In the 1960s, artist Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015) started creating lithographic prints. At the time the American artist was midway through a successful art career and had confined himself to sketches and sculpture and painting. His first two collections of lithographs, started at roughly the same time, are a study in contrasts, and how things that appear very different on the surface can have more in common than one might initially think.
Currently on display at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Line & Color: The Nature of Ellsworth Kelly exhibits these two collections side by side: Suite of Twenty-Seven Color Lithographs is a collection of brightly colored abstract works; Suite of Plant Lithographs is a classicist’s study, figurative and sparse, of plants, flowers and fruit.
Photographs (from left) Blue and Orange and Green (Bleu et Orange et Vert), 1964-65 Ellsworth Kelly (American, 1923-2015), Lithograph on Rives BFK paper, 35-3/8 x 23-7/8 in. (89.9 x 60.3 cm), Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Artist, P.1969.019, © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation and Maeght Éditeur; Camellia II, 1964–65 Ellsworth Kelly (American, 1923-2015), Transfer lithograph on Rives BFK paper 35-3/8 x 24-1/4 in. (89.9 x 61.6 cm), Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Artist, 1969, P.1969.044, © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation and Maeght Éditeur
Though visually different, the artist meant for the two collections to mingle. Their connection? The soft geometric shapes of Suite of Twenty-Seven Color Lithographs were informed by the clear-cut lines and silhouettes of the plant lithographs—and vice versa. “Shape and color are my two strong things,” said Kelly in 2012. “And by doing this, drawing plants has always led me into my paintings and my sculptures.”
The different aesthetics of the two collections makes sense given Kelly’s biography, which includes postwar years spent in Paris studying classic art forms—and drawing plants—followed by a return to America in the 1950s that coincided with a burgeoning Abstract Expressionist movement in New York City. It was there that Kelly set up shop in Lower Manhattan alongside Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and others, and his bold, abstract works found a home.
Accompanying the exhibit are two of Kelly’s paintings. At nearly 30 feet long, “White Over Blue” consists of two oversized panels that hand alongside each other, commissioned for Montreal’s Expo 67. The other is “Red Orange White Green Blue,” a collage of five panels joined together to create an unbroken spectrum across the wall. Should one find oneself seeing double, the exhibit runs through Oct. 29.
For More Information: nortonsimon.org
Written by: Constance Dunn
Mat Sanders and Brandon Quattrone launched Consort just six years ago. Since then, the studio has become a reference for design connoisseurs. Jessica Alba, Jimmy Kimmel, Ben McKenzie, Nina Dobrev, Shay Mitchell and Sophia Bush are some of the celebrities who have called on Consort, which also works with the trade and all types of customers who are drawn to its casual approach and aesthetic combining California cool and French chic.
Facing growing demand, Sanders and Quattrone took the plunge and opened their first shop in Los Angeles at the end of 2015. The studio is a 2,000-square-foot space on Melrose Avenue with a curated selection of furniture, small decorative items and artworks.
“The internet has been pivotal in growing our design business, and after receiving so many requests for work we weren’t able to take on, we knew we had to open a space to bring our casual-cool look to the homes and spaces of anyone wanting a fashion-forward home without sacrificing comfort and livability,” says Sanders. One success leading to another, the duo launched its second showroom one year later in New York City.
With a consistent approach to design, it rapidly became clear to Sanders and Quattrone that the next step would be to create a furniture collection. In search of inspiration for their new project, the twosome immediately knew that they had to travel to their favorite place in the world: the Paris flea market. There they discovered a leather-bound journal that was their starting point.
“Inspired by this aughts-era tome, we created a furniture collection marrying its modern-day Parisian romp and our undying obsession with French modernism,” says Sanders. Previewed at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) on May 20-23, and available through Consort’s online shop and in its Los Angeles and New York retail spaces starting this summer, the line’s 44 handcrafted pieces, ranging from $550 to $7,500, offer a high level of customization. With 24 finishes (such as wood, lacquer, metal, plaster, glass and leather) and 50 different hues of linens and velvets, literally hundreds of combinations are possible.
“The three big differentiators in our collection are style, customization and price point,” says Sanders. “To celebrate the maker movement, we’ve engaged the country’s premier fabricators to manufacture the pieces all within the U.S. This also offers us the flexibility to fully customize the pieces to the client’s request.”
Focusing on quality and craftsmanship, each piece is made by hand in six to eight weeks across the country. The eye-catching, heart-shaped-back Amour Settee; the timeless, inviting Marcel sofa and the sculptural Petite accent tables—among many other pieces—bring an elevated sense of style to any space. Carefully conceptualized and designed, this collection reflects the importance of every detail.
