Posts Tagged: Martyn Lawrence Bullard


Million Dollar Decorators
via JL Photography
LCDQ Legends has been perfectly described as “Spring Break” for interior designers. The scenery was beautiful, the Los Angeles design community was beyond welcoming, and every event just kept getting better and better. The logistics of pulling off such a large event were incredible and the organizers did an AMAZING job!  Our morning kicked off with a hilarious panel entitled “Don’t Hate, Collaborate” by the cast of the Million Dollar Decorators featuring Martyn Lawrence BullardJeffrey Alan Marks, Kathryn Ireland, and Nathan Turner. The chemistry between these designers was extraordinary as they entertained the crowd with anecdotes about working abroad, filming debacles, and teasing each other about their endearing personality traits.
via JL Photography

The panel was held at the Dragonette Ltd. showroom. Patrick Dragonette opened his showroom in Los Angeles in 1997 nd it quickly became one of the country’s top resources for high-end mid 20th century design. Dragonette, Ltd. specializes in the work of legendary designer Billy Haines. This impeccably curated showroom was definitely a highlight of LCDQ.

Dragonette Vignette
featuring Brian Wilson’s painting “The Black Bear”
“Pedra”Agate Lamps from Dragonette Private Label
with Tony Duquette Snail
Enchanting Sterling Silver Elephant Box at Dragonette
Some Favorite Southern Ladies
Holly Phillips, Leslie Rascoe Newsom and Lisa Newsom
The One and Only Tony Bucola at Veranda Lunch
Owner of Antonio’s Bella Casa

Another favorite was Antonio’s Bella Casa, owned by the charming Tony Bucola. Tony’s stunning shop features period European antiques from Italy and France paired mixed with blue chip modern and contemporary art. I literally had to pinch myself walking through his collection of amazing finds from abroad. His goal with his shop was to create a space where “the unique meets the necessary…where all the elements of European living could be brought together with the elegant flair of the Italians.”

Alexander Calder
Antonio’s Bella Casa
 Fab Faience and Rose Quartz Foo Dog
Antonio’s Bella Casa
Frank Stella
Antonio’s Bella Casa

Next, it was off to another enlightening lecture on Elsie de Wolfe by Hutton Wilkinson. Hutton began his career in the architectural offices of his father and grandfather.  At the age of eighteen, he went to apprentice for the great American design icon,Tony Duquette. Hutton is the Owner, Creative Director, and President of Tony Duquette, Inc. as well as President of the Elsie de Wolfe Foundation.

Hutton Wilkinson
Elsie de Wolfe(center) with Tony Duquette
via New York Social Diary
Wilkinson’s upcoming book, The Walk to Elsie’s, relays the rip-roaring tale of the last ten years of the great designer’s life, as told to him and his co-author Flynn Kuhnert by Tony Duquette. In his lecture, he elaborated on this international icon:
Elsie de Wolfe’s long and rich life spanned for eighty five years from her birth in 1865. She was a true American original…from her rise in turn of the century New York society, her stint on Broadway and her many firsts including being the first woman to fly with Wilbur Wright, the first woman to sue the IRS, and the first woman to charge for taste, thereby inventing the multi billion dollar business of professional interior decorator. 
Prominent in New York society and later in Europe, Elsie de Wolfe married Sir Charles Mendl and designed her storied home the Villa Trianon at Versailles, where she hosted her coterie of international society friends. Among her many friends and business associates were the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Stanford White, Cole Porter, the dress designer Mainbocher, Elsa Maxwell, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Elizabeth Arden. 
After her World War II escape by Rolls Royce, Elsie de Wolfe ended up in Hollywood with the likes of Louis B. Mayer, Mary Pickford and Tony Duquette, creating an entire new world for herself on the west coast towards the end of her long life.”
Harbinger Vignette
Katie Ridder wallpaper, Coleen and Co. Lantern.

Our day could not have been any more incredible until we entered Harbinger, which now tops my resource list for all things fabulous!  Holly Phillips had raved about her friends Parrish Chilcoat and Joe Lucas who own the showroom. They have assembled an amazing array of artists, fabric, accessory and furniture lines that include Katie Ridder, Ferrick Mason, Coleen and CompanyHolland and Sherry, Bunny Williams Home, and Hillary Thomas just to name a few.

