An Ocean Apart Get Away

A True Jewel

A cherished get away once owned by a young Montecito couple has been reborn as Rosewood Miramar Beach, the only five-star hotel in California offering guestrooms perched directly over the sand. Owned and developed by Caruso, Rosewood Hotels & Resort’s first property in Southern California exudes a residential feel in keeping with its iconic ancestor.

Think relaxed coastal environs boasting 161 guestrooms paired with a modern approach to the resort experience. Among the highlights: the centerpiece Manor House with a trio of signature suites; ocean-front beach accommodations; seven restaurants and bars; a new wellness shop for Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand goop; and a 600-piece art collection showcasing original works by the likes of Norman Rockwell.

“Combining Rosewood’s signature residential style with intuitive and engaging service, the resort offers a truly unique experience that makes guests feel as if they are visiting a private home,” says Managing Director Seán Carney. “Rosewood Miramar Beach offers the perfect place for all of life’s moments.” 


1759 Jameson Ln. Montecito, CA


Charm Redefined

On the heels of a $6.5 million renovation and rebranding in 2014 that included updated guest rooms and suites, the 286-room Hilo Hawaiian Hotel on the Big Island is tackling the redo of its lobby. The $1.6 million project, set to debut at the iconic ocean-front property in April, will include a new contemporary and open yet intimate space inspired by the surrounding beauty of Hawaii.

Expect organic textures, colors and materials, along with natural wood flooring and trim complemented by coral stone and warm, dark wood accents. Updated technology also is on the roster, including the addition of touch-screen directories, monitors and charging ports.

“The Hilo Hawaiian Hotel is an award-winning Hawaii icon on Hilo’s famous and historical Banyan Drive,” says Castle Resorts & Hotels President and CEO Alan Mattson. “We are proud to be highlighting the cultural and contextual charms of the property in fresh, modern and inviting manner.”


71 Banyan Drive Hilo, HI




Cranbrook Creative Laboratory For American Modernists

Considered now, when so much of the country’s innovation and enterprise is the sole property of big cities on both coasts, Cranbrook—a creative epicenter in America’s heartland—is not the oxymoron it might seem. It’s further proof of the Midwest as a seat of progressive design, not only in Michigan, but also Wisconsin, where one finds at SC Johnson, iconic buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Before that, Wright’s Prairie School style transformed the suburbs of Chicago, much like his mentor Louis Sullivan changed the city’s skyline with steel high-rises. One could go on, to Minneapolis, and the Guthrie Theatre, to St. Louis, and the Gateway Arch.

A great deal of those responsible for this stunning physical environment come from Cranbrook Academy of Art—just one part of the larger 319-acre Cranbrook Education Community for graduate students studying an array of creative disciplines from architectural to industrial design.

Founded in the early 20th century by George and Ellen Booth, Cranbrook was envisioned as a kind of artist colony modeled after the American Academy of Art in Rome, meant to attract pioneering talents in their fields, like Gere Kavanaugh, who went from Cranbrook to the all-female design team at General Motors, to her own firm, to the Julia Morgan Icon Award from the Los Angeles Design Festival.


Of all the big names associated with Cranbrook—Florence Knoll and Charles and Ray Eames, among them—none looms larger than Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen (whose University of Michigan architecture students included the Booths’ son Henry). Inspired by the traditions and moral implications of the Arts and Crafts movement, the Booths appointed Saarinen as Cranbrook’s chief architect. He also helped developed the institution’s loose, student-designed program; with no conventional grading system or classes, Cranbrook brought the Bauhaus to Bloomfield Hills.

Unlike the International Style that governed the Bauhaus, however, Cranbrook was never so ideological, which one sees in its blend of modern and traditional buildings. Structures from its earliest years showcase Gothic Revival style, while others, like the Kingswood School for Girls, built in 1929, expresses the era’s Art Deco influence. Many agree that the best of Saarinen’s buildings is his last—the Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum and Library. With a central arcade joining its two wings, the building resonates a kind of abstracted classicism.

