, Billie Burke, Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Paulette Goddard, Zasu Pitts, and even gangster Bugsy Siegel. The Sunset Tower is a Hollywood landmark. Up to the 1950s it was as much a tourist attraction as the Hollywood sign itself. It has appeared in a number of films, including The Italian Job, Get Shorty, The Player and Strange Days. Its first literary mention was in Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely (1940). The film version of that novel, Murder, My Sweet, released four years later, was its first screen reference.” – Sunset Tower Historian
Star Sightings: Supermodel Janice Dickinson and General Hospital’s Jack Wagner and of course Hollywood’s most famous Maître D’ Dimitri Dimitrov. Fedora Sightings: 0 (thank goodness)
Presiding over the Tower Bar six, sometimes seven nights a week, Dimitri makes everyone who walks into the bar feel like they are important. With his signature move of palms in front of his chest and a slight bow, he graciously took care of us during cocktails and dinner and even gave us a fabulous table next to his favorite spot, the curved banquette in the corner with the best view of the Hollywood Hills. Hotel owner Jeff Klein hired Dimitri 11 years ago after Tom Ford slipped him Dimitri’s name on a coaster during dinner. A special treat during LEGENDS was to hear an interview with Jeff Klein by Becky Birdwell for the Design Leadership Network hearing the history and legacy of the hotel.
To offset the late nights and nonstop cocktailing, Runyon Canyon is a necessity on our visits.
Star Sightings: 1…We think this little guy may have made a cameo in Caddyshack. Fedoras: 0
Of course we hat to hit the Chateau Marmont which has been described as “touched with scandal, commemorated in literature.” This was my virgin voyage to the Chateau and it did not disappoint. I cannot wait to see it under nightfall on my next trip.
“Hotels are the stuff of stories, of mini dramas, a world unto themselves – we leave our lives behind and become who we want to be. Arriving at Chateau Marmont you surrender yourself to a grandi-loquent environment, an infamous hideaway and the perfect getaway in the center of one of the world’s most exciting cities.Modeled after an infamous royal residence in France’s Loire Valley, Chateau Marmont is a fantastical folly in the land of make believe. While in residence you become part of a highly discriminating, international clientele desiring an experience at once luxurious and unique.
Chateau is the perfect co-conspirator; as Harry Cohn, founder of Columbia Pictures said in 1939, “If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont.” You can be yourself or, better yet, be whomever you want to be; don’t be surprised if your visit brings out your inner Howard Hughes, your Greta Garbo, your Jim Morrison. As public or private as you wish – there are those in residence who are desperate to be seen and others who choose to remain anonymous.The eccentric and highly personal history of the place, its luscious rich past, its tarnished patina are all part of the charm. This great castle on the hill is the set of a film waiting for someone to call action – this is the place where things happen. Checking in is like turning up in the middle of an ongoing party at a European country estate – there is always someone you know staying here. Mindful of its history – but always in the moment – it is contemporary as tomorrow morning – there is great comfort here. Sit in a wicker chair on the veranda writing post-cards imagining you are in an exotic outpost-far far away.
And when the dusk of evening settles, put on some smoky jazz and get lost – sink into the aphrodisiac of the deep couches, take your paramour on an elevator ride – at night everyone comes to Chateau Marmont – this is the pageant and parade that evening brings, they come for the martini, for the sex appeal, to make the deal–naughty or nice, everyone is your darling. And after hours – there is the Bar Marmont – an outpost for the foreign correspondent you’ve become – all hotel guests are insiders – there is no velvet rope here. You are on liberty, sabbatical, furlough from your familiar life, you feel the heat, the sweat, the late night lust that is LA. This is the place you can most be yourself and it is the only grand hotel you can call home.”- A.M Homes
Star Sightings: 0 Fedora Sightings: 5
Next stop…a visit to Julia’s fabulous Slim Aarons-inspired window for The Rug Company. Aaron’s iconic “Poolside Gossip” at the Kaufmann House was reinterpreted 45 years after with the original models Helen Dzo Dzo and Nelda Linsk as “Poolside Reunion” by Palm Springs based photographer Fred Moser. Wife Kelly Lee of esteemed Kelly Golightly makes a cameo in the shot
Amanda Reynal. Marisa Marcontonio and Joe Lucas
Chad Graci, Fab photographer Sarah D’Orio, Danielle Rollins, and Bill Ingram
Julia Carr Baylor and John Bossard
Lindsay Fleege and Ellen Toler of Urban Electric
Young Huh, Shaun Smith. Mercedes Desio, Alberto Villalobos
Where is Julia? With Holly Phillips and Tami Ramsay
Final stop….Soho House with gal pal Lizzie Wibbelsman of Holland & Sherry. A perfect end to a perfect day with all of my favorite people!