“After months of sketching and sweating over each piece in our line, we’ve tightened our focus down to the littlest things with the biggest impacts,” Sanders says.
“Since the inception of our interior design firm, we’ve been designing products for our clients and showrooms. This collection reflects a refined vision and cohesive approach to a complete furniture ensemble.”
Photographs: Courtesy of Consort
“In my belief, I think my path is pre-determined—and you know when you’re off your path.” Words of wisdom from a man who has reached fresh heights in a career that’s been years in the making, and powered by journeys in law, construction and real estate, along with exploring the globe—56 countries and counting—and playing professional soccer in Europe for Team USA at the tender age of 17.
It’s Scott Moore, founder and CEO of BBS Real Estate and a broker at Douglas Elliman, and these days he gets to be the visionary—pondering new development deals and enacting strategy from a wide-angle perspective—without being too entangled in the everyday minutiae of his firm, which finds promising investment properties, builds them out in high style and sells them to the highest bidder.
Anyone who has tasted hard-won success knows that such a position doesn’t come without having spent hours in often unglamorous trenches.
On the development side, Moore’s roles have included everything from general contractor and project manager to site supervisor and accounting controller. He even has his general contractors license, handy since BBS has an in-house construction arm. In real estate, it’s buying and selling.
“I’ve been able to see all aspects of the industry from different perspectives,” says the native Angeleno, who grew up in Brentwood and attended Pacific Palisades High School before heading to UC Santa Barbara and McGeorge School of Law.
Afterwards, he worked at an entertainment law firm in Beverly Hills, then transitioned to COO of the family’s business and wealth management firm, Financial Specialists, where he simultaneously ran the real estate division.
Developing properties from a 360-perspective gives Moore and his team an edge on producing cutting-edge homes primarily in Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica and Brentwood—an epicenter of low supply and endless demand that Moore calls “recession resistant dirt” for its ability to fare economic storms that flatten other markets.
After years of development, I started BBS because I can offer everything under one roof to buy, build, and sell in recession-resistant neighborhoods of Los Angeles.”
Among their current projects is 1325 Chautauqua in the Palisades, what Moore describes as “probably the most unique yet complicated build,” but also the most special due in part to its views, which stretch from Downtown L.A. to the mountains and shores of Malibu.
There’s a family friendly California home at 247 20th Street in Santa Monica—North of Montana in Gillette’s Regent Square, coveted for its large lots and wide, tree-lined streets—plus a sleek white Modernist abode they’re putting finishing touches on at 1634 Casal, in the exclusive Upper Riviera section of Pacific Palisades.
“It’s going to be a good ride,” says Moore, who recently joined forces with agent Ally Jaret to form Moore+Jaret Group, a specialty Westside real estate and development firm under the Douglas Elliman umbrella. It’s a lot of business to handle, and Moore welcomes it: “I act best under pressure,” he says, crediting his legal training with his “resolutionist” mindset and the ability to balance total immersion in projects and clients alongside a rational distance, “to make sure you’re providing the best advice.”
That and a strong team, including BBS managing partner Tony Ramsey—who oversees the construction arm of the business while Moore takes care of the buying and selling aspect—are making his effortful ride along new heights an enjoyable one. “I feel the most comfortable being in the space that I’m in now,” says Moore.
“After years of development, I started BBS because I can offer everything under one roof to buy, build, and sell in recession-resistant neighborhoods of Los Angeles. I’m where I’m supposed to be—and now I look forward to the next 20 years of business.”
Photograph Courtesy of Scott Moore
[cs_dropcap column_size=”1/1″ dropcap_style=”box” dropcap_size=”0″ dropcap_color=”#fff” dropcap_bg_color=”#d7df21″]Real estate developer Jonathan Genton has worked on large-scale master communities throughout California and Hawaii. Most recently, he’s joined with a management team from the Four Seasons Private Residences, global architecture firm Callison RTKL and Webcor Builders on the rise of the Four Seasons Private Residences Los Angeles, a 12-story luxury condo development set to begin welcoming residents in mid-2019. DIGS talked with the founder and CEO of L.A.-based Genton Property Group (gentonproperty.com) to discover more about this high-profile project, what prompted his real estate direction, and other developments.[/cs_dropcap]
How did you decide on a career in real estate development?
JG: Growing up in L.A., I was always fascinated by architecture and planning. At the time, I didn’t understand what a developer was, so I was naturally drawn to the architecture, urban-planning and finance aspects of real estate. I pursued these disciplines while at UCLA and saw them all come together in development. I haven’t looked back since.
