• If there’s one thing I miss about living in Los Angeles it’s the caliber of amazing restaurants that continue to flourish there. A great example is Dunsmoor, the creation of chef Brian Dunsmoor, an Eagle Rock restaurant and wine bar that opened in late June 2022. But the space was really shaped by the creative genius of Lovers Unite, aka Karen Spector and Alan Koch. Lovers Unite describe their practice as an architecture and design studio creating one-of-a-kind homes and hospitality spaces. The work they’ve done for Dunsmoor is a balancing act between preserving and augmenting the gorgeous 1929 Spanish Revival building, really letting the space shine. I mean, look at those windows! It’s a place where you want to sit languidly in the sun on a lazy Sunday with friends.

    Dunsmoor Restaurant by Lovers Unite
    Dunsmoor Restaurant by Lovers Unite
    Dunsmoor Restaurant by Lovers Unite
    Dunsmoor Restaurant by Lovers Unite
  • I’ve long admired the clothing of Japanese brand visvim, with their commitment to unique expressions in clothing. In the past, they’ve drawn inspiration from vintage Americana, Japanese Edo period garments, French workwear, Amish patchwork fabric, Native American clothing, the Alaskan outdoors, and Finnish Sami tribe culture.

    Last week, they announced the opening of a new shop in Carmel, California, a small town near Monterey. It’s a super charming town that values small businesses over chain stores, so visvim founder Hiroki Nakamura decided to set up shop, saying he was “drawn to the ideology of creating a life of their own and taking pride in the culture and history of the city.”

    Japanese Clothing Brand visvim Opens Up Shop in Carmel


    The shop, previously a grocery store, is beautifully detailed, with a hand- carved countertop for purchasing goods, as well as snagging an espresso. The displays are also made of wood, nicely tying together the elements. I’m a big fan of a river rock floor, it gives such a tactility when you walk around a space, and the seafoam green carpet in the back ties in nicely to the waters of the Pacific Ocean, which lie only half a mile west. I’m also gagged by that hi-fi setup. You know they’re going to throw the best kickbacks there. If you’re in the Bay Area, it might be worth you time to take a day trip out of the city to check this out.

    Japanese Clothing Brand visvim Opens Up Shop in Carmel
    Japanese Clothing Brand visvim Opens Up Shop in Carmel
    Japanese Clothing Brand visvim Opens Up Shop in Carmel
    Japanese Clothing Brand visvim Opens Up Shop in Carmel
    Japanese Clothing Brand visvim Opens Up Shop in Carmel
  • The Hoxton has opened it’s newest hotel location in the leafy Berlin neighborhood of Charlottenburg, 25 minutes outside of the city center. The hotel, who’s interiors were designed by AIME Studios, reflects an extremely eclectic style that was inspired by the neighborhood and local culture. Elaborately designed tiles, boldly patterned fabrics, and a mix of deep, warm wood tones are seen throughout the space. It creates this effect of entering into a space that feels like visiting your very cool and rich aunt with no children. There’s so much to soak in, and you never want to leave.

    Personally, I love The Hoxton here in Barcelona. They’ve done a beautiful job with the lobby areas, and the restaurants are absolutely top notch. They clearly understand the value of creating a unique experience. An experience that you can’t get anywhere else, and gives you that feeling that your money is being well-spent.

    The Hoxton Hotel - Charlottenburg, Berlin
    The Hoxton Hotel - Charlottenburg, Berlin
    The Hoxton Hotel - Charlottenburg, Berlin
    The Hoxton Hotel - Charlottenburg, Berlin
  • There are a few key individuals in the world of creative who I really admire and look up, one of the being Ramdane Touhami. Some of you may know Officine Universelle Buly, or simply Buly for short, the French beauty brand that he brought back to life with his partner Victoire back in 2014. Now, he’s back with his newest project is a lodge tucked away in Mürren, Switzerland, the Hotel Drei Berge.

