Industry notable James Northcutt founded his Los Angeles-based design firm in 1973. The designer, who was known for creating luxury hotel interiors, trained formally in interior design at the University of Texas and Parsons School of Design in New York, where he graduated with honors. While at Parsons, Northcutt was awarded the Elsie de Wolfe scholarship.
Among his early designs was the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas that he designed while with Hirsch/Bedner. The restaurant and hotel establishment was and still is characterized by its opulent furnishings and grandly-scaled spaces. Subsequent clients included the Peninsula Group and Four Seasons, for whom he designed a hotel in Santa Barbara, CA, as well as one in Wailea Beach, HI.
Northcutt involved himself in a wide range of international hospitality projects: in Australia, the Venetian Gold Coast; in Hawaii, the New Mauna Kea Prince; in the Island of Cyprus, the Thanos Resort; and in Japan, the Alpha Resort Izu. The designer was honored for excellence in interior design for public spaces, and he later joined the design faculty of The University of California in Los Angeles.