What does it take to bring a property such as the Four Seasons Private Residences to market for the first time?
JG: This is a world-class property surrounded by the low-profile neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and the fashionable North Robertson District, where the views are nothing short of spectacular. Bringing a property of this caliber to market for the first time takes an enormous amount of patience and dedication. To have a vision with a team and partners for this type of development is of utmost importance, and it takes intent, focus and passion to pull off this sort of project. Every day is a surreal moment for our team—seeing our vision come to life.
What’s significant about the development?
JG: The coveted, 12-story tower comprises 59 custom for-sale homes crafted by the world’s most iconic hospitality brand. Offering dramatic views of Beverly Hills and Hollywood Hills, exclusive amenities include a sensual pool, spa and chic lounge, a sprawling indoor-outdoor fitness center, a spacious IMAX private theater and screening room, and dining experiences by Four Seasons. A penthouse sits at the very top, taking up the entire top floor and top roof terrace. This property is extremely private and rare for a location like this in L.A.
You talk about setting a new standard for luxury living in Southern California. What does that look like to you?
JG: Providing a service-rich environment in a dedicated residential tower. The Four Seasons Private Residences brings the best-in-class brand to curate the daily art of living by creating a private enclave where services are catered to the individual without sharing services or amenities with a public-facing commercial property.
What makes for the perfect residential condo space?
JG: A private and service-rich environment that takes advantage of light, air and space in the simplest of forms.
Describe your dream residential project.
JG: The Four Seasons Private Residences is my ship in a bottle. This development takes everything—from my earliest memories of seeing beautiful architecture, to what I’ve learned throughout my career—and puts them together, ultimately creating this masterpiece.
What was your first residential development and what made it successful?
JG: Years ago in Westlake Village, I was the development manager on Lake Sherwood and was exposed to a variety of buyers who, in the end, sought an experience and a special place. Throughout my career I have tried my best to accomplish the same sought-out-feeling, only now I do it from an urban context.
Tell us about current and future events and trends in L.A.’s luxury marketplace?
JG: I think L.A.’s luxury marketplace will see a greater adoption of condominiums in general. Living in vertical buildings is not what L.A. is known for, but we will see a trend and then a wave of vertical living experiences across all levels. I think the expectation for taller, more elegant and distinctive buildings is coming too.
If you weren’t working as a developer, what would you like to be doing?
JG: I am a builder at heart and have always been fascinated by functional and mechanical design. So, something in industrial design would probably be my next industry of choice.
What is forthcoming for you and GPG?
JG: fter the Four Seasons Private Residences Los Angeles project, my team and I will be exploring the opportunity to create housing for everyone. We’ll be taking the experiences of the luxury product and applying its essence to all projects across the demand spectrum.
As a young boy growing up in Los Angeles, in a family of modest means, real estate entrepreneur Aaron Kirman used to ride his bike to an upscale neighborhood in the Valley just to glimpse all of the expensive homes for sale. He also begged his parents to take him to open houses. Despite suffering from severe learning disabilities—including dyslexia and a speech impediment that prevented him from saying the letter “R”—he entered the real estate ranks at age 18 while attending USC and never looked back.
Fast-forward to today, and the 39-year-old is one of the most successful real estate agents not only in L.A., where he is based, but across the globe as well, amassing an exclusive client roster rife with CEOs, celebrities and royalty, selling $3.5 billion in homes to date. He also appears regularly on CNBC’s Secret Lives of the Super Rich, and was named the 12th top real estate agent in the U.S. by The Wall Street Journal in 2016. Here, Kirman, president of Aaroe Estates, the luxury property division of the John Aaroe Group, divulges to DIGS how he got into real estate, his personal abodes, the secret of his success and more.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS?
I put myself through college selling real estate. When other kids were in school and partying, I was working and obsessed with real estate and doing deals. I fell into a cool niche selling architectural homes by R.M. Schindler and John Lautner, and people started to recognize my name. Then I was an executive and ran the architectural division at Hilton & Hyland for about nine years, and shifted into the estate division at John Aaroe Group about five years ago. Now, we have the largest market share of the most expensive homes in country.
WHAT IS YOUR REAL ESTATE FOCUS NOW?
It just continues to grow with some of the country’s most expensive estates. We recently sold the Danny Thomas estate for $65 million, which was the second-highest sale in Beverly Hills. I now have about $650 million in active inventory. We have five estates above $50 million; I like to specialize in uber-high-priced and very unique homes. I’m also working on building my team, which has been a fun challenge. We have about 30 on our team. I’ve been selling solo for many years, and now have the dynamics of a team. I like to call them my kids, even though some are 60 years old. I like to watch their careers grow; it’s been inspiring for me. They need me, and my portfolio and contacts, and I can teach them.