Peonies at Harbinger
Beautifully Dressed Bed at Harbinger
in Front of a Favorite Wallpaper
Another Colorful Vignette at Harbinger
Colleen and Co. Lighting, Art by Alex Mason
By Alex Mason
Holland & Sherry Appliques

In addition to being super talented interior designers, Parrish and Joe also know how to throw a party! They converted their back parking lot into a chic outdoor fete with a quintessential west coast vibe. Moore & Giles also sponsored the event bringing their restored Airstream with them filled with their luxury leathers and small batch bourbon bar. The company was founded in 1933 in Lynchburg, Virginia to create innovative leathers for the high end interiors market.  In 2007, they introduced their line of luxury bags and accessories.

Harbinger Party
via Moore & Giles
Bourbon Bar courtesy of Moore & Giles
Moore & Giles Airstream

The Veranda finale party was held at the gorgeous new showroom of McKinnon and Harris. Understated elegance and exquisite craftsmanship define this brand. Based in Richmond, Virginia, this family owned company is committed to crafting furniture of exacting standards and timeless design. The white and green palette for the evening was translated into all the details, from the floral decor to the food. The whole evening was a work of art.

Fantastical Floral Headdresses
White and Green Vignette
Our last night in Los Angeles was spent back at The Sunset Tower Hotel.  A lively cocktail party with our Design Trust group evolved into a festive last supper before we all went our parting ways.

Design Trust
Supper at The Sunset Terrace
It is so sad to say goodbye, but we always have the next design adventure on the horizon!


The most highly anticipated attractions of the LCDQ LEGENDS event are the showroom windows that are decorated by 40 top designers from around the world. I am in constant awe and delight of the creativity of the design community and these windows were beyond extraordinary! This year’s theme was “Novel Interiors: Storytelling By Design.” 

Now in its sixth consecutive year, the LCDQ LEGENDS event has attracted over 12,000 guests and all funds raised go towards Habitat for Humanity and the La Cienega Design Quarter Beautification Fund. The LCDQ was established in 2008 to promote the flourishing antiques and design community in one of Los Angeles’ oldest thoroughfares. Since the 1950s, it has been a shopping hot spot for designers such as William Haines, Else de Wolfe, Tony Duquette and Frances Elkins.

All of the windows created for the event were spectacular.  Below are a few of my favorites in which the designers truly outdid themselves in terms of originality, execution of the novel idea, and aesthetics. Enjoy!

Hollyhock Windows
Detail via Mark Sikes
Detail via Mark Sikes

Remains Lighting Window

Ralf’s Window

MK Collection Window

Dragonette Window
Dragonette Window Detail
via Quintessence

Once I read the incredible post by Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence  I fully appreciated the effort that went into Doug Meyer’s imaginary dreamworld for his window. Instead of featuring Howard Roark from The Fountainhead as originally planned, Meyer created a fictitious universe at The Enright House, the famed building on which the book is based. In Stacey’s interview with Meyer, he elaborates on the project, “Over its storied 49 year history, the Enright House has been home to some of the world’s richest people. It’s owner self made millionaire Roger Enright, was the seventh richest man when he passed away in 1969.  Notable residents included members of America’s first families, European nobility and Hollywood and Broadway royalty.”

His imaginary world includes stories that may have occurred in the building and depicted in his dioramas as seen in the ballroom diarama above.“One night…regular Willem de Kooning taught Julia (an Enright resident) a new dance called the Cha Cha. She was ecstatic and in less than 24 hours had commissioned Gio Ponti to design a ballroom she would name the Cha Cha Room. Many nights the residents of Enright House would start off their evening at Bar Alfred and end dancing the night away at Julia’s glamorous duplex apartment.” 

Be sure to read the full story on Quintessence here. The fabulous story would make an incredible screenplay!


Harbinger Window

Harbinger Window

George Smith Window

Nathan Turner Window

Woven Accents Window

*All images via Grey Crawford for LCDQ unless otherwise noted.


Norma’s at The Parker Palm Springs

With an annual 350 days of sunshine and 73 degree winter days, Palm Springs is the PERFECT destination for a long weekend getaway. The dining, shopping, culture, spas, and physical beauty of the landscape are absolutely incredible.  Begin with an al fresco brunch at Norma’s in The Parker Palm Springs. We learned a lot from the natives when we were there and it is best to do any touring early in the day before the desert heat sets in.

The Kaufmann House by Richard Neutra, 1946

Robert Imber, architectural buff and preservation advocate, treated us to a wonderful and educational  tour of Palm Springs.  What began as an agricultural community in the mid 1800s was wiped out by drought and floods.  In the mid 20th century, visitors began coming to the restorative and healing desert climate including many stars of the early Hollywood era. From the 1940s-1960s, the area experienced tremendous growth which attracted many of the era’s most talented architects to the area. “Desert Modernism” was born and thousands of innovative structures were built. The architecture was influenced by the early modernists such as Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. However, Palm Springs architects were creating their own original version of modernism. The structures were crafted from honest materials that integrated beautifully into the desert landscape.