Cranbrook’s latest acquisition—Frank Lloyd Wright’s Smith House, one of the architect’s Usonian projects—is another jewel in a crown that is practically blinding at this point. Completed in 1950, this coup for Cranbrook is a pristine example of 20th-century residential architecture that, despite Wright’s Usonian promise of building modest homes for those of modest means, stunned its public schoolteacher owners with a final price tag of $20,000 that blew Wright’s initial proposal of $8,000 out of the water.

Mr. Smith actually served as contractor on the project to manage costs. But considering the home’s place today—a gem exquisitely fixed to one of the most important architectural treasures in the nation—we’d say that’s pretty priceless. cranbrookart.ed


Vibrant Palette: Farrow & Ball’s Rich Paints & Wallpaper

The history of Farrow & Ball is as colorful as its vibrant palette of paints—and storefront on La Cienega. John Farrow was a trained chemist who spent the Second World War working for Agnew Paints in Ireland; Richard Ball, an engineer captured in France and held as a prisoner of war. At the end of the conflict, each man returned to Dorset, and met, without ceremony, at a local clay pit.

Discovering a shared passion for quality ingredients and traditional methods, the men founded Farrow & Ball in 1946—a passion “we still uphold today” and “ in the very same place where the Farrow & Ball story started,” explains Charlotte Cosby, the company’s head of creative.

The austerity that impacted Britain in the years following the war also impacted Farrow & Ball, but by the early 1950s, the company was supplying paint to the Admiralty, Raleigh bikes, and the motor industry. Years passed largely without incident, until a fire destroyed the company’s original Verwood factory in the 1960s, prompting the operation to move to a site in Wimborne, where its paints and wallpaper are still produced.

Midway through the 20th century, Farrow & Ball’s intrepid stewards retired from the company they forged by stepping away from cheaper acrylic paints with high levels of plastic to stick with original formulations and natural ingredients for their efficacy. “This is something we’ve stuck to for over 70 years,” says Cosby. “Even in the 1970s and 1980s, when many brands were creating acrylic paints with added plastics and fewer pigments,” Farrow & Ball was doing it their way, switching to its eco-friendly water base in 2010, but not before a raft of changes in the 1990s—its first independent stockist, a flagship in Chelsea, and the company’s acquisition by Tom Helme, an advisor on historic interiors, and Martin Ephson, a corporate financier.

Under their leadership, the company focused on restoring heritage properties with colors that were sympathetic to their era and manufactured its first rolls of wallpaper. That was in 1995. Now this fantastically popular part of the Farrow & Ball range will embrace the first line of 25 metallic wallpapers—100-percent recyclable and made with responsibly-sourced paper and eco-friendly water-based paint—this spring.

For all its advancements, the Farrow & Ball of today is a lot like the Farrow & Ball of yesterday—same quality, same ingredients—but the luxury brand that admirably keeps in lockstep with its cornerstones has not forsaken the needs of the modern consumer, developing its technology, and collaborations with kindred businesses like The Rug Company, which teamed with Farrow & Ball in 2017 to launch the latter’s first collection of beautiful, high-quality, responsibly-made rugs in colors that complemented the company’s richly pigmented palette.

For Los Angeles consumers, Farrow & Ball—in addition to finding it in international cultural institutions including the Museum of Modern Art and Musée Rodin—has its West Hollywood showroom, quite a colorful store where so much is neutral territory.

But Farrow & Ball’s School House White No. 291, Shadow White, Shaded White and Drop Cloth, each created to look like white when used in deep shade, fits the local aesthetic. The brand’s neutrals have remained enduringly popular through the years, says Cosby. But, as people move away from grays “in favor of something bolder and more dramatic,” she recommends the brand’s darker blues.

Regardless of the tone of the moment, Farrow & Ball is here, doing what it’s done for 70 years, painting—and papering—the town, from Dorset to Los Angeles.



Awards ceremony honors two of the Beach Cities real estate community’s “founding fathers” in tribute to Jack Gillespie and Arnold Goldstein.

A Lifetime of Achievement: Jack Gillespie & Arnold Goldstein

The Beach Cities real estate community came together to celebrate and honor Jack Gillespie and Arnold Goldstein with “Lifetime Achievement Awards in Beach Cities Real Estate” on January 13th at the Shade Hotel in Redondo Beach in recognition of their positive influence on the careers and lives of so many. Their passion and foresight provided a platform and roadmap for many others to follow and succeed.