TELL ME ABOUT SOME OF THE HOMES YOU HAVE IN YOUR INVENTORY RIGHT NOW. Some of my actives include the Edie Goetz estate in Bel Air for $79 million (where the socialite lived and hosted extravagant parties), and an $85 million mansion in Beverly Hills that both Cher and Eddie Murphy lived in at one time. From there, I have a stunning $60 million compound on the ocean that was in a TV show and has been leased by some of top celebrities in the country, and a gorgeous, uber-modern $49 million house owned by fashion designer Charles Park of Sugarlips. I also have a bunch of beautiful moderns priced from $20 million. I still love listing some of my old stuff, like a beautiful [Richard] Neutra in Hollywood Hills. It has significant architecture, and I’m looking for the right buyer who’s going to restore it.
WHO ARE SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE PERSONALITIES YOU’VE WORKED WITH?
I’ve worked with sheiks from the Middle East, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia; celebrities from Orlando Bloom to Rihanna to Nicki Minaj; and fashion designers like Jeremy Scott. Everyone is so interesting, and they all have a unique story. What’s fun is the diversity, from royalty to celebrities to CEOs to just ordinary people. I also love helping my friends buy their houses and seeing the growth of some of my friends. I’ve represented some friends who were buying starter homes 20 years ago and now they’re in $15 million houses.
IS THERE ONE TYPE OF ARCHITECTURE THAT PARTICULARLY APPEALS TO YOU? I’m personally a big fan of Mid-Century homes. Houses done in the 1960s, and sometimes ’50s, were so advanced and ahead of their time, with walls of glass and indoor-outdoor spaces. Some of those architects were masters at figuring out the right house to put on the right site. Lately, I’ve been a fan of transitional architecture, where you have a traditional style and more modern interiors. I’ve seen a lot of that during my travels in Europe.
WHAT IS THE HOT AREA RIGHT NOW?
Los Angeles is the hottest real estate market on the planet; it’s crazy how hot our market is. There is so much wealth all over and so many people from across the globe—from Europe, Asia and the East Coast—are pouring money here. L.A. is hotter than New York and other markets that used to be bigger. We have some of the most expensive sales in the world right now in Bel-Air, Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Hills. The price increases we’ve seen to date are astronomical. We have had four sales of about $100 million, and that’s crazy. We never would have been close to demanding those dollar amounts 10 years ago. It’s amazing, and it’s only going to go up. L.A. is cheap, according to the world market. You get so much bang for your buck here for whatever your budget is: more land and space, and that’s what’s driving our market to be so good.
WHAT ARE THE MOST VALUABLE AMENITIES PEOPLE ARE SEEKING?
One is privacy, which is the most important desire for people with wealth, and the second is grounds or view. We have sold homes with almost every amenity possible—from theater-sized media rooms to wine cellars that could hold 80,000 bottles—but, primarily, people want land, privacy and a view.
DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM PROPERTY?
I sell really big, gorgeous, opulent homes…and I like simple, beautiful homes. I live in a high-rise, and I just bought a house in Beverly Hills with walls of glass. It’s a modern house with a pool, great indoor-outdoor flow and an open floor plan, and it’s great for entertaining and living a happy life. I personally don’t have a desire to live in a huge house, although I do love to sell them.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR HOME?
I love my master bedroom; it’s my retreat—my space where I have my privacy and my time alone. There’s nothing like being able to go home and rest in your room at night. In my high-rise, I love my view. I’m on a high floor and can see the entire city—from Downtown to Century City—and that’s also pretty great.
WHAT DOES LUXURY MEAN TO YOU?
Being able to live the life I choose to live. That doesn’t necessarily come in the form of material objects. I’m blessed to have pretty much any material object I desire, but it really means to live a great life and to spend time with friends and family, to eat well, and to travel and see the world. I live a very wonderful life that is well-rounded, and I’m proud of that. It’s not easy to do that at the level of real estate I do. I take time for family, friends and myself.
TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE YOUR SUCCESS?
In general, successful people are very strategic; you have to be. You have to be ahead of the curve, and able to make the curve. You have to be creative. Successful people don’t want to follow the pack, but they have to be ahead of the pack. Strategic alliances, partnerships and team work also are important. Marketing and advertising are super important as well. Even print; people say print is dead, but I disagree. People still love to read, and that’s what sells. Tech is uber-important in the national and international world; we’re spending more energy and money on that. Social media is super important, and continuing to develop contacts and the networks we have. Taking time to tell stories about the properties and clients, even ourselves, is important. I always like progressing and finding bigger and better ways to do something.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST PIECE OF REAL ESTATE ADVICE?
