introimage

Cissy Pao Watari

HONG KONG ARTS GUARDIAN ... read more

introimage

Stephen Davis

ZIMMER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM  ... read more

Art World

introimage

Ann Philbin

Director, Hammer Museum, UCLA Career Highlights ... read more

introimage

Advice from an Auspicious Dealer

For Acquavella Galleries’ Michael Findlay, the bes... read more

introimage

Soraya Sarah Nazarian

SORAYA SARAH NAZARIAN ARTIST HELPING ARTISTS ... read more

introimage

Curator Profile: Elsa Longhauser

“I wanted to help people understand the visual wor... read more

introimage

LLOYD SIMMONDS

LLOYD SIMMONDS MAKEUP ARTISAN, YVES SAINT-LA... read more

introimage

A Gallerist Revealed

As Zabriskie Gallery celebrates more than 50 years... read more

introimage

An Intricate Tradition

Chinese Lacquer comes to the Santa Barbara Museum ... read more

introimage

Gonzalo Duran

  Gonzalo Duran was born in Mexico, emigrated to th... read more

introimage

Jeff Fleming

Director, The Des Moines Art Center Career Highli... read more

introimage

Lori Hyland: Abstract Classicist

LORI HYLAND THE ABSTRACT CLASSICIST ... read more

introimage

Elizabeth Segerstrom

There is something about Elizabeth Segerstrom that... read more

introimage

The Armory Show

Paul Morris, Founder and Organizer The Gramercy A... read more

introimage

Free Arts For Abused Children

Free Arts for Abused Children works with homeless,... read more

introimage

Marlene Zimmerman

  Marlene Zimmerman is a Los Angeles-based artist w... read more

introimage

Robert Sean Coons

  Robert Sean Coons’ oil paintings comment on the p... read more

introimage

Ron Burkhardt

  Ron Burkhardt is a conceptual artist and founder ... read more

introimage

Colin B. Bailey

Associate Director and Peter J. Sharp Chief Curato... read more

introimage

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Los Angeles’ Norton Simon Museum is Telling Tales ... read more

introimage

Maurice Stein

MAURICE STEIN  MAKEUP MAGIC THAT SAVES ... read more

introimage

A Nationwide Arts Advocate

In recent years, Chris Kennedy has worked tireless... read more

introimage

American Art Gallery

A TRADITIONAL INNOVATION IN CARMEL For Alec Elzaf... read more

introimage

Rembrandt Lives

Galerie Michael sets the master’s etchings on disp... read more

introimage

Eli & Edythe Broad

Last year was an eventful one for Eli and Edythe B... read more

introimage

Bernard Arnault

Visitors to the LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moë... read more

introimage

L.A.’s Renaissance Man

From Easy Rider to Azzurra, Dennis Hopper explains... read more

introimage

Gallery Spotlight

An Interview with Forum Gallery’s Director, Robert... read more

introimage

Kingsley

  A Southern California-based conceptual artist who... read more

introimage

Ryman Arts

Southern California Organization Provides Art Educ... read more

introimage

A Taste of Italy

Italians. They are, simply put, a people who have ... read more

introimage

Cheri Pann

Cheri Pann started life in the public housing proj... read more

introimage

A Painter-ly Style

Most of us have seen works of art that for some re... read more

introimage

The Art of the Scoundrel: Faked, Forged, and Counterfeit Art

Just another December day in LA. Two affluent busine... read more

introimage

Master of the Gavel

Bonhams & Butterfields President Malcolm Barbe... read more

introimage

The Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Foundation for the Arts and Education

Bernard and Shirley Kinsey’s lives embrace art, ph... read more

introimage

Christo & Jeanne-Claude

Christo and Jeanne-Claude (both born June 13, 1935... read more

introimage

Rolex

Mentor & Protégé Arts Initiative A modern off... read more

introimage

Esther Netter

CEO, The Zimmer Museum Among the many child-frien... read more

introimage

Jeff Koons

Renowned Artist and Sculptor  Jeff Koons (b. 1955... read more

introimage

When Failure Is An Option

{password} YouTube founder Steve Chen on success,... read more

introimage

Koons Collector: Eli Broad

Eli Broad and Jeff Koons might seem a strange cou-... read more

introimage

Glorya Kaufman

If philanthropist Glorya Kaufman had been born in ... read more

introimage

A Champion for The Arts

FOR FORTY-FIVE YEARS, GALLERY OWNER AND ART CONNOI... read more

introimage

Bonnie Clearwater

Executive Director, Museum of Contemporary Art in ... read more

introimage

Mull’s Adventures

Martin Mull keeps visual art his true priority De... read more

introimage

Side-by-side

BASQUIAT AND DUBUFFET COLLIDE AT NEW YORK CITY’S PAC... read more

introimage

Therien & Co.

