introimage

Stephen Davis

ZIMMER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM  ... read more

introimage

Cissy Pao Watari

HONG KONG ARTS GUARDIAN ... read more

introimage

FRANÇOIS PINAULT

CELEBRATES VENETIAN ANNIVERSARY ... read more

Art World

introimage

Charles Arnoldi: 1972-2008

FOREWORD BY FRANK GEHRY ESSAY BY DAVE HICKEY CONVE... read more

introimage

Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation

Loreen Arbus, a TV producer, author and philanthro... read more

introimage

A Civic Achievement

Sherwood Hu’s Shanghai Pavilion dazzles with a new... read more

introimage

ACA Galleries

“Getting recognized (by Art and Living) was a mile... read more

introimage

Special Report: L.A. Art Fairs 2007

L.A. is no exception to the art fair trend. Here’s... read more

introimage

Museum Maestro

With a bevy of his museums opening up in the last ... read more

introimage

American Art Gallery

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

introimage

David Martinon

Consul General of France in Los Angeles ‘‘It’s a ... read more

introimage

DAVID W. STREETS: KEEPING APPRAISED

DAVID W. STREETS: KEEPING APPRAISED by Lynn Morgan... read more

introimage

Edna Hibel

Edna Hibel is often referred to as America’s most ... read more

introimage

Art Now & Red Dot

George Billis, Founder Although George Billis has... read more

introimage

Portrait of a New Life

Painting became the inspirational force that chang... read more

introimage

Chaz Guest

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

introimage

Photo LA & Photo Miami

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

introimage

George Yepes

  George Yepes was born in Tijuana, Mexico and rais... read more

introimage

Jack Rutberg Gallery

The renowned Los Angeles gallery presents The Art ... read more

introimage

A Legend in Her Own Time

For a lifetime, Patricia Faure has cultivated only... read more

introimage

Ann Philbin

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

introimage

Jorge Pensi

WHAT’S IN A HINGE? Renowned furniture and lightin... read more

introimage

Cole Sternberg

Los Angeles-based artist Cole Sternberg’s latest p... read more

introimage

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

The world-renowned center of innovative healing—pa... read more

introimage

Portraits of the New York School

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

introimage

Rolex

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

introimage

James Snyder

THE ISRAEL MUSEUM ... read more

introimage

Learning to See

AN ARTIST’S VIEW ON CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS FROM ARTS... read more

introimage

The Return of Cool

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

introimage

A Woven History

DAVID SOLEIMANI CONTINUES J.H. MINASSIAN & CO.... read more

introimage

Palatable Panache

FROM TABLEWARE TO PREPARATION, THERE’S MORE TO MAK... read more

introimage

Ben Janssens

BEN JANSSENS CHAIRMAN OF THE TEFAF, EXECUTIVE COM... read more

introimage

The Aesthetics of Volume

An Interview with Fernando Botero The paintings o... read more

introimage

Ron Burkhardt

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

introimage

Advice from an Auspicious Dealer

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

introimage

Laddie John Dill

Curator and artist Laddie John Dill is renowned fo... read more

introimage

Philanthropists Leading The Way

  A. Alfred Taubman, Richard A. Manoogian, The ... read more

introimage

Archi-tailored

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

introimage

Eli Broad

Venture Philanthropist Eli Broad enters the inner... read more

introimage

Gonzalo Duran

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

introimage

Rembrandt Lives

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

introimage

Bruce Corwin: Where the Heart Is

The man behind L.A.’s new Children’s Museum on fun... read more

introimage

Yamaha and Andy Moses

  Musical Instrument Innovators Great desig... read more

introimage

Assurance for Insurance

Christiane Fischer of AXA Art offers a helping han... read more

introimage

Robert Sean Coons

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

introimage

Kiki Smith

“I don’t try to address any issues in my work,” Ki... read more

introimage

Elizabeth A. Sackler

&g For an institution once considered “establ... read more

introimage

Julius Shulman's Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Central Library, Getty Gallery, Lo... read more