The world has changed, and it’s a really competitive business. But, if someone wants to get in it, they need to be passionate and prepared to work super hard and find what is going to make them different so they will stand out from the crowd. The main piece of advice is you should specialize in something and be unique, and if you do that, you will have a great chance at success. For me, I like to tell the story of someone with a modest upbringing who had challenges growing up, and for the grace of God and luck, has sold $3.5 billion of homes to some of the most famous people in the world. I like people to know that they can do whatever they want to do with hard work. It’s not always based on who you know and having a privileged background. I look back and I’m super grateful, and sometimes I pinch myself and say, ‘Wow, I did it.” But I always knew I would and I feel like we’ve just begun. I’m not sure where we’re going, but we’re just beginning.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING WHEN YOU AREN’T WORKING?
I love to travel and explore the world, and I mediate every day. I love dinners with friends; I just spent a Sunday by the pool with lots of friends. I love to be by the water, whether it’s a pool or the beach. I also love to bike ride. I just like to live.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOU?
We’re doing a lot of TV these days. I’m a spokesperson for CNBC’s Secret Lives of the Super Rich. I love getting interviewed on TV about where the market is and where we’re going. I also love building a team that’s already one of the most knowledgeable and successful in the country, and getting bigger and better every day. I’d like to expand our market share. We have the best inventory in L.A. and abroad, but I would like to develop more international and national alliances.
Photography Courtesy of Matthew Momberger and Michael McNamara
USC alumnus Jerry Helling has revolutionized Bernhardt Design, one of America’s oldest furniture companies, all while tirelessly working to preserve authentic design. Approaching furniture ideas from fresh perspectives and investing in LA County’s young designers, DIGS gets a snapshot of this visionary’s direction.
Since the onset of his career, Jerry Helling, president and creative director of Bernhardt Design, has elevated the company from a family-run wooden furniture business to an internationally acclaimed design brand with a conscious. Celebrating his 25th anniversary with Bernhardt, Helling has accomplished much for the future of streamlined furniture design.
Famously known for collaborating and nurturing fierce talent from all over the world, Helling has brought under Bernhardt’s umbrella such talents as Ross Lovegrove, who designed the famed Go chair, and Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, designer of the cheeky backless-armless sofa in the brand’s recent Colours collection. With a vast hit list of unique and groundbreaking designs from great creatives, Helling shares,
Bernhardt remains a family-owned business, one with a history of being lovingly committed to community and environmental welfare. Helling himself holds an even deeper conviction to maintaining design authenticity and nurturing young talent. One initiative dear to his heart is Be Original Americas, a program created to educate consumers and designers on why we should concern ourselves with original design, which is not limited to furniture design or apparel design or art, but is an architectural, museum and music issue, as well. Helling was the first president of the program—originally a collective idea encompassing 10 different manufacturers and designers that addressed compromised designs (aka knockoffs), taking the problem from a conversation to action. The group offers education through lectures, events and teaching young designers one on one. Now on the board after years of service, Helling explains, “There are environmental, performance, and social issues about where and how these products are made, and in the end, copying a design is stealing.” Thus, the Be Original website calls designers, decorators, architects, musicians, interior designers and anyone in the creative field to join the initiative to protect design originality.
On a similar note, Helling is part of a handful of programs for design students and young designers just starting out, including Tools for School initiative, Contempto and The Carrot Concept in El Salvador, yet his self-proclaimed favorite project, ICFF Studio, is based in Los Angeles County at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Here, students gain professional hands-on experience such as seeing a product from conception to completion then through the sales and marketing process, and, finally, to retail. Bernhardt Design, meanwhile, presents these designs at market, and even pays royalties to students for their original work. Every other week each fall, Helling actually works in the school’s studio, where six local LA design students recently won candidacy for the Bernhardt ICFF scholarship project.
Furniture by Bernhardt Design is available locally at Twentieth in Los Angeles as well Hive Modern. Outside of growing the company’s brand, Helling desires to encourage the design community to strive for accountability and originality to preserve and protect the industry as well as nurture and protect talent.
Written by Abigail Stone
“I was doing people’s houses and pretending I knew what I was doing. Of course, I’d gone to design school so I had the basics, but I didn’t have any subcontractors or any resources out here,” says interior designer Tamara Kaye-Honey, describing her early industry forays. It’s clear that the fearlessness apparent in her work isn’t an act,but an integral part of who she is.