    The Hotel Drei Berge, in Murren Switzerland, redesigned by Ramdane Touhami


    Essentially, he’s found a far off place where he can experiment, a playground for Touhami’s ideas where you’re allowed to sneak away and join in for the winter. Built in 1907, the space looks as you might imagine in a movie, a forest green exterior with candy striped shutters. There’s a great piece on Touhami and the Drei Berge, stating:

    “He likes to occupy new spaces and, at the Drei Berge, Touhami believes he has found a middle ground between “bullshit hip” and luxury hospitality offerings. The rooms have a cool, quirky aesthetic, where beaten-up vintage camping chairs reside beside sleek midcentury classics. Monogrammed towels await in the bathrooms, and the beds were handpicked for comfort – the bedlinen, containing a mix of cotton and wood, is so soft that Touhami bought part of the company that makes them.”

    For me, this is so inspiring. I want a space like this (maybe not a hotel in a cold place) where I can create, and make, and build something that is of my own doing. That’s next on my bucket list.

    The plates at The Hotel Drei Berge, in Murren Switzerland, redesigned by Ramdane Touhami
    The Hotel Drei Berge, in Murren Switzerland, redesigned by Ramdane Touhami
    The Hotel Drei Berge, in Murren Switzerland, redesigned by Ramdane Touhami
  • A couple of weeks ago I was on a long walk with the family, and as we wandered near the Arc de Triomf (yes, Barcelona has it’s own version lol) we came across a beautiful shop called SATTA. The multi-hyphenate brand offers a thoughtful proposition for individuals seeking a deeper connection with nature, self, and others, through a holistic design philosophy that embraces the tension between urban living and the innate human desire for biophilic experiences. Their study encompasses garments, spaces, botanicals, and ceramics, inviting individuals to slow down and find harmony within a sustainable and balanced lifestyle. As you can see in the photos below it’s evident why this place grabbed my attention. It’s serenity and calmness draws you in.

    SATTA - Concept Store in Barcelona
    SATTA - Concept Store in Barcelona
    SATTA - Concept Store in Barcelona
  • Let’s talk about creative norms. When you think of the idea of an apartment, what springs to mind? Is it a space filled with high contrast checkerboard tiles that line the floors and nearly all of the walls? Most likely not, and that is what’s special about Casa Cabanyal, a project by Viruta Lab.

    The studio took on the project of revitalizing an old space while still keeping many of the original details. Their bold solution was a two-color blue and off-white checkerboard mosaic that covers the floors throughout the space, as well as halfway up most of the walls, taking inspiration from the Cabanyal neighborhood where the space is located, as well as a nod to the sea.

    Viruta Lab's Casa Cabanyal is Checkerboard Maximalism


    Why I think this project works so well is that they’ve chosen to diffuse the checkerboard pattern with woodwork in European oak that was stained to resemble Canaletto walnut, as well as the pops of green in the furnishings. The check is a lot to look at, which I think actually draws your eyes to other elements of the space, presenting even more value on the details of the original walls and ceilings. It’s such a striking combination of pattern, material, and colors, what do you think? Do you feel like you could live in a space as dynamic as this?

    Viruta Lab's Casa Cabanyal is Checkerboard Maximalism
    Viruta Lab's Casa Cabanyal is Checkerboard Maximalism
    Viruta Lab's Casa Cabanyal is Checkerboard Maximalism
  • When the Proper Hotel opened in Downtown Los Angeles, it instantly became one of the most beautiful hotels in the entire city. That is primarily due to the vision and hard work of Kelly Wearstler, the interior designer who is perhaps one of the most fashionable in the world. Her work always feels bold and over-the-top but in a very natural, and thoughtful way. As it turns out though, she wasn’t quite done, as she’s now designed a lounge and bar space called Dahlia, which feels like a chic, Mediterranean getaway. Now, how do I get my apartment to look like this?

    Dahlia, the lounge and bar space in the Proper Hotel Los Angeles, designed by Kelly Wearstler
    Dahlia, the lounge and bar space in the Proper Hotel Los Angeles, designed by Kelly Wearstler
    Dahlia, the lounge and bar space in the Proper Hotel Los Angeles, designed by Kelly Wearstler
  • El Departamento, a Spanish interior design studio, has designed an eyewear store in Barcelona for PJ Lobster, an eyewear brand founded in 2018. The store features a sculpted interior with slight variations in tone and texture that differentiate surfaces. The design studio has been collaborating with PJ Lobster since the brand’s inception, and the store is described as a “challenging visual exercise.” I think it looks incredible.

