All posts by Kristen Ordonez

The Southwestern Spirit

Photo courtesy of Troon North Golf Club

With art museums, golf courses and luxury architecture, Scottsdale, Arizona is more than just a desert town. 

Known as The West’s Most Western Town, Scottsdale, Arizona, is certainly more than just a desert town as it is annually rated among the nation’s most desirable communities to live in, visit and conduct business. Three focuses in particular are art, golf and architecture, each a key draw for the luxury sector and ones that have shaped the culture of the city. 

Among Scottsdale’s 80 art galleries are museums that not only showcase fantastic creations from artists, but also provide an insight to the city’s past. One in particular is Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, located in Old Town, which offers high-quality exhibitions reflecting the arts and dynamic cultural exchanges in the city’s history. Dr. Tricia Loscher, assistant director of collections, exhibitions and research at Western Spirit, says that the Scottsdale art scene started at the Arizona Craftsmen Center in the 1940s, where skilled artisans could work and collaborate together, and customers could watch art being created in front of their eyes. These artists in turn helped to elevate Scottsdale’s cultural standing by showing and selling their unique creations. 

 

Photo courtesy of © Loren Anderson 2018

Museum of the West

Today, artists are continually drawn to Scottsdale, a place that is recognized worldwide as a destination for art collectors and enthusiasts. The diversity of the city’s artistic community, says Loscher, leaves visitors remarking on how much there is to see, and that it cannot all be viewed in one trip. “You’ll want to come back again and again because you can’t possibly do justice to what Scottsdale has to offer.”

Photo courtesy of © Jill Richards Photography

Taliesin West

The distinctive landscape of Arizona, punctuated by giant granite boulders strewn across the rugged Sonoran Desert, is the perfect playground for those who live and breathe the golf lifestyle. There are several key points as to why Scottsdale is such a popular golf destination, according to Mike Friend, director of sales at Troon North Golf Club, from wonderful weather to the beautiful desert itself. “The unique desert layouts are so different from typical tree-lined golf [courses],” he notes, adding that players love how the green grass contrasts from the desert browns. 

This culture began in the 1990s as many courses over the last 30 years were built around luxury residential developments and communities, which also stimulated the growth of resorts and travel interest overall. “The growth of this type of traveler created a need for more golf,” Friend says. The travel fever has not stopped since, and from the variety of activities and sights, Scottsdale is bound to experience growth and diversity for years to come.

Also nestled in the desert, along the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, is an architectural mecca — Taliesin West, known to historians as Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert laboratory in Arizona. Taliesin West was Wright’s beloved winter home and the headquarters of the Taliesin Fellowship, an architectural marvel that has since become a National Historic Landmark, as well as the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the School of Architecture at Taliesin. 

“[Wright] found the site in 1937 and with his apprentices began experimenting with new materials and building techniques to create a desert camp that embodied his principles of organic architecture,” according to Foundation president and CEO Stuart Graff. The Foundation works to preserve the site and Wright’s legacy through programs that bring more than 110,000 visitors to Scottsdale. Here Wright’s experimental camp is open to the world as a living expression of his ideal vision for how he wanted humanity to live in harmony with the world around us.

Photo courtesy of © 2016 Andrew Pielage

Taliesin West

     

This editorial originally appeared in Unique Homes Winter 2020.

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Selling Near the Stars

star property itself, this private estate offers incredible attention to detail and elegant interiors that exude sophistication.

Patrick Fogarty of Hilton & Hyland represented the buyers, German national Ekkehart Hassels-Weiler and his new husband Omar Romero, who were eager to acquire this unique home. Fogarty says the home was on the market for less than a month and bought in under four.

Externally, the home is almost mysterious at first glance, as the long driveway affords complete privacy from the street. That mystery transitions into pure awe once the house is in full view, as Fogarty says the home’s proportions and classic design give it a grand feel that enhances with every meticulous detail. “The style is timeless rather than of the moment,” he says, adding that the overall aesthetic is tasteful yet opulent.

Built and developed by the seller, British property developers Ian and Richard Livingston, the estate greets visitors with a graceful motor court that features both trees and fountains. The front doors open to a striking grand entry with 30-foot ceilings and walls of marble, all opening up to a grand staircase and detailed floor plan. A strong yet beautiful harmony is felt in every room, from the dramatic kitchen to the tasteful master bedroom and baths. Interestingly, Fogarty notes that though “the home is grand in scale, [it] still manages to feel like a home.” Other features of this estate include a master wing, gym, theater, guesthouse, staff quarters and bocce court. The expansive backyard also boasts an ozone pool that highlights the perfect California indoor-outdoor lifestyle.

Only approximately five minutes from Rodeo Drive, the 8-bedroom, 11-bath home remarkably reflects a sense of tranquility and serenity, allowing the new owners to relax with complete privacy. The blend of rich landscaping and natural materials, such as stones, wood, steel, and brass, also enrich its character and depth, making it a true sanctuary.

Photos by Berlyn Photography 2019.

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE GLOBAL 2019 ISSUE OF UNIQUE HOMES. TO SEE THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS STORY, CLICK HERE.

Beyond Fish and Chips

Once lamented, even ridiculed, for its uninspired gastronomy, the culinary landscape in the British Isles has dramatically evolved.

Orange is the new Rosé

If the wine you’re presented possesses a rusty, amber hue instead of pink, it’s not the flattering lighting. Rather, your trend-conscious host has selected a bottle of fashionable orange wine.

