Sunset Home & Garden AprMay 2024 Issue

Page 1



Cozy Cottage



Retreats Sustainable Outdoor Living
West Guide
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CONTENTS 4 Editor’s Letter The humble yet restorative act of making a bed. Best of the West 7 The neo-Korean cuisine boom; native plants on deck. Home & Garden 13 Cottage, Please A top interior design firm reimagines a Santa Barbara cottage as a chic and cozy bed and breakfast. 22 Del Mar Dreams An architect transforms a dated duplex into a stunning family home with a lush garden and epic views of the coast. 32 Garden Checklist Spring gardening essentials, creative chicken coops, and more horticultural how-tos. 38 Trust the Process Camille Styles on how the challenges of an extended home renovation were essential in helping refine her design. 40 A Better Backyard An L.A. backyard is a case study in sustainable indooroutdoor living and shows smart and stylish ways to upgrade your space. 42 The Giving Garden How nostalgia planted the seed for nurturing future generations in a Walnut Creek modern homestead. Food & Drink 53 It’s Kismet Thanks to an easy way with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors and peak HOME & DESIGN 2024 ON THE COVER Living well in Del Mar. Photograph by THOMAS J. STORY A cozy corner in an inspiring Del Mar seaside retreat. season California produce, the success of L.A.’s Kismet restaurants was fated. 58 Pasta Perfected Flour + Water in San Francisco has transformed the Italian export into a canvas for California culinary creativity. Travel & Escapes 71 Exclusively Inclusive Take a tour of the Aster, a new model of member clubs that are fostering creativity and community. 78 Star Search Astrotourism has taken off in the West, and the upcoming solar eclipse will be the peak of it all. 88 Insider Guides Local experts on Moab, La Jolla, and Downtown L.A. Voices of the West 96 Architect Gulla Jónsdóttir on how hotel design can inform your own home. 3 HOME & DESIGN 2024 • SUNSET THOMAS J. STORY

The team at Hearth

have perfected the art of making a

Despite the fact that the average person will spend nearly one third of their life in bed, the humble art of bed making is deeply underappreciated. In this, our annual Home and Design issue, we celebrate many more glamorous and dramatic facets of what it means to make a home in the West. There’s a tour of a stunning home in Del Mar that sets the high bar for coastal living (handsome pickleball court included) and an expansive garden in the Bay Area with year-round rotating vegetable crops and an abundant cutting garden of roses and other seasonal blossoms. For the more project-minded, we’ve got tips on how to survive a never-ending remodel, a guide to stylish and sustainable landscaping, and ideas for how to make your chicken coop more charming. While each of the aforementioned stories will appeal to certain people more than others, everyone can benefit from a little guidance on how to make a better bed. And we’ve got tips on that too, thanks to the designers at Hearth Homes who just opened the coziest and chicest bed and breakfast in Santa Barbara. They encourage a considered yet easy approach that’s layered and affordable. It’s achievable elevation and a great place to play with design—and to center your life and make you feel great within your living space, which is really the point of home design.

I didn’t always appreciate the power of well-chosen linens and a plumpable pillow, nor, in my bachelor days, did I understand the importance of making a regular ritual of it (a hearty thanks to my wife for introducing me to this mattress mindfulness long before life hackers and podcasters co-opted “make your bed” as a foundational element of a life optimization morning routine). As an underpaid editorial assistant in my twenties in New York, I built a bed out of plywood, four by fours, and a futon that I carried up five floors of a rent-controlled Soho walkup, setting myself up for an extended period of asceticism when it came to all things bed related. I blame this early discomfort for my long held belief that I preferred a firm mattress, to only be disavowed of that delusion after noting that every blissful night’s sleep in a good hotel occurred on a duvet and featherbed perched atop a plush mattress. The more pillows (as in ideally four) the better. My current setup is a very Sunset hybrid: the foundation is an iconic George Nelson Case Study bed, with a traditional wrapped-coil spring mattress, a memory foam topper, and pillows in four densities of down. The bedside table is mid-century Danish, and the reading lamp is Isamu Noguchi. Linens hail from further West: Australian cult linen brand Dazed but Amazed. It’s not some off-the-rack bedroom set, but a collection that’s been organically refined over the years. It’s also a far cry from what passed for a bed in my first apartment, and now is a blissful cell phone-free zone for winding down and setting the restorative foundation for the day—and putting together this magazine. But if you’re looking for a one-stop hard reset for your bedroom, turn to page 21, where you’ll get pro tips on how to set a perfect bed, from the mattress to the linens, and elevate that every day act into a practice of intention and humble high design.

SunsetMagazine @Sunset @sunsetmag S. MEDIA INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION • P.O. BOX 15688, BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90209 • SUNSET.COM Copyright ©2024 S. Media International Corporation. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. No responsibility is assumed for unsolicited submissions. Manuscripts, photographs, and other material submitted to P.O. Box 15688 Beverly Hills, CA 90209 can be acknowledged or returned only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. For assistance with your Sunset subscription, call 1-800-777-0117 or email TRAVEL EDITOR Krista Simmons SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR Kristin Guy CONTRIBUTING HOME & DESIGN EDITOR Christine Lennon VICE PRESIDENT, DIGITAL INITIATIVES Matt Gross DIGITAL PRODUCER/NEWSLETTER EDITOR Nicole Clausing LIFESTYLE CONTRIBUTOR Camille Styles SENIOR DIRECTOR, PRODUCTION Jamie Elliott EDITORIAL INTERN Jenna Anderson Sales & Marketing SVP, MEDIA SOLUTIONS Mort Greenberg VP, PARTNERSHIPS Kathleen Craven HEAD OF TRAVEL Pamela Coffey HEAD OF OUTDOOR Kristi Rummel SVP, REVENUE OPERATIONS Kelly Facer DIRECTOR OF AD OPERATIONS Mindy Morgan HEAD OF CUSTOM EVENTS Tracy Seng ACCOUNT MANAGER Megan Giordano Sunset Media International Corporation BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Tom Griffiths Graydon Sheinberg EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Hugh Garvey CHAIRMAN & PUBLISHER Michael A. Reinstein DIGITAL DIRECTOR Sarah Yang CREATIVE DIRECTOR Michael Wilson PHOTO EDITOR Christine Bobbish STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Thomas J. Story On Life and Linens

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Habitat Sweet Habitat

One of California’s oldest native plant nurseries continues to inspire gardeners with its legendary annual tour of gardens that show the diversity and beauty of critter-friendly landscapes rich in local flora.

by Fi Campbell Design is on this year’s tour.
This native plant pool-

Every spring native plant fans descend on L.A. for one of the most impressive displays of spectacular native gardens in the West. On April 13 and 14, a mix of 37 homes, schools, and public spaces around Los Angeles will open their landscapes to the public for the 2024 Native Plant Garden Tour. Hosted by the Theodore Payne Foundation—California’s pioneering native plant nursery—the tour showcases stunning displays of biodiversity, inspiring visitors to develop their own native landscape, with benefits as plentiful as the flora. California native landscapes use 80% less water than conventional gardens, provide food and shelter for pollinators and other wildlife, and require very little maintenance once plants have matured. “See a biodiversity refuge amidst the ruins of industrial L.A. at the iconic Casa Apocalyptica native plant garden, a working farm and native plant garden at Sotomayer Arts and Sciences Magnet School, and a restored Indigenous village site dating back thousands of years in Santa Monica,” says Evan Meyer, executive director at TPF. Make a day of it, and you’ll leave the tour with fresh ideas for your own native garden. FOR TICKETS VISIT THEODOREPAYNE.ORG —Jenna Anderson

The 2024 tour features a skateboard with artwork by L.A. artist Alejandra Fernandez and pro boarder Lizzie Armanto. The pair collaborated on the deck design with plants and animals native to L.A. “I hope my skateboard deck inspires people to get out and explore their local landscape,” Armanto says. You can purchase the skateboard to support TPF at WWW.BIRDHOUSESKATEBOARDS.COM.

K-Town, Reimagined

A wave of chefs, makers, and distillers are rewriting the dialogue between Korea and America in the West.

Not long ago, the uninitiated may have identified Korean food with all-you-can eat barbeque or late night karaoke bar hopping in K-Town. But these days, eager eaters can experience the nuanced diversity of Korean cuisine well beyond the streets of Koreatown, and in imaginative, refined ways that the genre deserves. It’s fitting that over the past decade this movement has continued to evolve in subtle and thrilling ways ways in Los Angeles, home to the largest population of Koreans outside Asia, making way for a vibrant, multi-generational community of culinary creatives. Here are some of the newest and most delicious ways to get a taste.


