The City of Angels may be known for sunshine and aspiring actors, but there’s a lot more to Los Angeles than that. With iconic architecture and a rich cultural arts scene, it’s no wonder that Los Angeles has plenty of good stuff going on home-wise. From art to neighborhoods to housewares and architects, you can check out the hottest trends in Los Angeles and be oh-so in-the-know when you start looking for or designing your home (whether it’s in Los Angeles or just LA-inspired).
Where to shop: Tiny design stores
Los Angeles has a penchant for tiny design stores as though space is at a premium. Stores like OK, The Tiime Travel Mart, and Tortoise General Store combat the sprawling big box stores with their carefully selected items set up in narrow storefronts to entice window shoppers. Poketo, for instance, started out as an online store and later became a storefront, selling items including unusual handmade cups and creative books for children.
Architect to watch: Erin Besler
Erin Besler is a recent graduate from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and has since hit the ground running. Last year she did an exhibition in the garage of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture that focused on the “stuff” between walls that constitute architecture, and she was recently a runner-up in the prestigious MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program competition while also teaching at UCLA. Her work may appear minimalist, but Besler describes it as deeply investigative and directly concerned with the issues of the discipline.
Must-have homeware: Peter Shire’s creations
Peter Shire has been producing ceramics for decades, and the artist has recently gained a lot of attention as a younger generation takes note. His home and studio are in the rustic Echo Park hills, and he has been a member of The Memphis Group, which was started by the influential artist Ettore Sottsass. His work comes in the form of cups, silverware, teapots, and other kitchen accessories, and is available in a number of specialty furniture shops.
Hot artist: Anish Kapoor
Of the many scattered galleries that tie the Los Angeles art community together, Regen Projects holds a special place in the conceptual and geographic center of the region of West Hollywood. The famed artist Anish Kapoor has felt a kinship with the gallery for over 22 years, and celebrated his fifth exhibition with them by displaying almost entirely new pieces from Jan. 31 to March 7. He is perhaps best known for his large melted clay pieces, but at Regen he displayed large, fleshy sculptures and seemingly immaculate extractions of earth.
Interior design inspiration: Yellow Fever
Local architects Fleetwood/Fernandez recently designed the bright, fun interior for Yellow Fever, a restaurant serving various asian cuisines in Torrance. The architects were going for an urban loft aesthetic, with flood lamps hanging from the ceiling and a swarm of plates lining the walls. There is, of course, a bright yellow palette throughout that ties the restaurant’s theme and aesthetic together.
On-trend product: Cool climate control
Los Angeles is known for its mild and predictable weather, but many residents still prefer to have an air conditioner and heater. One climate-controlling product seen in a lot of homes in the city recently is Nest, a digital version of the outdated heating and cooling systems that use much more power than necessary. The intention of Nest is to make a room comfortable without being wasteful, and it does so by monitoring the room and outside temperatures regularly to prevent excessive usage. It also creates a heating and cooling schedule based on the temperature changes you make, and programs itself in approximately one week.
The place to be: Long Beach
One of the up-and-coming neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area is Long Beach, at the very south end of the region. Though the nearby ocean beckons residents to hang up their troubles and relax by the sand, the people here work hard every day to put their art and designs on the map. The Arts District is a densely organized center of galleries and specialty restaurants, while nearby Alamitos Beach is considered a melting pot of people from virtually every background and walk of life.