The Agenda: Converso Modern, Donald Judd “Specific Furniture,” and Napa The Nobu Way

Showroom

Rare furniture and decorative arts dealer Lawrence Converso has been showcasing his finds since 1993, originally in Chicago and then in Manhattan. Now, he’s finally made the move West with a 2,200-square-foot showroom on Beverly Boulevard in the former Lawson-Fenning space. Standouts include a suite of furniture by Palm Springs architect Albert Frey, a rare lamp design by architect Philip Johnson, and a pierced stone table by Isamu Noguchi. Gallery director Katie Nartonis lends her expertise in California art and design history at the new outpost, and local artist Artsu Ono designed the red, pink, and blue camouflage awning to evoke feelings of the California desert.     

When: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday–Friday; Noon - 5 p.m., Saturday

Where: 7257 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles 

 

Travel

Prepare yourself for the ultimate indulgence. Nobu Hotel Epiphany Palo Alto has introduced an exclusive package to whisk you away to Wine Country in ultimate style—taking the Nobu-branded experience from your hotel stay all the way to thoughtfully curated tasting experiences. Here’s the deal: Guests get two nights in a top-floor suite with a private deck and expansive Silicon Valley views, followed by breakfast at Nobu Palo Alto, and a helicopter ride to Napa Valley, where they’ll be met by a luxury car service to take them to two wineries. Guests will cap off the weekend with a premium chef’s omakase dinner with wine and beverage pairings back at Nobu Palo Alto and will be gifted a signed copy of Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook—which will come in handy for a much-needed detox after so much decadent food and drink.    

When: Weekends (Friday–Sunday only); at least 14 days advance notice required; call 650-666-3301 to reserve

Where: Nobu Hotel Epiphany Palo Alto, 180 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto 

 

Architecture Studio, Judd Foundation, Marfa Texas; Photo courtesy of SFMOMA

Exhibit

 

Most know the storied American artist’s work with form and scale, but this new exhibit looks beyond Judd’s sculptural pieces to examine his holistic approach as it applies to design, architecture, and more specifically, furniture. The show brings together Judd’s furniture with designs he owned and admired—including designs by Alvar Aalto and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe—as well as eight newly fabricated Judd pieces that visitors can actually sit on. From tables and desks to chairs and beds, Judd created a collection of functional furniture spawned from basic utilitarian need, and this show aims to explore iconic pieces in relation to Judd’s own work that established him as an integral player in the design canon.    

When: Sat. 7/14–Sun. 11/4

Where: SFMOMA, 151 Third St., San Francisco 

 

Launch 

 

This spring, the furniture and accessories brand known for its blend of vintage character and modern ease launched its first outdoor collection. Think curvy bucket armchairs, elegant tables, and a charming potting bench. Designers Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe describe the pieces as interpretations of classics that make a seamless connection between indoor and out. In other words, they don’t scream standard patio furniture—but they’re still made to last.    

When: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday–Friday; Noon - 5 p.m., Saturday

Where: 7221 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles 

 

Restaurant

 

Seeing it now, you would never guess that this shiny new restaurant in La Plaza Center was the original 1930’s department store Desmond’s. The highly anticipated opening was a long time coming—proving that bringing a 1936 building up to 2018 building code is no small feat. The owners preserved much of the building’s original design details, a mix of pre-Modernism and 21st-century stylings, including a blue accent color throughout, which was at the height of fashion when Desmond’s first opened. Other architectural elements include brick walls and stamped concrete floors. Stop in for coffee and weekend brunch or make it your regular lunch spot—Grand Central’s open until 2 p.m. every day expect Wednesday. 

When: Open daily 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.; closed Wednesdays

Where: 160 La Plaza in La Plaza Center, Palm Springs 

 

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