Koreatown Dreaming is a captivating homage to Korean immigrant life as told through the lens of Los Angeles-based photographer Emanuel Hahn. Hahn shares intimate stories and portraits of over 50 small businesses from cities in the West like Los Angeles and Honolulu to enclaves further afield in New York, New Jersey, and Georgia whose owners’ sacrifice, struggle, triumph, and ultimately, joy embody the idea of the American Dream.

10 8 SUNSET • HOME & DESIGN 2024
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on pg.


Chef Debbie Lee has brought the modern interpretation of her family’s North Korean roots to Silver Lake, where the tasting menu reflects dishes that were specifically prepared for the royal family of Korea’s last dynasty, the Joseon, founded in 1392. The acclaimed television personality and cookbook author is doing it deftly, with dishes like Kongguksu, chilled soybean noodles made more decadent and cross-cultural by adding Italian bottarga, and umami-laced soy pickle brined martinis to boot.


Katianna and John Hong applied training in fine dining to their old school deli-meets-Asian mini-mart when it first opened in 2021, and now it’s been reimagined as a more sophisticated, sultry space worthy of their prowess. The reopening of the space welcomes in an entirely new menu, as well as a more polished ambience. The plastic cafeteria trays have been replaced by custom ceramics adorned with composed dishes of gochujang-braised black cod with Joseon radishes or stone pot rice with Peads and Barnetts pork belly. Thankfully, the seasonal banchan is here to stay.


Executive Chef Jun Bum Oh infuses his Korean American background into many of the dishes and techniques at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ restaurant, and this year, he created a pop-up to run in tandem with Song Kang-ho’s retrospective series. Before a screening and Q&A with the actor known for his role in Parasite, Snowpiercer, and The Host, Oh prepared a menu that allowed film buffs to enjoy dishes featured in the Oscar Award-winning film Parasite including pork belly bossam and steak jjapaguri.

ANGMA (악마 )

Founder David (오택) Faulk hand crafts his vibrant, complex, slightly effervescent makgeolli at his distillery in Pasadena, where he makes the traditional Korean drinks with “California rice, a little bit of wheat, and no compromises.” Angma translates to “demon” in Korean Buddhism, and it’s Faulk’s belief that this rebellious spirit of being pulled off course should be embraced rather than shunned. As one of the few makers embracing makgeolli making stateside, we couldn’t agree more.


When chef Kwang Uh and his wife and business partner, Mina Park, first opened their experimental strip mall joint in 2018, diners were entranced by the shelves practically buckling under the weight of giant jars of ferments. Now, the couple, who first met while studying at the Buddhist temple of Jeong Kwan, made famous by an episode on “Chef’s Table,” have evolved Baroo into a full-fledged tasting menu-only space in the Arts District that allows Uh’s culinary storytelling to shine. Expect esoteric soju cocktails, and dishes that use some of the best produce in the biz, including minari and pichuberries from Korean-owned Girl & Dug Farm.


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Cottage, Please

Restoring and decorating a classic craftsman Santa Barbara bed and breakfast, with homey touches and modern comforts, was a family affair for Hearth Home Interiors.


The living room has a cozy, residential feel, with a neutral palette to let the craftsman woodwork shine. Bacio bouclé sofa, CB2. Kenan leather chairs, Wayfair. A Samsung Frame TV hangs over the fireplace, painted Louisburg Green by Benjamin Moore. Alva wall sconces, Hudson Valley Lighting.

ON THE LIST of favorite local pastimes and preoccupations in Santa Barbara, from surfing to wine tasting to farm-to-table cuisine to hiking, real-estate-obsessing is at the top. It’s easy to see why. People want to move there, home inventory is low, and the possibilities—street after street of charming bungalows, modern ranches, and Mediterranean mansions—are plentiful. So for a city with roughly 100,000 residents, there is an out-sized, thriving community of interior designers, house flippers, remodelers, home stagers, hoteliers, and vacation rental managers who design and build living quarters of all kinds across town. Then there are people like sisters-in-law Katie Labourdette-Martinez and Olivia Wahler of Hearth Home Interiors, who manage to do all of the above, and have been actively shaping the cozy-coastal aesthetic the breezy beach town is known for on a seven-year odyssey finding and shaping domestic diamonds in the rough.

“My husband, Lucas, Olivia’s older brother, and our family friend Jason are on the real estate side, hunting and gathering,” says Katie. “They found the property and pitched this idea of expanding into Hearth Home Stays, branching into short-term rentals and bed and breakfasts, like The Craft House Inn.”

The property is a four-bedroom craftsman-style cottage plus one suite bedroom with a separate entrance, replete with a picket fence. Coaxing the 100-year-old cottage, which has been a functioning inn since the 1980s, into its current state was an intense labor of love, and paint scraping.

“A lot of the character had been painted over and hidden, and it was very crowded with furniture for no real reason,” says Katie. “It was fun to strip back everything and uncover some original details.”

Olivia Wahler and Katie LabourdetteMartinez of Hearth Home.

“We got really lucky with those little design elements, like the door hardware, the moldings, and the archway details that we could refurbish and use within the design,” says Olivia. “Then add some luxury appliances and new, beautiful light fixtures, so we prioritized the character of the home while also bringing it into the modern day.”

Vintage dressers they found on the property were transformed into bathroom vanities. A small swath of wallpaper original to the house was framed and treated like a little piece of art. The extended Martinez clan often travels as a group, frequently renting homes so they can be together in common living spaces and relax, and build core family memories together. So they’d already established a list of priorities.

“We want people to feel like they’re walking into their own home, but also create some ‘wow’ moments that felt fun and playful that people will remember, like wallpapering an entire room, including the ceiling,” says Katie.

Step into the entry, and it’s clear this isn’t a granny’s B&B. Wall color, Inchyra Blue by Farrow & Ball. Console, lamp, mirror, and accessories, all vintage. The artwork—Knuba by Alex Kostinskyi— is from Artfully Walls.

There are four bedrooms upstairs, including the Rose room, which is anchored by Four Hands Allegra bed and Morris & Co Strawberry Thief wallpaper. Harlow nightstands in vintage gray, Pottery Barn. Polished brass lamp, CB2.

It’s furnished so much like a wellappointed home that the only giveaway that it’s not a private residence are the discreet numbers on the four en-suite bedroom doors. The more traditional furnishings are balanced with art and treasures that feel a little more irreverent.

“There are so many great hotel options in town, so we knew we wanted to create something that felt really different and unique,” says Olivia,

adding that the home’s generous backyard set-up for entertaining makes it an appealing location for smaller weddings, reunions, or special occasions for groups of friends.

“There are places like the Hotel Californian where you can have a big, gorgeous wedding like Olivia did, or you could host it at The Craft House for something more intimate,” says Katie.

It’s an added bonus that the third


The Hearth Home team spent days scraping old paint off of moldings and door frames to uncover hidden pocket doors and preserved original details like stained glass windows. Walls painted in School House White by Farrow & Ball creates a simple background that allows bolder greens and blues to pop.

1 2 18 SUNSET • HOME & DESIGN 2024

1 / In the Granada room’s ensuite bath, a dresser salvaged from the property functions as a vanity, with a black vessel sink sourced from Etsy.

2 / A glamorous powder room’s walls are finished in Nitty Gritty Roman Clay by Portola Paints. Mirror, vintage. Glass sconce, Hudson Valley Lighting.

3 / Cafe appliances by GE, Calacatta Luna marble counter tops, Bedrosian subway tile, and custom cabinets upgrade the shared kitchen.

4/ Zeus wallpaper by House of Hackney in tobacco color features graceful cranes and willows and is a formidable match for the wood paneling.

5 / In the Lotus suite, a Benbrook spindle bed from Birch Lane, Studio McGee ottomans from Target, and a generous window seat make for a cozy retreat.

4 3 5 19 HOME & DESIGN 2024 • SUNSET

Martinez sibling, Julian, is the executive chef at Barbareño, a critically acclaimed restaurant in town. Julian’s contribution to the family’s budding hospitality business is a chef’s breakfast spread with fresh-baked pastries, eggs, and farmer’s market produce that launches the second B of B&B into the stratosphere (and the catering team is available for events, too).

