American Riviera Design Conference 2018

After the success of last year’s first American Riviera Design Conference, ASID Los Angeles Chapter once again held the event in beautiful Santa Barbara, California this year.
The weather was perfect. The format followed last year’s event with an improved scheduling and more presentations. It was great to spend time with friends I already knew and made new friends. It was a tremendous effort of the organizers, sponsors, presenters and the attendees to made the two-day conference go smoothly.
Another mission of this year’s conference was to support the local communities that have been severely impacted by fire and flood. ASID LA held a raffle with 75% of the proceeds benefiting the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigate.
Below is the event timeline. I have added links for quick access.
Thursday, June 7th, 2018
11:00 am – 1:00 pm – Kick off Lunch
Riviera Ballroom at The Canary Hotel
11:15 am – Speaker: Ed Paulsen and Lisa Masino, Kravet Fabrics
            “Modern Tailor”
12:15 pm – Speakers: Shannon Ratcliffe and Venessa Kogevinas, LUXE Interiors + Design
            “Mad for Marketing”
My takeaway from the LUXE presentation was sending follow-up emails to new contacts right after the events no matter how tired you are. I always thought it was best to wait until the next business day, and I almost always got so busy and procrastinated until it didn’t make sense to email those people. 
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Tour Kogevina’s Luxury Properties Landmark Estate, “Robledal”, situated in the most exclusive part of Hope Ranch
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Tour of Armstrong Associates Arlington Village Santa Barbara, a mixed-use residential and commercial development
Architects: Peikert +RRM Design Group
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Luxe Interiors + Design Reception  
Champagne Reception and hors d’oeuvres
Speaker/CEU: Julie Arcelay, Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove
        “Luxury Outdoor Kitchens”

Ready for another day of fun!

Friday, June 8th, 2018
9:00am – 10:30am – Breakfast and Presentation 
Presentation: Raina Cox & Eric Runner, Farrow & Ball Inc.
11:00am – 1:00pm – Lunch & CEU’S
Pullman Room at The LARK
11:15am- 12:00pm Speaker/CEU: Barry Cik, Naturepedic
“Flame Retardant in Home Furnishings”
12:00pm-12:45Pm Speaker/CEU: Guy Elston, Morris Tait Associates
“Disguise and Hide- Designing for Technology”
1:30 – 3:30pm – Montecito
William Laman, Furniture Garden Antiques
Elizabeth Ribons- Walking Antique Tour in Montecito
        The list of shops curated by Elizabeth Ribons can be download from http://www.mentormeresource.com/ when you provide your name and email.
4:00pm – 7:30pm – Tour of SBIFF The Riviera Theatre, and Movie
4:30 Speaker/: Shelby Fowler, Sherwin Williams
4:45 Speaker/: Leslie Delli-Venneri, Victoria + Albert
5:00 pm -7:30 Movie: RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsberg

The ‘Flat Stanley’ Project

In spring of 2017, I agreed to help my niece in Northern California with her ‘Flat Stanley’ project. For two weeks, I was to take Stanley to visit various places in Southern California. It was an interesting experience. Below is a list of places we visited. Yes, I took the assignment seriously.
Thursday, 4/6/17
Arrival (Chatsworth)
Saturday, 4/8/17
9301 Tampa Avenue, Northridge, CA 91324
Sunday, 4/9/17
300 E. Martilija Street, Ojai, CA 93023
KNEAD Baking Company
469 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023
Bart’s Bookstore (Ojai)
302 W. Martilija Street, Ojai, CA 93023

Waypoint Cafe at Camarillo Airport (Camarillo) http://www.thewaypointcafe.com/

740 Ventura Boulevard, Camarillo, CA
Gardens of the World (Thousand Oaks) http://www.gardensoftheworld.info/
2001 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Thursday, 4/13/17
Belwood Bakery Cafe (Northridge) http://www.belwoodbakerycafe.com/
8735 Tampa Avenue, Northridge, CA 91324
Saturday, 4/15/17
Downtown Los Angeles (Los Angeles)
Little Tokyo
Union Station
El Pueblo
Olvera Street
Millennium Biltmore Hotel
Jewelry District
Sunday, 4/16/17
California State University, Northridge (Northridge) https://www.csun.edu/
Thursday, 4/20/17

Moss Wall Art

We know adding plants to an interior space can add to visual interest and make the space livelier. In recent years, living walls have become popular. However, maintenance for live plants on vertical surfaces can be an inconvenience. I have found something that would add greenery and interest to walls and does not require light or water! Emerald Coast Plantscapes now offers custom wall art made with real moss preserved.
 