introimage

Dreaming Watercolors

MAX BECKMANN’S VISUAL IMPRESSIONS VISIT SPAIN The... read more

introimage

Vishakha A. Desai

President and CEO, Asia Society Career Highlights... read more

introimage

Adam Weinberg

Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of Amer... read more

introimage

John Paul DeJoria

The Man with the Midas Touch Shares His Success wi... read more

introimage

Todd Williamson

  Todd Williamson is an abstract oil painter who fi... read more

introimage

Art...and Alzheimer's

Over the course of his artistic career, William Ut... read more

introimage

Gallerist Spotlight

Meg Maggio of Pékin Fine Arts, Beijing   As a tw... read more

introimage

Annabel Fell-Clark

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

introimage

Maurice Stein

MAURICE STEIN  MAKEUP MAGIC THAT SAVES ... read more

introimage

Confessions of a Superchef

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

introimage

Lawrence Schiller

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

introimage

Eli & Edythe Broad

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

introimage

LA Louver: 30 Years in Context

Peter Goulds opens up about how his landmark galle... read more

introimage

Philanthropy from the Kitchen

In New York and Los Angeles, two gatherings of cul... read more

introimage

Matteo

  MATTEO’s sculptures and installations are embedde... read more

introimage

At a Glance: Collecting with Conviction

Have you ever stepped into an art gallery and felt... read more

introimage

Jacques d'Amboise: Come Dance with Me

Jacques d’Amboise COME DANCE WITH ME ... read more

introimage

A Personal Take

Alexander Barakat grew up surrounded by the millen... read more

introimage

Borislav Bogdanovich

  Borislav Bogdanovich (1899-1970) was a Serbian po... read more

introimage

Elizabeth Segerstrom

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

introimage

Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation

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

introimage

Marlene Zimmerman

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

introimage

Zimmer Children's Museum

ZIMMER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM NURTURIN... read more

introimage

Colin B. Bailey

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

introimage

Richard Prince

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

introimage

One Take Tony

Legend Anthony Benedetto takes one canvas at a tim... read more

introimage

Jim Dine

Exploring a Fairy Tale for All Ages While the cla... read more

introimage

The Big Picture

For gallery owner Walter Randel, art and antique d... read more

introimage

Master of the Gavel

Bonhams & Butterfields President Malcolm Barbe... read more

introimage

Andy Kaplan

ANDY KAPLAN PRESIDENT, NETWORKS, SONY PICTURES TE... read more

introimage

Arnold L. Lehman

Director, Brooklyn Museum Career Highlights Sinc... read more

introimage

Marty and Josy Collins

“People collect for different reasons. My family a... read more

introimage

The International Foundation for Art Research: Facilitating Small Miracles

The International Foundation for Art Research (IFA... read more

introimage

Ed Moses

It’s hard to imagine anyone making art for half a ... read more

introimage

To the Sea!

After years in the making, David and Lee Ann Leste... read more

introimage

Elinor Milchan

  A magna cum laude graduate of Boston University, ... read more

introimage

Toni Alexander

A seaside home was reborn miraculously as a remark... read more

introimage

Inter view: Ed Moses and Larry Bell

Two Cool Schoolers discuss the nows and thens of L... read more

introimage

Beyond Goya’s Ghosts

This fall, filmmaker Milos Forman brings Goya’s Gh... read more

introimage

The Art Show

Roland Augustine, ADAA President; Linda Blumberg, ... read more

Design World

introimage

Rosa Lladro

ROSA LLADRÓ PRESIDENT, LLADRÓ ... read more

introimage

DARAFEEV

“The ultimate in environmental sustainability” is perhaps a curious description for one of the nation’s finest manufacturers of luxury custom chairs, barstools and gaming tables.  Yet that’s precise... read more

Creative World

introimage

Barrie Lynn – The Cheese Impresario

  Take a ride on The Cheese Highway™. Grab a piece of Wisconsin artisanal cheese (maybe Hook’s 10-year aged cheddar or Roth Käse’s GranQueso) and place it on your tongue. Let it begin to melt into yo... read more

introimage

Paul Williams

Composer and ASCAP President   For Paul Williams, composing isn’t a job. “I don’t work at songwriting,” says the accomplished songsmith. “I play at it.” It’s this playfulness and creative zeal th... read more

introimage

George Gallo & Chris Boardman

Filmmakers on a Mission Painter and Hollywood filmmaker George Gallo (Midnight Run, Wise Guys) has a new film, and it’s a personal one. It’s so personal, in fact, that he and co-producer Jimmy Evan... read more

If He Builds It, They Will Come

Category: Architect Published: Friday, 04 July 2008 00:00 Hits: 3088

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.