The next project on deck is a recently acquired nine-bedroom inn around the corner from The Craft House, which is mid-remodel and

scheduled to open in 2024. Between that project, their residential work for clients, and managing three other homes in the Hearth Home Stays collection, the duo has found little time to finish their own homes, which are both more contemporary than the inn.

“It’s so much harder to make decisions for yourself than it is to make decisions for clients,” says Olivia.

“That’s how it always works, right?” Katie says. “I am my own worst client.”

The backyard is generous enough to host small weddings and outdoor gatherings. Slope indoor/outdoor dining chairs, West Elm. Northmont dining table, Target.
Deep green exterior paint with black trim (Benjamin Moore 2132-10) feels both historically accurate and modern at the same time.




Start with a Casper mattress.

“We use Casper mattresses in all of our rentals. It’s one of our staples. Guests really love them. It has a hybrid model that’s soft yet firm in all the right ways,” says Olivia.

“We’ve made a LOT of beds in our careers,” says Olivia. “We started out staging homes for sale, which means we’ve had plenty of practice. Both Katie and I really love the lived-in-luxury look for a bed, adding layers and texture, mixing patterns, and making it as inviting as possible but still comfortable.” Katie adds: “You don’t want to be hot and struggling with blankets all night.”


Make the bed with mixed and matched sheets at various price points, and avoid overtly matchy-matchy sets. “We mix beautiful Pom Pom bedding with some less expensive things from Target, and we love our Parachute duvet,” says Katie.


Add a quilt and a duvet, so hot sleepers and cold sleepers have options to create the right level of warmth.


Finish with a unique mix of pillows and a throw. “That’s the secret to a lived in look that isn’t super crisp and clean,” says Olivia. “A throw blanket makes it look comfortable and lived-in.”

Bed, Westwood by Four Hands. Walls, De Nimes blue by Farrow & Ball.




An architect spent over a decade transforming a dated duplex into a stunning family home with a lush garden, and epic views of the Del Mar coastline.


Jennifer Charleston Porter thought Manhattan Beach was her forever place.

She met her husband Brian when they were students at University of Southern California. And after she attended architecture school at University of Pennsylvania, the L.A.-native had a plan: She’d come back home, establish her practice, start a family, and enjoy the laid back coastal life in the tight knit beachside community of her dreams. By the time she was 27, she had started her own business, and things were progressing according to plan.

“Then my husband bought a company in San Diego,” she says. “I was devastated. He dragged me kicking and screaming to Del Mar.”

Brian knew the area well. He spent his childhood family vacations driving from Glendale down to the famous racetrack and nearby beaches. So when the couple began their hunt for a family home in the discouraging real estate of 2011, they saw an unlikely gem in the rough: An unremarkable duplex with show-stopping ocean views. It was one of three duplex properties on the same street, with the same owner, that were equally nondescript, two-unit houses with a massive kidney shaped pool in the back they shared. Thanks to the in-house design talent, the Porters saw potential that others likely missed.

“I would like to say that it was mid-century modern, but it really wasn’t,” says Porter. “It was just a boxy design with a flat roof. You entered the front door straight into the laundry room, and there was one unit to the left, and another to the right. It was what we could afford at the time, and it was a double lot with the most incredible views. We didn’t have the money to tear it down and start from scratch. So we started what became a 12-year remodeling project, broken down into three phases.”


The first task on the list was to connect the two units and decipher the best layout for their growing family (they now have three children, 14, 11, and 10).

“During the first remodel we turned one unit into the bedrooms,” says Porter. “The space that was the kitchen became our primary bathroom, and the living room became our bedroom. The second duplex which faces west to the ocean is the kitchen, living room and dining area. We added one big narrow hallway to connect the two spaces.”

The interior design relies heavily on Porter’s minimal architectural touches, like a steel slatted divider between the kitchen and living area, built-in sofas, a prominent stone fireplace, and accents of warm gray and white. Semitransparent floor-to-ceiling linen curtains in the dining area open onto stellar views of the garden.

“I like a little drama. I like dark and moody,” says Porter, explaining why she gravitated toward rich colors and deeper woods. “We have so much light in the house, so the contrast of the darkness makes it feel more intimate and warm.”

The second phase of the project focused on the exterior,

transforming the patios and garden with the help of Ryan Prange at Falling Waters Landscape in Encinitas. Porter, who is half-Japanese, wanted the garden to reflect a little of her mother’s heritage without feeling too obviously thematic or stereotypical. She describes it as a California garden with a “dusting” of Japan.

“There’s a courtyard garden off the kitchen, which feels very Japanese to me, where I planted a maple tree early on,” says Porter. Plange was a great partner to bring Porter’s vision to life.

“Jennifer really knew what she wanted,” says Plange. “We installed that corten steel serpentine wall and replaced a walkway made with some round cement pavers with flagstone, which felt more in keeping with the design of the house.”

They planted a mix of colorful grasses that play well against the black plaster exterior and installed plenty of decomposed granite pathways. Designing a garden to absorb moisture and avoid excess rainwater run-off is a necessity in a community like Del Mar with its steep inclines, says Plange. There are also restrictions in place that prohibit large trees that block neighbors’ views, a problem he solved by planting strawberry arbutus trees, which stay low but also offer privacy and decorative foliage, and removing acacias which are prone to toppling after about 10 years of growth.

Two-foot by fourfoot honed porcelain tiles from WalkOn Tile cover the floor of the living room and patio, creating the illusion of one continuous, uninterrupted space. Leather and wood sofa, Lawson-Fenning. Rug, Armadillo. Live-edge coffee table, vintage from Craigslist. Stools, Cassina. Curtains, open-weave faux linen, custom.

The third phase, which was completed in early 2022, includes a chic pickleball court surrounded by fragrant Mexican marigold, a wooden hot tub, and a spectacular outdoor kitchen and living area, that nearly doubles the square footage of the family’s communal living space.

“I think our main contribution was to convince them to keep that amazing pool,” Plange says. “It was a community pool back in the ’70s where the neighbors would all hang out, and it’s really way too big for a single family residence. They have a diving board, and it’s really deep. The temptation was there to turn it into a Hamptons-y rectangle. But it’s so unusual. It had to stay.”

Between raising her three children and tackling the ongoing renovation of their own home, Porter has been too busy to re-establish her architect practice. If she did, this extensive remodel would be an impressive calling card. Eager house shoppers shouldn’t bother asking her if it’s for sale, though, since Porter’s feelings about San Diego have taken an extreme about-face.

“Honestly, we love it here so much, she says, “I am never, ever, leaving.”

The corner of the primary bedroom also opens up to the mature garden. Rocking chair, vintage, H.D. Buttercup. Platform bed, Wilbur Davis Studios, with custom upholstered headboard.
Bed linens, Matteo. Walnut floating nightstands, Etsy.

1> Brian and Jennifer Porter with their three children, Ren, Miya, and Ando, near the pickleball court. Melino folding wooden chairs, Costco.

2 > Dark gray glazed Zellige tile creates a moody glow in the powder room. Tile, Zia Tile. Sconce, Coil + Drift. Marble vanity, custom.

3 > The home’s exterior is finished with custom-blended black plaster. Falling Waters Landscape in Encinitas designed the garden.

2 3

1 > The lines of the tongue and groove ceiling planks are echoed in the steel screen behind the banquette. Smoked walnut cabinets and licoriceblack paint are refreshing alternatives to the all-white kitchen. Cooktop, hood, and double oven, Miele. Island cabinet paint color, Pratt & Lambert Anubis. Counter, Caeserstone in Raven.

2 > Porter kept the breakfast banquette simple and spare. Vintage dining chairs, Chairish. Custom booth upholstered in recycled polyester, Veer by Maharam in Dash.

1 2 3 28 SUNSET • HOME & DESIGN 2024
3 > A wet bar off of the living room with a hidden ice maker is perfect for entertaining. Cylinder pendant lights, Apparatus Studio.

One element from the home’s former life as two duplexes— the over-sized pool designed for a group of houses on the street to share, and the diving board—remains. The custom outdoor kitchen and ample room to play make the Porter’s home a popular spot among their family friends.

“I like a little drama. I like dark and moody. We have so much light in the house…the contrast makes it feel more intimate and warm.”


It’s go time in the garden! What to do in your garden no matter where you are in the West.


Want to experiment with subtropical gardening? Banana, cherimoya, mango, and strawberry guava trees can all be planted now through the beginning of summer.

It’s tomato transplanting time! Try digging a 6 inch trench and burying ⅔ of transplant on their side rather than into a deep horizontal hole—this will encourage vertical root growth and result in stronger, higher-producing plants.