Cash for Craft

In the past two decades, an explosion of craft distilleries — much like the proliferation of microbreweries that preceded it — brought greater innovation and individuality to the spirits industry.

Harry’s Table

By Jamie Yoos Inspired by a traditional Italian street filled with local vendors, such as a butcher, cheesemonger, fishmonger, and more, Harry’s Table in New York City is offering a new type of culinary journey. At Two Waterline Square near Lincoln Center, the...

Satiable Summer Sips

By Marlene Ridgeway Beverage companies around the world are building brands aimed to be inclusive, sustainable, and satisfying. These recipes and ready-to-drink creations are perfect by the pool, at the beach, or as an afternoon refresher. Teremana Tequila Among the...

The Secret Sauce

By Roger Grody Expensive culinary academies may insist that exceptional cooking is solely the product of refined technique that takes years to master, but many chefs acknowledge that access to quality ingredients is half the challenge. With celebrity chefs spilling...

Taco Tuesday

By Roger Grody   Tacos are the ultimate street food, and college kids, frazzled moms and anybody on a budget knows they are also typically a great value. But as the tradition of “Taco Tuesday” has spread from the American Southwest through the entire nation,...

Fast Yet Fashionable

By Roger Grody Fast-food operations are not what they used to be, and even the term “fast food” is passé, with trade associations turning to more attractive euphemisms like “quick- service restaurant” (QSR) or “fast-casual” establishment. The latest generation of...

Sweet Sustainability

Some of the world’s finest hotels have accepted hundreds of thousands of new guests: honeybees that reflect a commitment to sustainability.

Dining Responsibly

Seafood challenges chefs and delights diners, but a world of rapidly depleting resources requires conscientious choices.

The Cubicle Reimagined

Transformed by technology, world-class design and a pandemic, the workplace has evolved into much more than a warehouse for employees.

Elite Agents: Marlene and Steve Aisenberg

The Aisenbergs offer you a low pressure partnership, along with powerful tools that ensure you of a great real estate experience.

Ready to Build your Dream Home?

Welcome to Vila Franca do Campo: a paradisiacal retreat that radiates sophistication and endless possibilities.

Beyond Fish and Chips

Once lamented, even ridiculed, for its uninspired gastronomy, the culinary landscape in the British Isles has dramatically evolved.

Get to Know Elite Agent: Eugenia Foxworth

Foxworth Realty is like an artist’s palette when you need a primary, secondary or a weekend residence in NYC and the outer boroughs.

Loraloma’s Country Music-Inspired Amenities Set the Stage for Luxury Living

While fans eagerly anticipate the CMT awards on April 7th, this is the perfect opportunity to explore Loraloma.

An Ocean-Lovers Dream Escape in Stuart, FL

Nestled on the coast with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean in Stuart, Florida, we can’t imagine a more enchanting beachfront property.

Unique Homes Spring 2024 Issue

The Unique Homes Spring 2024 Issue goes beyond the confines of traditional real estate and takes a look inside some of the most amazing properties on the market.

Deciphering the NAR Settlement

Perhaps March 2024 will be remembered as the month that turned real estate on end. Or perhaps not. See what industry experts have to say about the ruling.

Private “Gulf to Channel” Family Estate

16486/488 Captiva Drive is a once-in-a-lifetime gated estate on Captiva, Florida's prestigious Gold Coast.

The Cubicle Reimagined

Transformed by technology, world-class design and a pandemic, the workplace has evolved into much more than a warehouse for employees.

Elite Agents: Marlene and Steve Aisenberg

The Aisenbergs offer you a low pressure partnership, along with powerful tools that ensure you of a great real estate experience.

Ready to Build your Dream Home?

Welcome to Vila Franca do Campo: a paradisiacal retreat that radiates sophistication and endless possibilities.

Beyond Fish and Chips

Once lamented, even ridiculed, for its uninspired gastronomy, the culinary landscape in the British Isles has dramatically evolved.

Get to Know Elite Agent: Eugenia Foxworth

Foxworth Realty is like an artist’s palette when you need a primary, secondary or a weekend residence in NYC and the outer boroughs.

Loraloma’s Country Music-Inspired Amenities Set the Stage for Luxury Living

While fans eagerly anticipate the CMT awards on April 7th, this is the perfect opportunity to explore Loraloma.

An Ocean-Lovers Dream Escape in Stuart, FL

Nestled on the coast with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean in Stuart, Florida, we can’t imagine a more enchanting beachfront property.

Unique Homes Spring 2024 Issue

The Unique Homes Spring 2024 Issue goes beyond the confines of traditional real estate and takes a look inside some of the most amazing properties on the market.

Deciphering the NAR Settlement

Perhaps March 2024 will be remembered as the month that turned real estate on end. Or perhaps not. See what industry experts have to say about the ruling.

Private “Gulf to Channel” Family Estate

16486/488 Captiva Drive is a once-in-a-lifetime gated estate on Captiva, Florida's prestigious Gold Coast.
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The Perfect Balance

The perfect home finds a balance between style and substance.

Style or substance? The perfect home finds a balance between both of these concepts, and this newly built mountain residence is no exception. 1548 Explorer Peak Drive, located inside the Red Ledges residential development in Heber City, Utah, was carefully sited on a dynamic hillside to optimize unobstructed views of Mt. Timpanogos. Its architectural design pairs with hand-selected materials and luxury finishes, perfect for retreat seekers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. 