Witness her first big break, which took place while she was having her hair done. “The owner of the salon said ‘I’m going to redo the space and we’re going to hire a big design firm and this is what we’re going to do. What do you think?’” Kaye-Honey had a different vision and proceeded to explain. “I remember walking around with the foils in my hair and showing him.” She was hired. That strong sense of conviction, coupled with curiosity and adventurousness, has steered Kaye-Honey, in a little bit over a decade, from a career in fashion as a buyer for Bergdorf Goodman in New York, to a place on magazine interior design hot lists. Though Lonny christened her style “New Vintage,” she’s less driven by a theme than by a sense of story. “I let the architectural elements guide what the rooms wanted to be,” she recalls, referring to a house, featured in a recent issue of California Home + Design, that she conjured up for a family in Altadena. Originally designed by Reginald Johnson, who also did The Biltmore, in Santa Barbara, the sprawling 13,000-square-foot estate, built in 1915, might have intimidated another designer. Not Kaye-Honey. Seeing past its size, its dark wood paneling and its history, she transformed the home into a space that is at once stately and inviting. Modern and vintage, high and low are swirled together in a seamless mix that renders the house comfortable and playful.
She’s using those same instincts to steer her work on a mixed-use property in downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District and a hotel in Santa Barbara. “It’s got a really interesting past and I’m going to use that to guide the design,” she says of her plans for the hotel. The ability to trust her gut may be one reason why Kaye-Honey has endeared herself to some of the city’s top chefs, who’ve turned to her to interpret their passions via design. Crossings in Pasadena, Providence in Hollywood and Otium, The Broad Museum’s highly anticipated restaurant, have all been brushed with Kaye-Honey’s rich yet approachable glamour. Her work on Providence, she recalls, began with a lot of meetings, often over meals. “[Chef Michael Cimarusti] would cook for me and I would get to see his style and his passion in the food and that translated into the new design of the restaurant,” a transformation that she orchestrated in under a month. “I think we actually closed for only 11 days total,” a Herculean feat that was wildly successful. “When I did Crossings, I never thought that one restaurant would turn into an opportunity to do [Providence] and I love food and wine… so it was a natural extension and progression of my passions.” And, in the small world that is the restaurant business, it also opened the door to more opportunities. “With Otium, as you can imagine, there are many people involved: a kitchen designer, Timothy Harrison, who does the most high-end kitchen designs in the world; two contractors; two architects; myself; and then [restaurateur Bill Chait’s go-to design firm] Studio Unlimited. So I’ve never really worked in this forum before but it’s just great. I’m just going for it.”
Working on Otium has also given her the chance to collaborate with the craftspeople she admires, like lighting designer Neptune Glassworks and furniture creator Chris Earle, to design custom pieces for the restaurant. Though there are things she’d like to do in the future — “I’d love to do an airport lounge!” — for right now she’s excited about the adventures unfolding right in front of her. “We’ll see where it goes. I think part of the fun is not knowing where it’s going to take you.” Wherever the journey leads, Kaye-Honey will always conjure up beautiful spaces.
House of Honey
1518 Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030 — 626.441.2454
525 San Ysidro Road, Montecito, CA 93108 — 805.969.7444
Written by Constance Dunn | Photography by Paul Jonason
The Arizona State star basketball player was a transplant from Inglewood, California, who had dominated the Sun Devils squad since 1979 with record-busting seasons that earned him a place in the university’s Hall of Fame. It also gained him an entrée as first inductee into the school’s Pac-10 Hall of Honor, among a heap of other accolades. At the moment, though, he was just waiting on some news.
“I was 21 years old,” recalls Scott, settling into his chair. “I had been drafted by the Clippers, which was one of the happiest days of my life. To be drafted into the NBA, that was a goal of mine for years. Ever since I was 8 years old, I always told my mom and dad I was going to play in the NBA, so that was a goal I was about to see come true.”
“Then my favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers, called me and told me they’re about to make a trade,” he continues. “I nearly died and went to heaven when I got the call that I was traded to the Lakers. It was obviously the best thing in my life. I was a boy from Inglewood, California, who had been watching the Lakers for years, and now I get the opportunity to play for my home team, the team that I love the most.”
In the 30 odd years since that call, Scott has held onto a continuum of success—first as a player, then as a head coach—in a demanding and sometimes fickle industry. Here, he shares some secrets to his longevity.