For heat tolerant blooms that will also attract beneficial insects and pollinators to your summer crops, interplant flowers such as cosmos, zinnia, and marigold. Succession sow seeds every 3-4 weeks for continuous blooms through autumn.


Change up your usual fava

recipe and try fermenting freshly picked broad beans to make the traditional Chinese condiment Sichuan Doubanjiang, a spicy salty paste used to make classic mapo tofu and miso ramen.

Artichokes are ready once the head is still tight, but leaf tips are just beginning to pull away from the head. Keep at least 2-3 inches of the stalk attached, making your cut just above a leaf, for prolonged freshness.


Keep an eye on fruiting trees and begin thinning for optimum growth, stone fruit such as peaches and nectarines should be thinned 5-7 inches apart while smaller varieties can be kept slightly closer on the branch.

Inspect all raised beds and take care of any repairs or staining before kicking off the

growing season. Amend tired soil with 2-4 inches of fresh soil, 2 inches compost, and a combo of growth enhancing natural fertilizers such as worm castings, alfalfa, and kelp meal.


To control powdery mildew, spray off foliage early in the morning to remove fungus spores with a solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon Castile soap, and 1 gallon of water. Remove heavily infected leaves and disinfect all shears between cuts to stop the spread onto other parts of the plant.

Companion plant alliums, marigolds, chervil, and fennel alongside your greens and brassicas which will attract beneficial insects such as parasitic and predatory wasps, lacewings, and ladybugs that kill bad bugs and larvae.

Kate Richard’s bold coop design balances every functional chicken need along with unexpected design details. Here an abundance of bird-friendly pineapple sage echoes the red awning stripes on the roost entry door, making for the happiest of hen houses.

Hip Housing For Hens

Avid gardener, homegrown cocktail crafter, and wrangler of chickens Kate Richards gives us a look into her colorful coop, along with the tips and design inspo to create the chicest chicken shack and foraging grounds for gardeners wanting to add hens to their homestead.


When it comes to dreaming up her perfect coop, Kate always starts with function before deciding on design details. First figure out run size, roosting areas, number of nesting boxes and where storage will live for supplies, so you can piece together the perfect layout for your space. From there Kate adds in details and decor elements that might seem over the top from the standard utilitarian set up. She’s known for using unexpected paint colors, patterned wallpaper, and gingerbread trim that make the entire space more aesthetically interesting while fitting in with her own home’s style and architecture.

Here Kate shares six important features where function can be elevated stylishly for your fab feathered friends.

1 / Ventilation: Proper coop ventilation is incredibly important to the health of your flock, as droppings can quickly make the air toxic in a small, enclosed space. However, you also must consider temperature regulation with birds needing to stay draft-free during the winter and cooler in the summer. Kate suggests adding windows that can be opened and closed depending on the season and using repurposed gorgeous leaded glass windows from Etsy. By reframing and converting them into awningstyle windows for the coop, she added a dose of charm to the entire structure while being able to manage air flow effortlessly.

2 / Roosting Area: The majority of waste generated inside the coop will fall directly under the main roost bar where the chickens sleep at night. Kate suggests building a shelf dedicated to catching chicken droppings, keeping the main floor of the coop clean and your sanitation duties a breeze.

3 / Clean Up Crew: If you’re thinking about adding chickens to your homestead, Kate informs, “There is no magic solution to get around this. You’re going to have to be really comfortable with cleaning up poop. Frequently.” She uses peel and stick vinyl wallpaper reinforced with staples to not only add a pop of personality, but because she finds it the most practical surface to cover coop walls in: The vinyl wipes down in a snap with just a damp cloth.

4 / Predator Precautions: Maybe one of the most important materials to source when setting up a coop: the

wire mesh known as hardware cloth (not chicken wire). Hardware cloth’s smaller 1/2 inch-square openings keep your chickens in and all kinds of predators and pests out. Kate installed this material in a grid pattern to reinforce and provide additional protection from larger local predators such as bobcats, coyotes, and bears. She adds that the grid pattern not only provides additional support, but it helps make the run look more like a greenhouse garden structure as opposed to a traditional chicken run.

5 / Enclosed Run: By covering your run, not only will you keep the elements out and provide chickens a dry area on rainy days, it also keeps wild birds, their droppings, and their bird-borne illnesses out. Kate adds that any flock will still have the possibility of being exposed during free-range time, but a covered and secure space is essential. Rooflines are practical but can also provide a decorative moment and allow you to play with whimsical design elements like gingerbread trim, cupolas, and weathervanes.

6 / Entertainment Add-

Ons: When dialing your design, be sure to lean into chickens’ inherent curiosity. One element that took Kate by surprise despite her 15 years of chicken keeping (other than her previous chicken cocktail bar complete with neon signage), is a small fountain. At first, it was a detail she added for herself, but then quickly realized that the chickens loved it. Her tip: Choose a small enough fountain that is easy to dump out and clean (because: chickens).



Providing opportunity to forage or at least search for insects within some foliage is important for every chicken’s health and well-being. Free-ranging aside, there are many ways to implement plants into your flock’s routine—even containers and a rotation of select potted plants will provide nourishment and entertainment inside their run. Here Kate breaks down four important considerations when pairing garden plants with poultry.

Forage Zone: When it comes to Kate’s surrounding garden, a foraging area is ideal to include around your coop, especially if you aren’t wanting them to treat your own veggie garden like their own private salad bar. Where the space for two completely separate growing areas isn’t realistic in most urban or suburban areas, she suggests incorporating garden structures and hardscaping such as tall raised beds, protective cloches, fencing, and edging into the mix. The more obstacles your chickens have, the less widespread damage they’ll be able to inflict upon your own garden.

No Tox Life: When it comes to choosing plants that your chickens will be interacting with, it’s important to choose varieties that aren’t toxic to the birds. Chickens will inevitably sample a little bit of everything at one point or another, so Kate advises presenting them with plenty of good nibbling choices vs. other toxic tastes. That being said, be sure to double check any plants you have or are planning to add into the garden and their health compatibility, even common garden plants such as tomato greens, avocados, and raw beans are deadly to chickens in large quantities.

Durable From Digging: It’s important to select plants that are resilient and naturally durable. The most damaging thing chickens do to your garden is digging and kicking repeatedly. Kate warns this makes young plants super susceptible to abuse and suggests protecting seedlings with wire cages and trellises or even surrounding fragile plants with hardy herbs, such as rosemary or lavender to create a natural protective barrier.

Herbaceous Hubs: Aromatic herbs, such as lavender, mint, and rosemary are not only easy to grow and nice for chickens to nibble on, but they help deter various pests around the coop while providing medicinal benefits for your flock. Kate likes to incorporate pineapple sage due to its large size and showy red blooms. Her chickens love to dust bathe under it and the plant is strong enough to stand up to the abuse.

Other herb favorites include African blue basil, marigolds, and nasturtiums which all aid in fighting disease while improving egg production, proving that the mindful selection of plants can be beneficial to your overall garden, wildlife habitat, and chicken flock’s health.


Let’s toast to your new poultry palace! Haute hen houses aside, Kate is known for comedic yet chic cocktail time with her chickens. Whether you’ve got a flock of your own, or want to have a hen happy hour with friends, this Rose Petal Cosmo from Kate’s 2024 calendar Still Life With Chicken and Drink will have you celebrating spring like the chic chook that you are.


2 oz. vodka

1 oz. orange liqueur

1 oz. cranberry juice

1 oz. lime juice

1/2 oz. rose water

1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled.

2. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with rose petals or rose blossom.

even more seasonal recipes, check out her cocktail book Drinking With Chickens, which is perfect for any bird-loving bon vivant. $29.99, BARNESANDNOBLE.COM

Gardening, Remedies, & Wildcrafting For Spring

In Jess Buttermore’s new book, Seasonal Living with Herbs, she encourages gardeners to delight in the herbs specific to each season while savoring their flavors and using them to create stunning crafts. From cultivating your own collection to preserving their essence for both medicinal and home use, here’s how to celebrate the herbaceous arrival of spring.


It’s hard for any gardener to choose favorites, but when it comes to powerhouse plants that will give you the greatest return, Jess shares her four go-to and easy-to-grow herby hard hitters that you can incorporate into your garden or homemade remedies now.

