The Pearl Resort in Fiji, what a wonderful place to call home. Several of my friends recently stayed at this stunning waterfront resort for over a month while filming a new FOX reality TV show called Kicking and Screaming. Ok, lets get real, the crew and executives stayed at the resort while the contestants had to survive in the jungle… after all, that’s what makes it reality TV.
I joined everyone on June 5th, the day after they’d wrapped, and had an amazing five full days. From LA it’s an eleven hour direct flight to Nadi, and then a two hour drive to the resort. There’s nothing more welcoming than to reach your destination and walk into a three story atrium, as the balmy south pacific breeze surrounds you. Being a modernist, I instantly fell in love with the super chic white design of the recently built resort. Our room was top notch and beautifully appointed. It included a flat screen TV, a spacious shower for two with one of those huge square shower heads, privacy doors made of frosted glass for both the shower and toilet, ambient lighting under the cabinets, and a bevy of other design details that I’d love to have in my own home. Our third floor balcony, seen above, had a fantastic view of the harbor.
The resort offers a huge complimentary buffet breakfast that included everything from omellets, to scrambled eggs to various meats & cheeses, as well as an assortment of pastries and juices. After that, you can set sail on the harbor, grab a canoe, sit by the pool, or just walk along the sandy beach.
The staff at the resort greets everyone with an amazing warm hearted smile, and they’re always more than happy to help you with any request. The big surprise about the Fijian staff is their amazing singing voices. The GM Natalie Marletta surprised me with an amazing bon voyage gift as I was preparing to depart the resort… listen below to hear the sound of angels.
The preview is on at Los Angeles Modern Auctions! I’ve chosen to showcase a few of my favorite abstract pieces from their online catalogue, but there’s so much more to see.
Imagine an Isamu Noguchi Chess Table with an estimate of $100,000 – $150,000, or a Charles & Ray Eames Shell Armchair with an estimate of $600 – $900. There’s also several pieces of furniture by Frank Lloyd Wright ranging from $6,00 – $20,000, and Post Modern furniture by Ettore Sottsass and Robert Venturi ($4,000 – $6,000 and $3,000 – $5,000 respectively). Photographs by Julius Shulman, pottery, patio furniture, woven wool tapestries… you name it, there’s a little something for everyone at a wide range of price points. It feels like an episode of Ab Fab with Patsy and Edina screaming names, names, names sweetie darling. It’s a veritable who’s who of 20th century modernism. With nearly 25 years in the business, LAMA is the premier auction house on the West Coast to buy and sell Modern Art and Design.
I wandered into 2118 Beech Knoll Road during an open house last week. Oh. My. God. I live around the corner from here and have been walking by the home while its been under construction during the last couple of years. I had no idea what a spectacular residence it was. Yes, it’s got a great vibe from the street, but I was left speechless after spending 20 minutes in it, touring each of the 3 levels of the home.
The brilliance of this home is how beautifully the design concept is integrated through each and every one of its rooms. This is something I try and make clear to clients when they’re beginning a remodel. I urge them to think of the design as a whole, not just as a kitchen or bathroom remodel that stands alone. Otherwise you can end up with one amazing room that makes the others look tired and shabby. When you’re surface materials match from room to room, then the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts. While these photos speak for themselves, I’m going to break it down a bit and point out some of the architectural and design details that truly impressed me.
The concrete flooring with the wood insets is an absolute first from my point of view. I’ve never seen it done before, however, I had an idea to do this in one of my Palm Springs properties with flooring cut-outs for loose stones. Sadly, I lost faith in my vision and never did it. Now my creativity has been sparked, and I hope to be much more inventive in the future.
The use of Bulthaup Cabinetry throughout the residence, from home office, to bathroom, to kitchen, is the epitome of sleek modern elegance. Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought to combine it with the rustic and reclaimed wood like designer and owner Ted Dhanick did. He wisely chose ashy muted tones for most of the wood finishes, which work beautifully with the taupe cabinets. The custom wood and glass doors on pivots are noticeably warmer in tone, however, because they’re used in every room of the home, he created a visual rhythm that completely works. And I can’t rave enough about the rustic skylight trim in the kitchen when combined with the white walls, lacquered cabinets, and stainless Gaggenau, Subzero and Miele appliances. And the fireplaces in both the master bedroom and kitchen are out of this world. I’m so not a beige guy, and would never put a beige sofa or chair in front of these fireplaces, yet the idea is so smart because it lets you focus on the stunning sculptural aspect of the fireplaces, as well as their luscious woodgrain.
This 4500 square foot home has so many other details that help justify the nearly $4 million price tag: Automated LED lighting throughout, IP video intercom and security cameras, Fleetwood pocketing sliding doors, Boffi and European sinks, Kohler DTV automated rain and massage shower system, Somfy automated window shades throughout the house, central vacuum system, Napoleon fireplaces, commercial-grade water softening and filtration system… you get the idea. If you’ll visit their dedicated website, you can see the complete list of amenities.