With the economic crash of the 1970s, many fortunes were ruined and several modernist masterpieces fell into disrepair. A new wave of modernists came to the valley in the late 80s and 90s in in search of original modernist homes. This energy instigated a renewed interest in modernism and several homes were saved.

View from the Street

Seeing the iconic Kaufmann house was at the top of my bucket list.   In 1936, Pittsburgh department store magnate Edgar Kauffman, who had also hired Frank Lloyd Wright to build “Fallingwater”, commissioned Richard Neutra to design his desert home much to the disappointment of Wright.  He had wanted a home that was more open and airy than what Wright was constructing at the time. Neutra had a vision ot build a transparent house within the desert landscape.  An expansive pool set perpendicular to the house balances out the architecture against the mountains.

Slim Aaron’s Iconic Image of The Kauffman House

The 3,800 square foot house was designed to be a beautiful object framed by the desert landscape.  It cost $30,000 at the time it was built.  In 2007, it was auctioned off as part of Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art Sale for $15,000,000. Now known as one of the greatest masterpieces of modern architecture, the Kauffman house came to be a symbol of post war optimism and the American dream.

Am Alexander House

Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra, the father/son architects and builders George and Robert Alexander designed some of the first developments in Palm Springs. The houses had a distinct layout of a carport, breezeway, windows and wall that could be oriented in various ways where they were built.  The open floor plans, clean lines, and mass produced materials made them easy to build and now the original Alexander houses are highly collectible in the Palm desert.

The brightly colored doors found on several homes pop against the white surfaces, landscaping and brilliant blue skies.

Sculpted Lawn and Geometric Door
Indoor/ Outdoor Sculpture
Our fabulous guide Robert Imber

As the afternoon heat sets in, a stop at the Viceroy Palm Springs is essential. Designed by Kelly Wearstler, this refuge from the heat is like an oasis in the desert.  In her book Palm Springs Living, Dianne Dorran Saeks describes it as  “Refreshing iced lemonade on a blazing summer day.”

The Bar at the Viceroy
Custom Cocktails
Our Future Real Estate Agent
Poolside at the Viceroy

The Viceroy was originally built in 1929 as a series of bungalows and surrounding pools, lawns and shaded terraces. Known for its discretion and privacy, the Viceroy hosted many Hollywood stars such as Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Ann Miller and Tyrone Power. Kelly Wearstler used 1930s and 40s Hollywood as inspiration for the decor of the hotel which is evident in the overall glamorous, dramatic, and exotic vibe of the hotel.

Citron Restaurant at the Viceroy

Next, be sure to check out The Palm Springs Art Museum. The museum was founded in 1938 specializing in Native American artifacts.  Today, it boasts one of the country’s best permanent collections including works by Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichetenstein, Donald Jedd, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, and Robert Rauschenburg. Some of my personal favorites are below…

Phenomena Wind Off Big Sur, 1970 by  Paul Jenkins
In front of Judy Chicago’s Rainbow Pickett, 1939
Ivy, 2002 by Teresita Fernandez
Acrylic cubes


Casualty in the Art Realm, 1979  by Robert Ameson,

After a long and fulfilling day of culture, a visit to The Purple Palm at the Colony Palms Hotel is the perfect finale. The Spanish Colonial Hotel was built and opened in 1936 by Al Wertheimer, who was a reputed mobster and member of the Purple Gang. The hotel served as a private club for Wertheimer and his gambling pals complete with a pool, secret underground speakeasy and brothel concealed by a staircase in the kitchen pantry. The hotel then fell into the hands of Robert Howard and his Oscar-nominated wife Andrea, who owned the champion thoroughbred Seabiscuit.Under their guidance, the supper club became a Palm Springs hot spot for the next 30 years. In 2007, the current owners Sheila and Don Cluff re-opened the hotel as The Colony Palms Hotel.  They enlisted celebrity interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard to renovate and redecorate the storied property.  It is now a 4 star boutique hotel spread over 3 acres house a world class restaurant, spa and accommodations.

Poolside at The Colony Palm Springs
The interior of The Purple Palm
From February 13-23, Palm Springs will be hosting their annual Modernism week celebrating and fostering the appreciation of mid-century architecture, design, fashion and culture. The week features over 100 special events including the Modernism show, home tours, films, lectures, parties, music and more. To learn more about the celebration and purchase tickets, click here.