Every detail of this home creates a seamless transition from indoors to out. Abundant natural light is cast through the home’s soaring windows, while the vast outdoor living areas are situated to connect the home to nature’s beauty. The expansive indoor/outdoor living spaces, featuring a custom spa, fire pit, fireplace, and more, make this home perfect for both entertaining and relaxing, with stunning mountain views as the ideal backdrop. Interior features that capture attention as much as the surrounding beauty include French oak flooring, a gourmet kitchen with a waterfall quartz island, and a large main-floor master suite.

With its coveted location in the Heber Valley in the heart of Utah’s Wasatch Back mountain recreation mecca, Red Ledges offers an active outdoor lifestyle, according to Mitchel Burns, Red Ledges chief operating officer. “Members come together and immerse themselves in some of the most beautiful — and accessible — natural habitats in the world.” Red Ledges offers such outdoor attractions as world championship mountain biking, world-class fly fishing, boating, hiking trails and more. 

Management at Red Ledges agrees that those who find a place at Red Ledges not only share in the coveted mountain lifestyle, they also form close kinships with their neighbors. “Lifelong friendships develop as members laugh and play together and create the real personal connection for which Red Ledges is known,” says John “JJ” Johnson, Red Ledges Club general manager. For $3.595 million, one can find peace of mind at this contemporary mountain haven with enough style and substance for all. 

     

 

This editorial originally appeared in Unique Homes Winter 2020.

 

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The Abundance of Aspen

Maroon Bells ASPEN / COLORADO 

Photo: Vkoulampet / wikimedia commons

Originally named for the abundance of aspen trees in the area, Aspen’s abundance has grown exponentially in terms of luxury, from fine restaurants and world-renowned ski resorts to some of the most artistic and culturally stimulating experiences. These aspects and more are appealing to buyers and continue to shape Aspen’s diverse, high-end lifestyle.

Though the market is plentiful with a large inventory of luxury property options, the Aspen market is finite due to local and state development rules that restrict building in certain areas of the town, according to Craig Morris of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty. “Supply and demand are always in favor of our sellers,” he says, but adds that what people want is nearly always achievable. These demands result in an interesting balance of both classic, historic homes with original architecture, and newer construction primarily built on “teardown” properties.

This interweaving of old and new structures is special to Aspen, says Carrie Wells of Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate, as it further adds to the character of the town and continues to bring in affluent buyers seeking luxury amenities. She notes that particularly in downtown Aspen, the “core,” new residential developments are not permitted and current properties have become more valuable. Wells, and other agents like Robert Ritchie of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty, say buyers have grown to cultivate lifestyles in Aspen to fit their own needs. Bespoke estates are either renovated internally, increasing their worth, or new homes are being built more beautiful and upscale than the last. Though Aspen seems to be constantly changing, Ritchie says changes help “shine it up” and ultimately makes the town look good.

And truly, “looking good” is an understatement when considering the luxury and culture that exist in every corner of the city. From an exclusive G650 club and top-rated restaurants to a variety of world-class ski resorts and outdoor amenities, Aspen’s elite can find their true home in a place like this. Whether you hit the slopes or visit the Aspen Music Festival every year, Aspen is a place that can fit any lifestyle, which to buyers is often a priority. “We live in our own little fantasy world and people often suggest that living here is not ‘the real world,’” Morris says. “It’s the ‘real world’ to those that decide to put living and lifestyle at the top of their list, and when they do, they never look back.” 

Colorado

Carrie Wells

Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate

970.948.6750

carrie@carriewells.com

www.CarrieWells.com

Page 54 & H&E 161

Colorado

Craig Morris

Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

970.379.9795

craig.morris@sothebysrealty.com

CraigMorris.com

AspenSnowmassSIR.com

Pages 52-53

Colorado

Robert Ritchie

Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

970.379.1500

Robert.Ritchie@sothebysrealty.com

AspenValues.com

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE GLOBAL 2019 ISSUE OF UNIQUE HOMES. TO SEE THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS STORY, CLICK HERE.

The Cubicle Reimagined

Transformed by technology, world-class design and a pandemic, the workplace has evolved into much more than a warehouse for employees.

Beyond Fish and Chips

Once lamented, even ridiculed, for its uninspired gastronomy, the culinary landscape in the British Isles has dramatically evolved.

Loraloma’s Country Music-Inspired Amenities Set the Stage for Luxury Living

While fans eagerly anticipate the CMT awards on April 7th, this is the perfect opportunity to explore Loraloma.

Unique Homes Spring 2024 Issue

The Unique Homes Spring 2024 Issue goes beyond the confines of traditional real estate and takes a look inside some of the most amazing properties on the market.

The Line

A sleek reflective facade against the gorgeous Saudi Arabian landscape is only the beginning of this futurist urban development that could change city living forever.

Fashion Beyond the Runway

To casual observers, fashion trends are shaped by iconic designers, glossy magazine covers and social media posts by celebrities. But in truth, a myriad of forces are at play.

A New Lease on Luxury

A new kind of vacation trend is sweeping the nation. Seekers of serenity are experiencing the tranquility of being tucked away with only the birds to sing them awake. But they’re not roughing it.

Frozen Desert

Echo was inspired by astronauts and space travel, and is now a dream destination for polar travelers who want to experience the real Antarctica in comfort and style.

Orange is the new Rosé

If the wine you’re presented possesses a rusty, amber hue instead of pink, it’s not the flattering lighting. Rather, your trend-conscious host has selected a bottle of fashionable orange wine.