In closing I will say that this is one of the finest homes I’ve ever set foot in and I wouldn’t change a thing. That’s why I’m calling it a Modernist Masterpiece. Nothing would make me happier then to show up on their doorstep with my suitcases in hand, and a big fat check.
Sol 1 in Palm Springs is part of an Ultra Modern Development in Central Palm Springs.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been watching the development of this complex with great anticipation during the last year. With the majority of the units now in escrow, it’s safe to say that Sol in Palm Springs is a resounding success.
This model home has a simpler vibe than the other town home that I wrote about, however, there’s still so much to like about it. For starters, look at the simple yet effective color palette the designer chose. Turquoise and orange are used very effectively in every room of the home. Orange is used primarily as a ‘spike’ color, while the turquoise/pale blue is used to cover larger volumes, from wall paint to linens. The biggest variable in this equation is the hand painted wall in the dining room, which also uses shades of brown and beige. This mural is one of the first things you see when entering the home from the pool/patio area. Therefore, it has tremendous impact. The other basic principle about this palette that is so easy to overlook, is the fact that blue and orange are opposite each other on the color wheel. This creates a dynamic tension that gives a lot of bang for the buck. When a designer uses a color palette that is analogous, meaning colors side by side on the color wheel with no opposing color, then the vibe created is very calming. Think red, red orange and orange, or blue, blue violet and violet. Regardless of how saturated or diluted these tones are, when they easily flow into one another visually, the overall effect is usually calming. You can see by looking at the photos above how much tension is created when the orange and turquoise are placed next to each other. Thus they’re energizing as opposed to calming.
I LOVE the master bathroom in this home. What you can’t see from my photo is that fact that there’s an outdoor shower that you can access through the indoor shower, just beyond the lux bathtub. There’s nothing more relaxing then taking a shower outdoors once the temperature hits 100 and beyond… and yes, it’s very secluded so you won’t have to worry about the neighbors prying eyes.
As you can also see, this town home has excellent views of the San Jacinto Mountains. Since the living room and kitchen are positioned next to the patio, with doors that slide back like an accordion, you can take full advantage of the indoor outdoor living that Palm Springs is so famous for. There’s nothing like an evening cocktail party in one of these environments as the night sky turns violet blue once the sun has set. And speaking of which, if you’re one of the new home owners at Sol and you’re reading my Design Diary, feel free to send me an invitation to your next soiree.
Sol 2 in Palm Springs is part of a new ultra modern development in Central Palm Springs.
I’ve been watching the construction of this chic new project that sits opposite the Palm Springs Convention Center for the better part of a year. I was beyond thrilled to see that their doors were open to the public, as I was making my way to the Fine Art Fair at the convention center during modernism weekend. The exterior views of the homes remind me of Frank Lloyd WrightsFalling Water, with their elegant overlapping horizontal and vertical planes. They had two home models open: Sol 1 and Sol 2, each with a different floor plan. Todays post is about Sol 2, and I’ll follow up with images from Sol 1 at a later time.
I will tell you right now that this homes kitchen is my dream kitchen. I love everything about it, especially the surface materials. In fact, the overall vibe in this home is spectacular. It’s fresh, modern, tranquil and masculine in an understated way. I’ve been to homes and hotels in the desert that go for an over the top kitschy ‘Palm Springs’ look that can be a bit predictable after awhile. I loved this home so much, that I came back later in the day with a friend and was delighted to meet the designer who’d created the smashing interior. His name is Dino Raimondi.
Dino happily shared his process with me. Since he didn’t have an actual client, he created a fictional character and gave her a remarkable backstory, the same sort of thing an actor does. With her backstory in place, he set out to create the interiors. Muted violet tones are grounded with chocolate brown and gray. He brilliantly mixed multiple patterns that I never would have thought of. The kitchen backsplash has a geometric pattern that reminds me of a Karl Benjamin painting. While it may be hard to see, there’s also a subtle horizontal pattern in the kitchen cabinets, with a completely different pattern on the island where the sink is located. You’ll see that he also used multiple patterns in the master bath, to great affect. And the violet wall treatment in the guest bathroom is something I’ve been dying to do in white, in the entry hall of one of my properties.
Something else that became quite apparent after I examined my photos, was how effortlessly the interior color palette blended with the colors of the San Jacinto Mountains. I don’t know if this was a conscience choice on his part, but it’s super dreamy. And as you can well imagine, this model home is already sold. I wish I could have coaxed the budget out of our designer, but no luck. These properties start in the mid $600,000’s and are well on their way to being sold out.