From vintage showrooms to the latest new restaurants, experience the best of design in the city of LA with travel expert Amira Hashish
Photography courtesy of Santa Monica Proper
Words by Amira Hashish
Los Angeles is reimagining its landmark buildings with design that fuses history and contemporary California style.
These new era hotels and restaurants should be high on your wishlist for a visit that oozes interiors inspiration.
EAT & DRINK
One of the city’s hottest tables is Horses on Sunset Boulevard. Dating back nearly a century, it has been given a new lease of life by owners Liz Johnson and Will Aghajanian.
The colourful three-room restaurant maintains the original moulding and tall, skinny red booths alongside new streetside windows, skylights and splashes of yellow.
Artist Kacper Abolik’s works line the back seating area, making for a flamboyant contrast to the darker tones that occupied the space originally.
Photography courtesy of Horses LA
Restaurant maven Marissa Hermer celebrates her love of a European beach holiday at Issima in West Hollywood. Interior designer Tom Parker of Fettle conjures the Mediterranean coastline.
From the lemon-coloured booths to the tropical ceiling and azure blue highlights, it is a joyful celebration of la dolce vita.
Just across the road Soulmate serves a mash-up of design influences by Kelly Architects.
Spread across several rooms, it has a semi-outdoor patio, a sleek indoor area and dramatic cocktail bar. Its maze-like features make it a feast for the senses.
Photography courtesy of Proper Hotel, Los Angeles
Proper Hotel, Los Angeles
Queen of California design Kelly Wearstler brings her signature style to Proper Hotel and Los Angeles is home to two of the brand’s statement properties.
In downtown LA she has reimagined a historic Broadway Corridor landmark building, blending past and present with vintage influence and local art. Santa Monica is a breezy, beachy affair with nature-inspired palettes, light hardwood floors and organic textures.
‘Earthy, raw materials, organic textiles and a layering in of art and landscape bring a rich sensory feeling into the hotel,’ says Wearstler.
Split across a modern and period building, the rich Moorish detailing and art deco ornamentation of the older property has been conserved and updated, while the new- build is monolithic in nature.
The Venice V
In the neighbouring beach town, The Venice V is set in a 1915 historic building which was known as ‘the Crown Jewel of Venice’. It has served as the backdrop for countless Hollywood films and was home to early A-listers, many of whom lived in the penthouse bungalows.
In its current guise, there is a dedication to preserving the original period details including exposed interior riveted steel beams, a central grand staircase and a carefully restored lift with etched bronze doors, mahogany and brass interior.
Circling back downtown you’ll find the Freehand in the former Commercial Exchange building. From bunk-bed-style shared accommodation to The Loft Suite with views across the city, rooms are thoughtfully designed and suit every budget. New York based studio Roman and Williams is behind the renovation.
It has kept the marble corridors and shell of the building true to the 1920s vernacular, while the furnishings reference a California ideology. Guests are greeted by an expansive space with shingled sofas, custom wooden lights, a collection of ceramics alongside nods to the Arts and Crafts movement which sets the tone for the rooms and restaurant spaces.
Photography by Stefan Merriweather featuring Short Stories
West Hollywood, Los Angeles’ most walkable district, has seen a surge in new hotel openings. Short Stories is a shining example of giving a 60s motel-style building a new lease of life. Owner Leo Grifka grew up in the area and teamed up with interior designer (and old school friend) Kevin Klein to create a calm oasis in the heart of LA’s cultural district.
Parquet floors, marble-topped tables, bouclé ottomans, Tufa wall mirrors and brass accents with artwork by R Kenton Nelson make up the rooms. Nestled under a canopy of trees, garden gurus Rolling Greens have created a magical outdoor setting which leads onto the terracotta pink restaurant and bar.
BROWSE & SHOP
Mohawk General Store
The concept store of dreams in the heart of oh-so-cool Silver Lake.
This vintage and antique showroom specialises in midcentury furniture and lighting.
Fig & Oak
A Downtown furniture and props showroom selling unconventional and timeless pieces that evoke the spirit of the midcentury. Book an appointment with founder and style doyenne Samantha Romero.
Photography courtesy of Fig & Oak
Hammer and Spear
The work of burgeoning downtown LA designers and craftspeople of the district is at the core of this design retreat. hammerandspear.com
Find this store’s own line among a selection of treasures from across the world on Beverly Boulevard.
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