Golden State(s) of Mind
Cindy Allen -- Interior Design, 2/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
Viewed from the skyscrapers of the Eastern Establishment, thousands of miles away, California modernism may seem as easy to sum up as International Style nurtured in a sunny climate and fertilized by a rich mixture of bytes and pixels. I advise you, however, to resist that myopic temptation. Take a longer view, and you'll clearly see that L.A., San Fran, and their surroundings have yielded a mother lode of wonderful and improbable ideas, time and again. More than any other state, California is a place where it's almost assured that unsuspected dynamics are at work—whether delighting or disturbing us. Simply put, you never know what's going to show up next. (What stars aligned when a certain Austrian bodybuilder applied for his green card?)
Every February, we set out on the impossible quest to cover every square inch of California design territory, whether that's a Napa Valley inn designed to blend in with surrounding barns, silos, and ranchers' cottages; a San Francisco branding firm clad in a super-industrial aluminum-zinc alloy; a loft-style house that looks more SoHo than Pacific Palisades; or a Venice studio-residence awash in cyan, magenta, orange, and green (and photographed by Julius Shulman!). As you peruse this issue, we hope you'll heed our advice: Keep your mind open, and take it one story at a time.