Novelist George Orwell once famously said, “At age 50, every man has the face he deserves.” If true, Scott has piled up his fair share of merit. His complexion has the smooth suppleness of a man at least a decade younger. His hazel eyes strike amber in the sunlight and he’s maintained the taut physique of a disciplined athlete. “I was nervous my first game—until I got on the court and the ball was thrown up into the air, ” says Scott, recounting his fledgling steps on an NBA court during game time. “You forget about everything else that’s going on and you really focus in on what you’ve got to do.” It makes sense, considering that the young athlete had already logged countless hours of his life on the basketball court before he strolled into the Great Western Forum, a bona fide pro who could snap into game mode in an instant. But there was something else at play—namely, the cool assurance that come what may, everything would be just fine. “Something my dad and mom taught me from a very early age is to shoot for the stars,” says Scott. “They always told me to go at it 110 percent. But if you don’t make it, at least you can look in the mirror and say, ‘You know what? I gave it everything I got.’”
In other words, instilled in Scott, perhaps before his fingers had ever touched a basketball, was the idea that winning in the conventional sense did not automatically mean that one had won in the personal or spiritual realm. And vice versa. “I have an inner peace within myself that keeps me grounded, and keeps me level,” Scott says slowly. “I never really get too high or too low. I kind of take everything as it comes. Even during stressful situations I always want to have an even keel.” An asset of temperamental gold for anyone, it’s doubly so for any sports professional on the front lines, where one might be lauded as a miracle-maker one day, and branded a pox on the game the next.
This internal balance, or equanimity, is an indelible part of Scott. And sheer talent aside it, along with his faith and resolute attitude of gratitude, accounts for much of his long track record. “I truly know that everything that I’ve gotten in life, I’ve earned. I also know that a lot of what I’ve gotten is because I’ve been very blessed from up above,” he says earnestly, pointing skyward. “My Heavenly Father has blessed me tremendously to give me the talents he has given me, and I don’t take that for granted.” But no man is an island, or in this case, just an athlete and a coach. And there is more to this man than the game.
This past August Scott kicked off the inaugural year of his new youth basketball camp, which helps boys and girls ages 8 to 17 hone the fundamentals of the game, from handling and passing to footwork and rebounding. “The kids were great,” reports Scott. “Just being in the gym for me is heaven, and the thing that I love most is interaction with the young people, being able to talk to them on a day to day basis, and for them to get to know me a little bit. At the end of the day, they see this guy on TV and now they can relate to him a little bit more because they’ve spent a week with him, and they know he’s more than just a basketball coach.”
It’s a youth-focused endeavor in a long stretch of them for Scott, who started the Byron Scott Children’s Foundation in 1986 (now the Byron Scott Children’s Fund), fueled by a desire to help children with cancer. “A young man named Marshall Brady, his family sent me a letter when he was 3 years old and in the hospital in remission,” says Scott. “I went to visit him, fell in love with the family and decided right then and there we had to do something for kids.”
Scott reports that Brady subsequently kicked cancer and went on to graduate from USC, where he played in the band. Meanwhile Scott’s organization, with its longtime focus on children’s health and cancer research, has been undergoing a shape shift. “I still have a big-time love for children,” he says. “Now I am looking for different avenues to try to reach the kids.”
Scott’s consciousness of his good conditions makes him quick to support those who serve on the front lines, the military. “The reason that we’re here doing this today,” Scott says, “is because of the things they do on a day to day basis, and the way that they sacrifice their lives for their country so we can sit here today.”
Scott’s appreciation currently takes the form of participating in a Suit for a Suit, which is a pro-veteran’s organization that sources smart business attire for returning soldiers who are headed to civilian job interviews. “They got in touch with me a little over a year ago. Once I knew it was legit I wanted to get involved. I felt that, I got a ton of clothes, let me just give as many suits as I can to our soldiers.” says Scott, who personally has a yen for clothes, and understands the transformative power of dressing well. “I don’t think we understand how tough it is,” he says of soldiers transitioning back to civilian life. “I think we as citizens should do everything we can possible to help them to re-adjust back into society, so they can live a very prosperous life.”
Another keen passion of Scott’s is music, a topic that visibly energizes him. “I like listening to a little bit of everything,” he says. “Even rap. But R&B is my love, contemporary jazz is my love, and it’s something I want to get a little more involved in.”
He listens deeply, immersing himself in the mood of a composition, plucking out lyrics and floating along with lilting melodies. Perennial favorites include Anita Baker, a personal friend of Scott’s, along with groove-makers from the 1960s and 1970s like The Isley Brothers, The Whispers and Earth, Wind & Fire. “I really love R&B,” says Scott with a grin. “It probably goes with my personality. I like it nice and mellow and smooth.”
