Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Ace Hotel & Swim Club

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

We’re still deciding exactly when and where to do our official honeymoon, but the day after we got married Hurly and I headed to Palm Springs for a four day pre-honeymoon – or “honey’muse-bouche” as I dumbly dubbed it.

AceHotelPalmSprings

Most people want to visit certain countries or celebrated cities. Part of me does too, but more and more my soul is centered around wanting to stay in certain hotels. We chose Palm Springs for a number of reasons, the main one being it’s where the Ace Hotel & Swim Club is located.

AceHotelSwimClub

Built as a Howard Johnson’s in the 1960s, the complex remains true to its roadside motel roots. It’s the majorly stoned site of the next five Lana Del Rey videos, the cinder-blocked setting of that sweat-stained Matthew McConaughey movie you never got around to seeing cause it never got around to being made.

AceHotelCheckIn

Being an Ace, I knew it’d be hip. But having never stayed at an Ace, I didn’t know if it’d be dickish and douchey.

AceHotelKingsHighway

We arrived on site a few hours before our room was ready, so we headed to the hotel’s re-did restaurant, King’s Highway, for a lazy lunch. Originally a Denny’s, the restaurant has maintained its diner-style counters with swiveling stools, refrigerated dessert case, and breakfast-all-day menu.

JamaicaPie

The food as well nods to the site’s greasy spoon past but updates it with a Californi’organic twist. Fish tacos, kale and date salads. Sunshiny stuff like that. They had something called Jamaica Pie which was key lime with hibiscus and worth a try just for its name alone.

WilliamRees

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and it must be true, because after two bites of Jamaica pie I was in full-on crush mode for King’s Highway and falling hard for The Ace all around.

AceHotelLight

We’d reserved a honeymoon-worthy suite. It was big, but the little things made the biggest impression on me like the Red Nosed Reindeer double bulbed sconces over the bed…

HaveaCornChips

And the happy bag of Have’A corn chips stocked in our mini bar.

AceHotelWindow

After we got settled in our room we explored the grounds, armed with no less than three cameras with which to mount the first of our many Married-Men photoshoots.

AceHotelTrailer

FiberArt

LimeTree

Our suite had two patios. The larger one had a citrus tree growing over the wall…

AceHotelFireplace

And a fireplace I’d enjoy each morning while waiting (and waiting and waiting) semi-patiently for Hurly to eventually wake up.

FeelGoodSpa

One day we hit the Feel Good Spa. I considered a hippie-dippy spirit cleanse involving crystals, but went for a clay wrap instead. It basically felt like getting massaged by melting butter and some warm maple syrup and there ain’t nothing not delicious about how that feels.

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The Amigo Room, the hotel’s dark and divey bar regularly books live musical acts.

TheAmigoRoom

Hurly and I stayed up way past my bedtime our last night at The Ace to check out some cigarette-jeaned band that was scheduled to go on at 10. While they set up their instruments I stayed busy by super-modeling mob-boss style.

AceHotelSign

I’m usually ready to head back home after a vacation winds down but leaving The Ace was absolutely awful. It wasn’t the least bit dickish or douchey. Every staff member was warm and normal, not icy or intimidating. Every sign, and sofa, and song, and french fry, and bathrobe, and cactus at the complex was perfect and magical.

AceHotelMarkWill

It’s bar none my favorite hotel I’ve ever been to. And it doesn’t make tons of sense to go back to it right away, instead of finally going to Japan or seeing what Africa is like or visiting the town they filmed Twin Peaks in, but I mostly don’t care.

I just wanna go back to The Ace, ASAP.

The Magic Kingdom

Monday, April 1st, 2013

During our trip to L.A., Hurly understandably needed a break from all the non-stop shopping, so we made an impromptu visit to Disneyland one morning.

The best part about The Magic Kingdom to me is that much of it never changes. Although It’s A Small World was closed for renovations in order to make it less racist/retro/worth it. It seemed the maintenance crews were in the midst of repainting/priming the ride’s facade and I thought the wintery colorlessness made everything all the more striking.

The last time I’d been to Disneyworld I don’t think Captain EO had even come out. There was a 25 year anniversary re-release screening and it was everything that was perfect and absurd about the 80s in under 25 minutes. And also, the audience was way over 80 percent Asian.

My favorite ride was as a kid was The Matterhorn. It maybe still is, although now half the reason is probably cause I’m all about Alps-ish type fonts.

And finally, I finally earned my first ever pair of MousketEars!

Everyone called me by my middle name, Scott, when I was a kid, so that’s what I had the grey-haired lady stitch into the back of my cap.

When she took it off the embroidery machine and showed it to me she exclaimed, “Oh, that looks real nice!” Maybe she says that to all the boys, but something in her voice made me believe it completely.

L.A. Story pt. 1

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

A lifetime ago I lived in Los Angeles for half a year. I’m nothing if not a nostalgist, so it finally seemed time to book a flight to LAX so I could stroll down Memory Lane/Ventura Boulevard.

