Posts Tagged: Sunset Tower Hotel

LA LOVE: DAY 3

Almost reaching the summit with Julia Buckingham Edelmann
The overarching theme to our Design Trust conference was learning the tools to thrive in a well balanced personal and professional life. We read Thrive by Arianna Huffington to get us in the proper mindset for our conversations during the trip. The author focuses on how we measure success beyond the metrics of money and power.  Her “Third Metric” consists of the four pillars of well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving. We unintentionally began our day with “well-being” by going on a fabulous hike in Runyon Canyon.  When we were not grasping for breath, design pal Julia Buckingham Edelmann and I chatted about the trials and tribulations of the design business and what we do to keep us going.
Runyon Canyon
Our keynote speaker for the morning was Kate Kelly Smith, Publisher and Chief Revenue Office for Hearst Publications. She led our discussion on Thrive  and how she had applied its principles to her own life. Our own well-being is essential…getting enough sleep, finding techniques to be still, fully present and connected with yourself, and discovering ways to re-energize ourselves are crucial to avoid burnout in our overconnected lives.
Kate Kelly Smith

The pillar of wisdom can be summed up in the serenity prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  By listening to our inner wisdom, it helps us to reconnect to our creativity and and intuition.

In the book the third pillar of wonder is described as “not just a product of what we see-of how beautiful or mysterious or singular or incomprehensible something may be.  It’s just as much a product of our state of mind, our being, the perspective from which we are looking at the world…Nature and art are two of the most fertile grounds for experiencing wonder…We need to take the time to wonder at the world around us, feel grateful for the good in our lives, and overcome our natural bias toward focusing on the negative. And in order for it to “take”, we must slow down and let wonder do its job, at its own pace.”
Ariana Huffington rounds out her “Third Metric” be defining giving with this quote by Rabindranath Tagore,“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.  I awoke and saw that life was service.  I acted and behold, service was joy.” As individuals, we grow spiritually by giving to others.  Living with these intentions leads us to thrive and live our own lives more fully. These words could not have been more appropriate for all of us looking to recharge our batteries, reconnect with one another, and be inspired by the marvelous opportunities we experienced while in Los Angeles.
Elle Decor Lunch in the Comaps Courtyard

After our delightful morning, we were off to experience La Cienega.  Elle Decor sponsored an event hosted by editor Micheal Boodro at the gorgeous Compas showroom.

Next stop, a quick lunch at Fig and Olive before heading to Nathan Turner‘s charming shop for a book signing for friend Jane Scott Hodges of Leontine Linens.

Fig & Olive
The charming and dapper Nathan Turner
Founded in New Orleans in 1996, Jane Scott created this luxury line that has become the “haute couture” of linens. Her gorgeous new book is the ultimate guide to living and entertaining with fine linens. Along with Jane Scott’s expert advice for decorating and using fine linens, she has also included contributions from leading designers and style mavens such as Charlotte Moss, Mary McDonald, Nathan Turner, Amanda Nesbit, Alexa Hampton and many many more. Be sure to order the book by clicking here.
Jane Scott Hodges with Martyn Lawrence Bullard
Then, we were off to a private tour of Ennis House, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built by his son, architect Lloyd Wright.
Built in 1924 for retailer Charles Ennis and his wife Mabel, the house is the last and largest of the elder Wright’s four Los Angeles-area “textile block” houses which feature patterned and perforated concrete blocks that give a unique textural appearance to both their exteriors and interiors. The house and chauffeur’s quarters span roughly 6,200 square feet and were constructed of more than 27,000 concrete blocks; all made by hand using decomposed granite extracted from the site. What struck me the most about this architectural masterpiece was the philanthropy behind it.  Ron Burkle purchased the house with the intent to restore it to share with the public.  He has no intention to live there, but wants to preserve this iconic work of art.
Ironwork Detail
Dining Room
Ironwork Detail
Living Room
Fireplace Detail
Dinner at The Little Door

We could not have asked for a better day to exemplify the pillars Arianna Huffington writes about in her book.  We began the day focusing on our well being, then experienced wisdom from Kate Kelly Smith, wonder at the sites of LCDQ and Ennis House, and an inspiring example of giving from Ron Burkle and the legacy he has left for Los Angeles.