Cinnamon Shore Unveils Texas-Sized Fun

Hold onto your sun hats because this walkable beach community is taking your coastal dreams to a whole new level. The whole family will enjoy these new resort amenities.

The Cubicle Reimagined

Transformed by technology, world-class design and a pandemic, the workplace has evolved into much more than a warehouse for employees.

Elite Agents: Marlene and Steve Aisenberg

The Aisenbergs offer you a low pressure partnership, along with powerful tools that ensure you of a great real estate experience.

Ready to Build your Dream Home?

Welcome to Vila Franca do Campo: a paradisiacal retreat that radiates sophistication and endless possibilities.

Beyond Fish and Chips

Once lamented, even ridiculed, for its uninspired gastronomy, the culinary landscape in the British Isles has dramatically evolved.

Get to Know Elite Agent: Eugenia Foxworth

Foxworth Realty is like an artist’s palette when you need a primary, secondary or a weekend residence in NYC and the outer boroughs.

Loraloma’s Country Music-Inspired Amenities Set the Stage for Luxury Living

While fans eagerly anticipate the CMT awards on April 7th, this is the perfect opportunity to explore Loraloma.

An Ocean-Lovers Dream Escape in Stuart, FL

Nestled on the coast with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean in Stuart, Florida, we can’t imagine a more enchanting beachfront property.

Unique Homes Spring 2024 Issue

The Unique Homes Spring 2024 Issue goes beyond the confines of traditional real estate and takes a look inside some of the most amazing properties on the market.

Deciphering the NAR Settlement

Perhaps March 2024 will be remembered as the month that turned real estate on end. Or perhaps not. See what industry experts have to say about the ruling.

Private “Gulf to Channel” Family Estate

16486/488 Captiva Drive is a once-in-a-lifetime gated estate on Captiva, Florida's prestigious Gold Coast.

The Cubicle Reimagined

Transformed by technology, world-class design and a pandemic, the workplace has evolved into much more than a warehouse for employees.

Loraloma’s Country Music-Inspired Amenities Set the Stage for Luxury Living

While fans eagerly anticipate the CMT awards on April 7th, this is the perfect opportunity to explore Loraloma.

Unique Homes Spring 2024 Issue

The Unique Homes Spring 2024 Issue goes beyond the confines of traditional real estate and takes a look inside some of the most amazing properties on the market.

The Line

A sleek reflective facade against the gorgeous Saudi Arabian landscape is only the beginning of this futurist urban development that could change city living forever.

A New Lease on Luxury

A new kind of vacation trend is sweeping the nation. Seekers of serenity are experiencing the tranquility of being tucked away with only the birds to sing them awake. But they’re not roughing it.

Frozen Desert

Echo was inspired by astronauts and space travel, and is now a dream destination for polar travelers who want to experience the real Antarctica in comfort and style.

Templates for the Written World

Fundamentally, libraries are simply communal repositories for books, but that utilitarian function is often expressed in architecture that elevates the human spirit.

Cinnamon Shore Unveils Texas-Sized Fun

Hold onto your sun hats because this walkable beach community is taking your coastal dreams to a whole new level. The whole family will enjoy these new resort amenities.

Coming Attractions

Some of the most dramatic structures currently under construction — multibillion-dollar projects dedicated to transportation, entertainment and sustainability

Spiritual Transformations

When historic places of worship close their doors, creative developers and architects find inspiring new uses for those sacred spaces. Check out these extraordinary transformations.
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Perfecting the Imperfect

PHOTOS FROM WABI-SABI: FURTHER THOUGHTS BY LEONARD KOREN

The ancient Japanese design philosophy of Wabi-Sabi turns “the not-beautiful into the beautiful.”

What happens when a new design trend highlights the beauty of imperfections?

The aesthetic of wabi-sabi was originally related to the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, but has since been developed into a design style, highlighting all things “opposite of perfect.” Unique and striking by nature, this style derives from a deep understanding and respect for time and recognizing the beauty in the understated.

Author Leonard Koren describes this distinctive philosophy in multiple ways, from the “antithesis of the Classic Western aesthetic notion of beauty,” to the “beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete; of things modest and humble; of things unconventional.” Before writing two books on wabi-sabi, Koren first learned the term during his youth in the 1960s. As he describes in his book Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, to him the term initially seemed to be “a nature-based aesthetic paradigm … a perfect antidote to the pervasively slick … corporate style of beauty that I felt was desensitizing American society.”

Koren notes that when physically manifested, wabi-sabi is related to the “entropic processes that all living things are subject to,” meaning that it embraces the method of showing objects that are worn or time-weathered. Antiques, for example, are generally imbued with qualities of wabi-sabi, Koren says. “An 18th century Italian desk, for instance will have evidence of hundreds of years of human use and misuse — along with the discoloration and natural deterioration that comes with age.” Further, he reminds us that despite its appearance, the character and merit of the desk “is not diminished by these ‘imperfections.’”

Another aspect that Koren stresses is that wabi-sabi art or design pieces are often initially perceived as ugly. “It is the transmutation of the not-beautiful into the beautiful that is part of the magic of wabi-sabi,” he affirms. He adds that every person perceives this aesthetic in different ways and applies it where they think it best. Though not as well known as styles like Modern or Contemporary just yet, designers and artists are appreciating the freedom and creative liberties of wabi-sabi and are finding ways to apply it in various ways.