Almost 30 years ago, a quartet of gentleman antiqu... read more

introimage

Gallery Spotlight

Gemini G.E.L. is more than just an art gallery—art... read more

introimage

Art Miami

Nick Korniloff, Director; Robert Fishko, Participa... read more

introimage

Howard Bingham

  As a photojournalist, artist, historian and archi... read more

introimage

The AIPAD Photography Show New York

Robert Klein, former President, AIPAD Now in its ... read more

introimage

Ada et al.:A half-century of Alex Katz

As his latest museum show comes to a close, New Yo... read more

introimage

Steve Wilson & Laura Lee Brown

Owners, 21C Museum Hotel   &nbs... read more

introimage

Richard Prince

Roxy Paine (b. 1966) sculpts paradoxes that interm... read more

introimage

On Stable Ground

As Fondation Cartier’s Hervé Chandès explains, run... read more

introimage

Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation

Giving is an art form Begin the Beguine, a Cole Po... read more

introimage

Arte Povera, Process and Prada: Germano Gelant

ARTE POVERA, PROCESS AND PRADA GERMANO CELAN... read more

introimage

Portraits of the New York School

For a number of years in the middle of the last ce... read more

introimage

Harald Falckenberg

HARALD
FA L C K E N B E R G PHOENIX ART FOUNDATIO... read more

introimage

Buchalter Nemer

BUCHALTER NEMER LAW FIRM WITH A HEART ... read more

introimage

A.I.R. Gallery

A.I.R. (Artists In Residence) Gallery was establis... read more

introimage

Emmanuel Guillaud

  Parisian-born photographer Emmanuel Guillaud live... read more

introimage

Chaz Guest

  Painter Chaz Guest was born in Niagara Falls, New... read more

introimage

Carole Feuerman

  Carole Feuerman is renowned as one of America’s f... read more

introimage

Confessions of a Superchef

Getting Intimate with Spain's Reigning King of Cui... read more

introimage

Picasso: The Genius of Modern Times

The originality of Pablo Picasso continues to insp... read more

introimage

Photo LA & Photo Miami

Stephen Cohen, Founder; Alex Novak, Participating ... read more

introimage

Frederick R.Weisman Art Foundation

A shared passion for art brings a legacy of apprec... read more

introimage

Maintaining Artistic Standards

NEW YORK CITY’S L&M ARTS IS A LIVING ENVIRONME... read more

introimage

Framing the Scene

  While paintings may always be the real stars of t... read more

introimage

Donald Hess

CEO, The Hess Collection Fine art and fi... read more

introimage

Norway’s Tortured Heart

Edvard Munch comes to New York’s MoMA Norway’s mo... read more

introimage

Creating Glaciers One Piece of Wood at a Time

UCLA’s Hammer Museum presents the epic concoction ... read more

introimage

Annabel Fell-Clark

ANNABEL FELL-CLARK NAVIGATES THE ART INSURANCE LA... read more

introimage

Michael Childers

  An elegant, doe-eyed Natalie Wood sitting strong ... read more

introimage

Pearl Lam: Sharing the Beauty of Chinese Contemporary Art with the West

PEARL LAM SHARING THE BEAUTY OF CHINESE CONTEMPOR... read more

introimage

Step Up On Second

Step Up on Second in Santa Monica is a rare instit... read more

introimage

Amy Cohen Banker

  One of the most versatile artists working today, ... read more

introimage

Bernard Arnault

Visitors to the LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy)... read more

introimage

Nicola Faganello

Consul General of Italy in Los Angeles From class... read more

introimage

“All the Fun of the Fair” with Sir Peter Blake at Tate Liverpool

Britain’s famed Pop artist talks about his major r... read more

introimage

The Return of Cool

“The Cool School” presents a cinematic take on the... read more

introimage

Archi-tailored

In its latest show, Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemp... read more

introimage

Fathers of the Future

Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns are legendary... read more

introimage

Innovative Directors of American Museums

How is the deep recession affecting the museum wor... read more

introimage

Lawrence Schiller

At 72, photographer and Renaissance man Lawrence S... read more

Design World

introimage

L'Auberge Del Mar

Designed by Barclay Butera Located in Del Mar, California, the Del Mar Race Track-adjacent L’Auberge Del Mar has been a hot spot for Hollywood celebrities throughout its long history. It was fittin... read more

introimage

The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, Miami

Art lovers may only know it for one weekend of the year, but the home of Art Basel Miami Beach has a lot to show beyond the art The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, Miami has lived many lives over it’... read more

introimage

Rosa Lladro

ROSA LLADRÓ PRESIDENT, LLADRÓ ... read more

Creative World

introimage

Guy Savory

GUY SAVOY CHEF AND RESTAURATEUR MAKES AN ASIAN ENTRY ... read more

introimage

London Calling

All eyes are on Somerset House for London Fashion Week The eyes of the entire fashion world focus on London February 19-23, 2010 as designers, supermodels, fashion editors and celebrities gather in... read more

introimage

Sculpted Sound

José Ramírez guitars are known throughout the world for their playability and craftsmanship. Art and Living discovers just what it is about these elegant instruments that makes them so appealing to ... read more