The dozen or so retail spots that made up the bulk of the itinerary, however, weren’t a part of my past, but the path to future treasures, I hoped.

Straight from the airport, Hurly chauffeur-ed me to Silver Lake, where the first shop we stopped at was The Mohawk General Store. They had a Gitman Vintage shirt I almost bought, and bundles of sage to burn, and liquid soaps so super-natural there were actually chunks o’ stuff floating within.

Next up was the first of two Lawson Fenning furnishings stores we visited. The Silver Lake store was more affordable and antique-filled. They stocked incredible lamps, and hempy pillows, and tarnished wind chimes. So so So-Cal, I so totally loved it!

The store I was most excited to check out was RTH Shop, with its New Mexican brand of crafty chic. I was scolded by two separate staff members for taking photos, but I’m a rebellious little rascal when I want to be.

I thought I might buy all sorts of smocks and suede totes from RTH, but in the end I just picked up this over-sized greige pin I’ll probably fix to a duffle bag or display in a dish or something.

Sometimes a site is worth it just for its signage alone. Fred Segal’s font and ivy-covered storefront are throwback-y classics, and shap-shooting musts.

Our second day in L.A. brought us to the Santa Monica pier, where further font-fueled photo shoots were mounted.

And then!!! Not until we arrived in L.A. did the lightbulb go off in my head that we totally needed to visit the location they used as the exterior of The Townsend Agency in Charlie’s Angels, and shoot me in front of it for fourteen or fifteen hours.

Before we got around to that though, we drove past The Sportsmen’s Lodge near where I used to live in Studio City, and I was almost certain it’s where they filmed the episode of Angels where Jill goes undercover as a hotel maid, Sabrina poses as a near-sighted waitress, and Kelly makes a joke about Pat Nixon and a pot of chili.

So I had Hurly pull a sharp right into the parking lot, and we stormed inside. I don’t know for certain yet if The Lodge was indeed where they’d shot that episode, but the place was so gloriously stuck in 1977 still that the clues certainly seemed to add up, don’t they, Bosley?

Tune in tomorrow-ish to see what happens when I finally arrive outside the Angels’ office. It’s quite the shocker!

The Peak of Perfection

Friday, January 25th, 2013


Realistically, would I have bought this campfire-colored Kelty Pack had the triple-peaked patch not been triangle shaped?

Probably not. Probably no.

Sometimes it really is the little things that make the biggest impressions. And what separates a modern design from a vintage (or re-issued) one. And what scores a retail sale instead of a snore.

Stocking Unstuffing

Friday, December 28th, 2012

The thing with me is: No one, not even the great and powerful Hurly, can ever be sure which gifts will really wow me, and possibly earn their way into the hallowed archives of The Treasury. Here’s what tickled my 2012 fancy and made the final, blog-worthy cut!

I don’t know if any of these Asian candies will even enter my mouth. But their packaging is totally eastern on the front, and then Helvetica-banal western on the sides. I told Hurly they belonged in a movie I could’ve once made about a sour but sweet-toothed U.N. representative circa 1973.

Hurly played no part in the gifting of this vintage Madonna pin. My sister did. Since, after all, it was she who I’d taught the dance in the “Vogue” video to after I’d carefully learned it myself back when we were kids.

This Welsh Corgi figure was the present that brought the biggest smile to my face for the longest spell. It looks just like our goofy guard dog, Aesop, and I knew instantly it was a gift I’d have laying on the various dressers and bookshelves of every home I’ll ever live in until the day I die.

I also got some carrot-y scented hair gunk from the brand that has the same name as my dog. I didn’t smile as big or long about it. It sometimes takes a lot to melt my freezing little heart.

A few Christmases ago I received a Mexican Bingo game that I love playing with my niece and nephew because it teaches me Spanish. I can now say Watermelon, Canoe, and Black Man in Spanish – La Sandia, La Chalupa, El Negrito. This set of rhyming dominoes might be less educational for me, but my nephew turned six on Christmas so he and I should get a few years worth of joy out of them.

One night after one of my niece’s school plays we went out for pizza and some of her sporty schoolmates were wearing these pom pom hats with the name of their school on it. I liked the retro, suburban, athletic look of them, said so, and now I have one for myself; allowing me to accessorize just like the jock-y, hockey-loving boy that I totally never was back in my own school days.

This tooth brush’s jet black bristles are made partly of charcoal, which is a natural purifier. Color me intrigued!

I don’t know what I love more. Gymnastics, or playing Wii, or watching Shawn Johnson “Aw, shucks” her way through the Norman Rockwell poster that is her life. Now I can combine all those loves, plus the thrill of “designing” my own video game gymnast with this possibly life-affirming Wii game.

And then lastly, a happy pack of HawCakes. Whatever those are. The first ingredient is something called haw, if that at all helps.

I hope that your holidays were wondrous and filled with pins of pop stars you learned the dances of when you were 14, and candies you’d make movies of, if you ever made movies. I am pretty positive 2013 is gonna be better than 2012 was. It’s gotta be.

All Wrapped Up

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Christmas has come and gone – although, per tradition, it will live on a little longer through upcoming Treasury entries.