Passionate about Japanese culture for over 10 years, Ukranian designer Sergey Makhno calls himself a devotee of minimalism and wabi-sabi, calling it a “manifesto of nature and tradition, simplicity [and] tranquility.” Makhno, like Koren, relates the philosophy to the impermanence and imperfections of man, asking that if man is imperfect, why should the place he calls home be perfect? As the founder of Makhno Studio, Makhno works on a multitude of projects, but his first venture in applying wabi-sabi principles into a physical space was in his own home.

“I had to make sure that the design philosophy was practical,” he says, and from its first installation it was a success. The project, titled Wabi-Sabi Apartment, has won multiple interior design competitions and showcases qualities that Makhno chose to highlight: honoring nature, remembering history, loving art and showing courage.

From the moment you walk in, the Wabi-Sabi Apartment boasts a carefully designed interior that is in stark contrast with the concrete cityscape outside. The walls are finished with clay, in a technique seen in older Ukrainian homes, while the wooden beams that support the ceiling and doorways are left looking rough and rustic. Nature is also represented in bonsai trees and a small roof garden.

PHOTO FROM WABI-SABI: FOR ARTISTS, DESIGNERS, POETS & PHILOSOPHERS BY LEONARD KOREN

Much of the furniture and art also display the aesthetic in simple yet functional ways. For example, the metal lampshades hanging in the home help integrate a contemporary element to the overall earthy, natural interior. “Their own imperfections also demonstrate how the ancient philosophy of wabi-sabi can find new applications in contemporary design, making us appreciate the beauty of handmade objects through the use of natural materials,” according to Makhno Studio.

Makhno says wabi-sabi provides simple principles that anyone can follow. From the use of natural materials that show signs of wear, as well as colors that tie closely to the earth, to incorporating nature itself, Makhno stresses that “things live with and for the person; a person does not live for the sake of things.”

Another design choice Makhno mentions is the incorporation of kintsugi pieces, or kintsukuroi, which roughly translates into “golden joinery.” These pieces are created through the traditional Japanese practice that joins broken fragments of ceramics together with gold, which according to ceramic artist Tomomi Kamoshita is viewed almost as a reincarnation of the original object. “When cherished pieces are broken, we save them and transform them into keshiki (the restored piece),” she says, giving the ceramic a “new life.”

PHOTOS BY ANDREY AVDEENKO

Kamoshita agrees that kintsugi is similar to wabi-sabi, as both practices aesthetically represent imperfect beauty that prevails despite wear and time. “All things continue to change. Even ceramics,” she says. “Anything can break for any kind of reason. It’s sad, but you can revive it with your own hands,” giving it back a sense of adoration and cherishment. This new life further continues an object’s story and embodies beauty in simple things, which encompasses wabi-sabi. As Makhno himself notes, “the story is that things can be repaired, not thrown away.”

PHOTO BY ANDREY AVDEENKO

     

This editorial originally appeared in The High End Winter 2020.

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Dressed for Success

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID MEISTER

David Meister’s journey to become a fashion designer to the stars is based on “no rules” and creating timelessness.

A fashion designer or a brain surgeon. As a kid, the “very opinionated” David Meister already decided he was going to be one or the other. It was Cher who convinced him to choose fashion. Or actually, her dress.

Meister couldn’t help but notice how great Cher looked on “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.“ “I watched the credits where it said ‘Cher’s Gown by Bob Mackie,’ and that’s how I realized that people could really do that,” he says, meaning design celebrity evening wear. From that point on, Meister put himself on a path toward fashion stardom.

Meister went on to study Fashion at the University of Cincinnati College of Design. He would later move on to New York City where he worked at Danskin, a fitness and body wear company. There, Meister learned to work with all types of fabric and how it can be used to effortlessly accentuate and flatter a woman’s form. It wasn’t long before he had his first collection of evening wear in 1998, followed closely by his first fall line, which was composed of the more modern evening wear that came to be the beginnings of his brand and signature style. His career has only grown since the 1990s, as he’s gone on to create a daytime dress collection, a line of bridal dresses, and numerous pieces that can be found in top luxury department stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as top boutiques across the country.

Apart from his overall love for all things fashion, Meister notes that the aspect of fashion that appeals to him is that it’s always moving. “I love it because it’s never static or ever the same — it’s always different and it’s always changing, and it’s quick. There are no rules, there are no formulas.” He also says that design itself is just another form of creative problem solving — “problems” he continues to solve by creating beautiful pieces in a style that offers a “sense of timelessness” so they will stay fashionable no matter the decade. This style not only makes him stand out as an iconic designer, but as a master of his craft.

What keeps people coming back to Meister’s style is his judgment in terms of design, particularly with fit. “I think a great fit is key, something beautifully made that fits beautifully,” which helps him remain inclusive of all sizes. This is essential, especially for his clients who are walking the red car-pet, noting, “once you put a dress on and go on the red carpet, you should not be thinking about anything except smiling and feeling good you shouldn’t have to worry about anything else.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID MEISTER

 

Meister’s pieces have become staples on the red carpet, as his star-studded list of clientele continues to grow along stars such as Diane Lane, Sofia Vergara, Tina Fey, Sigourney Weaver, and many others. Some of his favorite dresses include a hot pink piece worn by Felicity Huffman at the Emmys in 2007, as well as Valerie Bertinelli’s sky blue chiffon dress for her New Year’s Eve wedding, a personal request made to Meister only a week before the wedding. Even with the razor thin deadline, he and his team finished the dress in time for the wedding, a lovely gown worn by Bertinelli that was also featured on the cover of People Magazine in 2011.