1. Nasturtium: Quick to germinate in any soil type, their gorgeous lily padshaped leaves and vibrant blooms are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and can be used to soothe lingering spring colds and sore throats. Interplant with other crops as a beautiful double duty pollinator attractor and pest deterrent. Not only do they add a spicy kick to spring salads or vinaigrettes, their orange blooms are a natural dye, turning fabrics and fibers a lovely shade of pale salmon pink.

2. Lavender: With uses so wide-reaching that it is often referred to among herbalists as the “Swiss Army Knife of Essential Oils,” lavender’s sweet, calming, and uplifting fragrance is commonly known for its aromatherapy properties. Tuck lavender under pillows or in linen drawers, add dried to arrangements, or steep into a fantastic simple syrup for spring cocktails and spritzes.

3. Lemon Balm: A pretty plant with green heart-shaped leaves, it’s also a heavy duty natural insect repellent, deterring cabbage moths, mosquitoes, and gnats. Grow this perennial in a pot and easily move to patios and tabletops in the summer to keep mosquitos at bay. Add leaves fresh as an

infusion for refreshing iced drinks or make candied lemon balm to sprinkle as an unexpected pop of flavor over baked goods. It can also be a rejuvenating and fragrant addition when added to herbal shower bundles, bath soaks, and floral arrangements.

4. Rosemary: With a long list of medicinally beneficial attributes, including astringent properties, rosemary is believed to naturally improve memory and enhance circulation, while reducing anxiety, exhaustion, and migraines. In the garden, rosemary is deer and rabbit-resistant, making for a natural protective border keeping other tender plantings safe from nibbling intruders. Jess uses this herb as an essential ingredient for many of her recipes, including an unexpected combo with rose for the Secret Garden potion and botanical fire starters found in her book.



No matter where you are in your personal garden journey, Jess believes there are exciting things to discover in the world of herbs for beginners and masters alike. For those new to plot tending and understanding plant purposes, Jess recommends creating a strong connection between your personal needs and what herbs you can grow to support those needs. Suggesting “If you experience anxiety, consider growing a medicinal garden containing borage, chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, mint, rosemary, and sage. However, if you’re seeking skin relief with issues such as eczema, filling your beds with calendula, bee balm, borage, lavender, and nasturtium will provide you with the ingredients you need to create healing products and remedies.”

For the experienced gardener, Jess encourages you to ask yourself this question: Do you allow your garden to

teach and heal you? Adding “my garden has taught me patience, persistence, and mindfulness, oftentimes helping to lessen the symptoms associated with my anxiety and burdens weighing heavy on my heart. Even today, as my garden feels less like a new adventure and more like an old friend, it continues to shape, steady, and inspire me. It whispers to my heart and encourages me to stop and enjoy the present.”

Even if you don’t quite have a clear vision on how you will use your garden herbs at the start of the season, the act of planting and tending to them while spending time simply observing the life around you will be a plethora of health benefits all their own. Here’s to slowing down this spring to appreciate your garden as a space of peace and tranquility that will be endlessly rewarding and nurture you in return.


Every herb has an ideal harvesting time and Jess says the key is to fully understand the herb in question, rather than adhere to a date on a calendar. While the general rule for harvesting is to do so in the morning after the dew has evaporated, but before exposed to warm direct sunlight, paying attention to where the herb is in its life cycle also plays an important role to time harvest for the greatest flavor or highest potency of medicinal properties.

When it comes to flowering herbs, bee balm should be harvested as soon as its flowers start to turn color, whereas calendula blossoms should be harvested when their flowers are half opened (or just opened for the day). When harvesting leafy herbs, choose more mature leaves to snip, as they will contain a stronger, more pungent flavor than younger leaves. Also consider how the herb will be used. Where fresh herbs are always preferred for culinary application, dried herbs are better for self-care applications so that unwanted moisture is not added to the products, risking bacterial growth. By taking the time to know your individual plants and how they can perform best in your garden and once harvested, you’ll unlock a rhythm and routine that will be beneficial for both herbs and humans alike.

Cedar House Woodenware Butter

We love wildcrafting and this fragrant essential oil infused butter from Jess’s new book is the perfect spring cleaning refresh for all your wooden tools. Use this homemade elixir to revitalize and repair cutting boards, spoons, and even your hard working garden trowel or hori hori handles. Whip up an extra batch and place in small mason jars as an unexpected Springtime surprise for your closest plant pals.

¼ cup beeswax

¼ cup jojoba oil

½ cup juniper-infused oil blend

10 drops clary sage essential oil (or add dried clary sage when infusing your juniper oil blend)

15 drops lemon essential oil

1. Wash and let juniper berries dry for a month. Whitish coating is a naturally occurring yeast.

2. Blend the berries into a powder with a food processor.

3. Place the powder in a dry, clean jar and fill with your carrier oil of choice. For this recipe, Jess uses three equal parts avocado, olive, and grapeseed oil.

4. Place a sheet of parchment or wax paper between the mouth of the jar and the lid to prevent the metal from eroding and screw the lid tightly closed. Shake well.

5. Store in a cool dark place for four to six weeks, shaking daily.

6. Strain the plant material from the oil with a cheesecloth and fine screen strainer and store in an

air-tight glass jar.

7. To Create the Butter: Combine the first three ingredients in a double boiler over low heat and stir occasionally with a disposable wooden chopstick or skewer until completely melted and combined.

8. Remove from heat and stir in essential oils.

9. Carefully pour the mixture into a clean, dry, wide-mouth glass jar or tin and leave undisturbed to cool completely at room temperature.

10 Cap with an airtight lid and store in a dark, cool place like a kitchen pantry, cabinet, or the drawer for up to one year.

11 To use, apply a generous amount of butter onto wood with a cotton cloth dish rag or paper towel, rubbing the butter in small circular motions. Let the butter sit on the wood overnight, then wipe the excess butter off and your boards and utensils are ready to use.


Process Makes Perfect



This speaks to the above, but it’s an important and relatable point for anyone embarking on a home renovation project. There will be times when the project lags (it’s not “if,” it’s “when!”) so setting expectations for this in the beginning is key to keeping the process fun and not frustrating. Plus, it builds resilience!


I’ve learned to view the project in individual stages, and I’m trying to focus on how to most effectively move the needle forward in the stage that I currently am. Rather than get overwhelmed or frustrated by the length of the project as a whole, I’m instead focusing on: what can I do today to keep the project moving as effectively as possible? That’s all I can do, and I’m learning to let go of the rest.


One silver lining of the project taking longer than expected is that it’s allowing us lots of time to let our design decisions marinate and organically evolve. When we first bought the property, we were envisioning a very simple modern farmhouse design. However in the years since, we’ve had a chance to dive into design inspiration, and as a result, our plans for the property have become so much richer and multilayered. I believe it’ll be a much more

This month marks three years since we bought the property and started work on our plans, and it’s hard to believe that after all this time, construction hasn’t started. We’ve gotten tied up in endless permitting delays with the city—too boring to get into here, but if you’d told me that we’d be in permitting for over two years, I don’t think I would have believed you. Here’s what I wrote in my journal a couple months back: The waiting is a gift, if I choose to see it that way. If I choose to hold the “middle” as part of the journey, I’ll arrive at the destination as a different person than the one who started. Am I rushing through, simply trying to get to the other side? Or am I growing in this process of creating? Let this time between be my teacher. Keep an active awareness. Be present. Be shaped by the experience. Endings don’t make us who we are— it’s the act of becoming that shapes us. When the house is done, I’ll look back and be grateful that we didn’t start construction the moment the keys were handed to us three years ago. It’s given us time to grow, and it’s given the house time to tell us what it wants to be. In terms of “Things I’ve learned,” here are a few.


interesting end result. Rather than making a design decision and “locking” on it, we keep searching for inspiration and staying open to the process for as long as we have time to build on our ideas.


The City of Malibu is a notoriously challenging place to renovate, and we’ve had to make some changes to our original plans based on their requirements. For example, we had initially planned to add square footage to the guest house (the apartment over our garage). However, the city wouldn’t allow it for various reasons, so we had to pivot and reconfigure the guest house plan to work within the existing 500 square foot space. This

was less-than-ideal, however we were able to get creative within constraints and come up with an alternate plan that will still be really cool and interesting. In fact, it may even be better. Rather than subdividing the area into different rooms, we’re keeping it as one open loft space that will feel more like a boutique hotel room.


The extra planning time gave us a chance to work with 3D Visualization team YouSee Studio, which was incredibly helpful in being able to get a truer sense of space planning and material choices. We had a chance to make changes based on the visualizations that will result in a final product we love even more—with fewer surprises.