Arnold Goldstein established Shorewood Realtors in 1969, bringing aboard Larry Wolf as a business partner in 1979. Shorewood grew to be the largest independent brokerage in the South Bay, reaching 450 agents and $2 billion in sales at its peak in 2006.

“The evening brought my wildest dreams to reality seeing so many of our people that I have not seen for a long time,” Goldstein said. “I wish my partner Larry Wolf was there so we could share the evening together.”

Jack Gillespie, along with partners Jim VanZanten and Annette Graw formed South Bay Brokers in 1985. Gillespie and VanZanten ran an extremely successful company for 30 years. “To receive recognition from your peers is the ultimate honor,” Gillespie said. “In a competitive business it is great to know you are respected by your competitors.”

Gillespie and Goldstein spawned hundreds of real estate careers over the years, and were affectionately referred to as “founding fathers,” according to Master of Ceremonies Chris Plank.

Colleagues shared funny and heartwarming stories. A recurrent theme expressed by many speakers was the sense of family felt within both companies, a remarkable culture given the competitive nature of the business.

Although South Bay Brokers was sold in 2015 and Shorewood was sold in 2014, the legacies created by Gillespie and Goldstein live on today. In a packed room filled with the top agents from virtually every brokerage in the area, camaraderie was the tone of the evening as both men received standing ovations from the crowd and were thanked for their mentorship, guidance, leadership and friendship.

“It’s a night I’ll never forget,” Goldstein said. Arnold reflected after the event. “We had love and that love was reignited again at the award ceremony. It was a reminder of how much I care about them and miss seeing them daily. They were so much a part of my world. I miss them all over again.”


Images By : DIGS

Travel Options Maui & Utah

Second Act

Seeking a second home in Hawaii? Maui’s newest oceanfront development Luana Garden Villas is a collection of 72 three-bedroom residences on a 10-acre parcel within the Honua Kai Resort & Spa, along Ka’anapali Beach.

The fully furnished, 2,000-plus-square-foot homes are situated in multiple two-story buildings found in three separate garden-inspired enclaves, with each boasting a pool, hot tub, fire pit and lava rock waterfall.

Also featured are gourmet kitchens with quartz countertops and high-end appliances; dual master suites; a spacious great room that opens via retractable glass walls to a lanai sporting a full open-air kitchen; a single-car garage; and secure owner storage.

An added bonus? Convenient access to the wide range of resort amenities, including an Aquatic Playground with waterslides, waterfalls, caves and a sandy beach pool, as well as Dukes Beach House Restaurant and Whalers General Store. Prices start at around $2 million, with the property currently about 80 percent sold.

130 Kai Malina Parkway Lahaina, Maui, HI

Mountain Hideaway

If the beach is not exactly your thing, no worries. Utah’s Park City is a hot destination for Angelenos seeking second homes on the slopes. “Park City offers world-class resort amenities, yet has a small-town feel where you can shift it down a few gears and relax,” says Charlie Taylor, managing partner of The Agency’s Park City office.


“The quality of life is what has brought many people who start off as vacationers from various parts of the country and make Park City their primary or second-home community.” Among the current offerings: a contemporary residence resting on a south-facing hillside facing a stunning mountain and valley view listed for $6.195 million.

Situated at 1495 Red Fox, in the Ranches at the Preserve community, the four-bedroom home offers more than 8,000 square feet of living space with all of the bells and whistles—including a full audio-visual system with a 4K theater projector and 168-bottle wine cellar—while the 15-acre grounds sport patios with fire pits, an outdoor kitchen and in-ground spa.


-Charlie Taylor,  managing partner  of The Agency’s Park City office

1495 Red Fox Park City, UT


From Passion to Collection The Marciano Art Foundation

After over 30 years of living in Los Angeles, brothers Maurice and Paul Marciano—the minds behind iconic fashion brand GUESS—decided it was time to share their passion for contemporary art in a broader way. It was a natural evolution for the duo who moved from the South of France to the West Coast in 1981.

