A Room with Lots of Views | Spirit Wind Joshua Tree

Every time we get the house ready for a big photo shoot I try to piggyback on it and take some of my own photos too. I shot these photos the morning that California Lifestyle came out to shoot the house in April.

The first floor of our house is basically a giant open room, that the architect called the Great Room. I just call it our living room but it is really a living room / dining room / kitchen / den space and it open up right onto the patio with a massive sliding door. In some areas the ceiling is very high (18′ or more).

The windows are each different sizes and frame views in the distance. We are at a higher elevation (3200′) that a lot of the area, so you can look out from this room and peer down into the Section 6 valley, the National Park to the east and you can also see the fake Afghani village on the 29 Palms Marine base to the north on a clear day.

My photos are probably a little dark. I didn’t adjust them at all. But I think they capture the quality of the natural light in the space. Some parts of the room are very bright and other parts are dark depending where the sun is in the sky.

The gray rainbow mural is on the bar is by Joshua Tree artist Xihomara Alvarez. Jonathan and I commissioned it to hide the scuff marked from people’s shoes on the wall. That is why it is darker on the bottom.

 

Looking down from the doorway to the master bedroom. It’s kind of like balcony over the living room. I hung up the peace sign wreath after the election because I felt like I need to do something at Spirit Wind to subtly resist the craziness that is going on in the world.
This is a dangerous couch. You sit down in it and you are done for the whole day.  I have mostly banned myself from it, but you are welcome to try it out.

View into the Opium Den. We call it the Opium Den because when we bought the house all the electrical wiring and breakers going to that room were labeled “Opium Den”. My step-father built a custom L shaped couch/bed to make it more like a vintage opium den.

View into the backyard from the Opium Den. I love the built-in drawers and magazine rack (that was my mom’s idea). This is the coldest room of the house because the swamp cooler vents into it. So it is an excellent place to hangout in the summer reading magazines, drinking prosecco and avoiding work.


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Week in Photos: The White Palms of Sunset Blvd | Projection LA

“I'm trying to produce something that is (1)

Jonathan and I had fun exploring the motel installation on Sunset Blvd. yesterday. It’s a temporary art piece by french artist Vincent Lamouroux, supported by Please Do Not Enter.  He whitewashed the old abandoned, derelict Sunset Pacific Motel and the landscape/palms with a lime wash. It’s pretty striking on its own, but there will also be some sort of projection on it April 26th.

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It was like a shimmering ghost of Los Angeles past. A cathedral to the Boulevard of Lost Dreams. An architectural model before it was ever built. A party inside a memory.

I was most struck by the white palms. They were disturbing and iconic. And were both great looking and fake. And made me think of fake palms they use in malls and in projects in the Middle East and China. But they are real. And probably full of rats. And we love them.P1040178

The white was gleaming and I wish I had my sunglasses. P1040159

All the shadow play on the building, the textures of the palms, fence, barbed wired reminded me of a textile or tapestry. Stitching. We were there just before sunset and the light was bright and shifting rapidly.

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The folded leaves of the fan palm. It must have been difficult to paint them with the lime.

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The artist took the shittiest building on that stretch of Sunset Blvd and make it something for Angelinos to be proud of. A peek through the fence at the inner court yard. I think this is where the projection will be on Sunday. I was disappointed that the LA trash bin was not painted white. That would have been a great detail.

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Everyone was craning their necks to take in the signs and palms. Strangers on the sidewalk were talking to one another and discussing art, theory, city planning, Los Angeles. It was kind of amazing.  But I couldn’t help but think about the other people who once stayed here. People who picked up Route 66 in Illinois or Oklahoma and who followed their dreams and Route 66 as it turned into Sunset Blvd. and who took a right and pulled into this parking lot looking for a room. Welcome to Los Angeles.

P1040182There is also this stage like quality about the place. You feel like you are on a set. Everyone is striking a pose. Instagramming. The dress I’m wearing is by Osklen, a Brazilian brand that does edgy resort wear.

P1040172And fittingly, I guess, the motel is going to be torn down soon to make room for condos soon. It was the developer who made the property available to the artist. LA is getting denser. It needs to get denser. And it is critical that we remember the ghosts of the past, as we decide what to keep and what to let go.

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A Day at Fountainebleau – Miami Beach

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At long last, the Fountainebleu!

The Fountaineblau hotel is one of the most historic and architecturally significant buildings on Miami Beach. It was designed by Morris Lapidus and opened in 1954. It was completely fabulous in a way that horrified the architectural establishment at the time – but the public got it and loved it. Plus, over the years it has been featured in a number of films, including Scarface and Goldfinger.

Morris Lapidus is a maximalist modernist through and through (in Europe they call this style “googie”). His autobiography published in 1996 is called Too Much is Never Enough.

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Brass seahorse door handles on the main lobby of the Fountainebleau. The seahorse also represents the “F” of Fountainebleau. Also note the signature bow tie marble paving in the lobby. The bow tie form was a signature of Lapidus, and he used the shape in a variety of ways in different buildings.

[quote]If you create a stage and it is grand, everyone who enters will play their part. – Morris Lapidus[/quote]

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A field of circular windows on the front facade of the hotel create an under sea/under water feeling of floating in light bubbles in the dappled light of the convention center lobby. I found it irresistible, even as an adult, to dart about and play within the light “bubbles”. Note: I called them “bubbles” but Lapidus called them “woggles” and “cheeseholes“.
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[hr]In 2008 the hotel re-opened after a two-year, 1 BILLION dollar renovation. The original paving remains in the lobby. A new chandelier echos the”woggles” and “cheeseholes” in the adjacent space. And a new tryptic of James Turrell pieces can be seen behind the front desk.

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My friend, Brant Ritter of Thoreen&Ritter installed the series of light pieces for James Turrell at the Fountainebleau. An artist, furniture designer, restaurant designer, etc. he has a cool side gig of being one of the very few people James Turrell trusts to install his work. So Brant gets to jet off to fabulous places like Tokyo or the Fountainebleau to play with light.

There are three light sculptures behind the front desk, and several more groups of them along the hall to the main lobby. In the main lobby there are additional light pieces behind the concierge.
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[hr]Jonathan checking out one of the Turrell pieces. It is hard to capture the color. It slowly morphs from one color palette to another.
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This is a detail of the light sculpture and the color in this photo is more accurate to how it looks in real life.

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[hr] More light sculptures. I love how the light reflects off the marble floors and makes the whole space change color.
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Jonathan luxuriating. The famous “stairway to nowhere” is in the background.

[quote]”My whole success is I’ve always been designing for people, first because I wanted to sell them merchandise. Then when I got into hotels, I had to rethink, what am I selling now? You’re selling a good time.” – Lapidus[/quote]

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[hr]People watching in the main lobby. I love the custom carpets.
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[hr]The iconic curved shaped facade from the beach side. The huge new pool was part of the renovation and is shaped like a bow tie in honor of Lapidus.
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[hr] On the boardwalk at the Fountainebleau, soaking up Miami Beach. + Can’t wait to visit more Lapidus hotels!

[quote] I had a good time. Thanks a million Morris. [/quote]

 

A Month in Photos: Walls & Hedges


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The Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs. We had our “rehearsal dinner” right here by this wall in 2010. The hedge is a Podocarpus a.k.a Hedgezilla.

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More Ace Hotel, they have great walls.

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There are a lot of tapestry hedges (hedges made up of multiple shrubs/vines) in Echo Park, Los Angeles. This one has multiple kinds of bougainvillea and boxwood.

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This ad for High Maintenance (a web series) is hand painted on a wall in Echo Park, CA. If you haven’t seen the series, you should download it ASAP. The main character is a pot dealer in NYC that delivers via bicycle. Each episode is about a different delivery/client. Incredibly well done. It’s one of my new favorites.

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Matisse Show Closing in NYC This Weekend – Take a Virtual Tour

Sigh. I really wanted to fly to NYC to see Henri Matisse: The Cut Outs show at the Museum of Modern Art. But, the timing just didn’t work out. It’s a once in a lifetime collection of over 100 of Matisse’s paper pieces that have never been collected in one place before this exhibit. The show started at the Tate in London last year, and I heard it set attendance records. The NYT posted this great gallery where you can scroll through the entire gallery, clearly the next best thing to being there. And you could buy the catalog for your coffee table, which would also make a great gift for anyone you know in to art, design, textiles, color, etc.


 Take a virtual walk through the Matisse exhibit