Avocado Green Mattress: Good sleep and wellbeing are at the top of my priority list, so I’m thrilled to have certified organic Avocado Green mattresses on our beds. They’re more durable, breathable, and supportive than those made with synthetic materials.

Benjamin Moore: Benjamin Moore offers incredibly durable paints that stand up to years of wear and tear, so it was a no-brainer to use the iconic brand throughout this property. We spend so much time within the walls of our home, so it’s an area where quality reigns supreme. I love how a simple, fresh coat of paint can bring out the beauty of a room.

Burdge Architects: We worked with Doug Burdge and team to create a sophisticated, modern concept that elevates our beach bungalow—without sacrificing the indoor-outdoor “barefoot living” vibes we fell in love with.

Caesarstone: I’ve used Caesarstone in every single one of my design projects over the last decade—the function, beauty, and utilitarian ease they offer a home is game changing.

California Closets: Some of the most important spaces of a home don’t get much recognition: a laundry room with dedicated places for folding and ironing, a mudroom where there’s a designated spot to stash stray shoes and bags. The experts at California Closets custom-designed these spaces to enhance our everyday life with optimal storage.

Duravit: I love products that marry utility and beauty, and the Duravit toilets, sinks, and tubs throughout our home will do just that. Their products deliver timeless quality and functionality that adds a sense of ease to everyday life.

Eldorado Stone: From the beginning, I wanted to bring the grounding and calming element of stone into our design. Working with Eldorado Stone—the iconic brand revered for its wide range of stone and brick veneer products—our plans include statement stone walls throughout the property.

Emtek: Beauty is found in the smallest details, particularly when it comes to a well-designed home. The handles, knobs, and pulls throughout our home will be Emtek, whose beautifullycrafted products I’ve loved and used for years.

FLD: Michael Fiore and team understood our vision for the Mediterranean-meets-Cali plantings. They’ve created a beautiful plan that will extend the the living space into outdoor “rooms” throughout the property.

Humboldt Sawmill Company: We’re using natural materials throughout the entire project, and Humboldt Sawmill’s sustainable California redwood will play the starring role on the exterior of the house, as seen in the renderings here. This will be one of the most defining characteristics of our property.

Kallista: Kallista offers so many beautiful finishes, and my design eye is set on the brand’s unlacquered brass. It’s a warm, inviting metal with a rich aged patina.

Schneider Electric: Schneider Electric is helping us turn our 1950s beach bungalow into a home that’s both energy-smart and environmentally sound.

YouSee Studio: I was blown away by the beautiful 3D visualizations created by the YouSee team. They’ve been an invaluable decisionmaking tool as we navigate the design process.


The Sustainable Sanctuary THIS MODERN YET


While some popular outdoor design choices are deceptively harmful to our planet, we are now welcoming even more eco-minded options that not only address our personal needs but also take care of the natural world, too. The team behind Yardzen, the leading online landscape design and build platform, is tapping into this mindset by offering timeless design that is also kinder to the environment. For this extensive outdoor upgrade of a family home in Los Angeles, they assembled a dream team of brands to bring a high level of quality and design sensibility to the project, along with plants and products that will stand the test of time—not to mention the elements.

From TimberTech’s premium decking that looks just like real wood but is made with up to 85% recycled materials, to the vibrant water-wise plantings of the Sunset Plant Collection, to Terra’s chic yet mindfully-manufactured furniture, inspiration abounds in every corner of this serene urban oasis. Whether you’re looking to make a few updates to your existing outdoor space or are embarking on a full overhaul, this backyard retreat is proof that you don’t have to sacrifice style when it comes to making sustainable selections.


Tailored to the Western gardener, Sunset plants are uniquely developed to meet diverse ecological needs, and this low-water landscape comes alive in the form of in-ground plantings and dynamically paired containers. The key to sustainability is using plants that will thrive in your particular location, requiring less watering, fertilization, and care. Throughout the yard, a combination of containers interplanted with structural succulents such as Skyscraper® Senecio and gorgeous grass-like leaves of Platinum Beauty® Lomandra and Black Adder Phormium create a lush, beautiful backdrop of silvery greens, feather-like texture, and a pop of purple. Mixing more cottage-style greenery such as Beach Ball™ Pittosporum and ‘Lemon-Lime’ Nandina with a geometric gem like SUPERSEMPS® ‘Ruby’ Hens & Chicks can create an unexpected combination that will not only weather dry spells with grace, but also burst forth with color, texture, and life, transforming your landscape into a retreat flourishing with low-maintenance charm. FIND SUNSET PLANTS NEAR YOU BY USING THE STORE LOCATOR AT SUNSETPLANTCOLLECTION.COM/WHERE-TO-BUY.



There is no question that sod lawns are a net-negative for the environment and the landscape design team at Yardzen is on a mission to offer desirable eco-friendly alternatives. By reducing the grass footprint on this project, permeable hardscaping was swapped in the form of gravel and interlocking pavers to create a space for entertaining that would also provide crucial rainwater absorption. These materials are an environmentally conscious choice that reduces runoff, assists in less puddling, while aiding in healthier plant growth and the prevention of erosion. In-ground beds were also added in to accommodate climateadapted plants, while raised beds filled with edibles now connect the family to nature, create habitat, and build local food systems. START PLANNING YOUR LANDSCAPING MAKEOVER AT YARDZEN.COM.

In this outdoor living room and spa designed by Yardzen, reclaimed teak furniture from Terra, eco-friendly decking from TimberTech, and lowwater plantings from the Sunset Plant Collection come together to create a restorative retreat.


Terra’s outdoor furniture adds sophistication while being responsibly sourced and produced. Located just off the kitchen, the Larkspur dining table and benches and Mendocino dining chairs, made from sustainably harvested Grade-A solid teak, deliver a rustic warmth and casual elegance evoking the quintessential Western lifestyle while framing an outdoor space perfect for al fresco entertaining. Nestled in the garden, the Woodside Adirondack chairs offer reclined refinement with a modern spin on the classic and feature a comfortable wide-plank, squaredoff back design crafted of envirowood, a durable resin made with post-consumer recycled plastic. They’re also a feel good purchase: A tree will be planted as part of the U.S. Forest Service PlantA-Tree Program with every order. PICK OUT YOUR OWN TERRA SUSTAINABLE STYLES AT TERRAOUTDOOR.COM.


With decking engineered from 60 to 85% recycled content, TimberTech outperforms wood while helping homeowners create nature-inspired, sustainable outdoor living spaces. By creating visual interest through elevation changes, TimberTech’s composite decking creates open air rooms that establish functional spaces and maximize moments of rest and enjoyment. With a lower carbon footprint than both pine decking and Brazilian Ipe decking, TimberTech’s Legacy Collection (shown here in Pecan) innovates beyond traditional composite decking with authentic, real wood looks, board-to-board color variation and premium polymercapped composite boards that never have to be sanded, stained, or sealed. A chic, eco-conscious choice for anyone building outdoor entertaining areas meant to last. BROWSE






hen one thinks about a production garden designed to yield copious amounts of vegetables and flowers, it’s not often one with perfectly manicured rows overflowing with color and paired with thoughtfully organized spaces for gathering. Practicality and function are usually the focus, not a dedication to stunning surroundings. This is where the team behind Oakland-based Pine House Edible Gardens stands out with their impeccable layout and design philosophies, showcasing the ability to implement important functional garden systems with incredible style.

This “homestead” garden located in Walnut Creek, California changes the way we think about what a hardworking garden can look like. Designed as a modern take on a formal potager style garden, it’s intentionally laid out to maximize the space for access and harvest. It has some of the elements of the traditional potager garden, in which geometric hardscape shapes and evergreen plantings help define the space through the seasons, but this modern interpretation takes an unexpected turn with an impressive plant list boasting over 100 varieties including a seasonal rotation of annual veggies and cutting flowers which create a dazzling display of color and texture. Not to mention hives for bees, water capturing systems, and a goal of self-sufficiency through year-round harvesting. It’s very generous. You could call it a giving garden.

Owners Noreen and Jonathan Schimmel harvest from a raised bed filled with perennial flowers and foliage, a perfect mix for arranging bouquets and attracting pollinators to neighboring crops.

Owners Noreen and Jonathan Schimmel both grew up in Michigan, where backyard gardening was a common thread through both of their childhood experiences. With grandparents who grew up on farms, Jonathan had a particular connection to a memory of his maternal grandfather who was an exceptional grower and known for his rhubarb used in summer pies. So when the couple found their Walnut Creek home, they knew the large empty side yard would be their chance to build a beautiful garden of their own while learning how to tend to nature as their families once had. With this piece of property they found meaning and opportunity to create a legacy garden.

