Uber Cool Vintage Mercedes

When John and I got together some years ago, we left a fantastic weekend in Napa Valley, relishing in the memories of good food and good wine on our way back to San Francisco.  On the highway we literally followed a white 1970 Mercedes 280sl into the city over the Golden Gate Bridge.  Its sleek lines set against the golden California hills and then under the looming structure of the Golden Gate, was sheer magic in motoring….

Mercedes 280 SL

I said to John ‘I would love to have one some day’, classic lines, cruising down the highway, just so bloody sexy and timeless.  Not more than 6 months later, we had one, parked in Chicago.  We had it delivered to LA, and within a couple of weeks, the top was stolen….I guess it was in demand!  Flip to this uber hip guy in LA who is restoring old benzes, kind of gets the bug going again to hear a new take on an old classic!


Gluckliche Autofahren!  (Happy Motoring)


LEED Eco Luxury Resort in the Napa Valley

Some friends of ours just turned us on to a really cool, LEED platinum certified resort in Yountville, in the Napa Valley called Bardessono.  This Eco resort boasts a very cool food and wine vibe.  This is a journey into sustainable travel, with their restaurant LUCY Restaurant & Bar using local ingredients or produce grown on the grounds is truly a ‘green gourmet’ experience.  For getting around, they allow their guest so use carbon fiber bicycles.







Photos: Courtesy Bardessono

The LEED process is a tough one to go through, we know from having built a Montecito beach residence as a LEED Platinum Home. Read about our process.  Its certainly a tremendous testimonial that this hotel was able to achieve this prestigious level of sustainability, while keeping true to the region and all it has to offer.  Kudos Bardessono!


Check out more on this project on HOUZZ “California Sustainable Project”


Far Flung & Fabulous! GG’s Curator’s Collection for Joss & Main

We are delighted to collaborate with Joss & Main  to bring you the Globally Gorgeous  Curator’s Collection “Far Flung and Fabulous” which launches Sunday March 10.

Globally Gorgeous Curator's Collection

Palm Springs Modernism and Sunnylands

Escaping a NYC wintery february weekend and headed to Palm Springs today. So happy that Virgin America started a seasonal non-stop from JFK to PSP!  This week is Modernism Week.  This is a not to be missed annual occasion to relish in the America’s most vibrant mid-century architecture and design.  One thing that Gregg and I HIGHLY recommend is a visit to Sunnylands, the Annenberg Estate. It is not only filled a rich american history it is filled with William (Billy) Haines custom furnishings!  The Annenbery Foundation Trust at Sunnylands only opened to the public for tours in 2012.  Definitely go line and book ahead here sunnylands.org.




chic montecito modern

Gregg and I  once designed a home filled wth midcentury classics ….we had to get it out of our system!  We even had a Billy Haines sofa and  actually lived here for a number of years.

Check out more on this house on HOUZZ  at MaienzaWilsonHOUZZ

John and Gregg’s Valentines Day Gift Picks from MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is a perfect place to find something for that  special design junky valentine in your life!  First up, is a wonderful vase designed by a buddy of ours from  back in our Chicago days.  James Mohn. Jim now has terrific practice in New York City, James Mohn Design Studio. Here is Mohn’s Two Moons Vase, 2011.


Two Moons Vase, James Mohn, 2011  It’s Gorgeous and under $100!


Indiana: LOVE Framed Print 

A reproduction of LOVE, 1967  by Robert Indiana featured in the Museum’s collection.


Minature Chair, Panton Heart-Shaped Cone

The Panton Heart-Shaped Cone was originally designed by Verner Panton.



Hug Salt and Pepper Shakers by Alberto Mantilla, 2002

Jambalaya for a New Orleans Super Bowl XLVII

When I was at Tulane Architecture  in New Orleans I would sometimes go sit with Paul Prudhomme  at  K-Pauls,  his restaurant in the French Quarter.  Chef Paul taught me how to make Jambalaya.  Chef Paul was  larger than life to me then and it was from him  that I learned about Cajun cooking. I’ve included here my favorited recipe for his Seafood Jambalaya, perfect for Super Bowl Sunday!

Chef Paul Prudhomme With Jambalaya Outside K-Paul's



 If your short on time here’s a quick fix from Zatarain’s

Here’s My favorite Seafood Jambalayafrom the kitchen of                      

Chef Paul Prudhomme

Makes 6 to 8 main dish or 16 appetizer servings

3 tablespoon vegetable oil
2/3 cup Chef Paul Prudhomme�s Tasso (a seasoned and smoked ham), diced
1/2 cup Chef Paul Prudhomme�s Andouille Smoked Sausage, diced
1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
3/4 cup green bell peppers, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Chef Paul Prudhomme�s Seafood Magic�
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 cups tomatoes (about 4 medium size), chopped
3/4 cup tomato sauce
2 cups seafood stock
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 cups uncooked rice (preferrably converted)
1 pound peeled crabmeat, crawfish or firm-fleshed fish filets (cut into bite-sized pieces), or any combination of your favorite seafood, that equals 1 pound
1 1/2 dozen oysters in their liquor (medium size) (about 10 ounces)
1 1/2 dozen peeled medium shrimp (about 1 1/2 pound)
how to prepare

Drizzle the oil on the TassoAndouille, onions, celery and bell peppers; and evenly mix each with your hands.  Heat a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Add the TassoAndouille and sauté until browned, about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the onions, celery and bell peppers; sauté until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom well.  Add the bay leaves, Magic Seasoning Blend and garlic.  Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping the pan bottom as needed.

Add the tomatoes and cook about 7 minutes, stirring frequently.   Add the tomato sauce and cook for 7 minutes more, stirring often.  Stir in the stock and bring to a boil.  Then stir in the green onions and cook about 2 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Add the rice and seafood; stir well and remove from the heat.  Transfer mixture to an ungreased 13×9-inch baking pan.  Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F until rice is tender but still crunchy, about 20 to 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  If you still have liquid in the pan bottom, let pan sit a few minutes, still covered, to allow rice to absorb the liquid.  Remove bay leaves and serve immediately.

To serve, mold rice in an 8-ounce cup and place 2 cups on each serving plate as a main course and 1 cup as an appetizer.



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Best of Houzz 2014 - Design
This professional's portfolio was voted most popular by the Houzz community.
Awarded on January 30, 2014