Another strong passion of Meister’s is giving back to others. Now residing in Los Angeles, he frequently works with philanthropic groups in his free time. For example, with The Art of Elysium, Meister goes to communities in Los Angeles to support individuals in the midst of difficult emotional life challenges such as illness, hospitalization, or crisis. He does this by spending time with children or young adults, doing fun projects and helping them to be creative and expressive with art. Meister is also very involved in Dress for Success, having donated dresses and supported the organization as a whole.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID MEISTER

“I’ve always been a big supporter of this organization that works so hard to help people who are trying to put their lives back together and get back into the workforce,” Meister says, noting that it’s especially important for people to give back.

No matter the facet of life he sets his mind to, Meister showcases unwavering determination to succeed. When discussing his goals for the future, he humorously yet seriously says, “Simple: global domination.” Though these plans might take some time to reach their full effect, he adds that “if there’s something I want to do, I’ll do it.” He also recommends to anyone else interested in pursuing a career in fashion that this field is not for the faint-hearted.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID MEISTER

 

Helen Mirren

©2013 JON KOPALOFF

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

 

PHOTO BY JOHN SHEARER / ©2009 WIREIMAGE

Viola Davis

PHOTO BY MATT BARON / BEI / SHUTTERSTOCK

Delilah Hamlin

PHOTO BY DAN MACMEDAN / WIREIMAGE

Diane Lane

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID MEISTER

Emmanuelle Chirqui 

“Fashion is one of those professions where if you’re talented and you just keep going, there’s no limit to where you can end up … You’re the master of your own destiny, but only if you want it, you have to work hard for it.”

 

     

This editorial originally appeared in The High End Winter 2020.

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Live Your Best Light

Ask any stylist the key to a successful shoot and you’ll find yourself in a conversation about lighting.

More than just aesthetics, it possesses its own emotional language, writing atmosphere and warmth into contemporary interiors. If you or your home are feeling a little under the weather, consider experimenting some with some new lighting. You might be surprised at the life it brings.

To help you get started, Chaplins Furniture has created a shortlist of the best new launches this season…

On the Move

Freed from the shackles of cables, today’s best designer lighting its portable, fun and ready to move. Opt for the comfort of a time-honoured lantern or keep things contemporary with a colourful new BELLHOP.

Ideal for study nooks, reading or outdoor soirees, these versatile luminaires reimagine the intimacy of candles for the modern age.

Sleek Scandi

All clean lines and essential silhouettes, sleek Scandi finds beauty in the bare minimum, offering a serene reprieve from the clutter of contemporary life. Leading the subtle style stakes are the new POST WALL LIGHTS by Muuto.

Thanks to a system of magnetic wall brackets, they can be arranged in striking linear configurations, with 360 degree swivelling bulbs and touch-controlled dimming.

Back to Black

In 2020, designers are experimenting with classic drama, revealing a host of iconic designs in sleek matt-black colourways. Seductive and bold, the new palette feels fitting for this time of year, updating winter homes with a little monochrome magic. A new favorite? The New PH Artichoke in BLACK, a daring design statement if ever there was one.

Deja-Vu

We couldn’t sign off without mentioning a handful of new retro lights that are making waves in maximalist circles. Boasting everything from 70s fringe through to art deco prints, these funky designs pack a serious punch, with island culture inspiring the creation of the new ARCIPELAGO LAMPS and CONTARDI’S extended CALYPSO collection.

All photos courtesy Chaplins Furniture.

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Picture Perfect

What could be easier to give your own home personality than with the right photo?

Whether it’s a memorable quote or drawing, sophisticated or playful the right wall decoration can give a home that unique touch that helps further showcase you and your style. When finding the perfect picture, there are some tips that can help to skillfully stage the personality of your space. Katarzyna Kolenda, interior expert and managing director for Dekoria GmbH, reveals which wall decorations suit which type of home decorator and gives tips on how to arrange them perfectly.

 

 

 

Your Natural Habitat

From natural wood to walls of stone, untreated natural materials have once again become the focus of many interiors today. The comfortable, light effect that natural designs have on a room’s style is undisputed and can even be proven to reduce stress, from images of greenery and nature itself to a simplistic color palette of softer greens and whites. So what would go better with an urban jungle look than botanical motifs and photos full of vibrant greenery? 

Nature lovers can live out their great passions when choosing frames and photos. For example, canvases that display green or wooden elements give the room a rustic, creative charm. “As [if back] in the forest, the botanical motifs should find their perfect place on the wall,” advises Kolenda.

More than Words

The home is a place where you most feel comfortable, a perfect place to organize your favorite thoughts and feelings and give them a place of importance visually, such as a framed photo of a quote or life motto. If you frame a motto of life on the wall, it not only looks modern but also conveys a message to visitors, whether it’s to “Be brave!” or to “Find the beauty in every day.”

“Statements and sayings no longer just belong in the notebook or on a T-shirt,” says Kolenda. “You can give rooms a new mood in just a few moments while looking calm and trendy, especially when combined with other pictures.”

The Art of Change

Each photo or art piece reveals a lot about the person who puts it on display, whether it’s floral patterns for nature lovers or action heroes for die-hard cinema fans. “When finding the right picture, people should simply listen to their gut,” summarizes Kolenda. With passion comes the potential for change, so do not be afraid to change your art or photo style over time. Like art itself, style is never truly static and therefore has the potential to show growth and change.