Nightcaps at The Sunset Tower Hotel

LA LOVE: DAY 1

Three Quintains (Hello Girls), 1964
Sculpture by Alexander Calder
Installation by Frank Gehry
Sheet metal, paint, motor
LACMA
It does not get much better than Los Angeles in May with the jacarandas in full boom and jasmine in the air…a perfect time of year for the LCDQ Legends Event which attracts every tastemaker in the worlds of interior design, art, architecture, decor, and fashion to LA for three days of events, lectures, panel discussions, receptions, and fabulous parties. The Legends Event coincided with our bi-annual Design Trust conference comprised of a select group of interior designers led by Steve Nobel. We come together to “engage in smart discourse, discover and share unique resources and draw on superb sources of inspiration that cause all of us to see and think differently.”
Penetrable in Neon Lime by Jesus Raphael Soto

Before the official festivities commenced, we had some time to explore the LA art scene…First stop, The Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA) that holds over 120,000 works covering the expanse of art history and the globe. The museum is situated on 20 acres in Hancock Park and is comprised of several buildings devoted to different aspects of the collection which are each unique in architectural style.

Eli Broad Contemporary Art Museum
designed by Renzo Piano
The Sheaf by Henri Matisse, 1953
The Sheaf at the home of Frances Lasker Brody

It is always a thrill to see something first hand that you have admired or studied in the past.  I was very pleasantly surprised to see so many favorite works of art at LACMA that I was not aware resided there. The Matisse mural above is one example. The Brodys had commissioned the artist to do the mural when he was 83 years old. This prospect cheered the ailing artist.  He used his cut out techniques that he had mastered in paper and applied the same skills to the ceramic mural.  He created a paper maquette before he began working with the ceramics. He heard no feedback from the Brodys and was so inspired that he created two other murals that now reside at the Musee Matisse in Nice and Moderna Museet in Stockholm. When he finally met with the Brodys to show them the maquette, they rejected it and asked the master of modern art to try again. The result was “The Sheaf”which  was made by ceramic artist Partigas from Matisse’s designs. The mural measures 12′ by 11′ and is the largest work that LACMA holds by a classic modernist.

The Five Sculptures of Jeanette by Matisse, 1910-13
Another Matisse masterpiece is his collection of the five heads of Jeanette that he created between 1910 and 1913. The face changes in each sculpture and he increasingly abstracts her hair and facial features. The final sculpture depicts the face and base merged together. Matisse thought of the head as the center of the human intellect and soul. By eliminating recognizable features, he felt he could get a more honest portrait of he subject.
The Disks by Fernand Leger
Oldenburg cueing up in front of Warhol
East 9th Street by Joan Mitchell, 1956
Oil on canvas
Recognized at one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Alexander Calder revolutionized modern sculpture. LACMA’s exhibition Calder and Abstraction: From Avant Garde to Iconic is not to be missed. The show traces the artist’s evolution from French Surrealism to establishing his own American style. The delicate mobiles are mesmerizing in their balanced structure. The monumnetal stabiles he creates later in his career exemplify his fascination with dynamism and daring innovation.
Phoenix by Alexander Lieberman
Trace by Nancy Stevenson Graves, 1981
Steel and aluminum
The Ivy’s Colorful Champagne Bar

Next stop, The Ivy in West Hollywood for a ladies’ lunch with Holly Phillips and the dynamic duo of Cloth & Kind. We were so proud of Tami Ramsay and Krista Schwartz who had designed their first window for the Legends event, a huge honor for these two talented designers. Each year LCDQ selects a theme and invites designers from around the world to participate in designing one of the store windows in the design quarter.  This year was “Novel Interiors” and each window was based on a different book.

The Cloth & Kind crew chose Goldfinger and their window was beyond chic with its modern take on blue and white with a gilded touch.  A stunning Sally King Benedict painting provided a vibrant focal point for the window at the Sydney Harbour Paint showroom.

Our home away from home was the legendary Sunset Tower Hotel. Designed in 1922 by Leland Bryant, this Art Deco gem quickly became a hotspot because of its location on the Sunset Strip and proximity to the hottest nightclubs and restaurants of the 1930s and 40s. Its list of residents reads like of “Who’s Who” of Old Hollywood…Howard Hughes, John Wayne (who kept a cow on his patio for fresh milk), Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and gangster Bugsy Siegel. Today, it still remains a celebrity destination due to the discretion of its staff and a no camera policy in the dining rooms and bar.

A Warm Welcome
Art Deco Details
Poolside View
Chateau Marmont View

Finally, a lovely dinner at Bouchon with childhood friend Benton Weinstock of SetSipServe, a fabulous entertaining site and new friend Lizzie Wibbelman of Holland & Sherry sold through Harbinger, my new favorite LA showroom.

More to come on these wonderful LA sources in future posts along with trips to The Getty and Malibu!