Since 2006, these avid visitors of art galleries and auction houses have collected works from the 1990s to the present day. Along the way, they met with artists such as Ed Ruscha in their studio and explored L.A.’s booming creative scene.

Installation view of “Ai Weiwei: Life Cycle,” September 28, 2018–March 3, 2019, at the Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles. Courtesy the artist and Marciano Art Foundation.Photo by Joshua White/


In 2013, the Marcianos took another step forward and bought the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple building on Wilshire Boulevard, with the idea of transforming it into a contemporary art foundation to make their now extensive collection of 1,500 paintings, sculptures, photographs, works on paper, installations, performances, films and digital works available to the public.

Louise Bourgeois, Pia Camil, Damien Hirst, Urs Fischer, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Gabriel Kuri, Ed Ruscha, Gerhard Richter, Gabriel Orozco and Ai Weiwei are some of the many artists whose work is regularly on view in the permanent exhibition.

Shown for the first time in Los Angeles at the Marciano Art Foundation, the sculptural installation “With All My Love For The Tulips, I Pray Forever” (2011) by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama offers an immersive experience, where oversize, flower-potted tulips made from fiberglass-reinforced plastic are painted with red dots that also cover the entirety of the floor, ceiling, and walls in a poetic and visually powerful way.

Photo: Joshua White


Temporary shows also regularly take place at the foundation, such as “Life Cycle” (2018) by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, on view through March 3. Featuring a massive installation in the form of a boat, with figures crafted from bamboo and silk, and 49 tons of individual porcelain sunflower seeds, this exhibition deals with the global refugee crisis and related human rights themes.

Thanks to its rich programming, the Marciano Art Foundation seeks to awaken interest in contemporary art and a better understanding of the social and political issues artists are addressing through their work.


Sun and Sand From Hawaii To Miami

Miami Makeover

After finishing the first phase of a renovation/redesign by San Francisco-based interior designer Nicole Hollis in 2018—complete with a stylish new wing sporting 85 guest rooms (for a total of 132), as well as a rooftop pool and sundeck, and bar/lounge—Kimpton Angler’s Hotel South Beach is preparing to debut its second and final phase later this spring.

Expect a clean and contemporary re-do of its original accommodations (some dating back to the 1930s) and a new Seawell Fish n’ Oyster restaurant helmed by Executive Chef Julian Garriga for this destination hotel located just steps from the Atlantic Ocean and Art Deco District.

“Since completing our 85-room addition last year, the positive praise from our guests has been overwhelming,” says GM Jacqueline Lejart. “These same sensibilities will carry over to our original lofts, villas and bungalows. Together, they will deliver an exceptional experience and an uncommon mix of accommodations unlike any other in South Beach.”


660 Washington Ave.

Above & Beyond

Beginning this summer, guests seeking an ultra-exclusive hotel experience with personalized service and privacy will find it at Waikiki’s new ESPACIO. Think nine floors, with each showcasing a three-bedroom suite offering a butler, Italian marble baths, a dry sauna, Jacuzzi on a beachfront lanai, full kitchen, and iPads to control lighting and temperature. Guests also will be privy to an on-site restaurant, and a rooftop infinity pool and spa.

“We’ve learned discerning guests value privacy and high-end design, while also desiring the comforts of home,” says Lesli Reynolds, Aqua-Aston’s senior vice president of operations. “Each guestroom takes up an entire floor and has been outfitted with elegant finishes.

Personal butler service ensures that anything guests need to feel more comfortable will be provided in a timely manner, and the spa and restaurant are poised to become sought-after destinations, with concepts and offerings not available elsewhere in Waikiki.”

Honolulu, Hawaii

Rothko Chapel An Intersection For Art & Spirituality

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela are towering figures in any context, but at Rothko Chapel, these crusaders of social justice and their work to advance human rights reverberate with both poignancy and uplift within the modern artworked walls of the Houston, Texas, institution.

And though Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was slain a few years prior to the Chapel’s opening in 1971, his memory looms particularly large here, embodied in the Barnett Newman sculpture outside its entrance, “Broken Obelisk,” which is dedicated to the legacy of the civil rights icon and his clarion call for equality.