Diagram This

Now a self-taught artist based in Austin, Texas, Peralta has a unique taste for both science and how things work as well as art.

Designer Showcase at The Ritz-Carlton Residence, Portland

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File Under Pop

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‘Home is Your Memory Maker’

Murphy is the founder and principal designer of K.A. Murphy Interiors, her self-started, full-service design firm with a focus on high-end residential interiors.

Living The Dream

With hand-crafted and hand-tailored pieces made in Portugal with the finest materials available, Circu designs creative, extravagant, high-quality, colorful yet sophisticated pieces, allowing children to take their imagination on a playful journey without ever leaving...

Designing Miami

By Lara Becker Eilyn Jimenez always saw herself becoming an attorney or a judge when she graduated, but discovered she was more interested in her friend’s major: architecture. She got her start at the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. This led her to change career...

Homes & Estates Fall 2023 Issue

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The Space Between

By Marlene RidgwayPhotos by Cristóbal Valdés @zeube In Northern Chile, miles upon miles of desert stretch out in a seemingly sparse landscape. It doesn’t seem like much is there. Yet, at a young age, Paula Gutiérrez drew inspiration from that vast space, which,...

The Greenest Architecture

Architects and developers have been encouraged to build green for decades, resulting in the use of sustainable building materials, greater energy efficiency and more generous allocations of open space. But a dramatic movement has emerged in which agriculture is...

The New Design Mindset

By Camilla McLaughlin Overshadowing demographic and social dynamics already in play in the market, COVID-19 continues to be the great disrupter, changing expectations and imparting a new perspective on our homes. “Over the last few years, we’ve collectively undergone...

Beyond Fish and Chips

Once lamented, even ridiculed, for its uninspired gastronomy, the culinary landscape in the British Isles has dramatically evolved.

Orange is the new Rosé

If the wine you’re presented possesses a rusty, amber hue instead of pink, it’s not the flattering lighting. Rather, your trend-conscious host has selected a bottle of fashionable orange wine.

Cash for Craft

In the past two decades, an explosion of craft distilleries — much like the proliferation of microbreweries that preceded it — brought greater innovation and individuality to the spirits industry.

Harry’s Table

By Jamie Yoos Inspired by a traditional Italian street filled with local vendors, such as a butcher, cheesemonger, fishmonger, and more, Harry’s Table in New York City is offering a new type of culinary journey. At Two Waterline Square near Lincoln Center, the...

Satiable Summer Sips

By Marlene Ridgeway Beverage companies around the world are building brands aimed to be inclusive, sustainable, and satisfying. These recipes and ready-to-drink creations are perfect by the pool, at the beach, or as an afternoon refresher. Teremana Tequila Among the...

The Secret Sauce

By Roger Grody Expensive culinary academies may insist that exceptional cooking is solely the product of refined technique that takes years to master, but many chefs acknowledge that access to quality ingredients is half the challenge. With celebrity chefs spilling...

Taco Tuesday

By Roger Grody   Tacos are the ultimate street food, and college kids, frazzled moms and anybody on a budget knows they are also typically a great value. But as the tradition of “Taco Tuesday” has spread from the American Southwest through the entire nation,...

Fast Yet Fashionable

By Roger Grody Fast-food operations are not what they used to be, and even the term “fast food” is passé, with trade associations turning to more attractive euphemisms like “quick- service restaurant” (QSR) or “fast-casual” establishment. The latest generation of...

Sweet Sustainability

Some of the world’s finest hotels have accepted hundreds of thousands of new guests: honeybees that reflect a commitment to sustainability.

Dining Responsibly

Seafood challenges chefs and delights diners, but a world of rapidly depleting resources requires conscientious choices.

The Cubicle Reimagined

Transformed by technology, world-class design and a pandemic, the workplace has evolved into much more than a warehouse for employees.

Elite Agents: Marlene and Steve Aisenberg

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Ready to Build your Dream Home?

Welcome to Vila Franca do Campo: a paradisiacal retreat that radiates sophistication and endless possibilities.

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Get to Know Elite Agent: Eugenia Foxworth

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Loraloma’s Country Music-Inspired Amenities Set the Stage for Luxury Living

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An Ocean-Lovers Dream Escape in Stuart, FL

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Deciphering the NAR Settlement

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Private “Gulf to Channel” Family Estate

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Destinations of Interest: Panama

©istockphoto.com / SL_Photography

From tropical escapes to spectacular biodiversity and marine life, Panama has great appeal to buyers interested in luxury real estate.

Stephanie Villarreal, President and Realtor of Your Panama Real Estate Connection, says that one of the most unique aspects of the country is in their very name — connection. “Panama is very connected … amongst others, Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport is known as the ‘Hub of the Americas,’ making Panama very easy to get to,” she says. The connection also extends into a selling point, especially for American buyers, as Panama uses the U.S. dollar as its currency, unlike other Central and South American countries.

Panama’s accessibility via air and sea helps to deepen its connections internationally. Because of this, according to Villarreal, the country’s diversity is far reaching, as many Americans, Canadians, Europeans and others have chosen Panama as their preferred retirement destination, or have purchased real estate and live either part-time or full-time in the country. A recent real estate trend in Panama also includes more international buyers, particularly from mainland China. “There are many well-known multinational corporations with regional headquarters in Panama City as well as embassies of many countries,” Villarreal notes.

