Remodeling and Home Design

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

l.a. fashion week begins with genart fresh faces

last friday night i enjoyed a seat at the much anticipated 11th annual genart fresh faces fashion show hosted by mandy moore at the petersen automotive museum. even the italian reporter seated next to me mentioend that she expected the evening's show to be the best part of l.a. fashion week. part of the high expectations are due to the fact that this event launched the career of zac posen! the show was impressive and my favorites included the romantic fluid garments from wayf (above but more images are on genart's site).

the prior night at petersen was "fashionably natural", also presented by genart and hosted by maggie gylenhaal. it featured stunning designs from designers using natural and environmentally responsible textiles. kudos for genart for helping to put eco-fashion in the spotlight!

eco-luxury l.a. high-rise

the other night dwell magazine teamed up with EVO to host a panel discussion led by frances anderton. the discussion was held at the outdoor pool deck of the newly constructed building in downtown l.a. it's billed as l.a.'s first truly eco-friendly luxury high-rise seeking LEED silver certification. as i toured the 3 furnished units that night, luxury was so much the focus that it wasn't clear what the green building and design elements were. however, the development's website reveals many impressive green accomplishments. they included energy efficiency elements like energy star appliances and high performance glazing, recycling 75% of construction waste, water efficiency like low flow plumbing and dual flush toilets, and improved indoor air quality like operable windows for natural ventilation and low-toxic building materials. they even went beyond the building itself and dealt with transportation options like the flexcar outlet located just a block away. my favorite place of the 23 stories, is the roofdeck lounge shown in the image above. the l.a. skyline at sunset was stunning!

stunning green bistro

the interior of the new restaurant gjelina on abbot kinney in venice is a stunning example of warm AND cool green design. reclaimed wood and recycled light fixtures add a rustic and warm touch while the design is simple creating a modern feel. designed by peel inc and modern architecture, the restaurant's sustainable philosophy extends to communal tables which hold delicious plates made from local ingredients. check it out for yourself at 1429 abbot kinney at milwood in venice.

Eco Block Party

on sunday, sep 28, was the much anticipated return of the abbot kinney festival. just across the street at one end of the festival, epoxygreen hosted an eco-block party with green building and design vendors sharing their eco-wares. epoxygreen is a wonderful resource of green building & design products, and i think it's the largest in southern california! they are extremely helpful and on the cutting edge of the latest sustainable products. hey, if they're good enough for fred segal (who's on the cutting edge of fashion) and designed their green store in santa monica, then they should be great for designers and homeowners.

i also got to set up a little spot and share a little bit about my design talents. my "booth" was made up of lovely rattan chairs, an inlay table and lanterns from berbere imports. while it's helpful for a green design project to incorporate recycled materials, it's also smart to use antiques and handmade items when available. berbere offers beautiful artisan items, antiques and products made with natural sustainable materials which enhance our surroundings. it was a beautiful day and the abbot kinney festival is always fun.

Malibu Wallflowers

on saturday, oct 4th, was the wallflower organic & eco festival sponsored by the city of malibu, malibu chamber of commerce and the green living expo. there were many eco-friendly vendors from food to gifts to building products. i was fortunate enough to participate as a panelist in the speaker tent sponsored by malibu living, livity international, epoxygreen and studio rma. it was an impressive lineup of eco-experts who offered all sorts of great advice. one wonderful resource in particular is green life coatings who clean, restore, treat and protect any type of surface from fabric to tile. it's all eco-friendly and enhances the wear and durability of a finish. in fact, it's great for commercial use too like the hotel spa i'm currently designing. thanks to everyone who helped make it possible and turned out on such a cool day to enjoy the festival.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pasadena visual delights continue!

after attending the ALMA awards, we enjoyed delicious food at mi piace. perhaps the most compelling element in that beautifully designed restaurant is the lighting. check out this stunningly simple fixture!

Let there be light!

I always enjoy the exhibits and receptions accompanying them at SPF:a gallery at MODAA in Culver City. Stop by to see a talented group of light and space aritsts.

ALMA Awards

I was lucky enough to attend the 2008 ALMA Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium last month. It was a fun show with the usual beautiful celebs, but what was most impressive was the spectacular and significant architectural setting, built in 1932.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

green haute couture in LA

out of a dwindling number of haute couture houses in the world, there is a stunning example here in LA! lloyd klein's boutique and atelier is tucked into a stunning brick structure known as the Castle Building, an LA landmark. among his clients, hollywood royalty are greeted by a gothic turret and a wood moat. on the inside are original mission style beams, an original gilded archway and a mass of mirrors and grey suede walls. it is not surprising that lloyd was trained as an architect given the significance and beauty of the structure he selected as well as his intricate designs.

hidden treasures

santa monica has a hidden treasure called appropriately hidden on main st. in the former shatzi space, it's a restaurant with lots of loungey outdoor space and delicious food with amazing deals on their happy hour menu 5-7! in addition to ample outdoor lounge seating, there are a couple of romantic cabanas that'd be perfect for a special occassion plus the interior has beautiful vaulted brick ceilings. click here for better photos by allen lin.

SFO colorful metal treat

on a recent trip up north via southwest airlines, i was greeted at the san francisco airport with this colorful metal art installation. it reminds me of a quilt. if anyone knows the artist please post it here for everyone.