Star/ Fedora Sightings: Boy George wearing a Fedora!
15 minutes of fame…attaching our mug shot to the photo wall!
*Gala Photographs from JL Photography
Next month, I am thrilled to be participating in the 2015 Designer Showhouse sponsored by Traditional Home and the Junior League of High Point. The “From High Point to the World” themed showhouse will host a grand opening party the evening of Friday, April 17, 2015, and open to public for tours beginning Saturday, April 18th. Tickets are available by clicking here.
“We’re thrilled to include the Junior League of High Point’s Designer Showhouse as part of the Traditional Home 2015 National Showhouse Tour,” says Ann Maine, editor in chief of Traditional Home. “The High Point Market is the heart of home furnishings industry and the opportunity to bring recognition to both talented designers and leading furniture companies only fuels our enthusiasm. Through the decades, the Terry family has been an integral and influential part of the city’s history. It’s appropriate to pay tribute to them by showcasing their beautiful Tudor Revival home. Collaborating with the Junior League to help raise funds to benefit their community programs is something the Terry family would have appreciated.”
Nancy and Randall B. Terry built the house circa-1912. It is likely one of the earliest homes in High Point’s Roland Park, as well as one of the first examples of the Tudor Revival movement in High Point. Randall B. Terry Jr., publisher of the High Point Enterprise newspaper, was the last of the Terry family to reside in the home. Sitting on a corner double lot with a pool and a sprawling back yard, the house boasts 15 rooms with many period details as well as a separate two-story carriage house.
Businessman, newspaper publisher, and philanthropist Randall B. Terry, Junior cherished the companionship of nine Golden Retreivers he named for figures in Greek Mythology-Achilles, Ajax, Apollo, Athena, Diana, Nike, Rumor, Venus and Zeus. At the time of his death in 2004, Mr. Terry agreed to have a caretaker live in his home with his 6 remaining dogs until the last one passed away. In the summer of 2014, the remaining dog Diana died. For those who did not know Mr. Terry well, he referred to the house as the “million dollar doghouse.”
I fell in love with the history of this house and envisioned it as being the epicenter of High Point shenanigans in its hey day. I was excited to showcase the local talent and work with so many design peers I admire. In many ways, the design community is just like High Point…a gracious small Southern town. Everyone knows everyone and enjoys their company from the sophisticated grand dames to the talented eccentric characters!
My bedroom is located on the front of the house with abundant natural light and elegant 10 1/2 foot ceilings. I envisioned my “imaginary” client as the sophisticated daughter of the Terry clan. She is well-travelled, artistic, and likes a modern, yet glamorous room that still reflects her Southern roots.
This large vintage abstract painting provided the color palette that inspired the design scheme. The room is a blend of unique pieces from High Point based craftsmen along with a curated collection from her travels around the world. A Moroccan inspired headboard, Murano glass lamps, original modern art, bespoke linens, dressmaker detailed drapery, and glamourous materials such as shagreen, agate, brass, and velvet will add to the feminine mystique of the space.
A portrait by one of my favorite artists, Kate Long Stevenson, (from Hidell Brooks Gallery) became my muse for the project. I had her in mind whenever I was making decisions for the space. I begin with the artwork to ignite a spark of inspiration. In the same way a museum exhibition is created to enhance the colors of the paintings, I pull colors out of the art to design the scheme. My interiors tell the story of the character that inhabits the space. Aesthetically, I incorporate something modern along with something antique and include a mix of high and low elements that are reflective, sculptural, textured and natural.
Indian inspired prints and embroidery with cut velvet animal print from Clarence House will cover custom designed pieces in the space.
I am excited to be working with Bernhardt Furniture who is graciously loaning several pieces for the interior.
I indulged myself with an “imaginary” trip around the world for inspiration for the space…from the palaces of Morocco and India to the Murano glass factories and sunsets on the Nayarit Riviera.
For more updates, check out the Showhouse Showdown at Madcap Cottage who is interviewing all of the designers and the inspiration behind their spaces including…
The room is dedicated to our sweet beloved Isabelle (1999-2015) who is now frolicking with the other golden angels…Achilles, Ajax, Apollo, Athena, Diana, Nike, Rumor, Venus and Zeus.