Luckily for interested buyers, there is plenty of inventory in a range of property options. Villarreal and her brokerage work with listings in many regional areas with different unique characteristics, from highland properties and waterfront listings to island living options. Elegant Panama City apartments in luxury residential buildings are especially appealing, created by reputable architects and builders into “property masterpieces.”

These masterpieces continue to grow in number and variety. For example, the exclusive Santa Maria development in Panama City is being further developed — it boasts an 18-hole Nicklaus-design golf course, and the city’s historic district, Casco Viejo, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Villarreal also mentions that there are several unique private island options with modern conveniences, including state-of-the-art marinas.

Panama

Stephanie Villarreal

President, Realtor

Your Panama Real Estate Connection

888.899.0019

info@yourpanamaconnection.com

www.YourPanamaConnection.com

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THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE GLOBAL 2019 ISSUE OF UNIQUE HOMES. TO SEE THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS STORY, CLICK HERE.

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Colorful Royalty

Known as the King of Pop Art, L.A.-based artist Nelson De La Nuez is one of the most sought-after pop artists working today. His work is regularly exhibited at prestigious art fairs, such as Art Basel Miami and Art Central Hong Kong, as well as promoted through partnerships and private collections, including a series of works for Warner Bros. to commemorate The Wizard of Oz’s 70th anniversary.

In an interview with De La Nuez, he discusses how the incorporation of images from American pop culture, today’s advertising, high-end branding and more have strongly influenced his artwork since the 1980s. 

What kind of memories do you have from your childhood?

I was born in Havana and I came here to Southern California when I was seven years old, started first grade here. I still remember Havana, which I can remember back to when I was three years old. I took it all in. Fond memories of going to the beach, riding my bicycle around the neighborhood, doodling in the backyard.

How did your childhood affect you later on as a person, as an artist?

Well I’ve always been an artist, ever since I can remember. That kind of kept me entertained for hours, I would always get lost with [my art]. I love sports, but art has always been there for me. It was my escape. It was just a way to get away from everything.

Do you still use art to get away, now that it’s your career?

I’m always thinking 24/7 about what I am I gonna do, about ideas — so what I do is I jump on and go motorcycle riding and that kind of helps me come back again and revisit a piece or an idea, and look at something differently. What I was looking at a half hour ago looks different now, since I’m in a different state of consciousness, and I get to relax.

Material Girl

The Good Life

What kind of themes do you see from your childhood that are presented in your art now?

Most of what I do today is rooted in American themes from my childhood. I remember coming here [to America] and I remember seeing on TV the first Superman, TV commercials, the mascots — it all just spoke to me and I just absorbed it like a sponge.

How did these themes develop into your style?

The reason why I’m doing pop art is because of everything I observed early on when I came to this country. Living in
California is like living in a fantasy land when you come from a different country. There’s billboards, commercials, advertising, and you never know where the ideas come from. When I really think back, a lot of what I do today is really a reflection of what I was thinking and experienced when I was a kid.

Aside from your childhood, are there trends or present-day themes that inspire you?

I’m inspired by everything, literally. Every mundane object that you could think of I will look and see something there that I can maybe create into a piece of artwork. Whether it’s a billboard or a magazine ad, or an elusive train [of thought] I had the day before, I’ll ride it all the way down. I am really a byproduct of everything I’ve observed or experienced in my entire life. So I have this database in my subconscious where I can draw from.… Everything is art for me. It doesn’t necessarily need to be hanging on a wall, it could be fashion, it could be a song; everything is just an inspiration.

Corum Bubble Martini Watch

How does your art coincide with the clientele you usually work with?

Each partnership that I’ve done is
different, basically all with high-end brands. Each of them is unique and different; I just love working with high-end brands because it just puts my art on a different level and exposes me to a lot more people. Basically it provides a plateau to take my work to the next level and having the audience take a look at my work in a different way. That’s my audience, it’s always been a very well 
cultured, well traveled group that love high-end brands. It’s an audience that know what they want and how to express themselves, and they do that with my art.

What do you like most when people view your art in various forms?

I love when people react immediately. That kind of gives me a great deal of comfort. You put in all this energy and hard work and you don’t know what to expect. And they usually say “Yes, that’s the painting for me,” because it’s got legs, it speaks not just to them, but to a mass audience — it makes them happy, makes them smile, sometimes it makes them laugh. They know the perfect place that they want this for in their home. Some of them are drawn to a specific piece for no reason at all; they just relate to it.

Upper Left: First Class Girl – LA Art Show 2019

Bottom Left: High Maintenance (Left) and Yacht Life (Right)

Above: Chanel No. 5 (Black)

What’s a project you’d love to work on in the future?

I would love to design something like an entire hotel design, the colors, the furniture, the wallpaper. The other thing that I would really love to do is work with a cruise ship to design their rooms, or design the entire ship using my art. That’s kind of what I get excited about most, getting to do [art] on a large massive level, where it’s not just a small project, but a huge undertaking, to take it to another level.

Any advice for aspiring artists?

The number one piece of advice I can give is that you have to be committed to your craft. You need to find out who you are and what message you want to put out into the world, then you have to be good enough and clever enough and have something unique and different. You can’t just be a part-time artist, you have to do it full time and it takes a while.… Good art is subjective, but when you have people paying sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars for your art, you know that you’ve done something right.

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