edited by Mayer Rus
Erika Brunson is equally passionate about sofas and spaniels, taborets and terriers. When she’s not globetrotting to create homes for aristocrats and celebs, she’s devoting herself to animal rights. Twice a commissioner for L.A. Animal Services, Brunson has funded a mobile clinic that provides free spay and neuter services to the animals of low-income families. She even donates profits from her swank furniture collection Couture Living (Regency bench, below) to such groups as PETA and the Humane Society. Now that’s pet friendly! Couture Living at Thomas Lavin, 8687 Melrose Ave., Ste. B310, West Hollywood, 310-278-2456, thomaslavin.com.
Style moves from clothes to chairs. California couturier Trina Turk has translated her signature fabric designs into a new line of indoor-outdoor upholstery prints (above) for Schumacher. Bold geometrics and intricate nature-inspired prints are rendered in bright, happy colors—turquoise, citron, watermelon—that suggest poolside revelry in Palm Springs. Mai tai, anyone? $76–$96 per yard. 800-523-1200, fschumacher.com.
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The path of great European designers coming to work in Los Angeles was forged long ago by Schindler, Neutra and countless other transplants and transients. Angelenos can now enjoy the work of a rising star from the Continent—Martin Brudnizki, a Swedish-born designer currently based in London. His first local project was Cecconi’s restaurant, the fashionable British import located on the former site of Morton’s in West Hollywood.
The design is classic Brudnizki—fresh and sophisticated without being trendy or pretentious. He calls his signature style minimalist deluxe, with the caveat that “minimalist” means “precision in detail, space and the design concept,” and “deluxe” stands for “extraordinary quality in materials and furnishings.”
“I believe the clarity of interior architecture and how different spaces relate is as important as making those spaces comfortable to all of the five senses,” Brudnizki says. With high-profile commissions around the world, he’ll have ample opportunity to put his theories into practice. His next project in the United States is a branch of the London restaurant Le Caprice, slated to open this fall in New York’s Pierre Hotel, followed by a Soho House Miami in mid 2010. “I can’t say too much about it right now,” says the characteristically discreet designer, “but whatever else it is, it will be comfortable...and, of course, chic.”
When a person is described as an artist’s artist, it usually means he or she has built up more critical acclaim than popular recognition. Larry Johnson, a CalArts graduate whose work is quintessentially of and about Los Angeles, fits the bill. He keeps a relatively low profile for someone often lauded as one of the most influential artists of his generation. This summer, the Hammer Museum and curator Russell Ferguson give Johnson his due with the first full-scale survey of his work—including Untitled (Admit Nothing), 1994. Through September 6. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, 310-443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.