Friday, July 25, 2008

venice contemporary architectural surprise

there's an area in venice near the canals and just west of the very cool street abbot kinney blvd called silver triangle. it's just far enough away from the congestion of the beach to be quiet yet it's walking distance to the beach and to abbot kinney.

in the silver triangle, a very cool project, market mews, just opened its doors for a very cool party last night hosted by deasy/penner. first of all, the party was set in one of the very cool lofty units with the main party area in the 2-story living room which opened onto a patio through a raised glass garage door that spanned both stories. add to that a very soulful dj, st germain champagne cocktails, a very good looking laid back crowd and beautiful and unique furniture from ford-brady and the vibe is ultra cool. the listing agent ramey ward, gave us a tour of the model next door to the party and explained that 2 units are already sold in the group of 8 loft-like 2br townhouses designed by architect steven ehrlich. priced from $1,265,000 to $1,490,000, these contemporary units have some green features including drought resistant landscaping and tankless water heaters.

welcome to the neighborhood!

Monday, July 21, 2008

glow closeups

thanks to dan del campos of pop image culture, i've added some of his photos here from the glow festival in santa monica. these illustrate some of the visual delights more clearly than my phone pics in the last posting. enjoy!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

glow inspired by paris and grunions

it was wonderful to see thousands show up at and around the historic santa monica pier from dusk to dawn last night for a new festival called glow. it was inspired by the popular nuit blanche in paris and 'grunion runs'. remarkably, when california grunions spawn, as a wave breaks, you can see their silvery 5" to 6" bodies swim up the sandy slope as far as possible for 30 seconds to 3 minutes. in addition to that natural delight, glow offered media art, performances, music, and sculpture installations.

the glow program was extensive and to my delight, included many eco-friendly elements like the free bike valet which was very busy, a service i absolutely love at the local farmer's market. there was a solar powered installation which illuminated koi fish wind socks. there were illuminated tumbleweeds floating in the water made from recycled plastic bottles. reclaimed materials from reDiscover were available for visitors to place on flatbed screens of opaque projectors to create unique visual storytelling.

hopefully i'll have my camera with me next time so i won't have to rely on my phone for the pics. and i hope glow santa monica returns every year and more people will participate both as the audience and the artist. thanks to everyone who worked so hard to put this together!

Monday, July 14, 2008

in my june 27th post, i mentioned an amazing, comprehensive, sustainable standard covering all commercial and consumer products except cars and airplanes. check out the video from the 'getting smart about sustainable products' event recently at treepeople to learn more about this incredible standard. developed by market for transformation to sustainability (mts), it's called SMaRT (sustainable materials rating technology). the standard is based on product life cycle assessment across the product's entire supply chain. it is a wonderful tool for any consumer, but in particular for me as a designer, it will help a great deal since it provides a quantifiable and verifiable sustainable standards. some design products with SMaRT certification include miliken, forbo and knoll who have insightful comments on mts' blog. these standards will save designers time and our client's money as we won't have to do certain research on a product since mts has already done that. thank you mts!!!!!

design for a cause in MA

though i'm based in LA, i was born and raised in MA and wanted to share this cool design competition for MA designers. it's the annual festival of wreaths co-sponsored by van millwork and boston magazine, open to any mass-based designer and architect. register by 8.1.8 and those selected will get to decorate parts of the van millwork showroom in needham and then viewing and voting begins 11.29.8 for 3 weeks followed by a gala. the top winner will get a full-page in boston home magazine! the best part though is that this is a fundraiser for the room to dream foundation,which creates healing environments in hospitals, communities and homes for children and adolescents who are faced with chronic illnesses. what a great way to help our community through design!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

more fabulous eco-friendly design products!

we are extremely fortunate today that there are so many wonderful eco-friendly materials and products available. these eco-treasures can pop up at the most unlikely places. for example, the other week i attended the la home show and was extremely impressed with the better home and gardens green works living green exhibit (touring the country this summer/fall!). they had a very effective display showing us how to green our homes. they also shared some very cool green materials like these from matrix-z.

matrix-z's seastone is a beautiful manufactured stone for residential, commercial, interior, exterior, horizontal, vertical, wet and dry applications. it's a great alternative to mined stone incorporating natural shells, recycled glass, and aggregates. it's slip resistant and mildew, mold, stain and wear resistant. also, it received the emerald green award for green products and practices. suggested retail prices range from approximately $7.25 to $14.25 per square foot and trade is about $4-$6.

they also have a line of gorgeous shell tiles called seatile like this paua/abalone. this is obviously a material best suited for a backsplash or similar while the seastone is much more versatile.

Monday, June 30, 2008

architectural venezia

yesterday i had the pleasure of attending aia/la's venice home tour, "a stroll through venezia" hosted by snaidero usa. there were many beautiful features and details throughout the tour but what struck me the most was mdesign's mark baez's mcube modular prefab system. with a steel frame and concrete floors, baez uses translucent light emitting fiberglass insulated panels that serve as cladding, exterior and interior walls, insulation, operable windows and moveable /removable walls/doors. the panels are reminiscient of shoji screens but are definitely modern. it was remarkable how cool and comfortable the space inside was for such a hot sunny day. there was also plenty of light and no electrical lighting needed. the modular system can be fully erected in 90 days at a starting cost of $100 per square foot! there are more sustainable elements too like photovoltaic panels, radiant floors, and passive solar design. the space we got to tour was actually 1 unit in a 3-unit case study building at 709 5th ave. it is clear that this system is successful since baez has almost completed a similar structure on the corner of rose and 4th.


eTTa designs presents ettabits to highlight some of the visual treasures around us - enjoy!