First up, one of my gifts was from Barney’s – and arrived swaddled in layers of this delightful Disney-designed tissue paper depicting the princes and princesses of life’s true Magic Kingdom: The Fashion Industry.

I spotted Franca Sozzani and Suzy Menkes…

And Nicolas Ghesquiere, looking like Belle’s bearded babe of a brother…

Steven Meisel made the cut…

As did naughty Naomi and her odd duck of an uncle, Alber Elbaz.

Peeling away each sheet of tissue paper from my Christmas gift animated a little G-rated movie musical inside my mind. Not bad for disposable department store wrap.

Up next – actual peeks at actual presents!

Long Time No See

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

It was a long, hard fall. I meant to keep in touch. Show you the midnight blue sweater I’ve been over-wearing, or photos of how our bedroom makeover turned out. But the bedroom’s still essentially bed-less and I’m too scruffy for a blue sweater photo shoot. Maybe Christmas will set things back on an inspired and accomplished track. For now, here’s how I spent some of the past couple months:

Driving to a casino just to eat at the buffet. Photographing jello I didn’t eat, and not photographing things I did eat…

Buying boots that looked like Red Wings but were actually Clarks. One of my New Year’s resolutions will be to kick my addiction to white crepe soled shoes. Enough was enough a long time ago…

Glamming up pumpkins with silver and brass thumbtacks…

Receiving this flashcard from my oldest friend. I considered making it my Twitter icon for a while. Maybe someday I still will…

Learning it was David Bowie who invented that over-used broken-back supermodel pose. The world is good and ready for a new position.

Attempting to bring more texture and pattern into Tudor “Mansion”…

Designing demonic new characters with my niece on our Wii U. This is the latest in our proud tradition of carefully crafted freaky female toddlers. We gave her the chic new Anna Wintour-ish hairstyle Nintento added to the design palette, and finished her off with a five o’clock shadow – and then we named her Jill.

Trying to plan a perfect Christmas…

But settling for something else instead.

Playing in the very first snowfall with Hurly and the gang…

And almost buying Hanukkah flowers, even though I’m 1/00th Jewish.

What is everyone else doing and buying and wearing and loving?

Think Global, Shop Local

Monday, September 10th, 2012

I haven’t been out of the country in almost two years, but the home accessories I’ve found thrifting the past few weeks will help convince visitors otherwise.

Weathered Roman busts, Balinese brass and bamboo basket-bowls, crackled Chinese pots, and wooden Mongolian pipsqueak shoes are but some of the little treasures giving Tudor Mansion a sense of worldly beauty.

Although I never really left, it’s definitely good to be home.

In Progress

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Real quick, now.

Patterns and textures for the downstairs bedroom by way of a vintage kilim pillow and new O’Brien shams. A little bit butch-ier and more exotic than things had been looking previously.

That’s kinda all I have time to type now, because (the super Christian chick who played) Blair Warner from my third favorite TV show as a child, The Facts of Life, is gonna be on this season of Survivor, I just discovered today!

So I have to go get my jaw off the floor and go make deeply personal predictions as to how long she’ll be able to outwit, outplay, and outlast the lying heathens she’ll be forced to get grody with.

Saltwater & Sun

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Sometimes I’ll find something potentially home-worthy somewhere surprising like your mom’s favorite store…

And then I’ll soak it in saltwater for a few hours, then set it out in the sun for a couple of weeks.

So that it fades, and cracks, and looks like it came from someplace a little more surprising than everyone’s moms’ favorite store. My Little Pony-horse Pal’s still got one week left of baking in the sun to do before he’s allowed on the shelves inside our house.

Going Nuts

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Lately I’ve been way too wrapped up with getting two seasons up to speed on the many dirty deeds of Nucky Thompson to be bothered with such underling-ish tasks as shelling my own pistachios.

But the beautiful, Boardwalk-y bag these Bazzinni’s brand nuts come packaged in are worth the extra work.

And makes me hear calliope music and bootleggers being shot almost every time I unfold the pack.

Let There Be Light

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

A month ago the bedroom was an asymmetrical eyesore. Mismatched nightstands, a baby blue Jonathan Adler lamp on one side, a tomato orange ribbed one on the other. Then Kelly Wearstler whipped open her warehouse for One Kings Lane, and I spent nearly an hour feverishly refreshing my internet browser until a set of stone-veneer nightstands slipped out of other members’ online carts, and into my own. (I sorta owe God sixty-seven favors now.)

I had feared it might take another few years to find matching lamps worthy of my Wearstlers, but it took only twelve days ’til I spotted a conical, concrete number at Gabberts that was just about perfect.

The on/off switch was situated on the cord, and the silken shade that came with it was undersized and uninspiring – but what better excuse to at last enter the nouveau-riche-ish worlds of Lamp Rewiring and Custom Shade Ordering?

So the bedroom and I are on a roll, after eons of aesthetic inactivity. A queen-sized bed that doesn’t squeak when anyone breathes is pretty much all we still need.