Scott’s interest in music has lately gone beyond the aficionado stage. He’s the executive producer of a new smooth jazz-funk album by Rock & Roll Hall of Fame bassist Chip Shearin. “He’s one of the best bass players in the world, but he’s always worked with other people,” notes Scott. “He decided to go on his own, and I’m one of the guys who said, ‘I got your back. Let’s do this and see what happens.’”
Meanwhile his day job since that fateful 1983 phone call has revolved, year in, year out, around pro basketball. An NBA player for 14 seasons—11 of them with The Lakers—Scott kicked off his coaching career in 1998 as assistant coach of the Sacramento Kings. In 2000, he took over as head coach of the New Jersey Nets. Fourteen years later, after returning to his home team, the team he loves the most, The Lakers, for a second act.
As a coach, Scott’s leadership style is embedded with the experience of having been one of the guys lacing up his sneakers and heading onto the court each night. The difference between being a player and a coach? Shifting from a singular perspective to a collective one. “As a player I always felt that I could affect the game because I’m out there on the floor,” Scott explains. “As a coach I have to rely on these guys to affect the game, and have faith in me that the plays we have presented to them, they can go out and implement.”
“As a player you only have to worry about you, but as a coach you got to worry about the whole team. You’ve got to somehow convince them that the ultimate goal and the agenda should only be to win.” To win on the courts, yes. And if Scott had his way, for each to win in every other meaningful aspect of their life.
Written bu Jenn Thornton|Interior Photos Phillip De Jong|Headshot Courtesy of Aldo Filiberto
A wellspring of artistry, Ruth De Jong doesn’t so much as tap into creativity as she does seize it, and with an unstudied air that denes her multifarious work. Since seguing from painting to production design (for the likes of the Paulomas Anderson epic ere Will Be Blood and, most recently, a buzzed-about new television series for Showtime), she’s also forayed into interior design with LA eatery Son of a Gun and the design enterprise she launched with her brothers, De JONG & Co., which debuts a new furniture line this year. Here, De Jong dialogues about her serendipitous path from painter to polymath.
After graduating in fine arts from Texas Christian University, I was planning to go to grad school to get my MFA in painting, when Production Designer Jack Fisk and I had a long conversation about art direction and production design. It was a bit serendipitous, but he had a similar background in fine arts. He asked me to join him on a film [There Will Be Blood] he was preparing to design. So I decided to see what it was all about. I deferred grad school for a year—thinking, of course, I’d go after the film. I have yet to go back to grad school.
Fine art, painting and photography were always passions of mine. My father was a photojournalist, and my mother was an art historian. The arts were always around me growing up. Once I started designing sets, I fell into a passion for interior design. My early exposure to the arts heavily influenced the way I approached my design projects, and still do.
When it comes to production design, the challenge of creating a world I’m not familiar with. For interior design, I always want to shape a space using beautiful pieces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, all the while creating an emotion within that space.
I guess one could make that assumption. My problem is I can’t just do one thing. I envy folks who have one craft that they hone their whole life. I thought early on that would be painting for me. These days, I’m lucky if I find time to dedicate to my painting; I know I will again one day, but right now it’s a lot of designing sets and spaces! I love that they all influence one another.
Yes. It started at the different homes I lived in, around Los Angeles. I constantly began rearranging furniture, art, objects and painting walls! Soon, friends began asking me to help them decorate and design their homes and apartments. That led to designing my first restaurant in Los Angeles, Son of a Gun… I thought of the concept very much as a ‘set.’
My brothers and I then began talking about the idea of starting an interior design firm and custom furniture line. As I was designing various interiors, Peter was designing and building furniture, and Philip was taking beautiful images. We came together to collaborate on all fronts and opened our doors in January of 2014, with the idea that we can make our own furniture and use that in the spaces we design.
Collaborating is a beautiful thing that I love very much; the sharing of ideas and concepts and then putting those in play together. … There’s a beauty to all the moving parts.
Never a dull moment. There is always something to be learned, discovered and unturned. Working for Paul and Terry is exciting, a constant ‘mission to accomplish.’There is a richness I take away from each project, and I’m thankful for all those experiences.
We recently wrapped up designing the interiors and furniture for the Nashville restaurant 5th & Taylor. We are currently rounding out our line of furniture this year with the inclusion of a coffee table, bed, side tables and more seating pieces. And we have several residential properties we are in the middle of designing, both the interiors and custom furniture pieces.
De Jong & Co