introimage

Stephen Davis

ZIMMER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM  ... read more

introimage

John P. Roberts

VISIONARY AND PIONEER ... read more

Art World

introimage

Julius Shulman

In early October of 2007, Julius Shulman blew out ... read more

introimage

Philanthropy from the Kitchen

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

introimage

The Artful Game Changer: Pacific Standard TIme: Art in LA 1945-1980

The Artful Game Changer PACIFIC STANDARD TIME: AR... read more

introimage

Michael Govan

CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, The Los Angeles... read more

introimage

Cole Sternberg

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

introimage

George Yepes

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

introimage

A Nationwide Arts Advocate

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

introimage

An Intricate Tradition

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

introimage

Wing Chao Named Humanitarian Ambassador

{password} Coinciding with Expo 2010 Shanghai, an... read more

introimage

Stephanie Barron

Senior Curator of Modern Art, LACMA Stephanie Bar... read more

introimage

Gallery Spotlight

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

introimage

Maya Lin

Recently, Maya Lin had large exhibitions at New Yo... read more

introimage

Photo LA & Photo Miami

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

introimage

Innovative Directors of American Museums

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

introimage

Jim Dine

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

introimage

Assurance for Insurance

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

introimage

Live Your Art

At the W Hollywood Hotel & residences, a talen... read more

introimage

Betye Saar

  She has drawn and painted, made prints and photog... read more

introimage

Ed Ruscha

Over the past 50 years, Edward Ruscha’s incisive p... read more

introimage

Jeff Koons

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

introimage

Into Plein Air

Santa Barbara painter and gallery owner Ralph Wate... read more

introimage

Borislav Bogdanovich

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

introimage

VOLTA & VOLTA NY

Amanda Coulson, Founder and Executive Director Wh... read more

introimage

Philanthropists Leading The Way

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

introimage

Is it Real or is it Ecstasy?

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA reopens with a min... read more

introimage

The Art Show

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

introimage

LA Art Show

Kim Martindale, Show Producer; George Stern; Parti... read more

introimage

The Art of the Chef Is Sometimes... The Art of the Switch

Whether or not they’ll admit it, everyone wants to... read more

introimage

Ruth Weisberg

ARTIST, PROFESSOR, PHILOSOPHER A good painting ca... read more

introimage

A.I.R. Gallery

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

introimage

Free Arts For Abused Children

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

introimage

Kara Walker

Kara Walker (b. 1969) sees challenge within her wo... read more

introimage

Ann & Jim Goodnight

Owners, The Umstead Hotel, Spa and Art Museum Whe... read more

introimage

Therien & Co.

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

Emmanuel Guillaud

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

introimage

Ron Burkhardt

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

introimage

Laddie John Dill

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

Fathers of the Future

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

introimage

Once Upon an Otto

A book of photographs of artist Frank Otto’s paint... read more

introimage

Cheri Pann

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

Jerome Sans

JÉRÔME SANS DIRECTOR, ULLENS CENTER ... read more

introimage

Marty and Josy Collins

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

introimage

Moss Showcase

Since opening up his chic Greene Street showroom i... read more

introimage

Portrait of a New Life

Painting became the inspirational force that chang... 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

Edna Hibel

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

introimage

Museum Maestro

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

introimage

A Painter-ly Style

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

introimage

Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman’s Topological Gardens earned him the ... read more

introimage

Spotlight: Christie’s Paris

A BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK AT THE PARISIAN AUC... read more

introimage

An Ever-Changing Legend

The Palm Springs Art Museum steps forward The bui... read more

introimage

The Art of Harmony: Zimmer Children’s Museum

Imagine the world as a place of infinite harmony w... read more

introimage

Eric McCauley

Director, Kimbell Art Museum Career Highlights E... read more

introimage

Mattia Biagi

  Mattia Biagi was born in Italy in 1974, and is a ... read more

introimage

Step Up On Second

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

introimage

James Cuno

President and Eloise W. Martin Director, Art Insti... read more

introimage

Arnold L. Lehman

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

introimage

Art for Art’s Sake

Greg Pelner sculpts a model of creative efficiency... read more

introimage

James Snyder

THE ISRAEL MUSEUM ... read more

introimage

Beyond The Da Vinci Code

THE SEARCH FOR A MISSING MASTERPIECE Fact or false ... read more

introimage

A Gallerist Revealed

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

introimage

Beyond Goya’s Ghosts

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

introimage

A Winning Bid

Santa Monica’s Robert Berman continues... read more

introimage

One Take Tony

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

introimage

American Art Now...

Twelve Innovative Artists   Wha... read more

introimage

Side-by-side

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

introimage

A Civic Achievement

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

introimage

Yan Pei-Ming

Larger Than Life An artist’s work is never done. ... read more

introimage

John Paul DeJoria

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

introimage

Fiat Lux!

Talking with Shelby White, the face behind the rec... read more

introimage

Lori Hyland: Abstract Classicist

LORI HYLAND THE ABSTRACT CLASSICIST ... read more

introimage

Rembrandt Lives

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

introimage

Rolex

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

introimage

Christo & Jeanne-Claude

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

introimage

Vishakha A. Desai

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

introimage

Ruscha Revealed

When does text become art? When artist Ed Ruscha i... read more

introimage

Curator Profile: Elsa Longhauser

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

introimage

Harald Falckenberg

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

introimage

P.P.O.W Gallery

Wendy Olsoff and Penny Pilkington co-founded the P... read more

introimage

Annabel Fell-Clark

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

introimage

In Good Hands

After 35 years in the art world, Achim Moeller rem... read more

introimage

Amy Cohen Banker

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

Design World

introimage

Cheryl Rowley: Composing the Poetry of Place

I hate tan,” says Cheryl Rowley, evenly and firmly. She’s not kidding. To Rowley, tan means overcautiousness, conventionality and the mediocrity of playing it safe in design—all the things, in short... read more

introimage

Zaha Hadid

Guangzhou Opera House, Innovation Tower & Galaxy SoHo   Throughout her early career as an architect, Zaha Hadid has established a daring design vocabulary that has further blossomed  since her... read more

introimage

Josy Cooner-Collins

JOSY COONER-COLLINS DOES ITALIAN, TEXAS-STYLE ... read more

Creative World

introimage

Shenan Chuang

SHENAN CHUANG HER PASSION BEHIND MODERN ADVERTISING IN CHINA ... read more

introimage

EMBRAER MID-SIZE JET

INTERIOR BY BMW GROUP DESIGNWORKSUSA THE CONCEPT: When Sao Paulo-based aircraft manufacturer Embraer came to BMW Group DesignworksUSA, it charged Creative Director Magnus Aspegren and his team with... read more

introimage

The Western Easterner...Or Vice-Versa: Dan Mintz

THE WESTERN EASTERNER ... OR VICE-VERSA DAN MINTZ CEO, DMG ENTERTAINMENT   BY ALEX SIMON China has grown from the world’s most-populous third world country over the past two decades into one of i... read more

If He Builds It, They Will Come

Category: Architect Published: Friday, 04 July 2008 00:00 Hits: 2614

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.