    The interior is designed to showcase the brand’s glasses and create a unique shopping experience for customers. They played a lot with textures, which is why I love this space, including “small-grained velvety micro-cement” on the floors throughout, to the rough textured plaster on the walls that give them such a unique texture and tooth. Stainless steel was used for the shelving throughout, giving a strong contrast to the rocky surfaces throughout.

    El Departamento Designs a Fresh Feeling Shop for PJ Lobster, Barcelona Spain
    El Departamento Designs a Fresh Feeling Shop for PJ Lobster, Barcelona Spain
    El Departamento Designs a Fresh Feeling Shop for PJ Lobster, Barcelona Spain
  • After touring through the Guggenheim Bilbao, we stopped by a hotel restaurant across the street for some lunch. As we sat down, I noticed the wallpaper behind the bar area, which was gorgeous looking, yet also very familiar. After some quick googling, I realized it was a wallpaper called Forest, which is made by Cole & Son, a British wallpaper company founded in 1875. I’ve always coveted this wallpaper as there’s something so deeply magical and mysterious about it. I love the mix of greens and blues with hints of pinks, the darkness and low contrast of it all. Simply fantastic.

    Forest Wallpaper by Cole & Sons
    Forest Wallpaper by Cole & Sons
    Forest Wallpaper by Cole & Sons
  • There’s something so peaceful and magical about a small, dimly lit bar. At this point in my life, I personally prefer tucking in for a nice glass of wine while nibbling on some olives with a couple of close friends. And that’s why I’m so taken with Gota, a small wine bar in Madrid that was designed by the team at Plantea Estudio.

    Plantea Estudio Designs the "Dark, Stony, and Secluded" Gota Wine Bar

    They’ve managed to transform a rather small space, only about 70 square meters, and use it to their advantage. The first space is brighter, fitted with a combination of grey stone and plaster, grounded by a beautiful wooden counter with a built-in turntable. Beyond this main space is the moodier, cave like space covered in a beautiful red-orange textured walls, meant to reflect the history of brickwork in the area. I’m obsessed with how light is being utilized in the space, with the small windows that overlook a garden, and other small warm lights that highlight the space in a non-intrusive way. It sets the mood for the space, making even a small cave feel cozy and comfortable.

    Plantea Estudio Designs the "Dark, Stony, and Secluded" Gota Wine Bar
    Plantea Estudio Designs the "Dark, Stony, and Secluded" Gota Wine Bar
  • I joked when we got to Barcelona that there wasn’t an Aesop, and what the hell was I going to moisturize my face with? Cut to like, six months later and a beautifully designed Aesop shop was opened. Located right off of Passeig de Gràcia, in perhaps quite the center of the city, is a beautifully minimalist, perhaps even brutalist, interpretation of the Aesop brand. It’s quite a departure, in my opinion, if you’re familiar with what their other shops tend to look.

    The Aesop store in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Barozzi Veiga


    The space was designed by Barozzi Veiga, local Barcelona architects, who have done quite a lot with quite a petite space. In their own words:

    The store is made up of a few elements, expressive and precise in their position, and with three materials: stucco on the walls and ceilings, terrazzo on the floor, and burnished steel on the columns, the counter, and the display case. It is a simple and complex space at the same time, which aspires to be sophisticated and close, and in a certain way intimate and monumental.

    The space does indeed feel monumental. The height of the ceilings are remarkable, it feels almost like a cathedral. I’m really fond of their use of steel, which gives such a Donald Judd energy. I’m seeing steel used like this in so many interior design projects and I’m a huge fan, especially with the way light bounces off the surfaces. Such an exquisite space to experience.

    The Aesop store in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Barozzi Veiga
    The Aesop store in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Barozzi Veiga