I asked my friend Kevin Urquhart, owner of Emerald Coast Plantscapes for more details about this new product:

M (Michelle): Since it is preserved, I assume it doesn’t attract bugs, right? 
K (Kevin): It will not attract bugs. Bugs are attracted to live plants for one of two reasons: 1) they eat the actual plant, or 2) Gnats gather when there is excessive moisture so they can breed and lay their larva. In the case of the preserved moss we use this is not an issue.
M: How about dust? Can it be vacuumed?
K: To dust I would recommend a light feather duster or condensed air held at a distance, like the kind used for electronics.
M: Are there any spaces you would NOT recommend? Restaurants? Hotels? Medical facilities? Classrooms? Are there loose pieces that can fall off?
K: If you were to use it in a restaurant I would recommend placing it as far as possible away from the kitchen as there is usually a lot of grease in the air that sticks to everything then dust sticks to the grease and creates a real mess. Other than that, the only thing I would keep it away from is direct sunlight as this could fade the color quickly. There are loos pieces that could fall if the moss is bumped or rubbed up against.
M: Anything you want to add?
K: Each piece is custom made; shape size etc. We have made them as small as 2’x2’ or we can cover an entire wall. The frames are made to our specifications by a local cabinet maker and we can custom color the frames. Each piece takes on a character of its own making no two pieces are exactly alike. We have just completed a project with a piece measuring 2’ X 7’ in which we placed the client’s metal logo right into the moss.
We can add many elements to the moss such as manzanita branches, driftwood, preserved leaves etc.
We love this new form of creative expression in botanical art. As popular as live vertical wall plantings have become, we have found there are many problems associate with living wall plants. Problems such as expensive installation, maintenance issues with watering and plants outgrowing their space creating high replacement costs. So with the preserved moss you still get a very unique botanical expression with more versatility and less cost and less upkeep.

“We are very excited about the uniqueness of the moss art and the high level of interest we are receiving for custom pieces. Of course, we are also very engaged in delivering the life, warmth and beauty of live plants and services to offices from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica.”

Kevin can be reached at:
kevin@ecplants.com
805-480-9141
ecplants.com
 

Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Art Park

On February 14, 2015, I visited Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright at Barnsdall Art Park as part of its celebration of reopening after years of restoration work. For one night only, the admission was waived and photographs were allowed.

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Just got in line.

It was 9 a.m. when I got there. It was a beautiful clear day! After waiting for a little over an hour, I made it to the entry.

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Getting closer.

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Almost there!

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Built between 1919 and 1921, Hollyhock House was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first project in Los Angeles commissioned by Aline Barnsdall.

The Dining Room was on the left immediately after the Entry. And the Kitchen is beyond the Dining Room.

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Hollyhock House

Dining Room

On the other side of the Entry is the Music Room.IMG_8564

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The hallway has low ceiling and opens to the Courtyard. IMG_8585IMG_8587

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The focal point of the Living Room is of course the fireplace. The custom carpet was interesting.

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I love books!

Hollyhock House

Library

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The Courtyard and the areas adjacent to it are my personal favorite.

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IMG_8562A few photos from the outside of the house.

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Visitors were only allowed in the common areas of the first floor. That was a little disappointing. The parts we were allowed to be in all have low ceilings. Not so comfortable. Maybe that’s the way to keep the line moving.

I am not crazy about the house. It is not my style, and I can feel it tries to control me. (No doubt Frank Lloyd Wright was a control freak.) I do appreciate the attention to details, and brilliant design ideas. It was still very inspiring to see how everything was well thought out.

If you are interested in visiting Hollyhock House yourself, please click HERE.

Click HERE for a photo tour of the entire house.

Ganna Walska Lotusland in Santa Barbara

In late July, I joined other members from Conejo Association of Professional Interior Designers and visited Ganna Walska Lotusland in Santa Barbara.

Madame Ganna Walska purchased the property in 1941 and spent the next 43 years creating Lotusland. She had her own ideas on each part of the gardens should be and was not afraid to go “outside the box”. There are surprises at every turn. We had only caught the end of the lotus blooming season. I think end of June would be the best time to see the lotus flowers. My favorite part was the Reflection Pool. It was a shallow kidney-shaped pool with beautiful abalone shells as the border.

Reservations are required for touring the gardens. Please visit the website for details.

Please visit my Facebook album for photos from the tour.