If He Builds It, They Will Come

Category: Architect Published: Friday, 04 July 2008 00:00 Hits: 2851

What does this mean? Well for one, Mitchell is not always a great date.  But more importantly, he’s not your typical interior designer. The intensely driven, semi-obsessive fortysomething is behind more than 20 of LA’s celebrity-filled hot spots, including Katana, Cinch, The Crescent, Ashton Kutcher’s Dolce, Chi and, most recently, the legendary Roosevelt Hotel.

With a boyish charm and a touch of self-professed ADD, the designer, named the “Crown Prince of Restaurant Design” by LA Magazine, boasts that, despite his lack of formal training, he has been designing his entire life. “There are pictures of me at 4 years old hammering the walls,” he recounts. “I was always moving the furniture around and building huge forts with these old floral blankets. I’d show my mom how the light made patterns through the floral—which is funny because now I’m known for my lighting.”

Mitchell eventually moved from sheet forts to set design and worked on several television projects.  His first break into the nightlife world was designing the small but long-lasting Santa Monica club, 217.

Since then, Mitchell has developed an eclectic, edgy style.  His designs are sexy, otherworldly creations full of earthy textures, unusually placed leathers and natural assemblages of wood, stone, fire and water. The designer, who has not taken a break in 12 years, says, “I try to make my designs into mini-vacations.  Whether they’re staying at one of my hotels or just a couple hours at a restaurant I want them to feel like they’ve gotten away.”

Recently, the passionate mind embarked on one of his biggest projects—the renovation of the Roosevelt Hotel. The 78-year-old Hollywood landmark hosted the first Oscars and was a favorite hideout for stars like Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. Today, the revamped classic has regained the fame it held during the Golden Age—thanks, no doubt, to Mitchell’s creative infusion.

Mitchell describes the new feel as “Four Seasons with edge.” The lavish, palm-tree-filled poolside bar, The Tropicana, is frequented by the likes of Nikki and Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Bruce Willis, while the lush retro patio is equal parts Palm Springs oasis, South Beach hip, celebrity Mecca and classic Hollywood glamour.

Inside, the impressive lobby is adorned with Spanish tiles, exotic leathers, custom-designed furniture and exposed wood-beamed ceilings. The nightclub, Teddy’s, showcases high arches, ostrich feather chairs, lucite chandeliers and crocodile furniture. Despite this hip new interior, the hotel still maintains its old Hollywood feel and original 1920s Moorish architecture.

As Mitchell bounds from room to room excitedly pointing out every detail—from the 60s-inspired chandeliers to Teddy Roosevelt’s original Brunswick pool table—he explains, “I am inspired by the everything. It’s kind of a spiritual thing. I can be inspired by a martini glass or Mother Nature—whatever comes into my head is what the client gets. But when I start, you never know what is going to come out.”

And behind every unusual design choice, there’s an unusual story to match. “I was watching a porno late one night and a girl was undoing her lace boots,” Mitchell explains. “It was so sexy, so I decided to turn the laces into curtains.”  Mitchell took thousands of feet of regular bootlaces and created a moving sea of black leather that surrounds the lobby. As he tells it, “It’s all about the sex.”

The chic rooms showcase flat screen televisions and soundstage-inspired, suede-covered walls. “They give it that Hollywood feel,” says Mitchell. “And it’s great for sound proofing.”

The Marilyn Monroe suite features a slim sleeping alcove, Bert Stern’s 1962 classic photograph of Marilyn, and a mirror over the bed. “The mirror is tilted. As long as it’s that way, everyone looks skinny,” he smiles.

Mitchell stresses that his designs are all about comfort. “I want to make people feel good,” he professes, quickly adding, “I am a really shy person. In my designs, there are always places for people to kind of hide, to lean on something or just sit down.”

And that’s no accident. As Mitchell explains, when people in Hollywood go out, they like to be seen—but not entirely. “It’s like the lingerie effect,” the designer elaborates. “It’s sexier if there is something in between you and them. It makes people curious and want more.”

Mitchell says the key to being a successful designer is to “be passionate about your work and think from your heart.”  He does not favor any particular one of his designs “because I haven’t designed it yet. I’m really hard on myself and nothing has been quite perfect. I can see it in my head though, and I’ll definitely build it one day.”

And when he builds it, we will come.

Pictured: The Roosevelt’s Moorish-tiled lobby., reimagined in Mitchell’s vision. Courtesy of the Roosevelt Hotel.