That the octagonal Rothko Chapel is both poetic (like prayer itself) and platform (a place for addressing global issues of the day) is first a credit to its founders, philanthropists John and Dominque de Menil (of The Menil Collection, also in Houston), who smartly commissioned an artist to create it—prophet of abstract expressionism, Mark Rothko.

“Rothko’s goal was to create a space that was essentially a blank slate so that each individual person can come into and have a unique, personal experience,” says Rothko Chapel’s Caitlin Ferrell.

“With this in mind, I think that the space and the paintings are sacred to different people in different ways.” There are 14 site-specific paintings in all—three triptychs painted a striking black and blended with other hues and five walls of single paintings. “We consider the whole structure—art, architecture, building—a complete work of art,” says Ferrell.

Observed as such “it creates a spiritual and contemplative environment,” she adds. It is reported that Rothko’s ideas for the project clashed with that of original architect Philip Johnson, who envisioned more monumentality than Rothko’s want of a meditative space that would not distract from the art. Rothko went through a few more architects in his quest for perfection.


Of note, in 2001 Rothko Chapel was added to the National Register of Historic Places, more than two decades shy of being open 50 years. This speaks volumes to the Chapel’s significance beyond the nonphysical realm.

Oriented toward the tenets of the arts, spirituality, and human rights—the space is truly open; in architectural terms, expansively, and literally, to all people, of all faiths, every day of the year. Public programming supports its advocacy and education and also provides opportunities for one to experience an array of spiritual traditions through meditative practices, interfaith conversations, and immersive artistic experiences.

In preparation for its 50th anniversary in 2021, Rothko Chapel will undergo substantial renovations to restore the Chapel building and its grounds starting in March and continuing through December of this year.

New construction projects will include a Visitor Welcome House to better serve the Chapel’s growing numbers of international guests—over 100,000 visitors from more than 110 countries are received annually, according to Ferrell. Not all are spiritually inclined—many are art lovers on a pilgrimage of another sort.

“We fall into the same vein of immersive, spiritual art experiences as places like the Matisse Chapel in Vence, France, and the Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp [chapel], in France, both of which were inspirations for the de Menil’s in the creation of the Rothko Chapel.” All are examples of the highest form of artistic collaboration.


Arcana bookstore - featured in South Bay DIGS Magazine

Arcana Bookstore: Lovers of Art, Architecture & Design

Lovers of art, architecture, and design—and really just a fabulous bookstore—know one local shop as sure as their own shadow.

Arcana: Books on the Arts, a lodestar for Los Angeles’ creative community and an exquisitely curated emporium populated with aesthetes and iconoclasts like Diane Keaton, which touted Arcana as a favorite in Parade.

In combing through the store’s vast selection of current and out-of-print art books, from modern and contemporary art to photography, design, architecture, and film, the place is one big expression of that intangible Keaton effect—top to bottom cool.

The engine of Arcana is founder Lee Kaplan, who established the store in 1984 and runs it with his wife and co-owner, Whitney. For years, Kaplan’s local book business that could was located on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, then he picked up stakes and moved the store to its current home in the historic Helms Bakery Building in Culver City.

Substantially larger than the original Arcana at 4,500 square feet, this is a space that breathes. Unlike your average Barnes & Noble, there is no homogeneous tone, the sense that one will find nothing particularly interesting or inspiring beyond the books. No cloistering, no clutter, no tripping over people in the aisles. Arcana, rather, is like its inventory and clientele—design-forward.

Working in collaboration with Venice-based design/build studio Landlord, L.A. architectural practice Johnston Marklee designed Arcana’s current space, which it appointed with the store’s signature tall black-coated metal shelves to create what architect Mark Lee calls a “forest of books.”

These stunning pieces give the space an industrial edge that blends seamlessly with a clean-lined sense of function. Credit this arrangement to an expansiveness that one is likely to associate with one of the city’s modernist masterpieces than a retail concept.

Arcana not only echoes the tenets of contemporary design, it is an extension of contemporary design itself.

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