Several Lucas/Eilers designers found themselves in Santa Fe and LA this month on separate trips for both business and pleasure. Although their travels did not overlap, they all found design inspiration in the wonderful art, showrooms, sights, tastes, and sounds found when traveling West. From the beautiful snow covered streets of Santa Fe to the bright and sunny skies of LA, some of our favorite stops are listed below.
While there are many great places to stay in Santa Fe, our favorite downtown hotel is The Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi because of its central location just off the square. The newly renovated Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado just north of town is a delightful getaway with nice hiking trails and quaint casitas. It is also close to Tesuque Village Market, which is a great breakfast spot located in what was once an old Indian market.
It’s no surprise that artists began to settle in the Santa Fe area at the beginning of the twentieth century, drawn to the area’s majestic natural landscape. Many well-established eastern artists found inspiration in the artistic heritage of the city. Today, Santa Fe boasts over 200 world-class art galleries in two square miles. Most of the galleries in Santa Fe can be found in either the Canyon Road Arts District or the Railyard Arts District. A few of our favorite galleries are listed below.
The Compound restaurant on Canyon Road is one of our all time favorites for lunch or dinner. The crab and lobster salad and liquid chocolate cake are not to be missed! Another fun place for lunch is La Choza, known as “the local’s choice for chile.” Just like its sister restaurant, The Shed, the food is authentically Santa Fe.
When it comes to visiting museums, we highly recommend The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum which is the only museum in the world dedicated to an internationally-known woman artist. The museum holds over 3,000 works and is comprised of 1,149 O’Keeffe paintings, drawings, and sculptures that date from 1901 to 1984. Another treat is the very engaging Museum of International Folk Art. We never tire of the Girad Wing’s whimsical exhibit of folk art, toys, miniatures and textiles from over 100 nations.
Even though it was too early for the Santa Fe opera, we were privileged to attend the Chicago Arts Orchestra’s “Rediscovered Treasures: Music of 18th Century Spain and Mexico,” held in the historic San Miguel Chapel. The oldest church in the nation, the San Miguel Chapel is one of the best examples of preserved adobe architecture in Santa Fe. The wooden alter screen was painted over with several layers of house paint in the late 1800s but was beautifully restored in the 1970s. The concert was the first Santa Fe offering of the Rediscovered Treasures Concert Series, which features little-known works from Spain’s colonial era. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were thrilled to have the opportunity to listen to music that has not been heard for centuries!
While our trip to Los Angeles was much shorter than our time in Santa Fe, we managed to visit all of our favorite showrooms and find many wonderful pieces for our projects. A favorite new stop was the Compas Showroom which features beautiful European plumbing hardware, antique tiles and marble sinks.
Another favorite stop on La Cienega is the Hollyhock Showroom, which has unique antiques and great accessories.
If you find yourself in LA, be sure to stop by the newly-opened Hollyhock House. Built between 1919 and 1921, the Hollyhock House is Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Los Angeles project. The property features a remarkable combination of house and gardens. In addition to the central garden court, each major interior space adjoins an equivalent exterior space, connected either by glass doors, a porch, pergola or colonnade. A series of rooftop terraces further extend the living space and provide magnificent views of the Los Angeles basin and the Hollywood Hills. We loved getting to explore the beautiful grounds – the pictures don’t do it justice.
We had a great time and came back eager to incorporate what we found into our current projects!
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine