The Real McCoy

… Is it an earthquake, or simply a shock? Is it the good turtle soup, or is it merely the mock? Is it a cocktail, this feeling of joy? Or is what I feel, the real mccoy? …
Checking out Lonny Magazine’s February issue, I am completely smitten with Kelly Wearstler’s design for the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills. As I have said before, I am typically not her biggest fan, but the design for this hotel is absolutely fantastic. Looking at the photos, you are convinced that if you were sitting there drinking something chic, like a vodka gimlet, Frank Sinatra and the rest of the rat pack might end up at the table next to you. It is mid-century hollywood glam at its absolute best. (Oh and did I mention that much of the design is blue?)
Again, reminding all of you out there that historic preservation is not about little old ladies and historic house museums, this hotel was a complete restoration. Discovered and developed by Wearstler’s husband, Wearstler originally did the decorating 10 years ago when the hotel first opened. And now, as an anniversary-style event, she is revamping it. The turquoise terrazzo floor is original to the hotel, and was lovingly restored–Kelly took her blue decorating scheme cues from this floor. 

Why have I become so obsessed with mid-century lately? For so long these uber chic buildings were so under appreciated, constantly being torn down, and now people are finally realizing how completely original so many of the buildings were–and that they are worth protecting and restoring. Look at these chairs!-the cage-like seating is the perfect gilt asset to this room’s clean lines. 

Lovely to meet you, Mr. Sinatra, Mr. Martin, yes of course you may buy me a drink. This bar requires that one wear an amazing outfit, don’t you think? Look at that marble! I love the bar stools, very Kelly and very haute. 
How about a poolside dinner or cocktail? Look at these cabanas! Again, the terrazzo floor repeats out doors, complemented further by the graphic tile walls in the cabanas. Since there are so many patterns and colors in the tile, Wearstler has kept the decorating scheme very simple, and let the architecture speak for itself. 
The silver standing lamp is amazing. The tile on the walls has almost a David Hicks-esque quality to it that I just love. Keeping the rest of the cabana decor minimalist is perfect for showing off the tiles, however Wearstler uses furniture with very interesting lines, managing to be extremely creative while using all white! 
This fab scene of the dining room opening to the pool and cabanas almost begs the question, what are you wearing? I love the hourglass shape of the pool–there are so many wonderful curves and rounded edges in both the architecture and Wearstler’s decorating. 

The rooms don’t open until this summer, but I am sure that they will have no problem attracting visitors. Now I just have to find the money to get to LA, put on a hollywood glam outfit accessorized with alot of gold jewelry, and go to the Avalon for a cocktail–even if I will be sleeping on my cousins couch for the weekend. 

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  • I have spent many nights in the Avalon – a discovery I made in the late 90’s. It’s proximity to everything in Beverly Hills,its privacy and access to quick ways to escape to the West Side or the airport were un-matched. The pictures of the reno show it as I know it, perhaps tidied up, but it was always hip and fun. There are stories of people going off the interior balconies into the pool. I’m ready to go back!

  • Also, in the day, the Avalon was a bit of a retreat, a discreet place for a celeb to unwind, rehab or relax. Legend has Marilyn in residence!