Chateau Marmont; 1930's charm in the city of Los Angeles

Often shrouded in mystery and the place of Hollywood tabloid fodder, the Chateau Marmont is actually a small oasis of calm, old-world style and charm within the city of Los Angeles.

One of my favorite places to grab some lunch and spot a recognizable face, the service is decent and the ambience is worth a few extra bucks for your salad.

Built in 1927, the building was originally an apartment complex until the recession forced the owner to convert it to a hotel in 1931.  In over 80 years, the hotel has played host to many elite events but has often been selective about it's use in film and television.

Recently, however, acclaimed director Sofia Coppola recruited the hotel as the prime location for her upcoming film Somewhere.  The film follows Stephen Dorff's character as he stumbles through a half-baked acting career and struggles with stardom and reality until he is visited by his 11-year-old daughter.

A perfect setting for the film, Chateau Marmont brings character to the screen with it's charming decor and pitch-perfect arrangement of classic 1930's French design.

Lust Must: "PICKIN' UP THE PIECES" by Fitz and The Tantrums

While typically a purveyor of all things visual, this post has a slightly different twist.  I'm a sucker for a strong melody, catchy lyrics, and a bumpin' baseline.  Though my taste in music genres varies greatly, I have a soft spot for bands and singer-songwriters who are exploring new musical boundaries.  

Not too long ago a friend introduced me to Fitz and The Tantrums and took me to a KCRW-sponsored music event at the Hammer Museum.  After the first song I was hooked. A neo-soul vibe with groovy lyrics and the skills of two top-notch singers (Fitz and Noelle) who were backed by a large band was enough to leave me anxiously awaiting the release of their new album entitled "Pickin' Up The Pieces."  Having heard songs like "MoneyGrabber", "Winds of Change", and "L.O.V.", I couldn't wait to hear what was in store for the rest of the album.  

Released a few weeks ago, F&TT has practically exploded onto the scene.  It's only a matter of time before they're huge!

Check out their Facebook and Myspace pages as well as iTunes.  If you're in the LA area this weekend, they'll be performing at LobsterFest in San Pedro.

Speaking of visuals, here's the amazing music video for "MoneyGrabber"- such great art direction and editing.


Lute Suites / Amsterdam

As I mentioned previously, some of my travels of late have been to far and exotic places like...Amsterdam! Having spent two weeks traveling for business, a coworker and I made a quick stop in Amsterdam to check things out. Charming cobblestone streets, friendly people, great food, and the faint smell of..."coffee"...greated us upon arrival.  

Deciding to explore the area, we chose a hotel that was just out of town - The Lute Suites.

Situated on the grounds of a old gun-powder factory and adjacent to famed Dutch chef Peter Lute's restraunt, the Lute Suites were conceived and originally designed by Marcel Wanders.  Mixing modern elements with classic Dutch architecture, the hotel is a must-see for design loving travelers.

I stayed in Suite 6 and my business associate stayed in Suite 7 - here are some of the pics!

Suite 7 bathroom vanity
Suite 7 bathroom 
Suite 7 bedroom loft with tufted wall
Suite 7 living room

Suite 6 pics coming soon!

Assouline's Newest Book - American Fashion Designers at Home

In collaboration with the CFDA, this latest book features over 100 of America's most influential home.  A rare look inside the world of fashion's elite, the new book promises to give us a glimpse of how taste-makers like Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, and Diane von Furstenburg surround themselves off the runway.

Blake Kuwahara - Sausalito
Jenny Kayne - Beverly Hills
Tory Burch - Manhattan
Blake Kuwahara - Sausalito
Blake Kuwahara - Sausalito
Get your copy here!