The goal for the garden was to include a beautiful production area for growing veggies, fruit, and flowers while allowing for other spaces such as a potting bench, chicken coop, and an area for bees—elegantly intertwined with areas to sit and relax without any of the functional systems being noticeable at all. Where many of the edible plants and flowers were particular nostalgic requests from the owners, the Pine House team also included a variety of new plant discoveries, which not only served as an important design feature but also invited a host of new, very “Californian” recipes and rituals that would become part of the family’s new narrative. The result? A busy yet composed production garden that is a serene retreat for a family to grow and cultivate new memories together.



The Pine House team took cues from the family’s fun, mid-century modern style and applied that idea of clean lines and simple structure as the foundation for a more loose, colorful, and romantic-feeling garden. In turn, the layout teeters between being very linear and formal while overflowing with an abundance of flowers and edibles. To achieve this, organized structure was crucial, and retaining walls were used to stand out as a strong design feature. To balance the more modern layout and structure of the garden, there was an intentional fullness of plantings added into the mix to make it feel more oldtimey and homey. The combination evokes a more nostalgic vibe creating a nice tension between the

hardscape and the softer, more textural plantings. Additional definition was achieved by evergreen perennial edibles such as culinary bay, pineapple guava, and avocado. These were planted alongside other ornamentals around the perimeter to create a backdrop and “green room” effect for the overall space. A mid-layer gathering area was designed with classical “cloisters” in mind. The space was broken into four quadrants and each planted with a heritage fruit tree, roses, and blueberry bushes. This dialed-in organization of space and plant material allowed for an impressive and diverse number of plantings, proving that you can optimize any footprint or container for maximum production.

Overflowing greenery such as artichokes and snapdragons break up the hard structure of the raised beds when paired with other softer, more textural plantings.



A floriferous garden with warm and jewel-toned blooms was the starting point when the Schimmels were considering the overall color scheme of the space. The Pine House team wanted to create gravitas by using dark gray and black for the hardscape and containers, which made foliage pop. Because a productive garden such as this includes so many elements that change dramatically through the seasons, the Pine House team adhered to a tightly coordinated color palette to help organize the design. By repeating color or texture, the eye moves more gracefully throughout the space. Repetition and use of color doesn’t always have to be florally focused. Here evergreen ornamentals such as dwarf cypress and pittosporum alongside burgundy loropetalum and heuchera create depth and texture with a cohesive flow.

Geometric gray planters carry the home’s modern style throughout the garden while providing a focal point for seasonal swaps of color and texture.




vorites such as roses, but also added in a range of complimentary blooming colors and shapes for effortless arrangements.

The Schimmel family asked for a wide variety of cutting flowers and had a long list of favorites including roses that reminded them of their family’s gardens. The Pine House team proposed a perennial flower and foliage mix perfect for cutting while also attracting pollinators to neighboring crops. While they focused on family favorites, they also added in a range of complimentary blooming colors and shapes that would allow the family to effortlessly make beautiful arrangements throughout the year—an incredibly thoughtful detail that continues to weave the narrative of family memories mixed with new traditions.

Two designated rose beds, each with five varieties in them, plus an additional two raised beds for annual and smaller perennial cutting flowers are situated at the secondary entrance of the production garden space. The family has appreciated the diversity of the cut flower garden more than expected, with owner Jonathan sharing, “I have always loved roses and pruning them is such a wonderful meditative activity. However, with the mix, Noreen has become quite adept at building arrangements for the house every few days. When we have visitors, we always have a fresh bouquet to welcome them and decorate their room. What a luxury to have fresh flowers on demand.“

The Pine House team focused on family flower fa-


The secret to an endless harvest is a combination of careful selection and timing. Understanding how the space changes throughout the day, let alone each season, is key. Pine House planned out garden beds that are productive year-round with calculated cool and warm season plantings that are refreshed in October and April, along with smaller successional plantings added in each month. Perennial edibles, such as asparagus, artichokes,

Jonathan secures fava beans to a trellis, which not only allow for more surface area to grow shallow rooted crops such as lettuce, but also provide late afternoon shade for tender greens.

berries, and fruit trees, are also incorporated throughout the garden. These contribute to ongoing production, but also define space while providing seasonal beauty.

Cleverly utilizing every square inch as an opportunity to produce food is just as important as the crops you choose to grow. Pine House isn’t afraid to put beds in shadier spots for cool-season crops like salad greens and broccoli in successive plantings so that there is always an on-going harvest. Additionally,

they like to play with a mix of vegetable types, especially when it comes to tomatoes, which offer an diverse variety throughout the summer season. Even the ground around the raised beds is full of edibles. On the perimeter, an impressive collection of citrus, stone fruit, avocados, pomegranate, passion fruit, apples, figs, and quince is mixed with culinary herbs, such as sweet culinary bay, myrtle, and rosemary, creating a lush oasis that is bountiful year round.



When it comes to creating a garden filled with heirlooms and history, the Pine House team suggests weaving in a meaningful family narrative into the design by focusing on a specific food memory and how that might link to a specific heritage or tradition. Even certain flowers can introduce nostalgia by creating a sensory garden through color and scent. Where there might not be a specific tangible element, they suggest focusing on a feeling you want to evoke within the space, even if it’s something as simple as the sense of abundance. By connecting that to the action of

stepping into the garden to gather fresh herbs for dinner, or the practice of arranging beauty by cutting fresh flowers on the weekend, you will find yourself creating new traditions for yourself and family.

Beyond the stylish structure and bountiful beauty, Pine House designs gardens in a way that make people feel connected to the land they are living on by weaving in personal histories and offering opportunity to create new stories. These are the best kinds of gardens, the ones that have as much heart as harvest. Gardens that give the gift of hope for the future.




Leslie Bennett, award-winning garden designer and owner of Pine House Edible Gardens, is revealing her signature style secrets in her new book, Garden Wonderland. Filled with inspiration on how to incorporate personal and edible elements into any landscape, we asked Leslie to share the five key design considerations to achieve the iconic Pine House Edible Gardens look so you can create a plant-filled wonderland of your own.

• Edging With Evergreens: A garden wonderland includes plants for harvest of food, flowers, medicine, and more. Since many of these harvest plants are highly changeable and can fade or entirely disappear from your landscape during parts of the year, use evergreen plants to create a yearround visual framework for your outdoor areas.

• Be Choice With Color: Pick a few foliage and bloom colors to repeat throughout your landscape. Once you’ve established some continuity of color throughout the landscape, you can still include a few one-off pops of color in whatever other shades you like.

• Heavy On Harvest: Include food and flowers that you like and want to eat and pick—choose varieties that offer harvests in different seasons so you have reasons to step outside and pick something to eat and enjoy in winter, spring, summer, and fall!

• Composition With Containers: Situate a large pot or two on your patio spaces to bring greenery closer to seating areas and to help frame the space. Including pots with some culinary herbs or perennial edibles just outside your backyard or kitchen door is beautiful to look at and makes it that much easier to access for daily use.

• Space For Socializing: Include pathways or seating areas adjacent to favorite plants or other meaningful elements that feel personal to you and make you happy. Even smooth edges of raised beds or retaining walls can be built at seat-height to serve as seamless builtin seating throughout the garden.



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It’s Kismet

Thanks to an easy way with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors and peak season Californian produce, the success of L.A.’s Kismet restaurants was fated.

Photographs by CHRIS BERNABEO

Was it the rotisserie chicken or the pickles? The falafel flecked with bright green herbs and freshly toasted spices, fried until crackling brown, stuffed into wraps or adorning bowls dotted with pickled vegetables and lashed with zhoug? Whatever it was, word got out that Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson knew how to cook Middle Eastern cuisine, and folks thronged their stall Madcapra at L.A.’s Grand Central Market. L.A. is no stranger to all the iterations of this pan-national culinary tradition, thanks to its countless rotisserie chicken shops, shawarma joints, and falafel stands, so that’s saying something. It was at their second restaurant Kismet, an airy proper sitdown restaurant in Los Feliz, where they truly established themselves as purveyors of a third wave Middle Eastern-Mediterranean-Californian cooking. Their followup Kismet Rotisserie raised the bar on a burnished spiced bird. At each of their spots they took their pan-cultural threads of dishes (labneh, za’atar, flaky malawach bread) and added that (yes) Alice Waters obsession with local and fresh vegetables, and served up shareable plates of the kind of bright and zippy plant-forward food you could eat for days: cucumber salad, fried cauliflower with caper yogurt, chiledusted chicken skewers with radish salad, adorned with plenty of pickled vegetables and punchy versions of red and green zhoug.

Their new cookbook Kismet: Bright, Fresh, VegetableLoving Recipes empowers diners to bring that vegetableobsessed, assertively-flavored, celebratory ethos to your home kitchen. Packed with home-cook-friendly versions of their restaurant classics and dozens of other recipes, it’s a book that will serve you well on a weeknight or at a dinner party or potluck. As Sara and Sarah evocatively write in their introduction: “Imagine swiping a piece of just-offthe-grill flatbread through ranchy labneh, biting through the flakes of phyllo surrounding a lemony chicken-andpine-nut pie, then locking eyes with a lamb meatball, an array of spiced pickles and vegetables awaiting your fork’s arrival. That’s the vibe.” Until you pick up a copy of their book, we’ve got three stellar recipes to cook now.

Pick up a copy of Kismet for more inspired mod Californian-Middle Eastern recipes. $35; PENGUINRANDOMHOUSE.COM 54 SUNSET • HOME & DESIGN 2024

From Ope ning Page

Can’t-Take-It-Off-the-Menu Cucumber Salad

This salad’s enduring popularity on the Kismet menu proves, year after year, that cucumbers are universally loved. There are few fruits that won’t make a nice sidekick to bright, crisp cucumbers. If cherries aren’t in season, celebrate the fruit of the moment: We’ve cycled through mandarin oranges, melons, mulberries, and persimmons. As for rose water labneh, it’s the sauce you never knew you needed. SERVES 4

Get Ahead: Make the parsley seed za’atar and rose water labneh up to 3 days ahead


4 tsp. sesame seeds

1 Tbsp. dried rose petals, crumbled

1 tsp. sumac ½ tsp. parsley seeds

1 8 tsp. kosher salt


1 cup labneh, store-bought or homemade Grated zest of ¼ lemon

1 tsp. rose water

½ garlic clove, grated on a Microplane ¼ tsp. kosher salt

Pinch of ground black pepper


2 Tbsp. lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. kosher salt

5 Persian (mini) cucumbers, shaved lengthwise on a mandoline into 1 8-inchthick slabs

2 cups cherries, pitted and halved

¼ cup chervil, mint, or parsley leaves

1. Make the parsley seed za’atar: Preheat the oven to 300°F.

2. Spread the sesame seeds on a small baking sheet and toast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and let cool. Lightly grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to a sandy texture (not a fine powder).

3. In a small bowl, stir together the ground sesame seeds, dried rose petals, sumac, parsley seeds, and salt. Set aside.

4. Prepare the rose water labneh: In a small bowl, combine the labneh, lemon zest, rose water, grated garlic, salt, and black pepper and stir to distribute the ingredients thoroughly. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

5. Assemble the salad: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Add the shaved cucumbers to the bowl and toss to coat.

6. Spread the rose water labneh on the bottom of a serving dish or bowl. Using your hands, arrange the cucumber slices into loose curls and set on top of the labneh.

7. Top with the cherries, followed by the za’atar and chervil.


• Dried rose petals can be a little leathery. Stick them in a very low oven (200°F or less) for 10 to 15 minutes for a little extra drying. Once they’re completely cool, they should be crumbly.

• We source our parsley seeds from garden supply stores—may we recommend the internet? Celery seed will make a fine sub.


The Only Way To Bake A Salmon

Baked salmon holds a nostalgic key to my heart. Most weekends growing up, my family would unwrap wax-papered parcels of fish from Zabar’s, the Upper West Side’s holy land of Jewish appetizing shops. And every Yom Kippur break fast involved the full spread: fluffy cream cheese, smoked whitefish, sliced tomatoes, juicy Greek olives, and whatever outlier succeeded in catching my mother’s eye—like a welcome but out-of-place ball of burrata.

Maybe it’s sacrilege to prefer it to peppered lox (the Kramer house favorite), but lightly smoky baked salmon has always been the one for me. I pile it on buttered toast, give it a

squeeze of lemon, and swoon. This soft and supple version bears very little resemblance to the many other baked salmons of my youth. Listen, I never turned down the broiled, Soy Vey–smothered salmon we ate for Shabbat dinner (that’s every Friday night for those of you unfamiliar— yes indeed, every single Friday). But who knew that lowering the oven temp makes all the difference in the world?

This low-and-slow method is the way to bake a salmon—a little more time to dedicate, sure, but barely. Plus this salmon dish shines at any temp; it’s just as much a star set out cold for breakfast as it is served straight from the oven for dinner. SERVES 4

½ red onion

1 ½ tsp. paprika

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

1 garlic clove, grated on a Microplane

½ tsp. ground caraway

½ tsp. ground coriander

½ tsp. Aleppo

Grated zest of ¼ orange

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 ½- to 2-pound salmon fillet

2 oranges, peel cut away, sliced into thin rounds, seeds removed

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

½ cup dill leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.

2. Slice the onion into thin rounds and soak in cold water for 10 minutes. Pull from the water, drain well, pat with paper towels, and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the garlic, caraway, coriander, Aleppo, orange zest, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

4. Place the salmon, skin-side down, onto a baking sheet, and rub the top evenly with the spice mixture. Let it sit for 15 minutes.

5. Transfer to the oven and bake until just cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes.

6. In a medium bowl, combine the red onion, orange rounds, vinegar, the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt and toss. Top with the dill.

7. Transfer the salmon to a serving plate and spoon the orange/onion mixture alongside.


1 / The color changes from dark to light when cooked— the center will cook through last.

2 / When you press (gently) on the salmon, it should visibly flake from the pressure. Err on the side of undercooking— you can always pop it back in.



Kefir grains are the mysterious little funwith-fermentation blobs that we use to culture fresh milk and cream into labneh. After several days, the dairy transforms, thickening and souring, at which point we remove the grains and drain off the liquid, resulting in the thick, spreadable kefir cheese known as labneh (or lebneh, lebni, or labaneh). The grains are endlessly reusable, and they continue to grow as you feed them (making them good gifts for fermentation-curious friends). Like any living thing, the grains need nourishment, so to keep them alive between batches, store them in milk in your fridge. MAKES 4 CUPS

Perfect Smashed Potatoes

Simmer-smash-crisp, the holy trinity of root vegetable cooking techniques, never fails to deliver. It strikes the ideal balance of soft interior and crunchy exterior—the texture dreams are made of and the ultimate crowd-pleaser. At times, we’ve topped these with a few swipes of dry-cured scallop, and if you, too, feel inclined toward a fishy flourish, bottarga (or even trout roe or caviar) would make a lovely stand-in, but it’s fully optional. It’s also worth noting that what we have here is yet another example where the finishing touch of raw garlic makes a good dish a little extra good. SERVES 4

2 pounds small potatoes, such as fingerlings or new potatoes

2 bay leaves

3 Tbsp. kosher salt

1 3 cup olive oil

1 Tbsp. Urfa pepper

1 garlic clove, grated on a Microplane

1 cup labneh, store-bought or homemade

Grated zest of ½ lemon

1 3 cup dill leaves

½ tsp. flaky sea salt

1. In a large pot, combine 6 cups water, the potatoes, bay leaves, and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Once tender, drain the potatoes well and transfer to a baking sheet.

2. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

3. Toss the potatoes with the olive oil and, using the back of a metal spatula, lightly smash the potatoes. Roast until the potatoes are very nicely crisped, about 45 minutes, occasionally tossing for even browning. Remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the potatoes with the Urfa and grated garlic, and toss to coat evenly.

4. Spread the labneh over the bottom of a serving dish and pile the dressed potatoes over it. Top with the lemon zest, dill, and flaky salt.

4 cups heavy cream

2 2 3 cups whole milk

1 Tbsp. milk kefir grains

1 tsp. kosher salt

Get Ahead: As this is a fermented product, this labneh holds in the fridge for a long time, up to 1 month. It will continue to ferment, so if you’re keeping it for longer than a few days (which is totally fine to do), you’ll just want to give it a stir every so often.

1. In a plastic or glass container with a lid, stir together the cream and milk.

2. Put the kefir grains into a cheesecloth sachet or a metal tea ball and add to the dairy mixture. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 2 to 4 days. Stir and taste daily. During this time, the dairy will begin to thicken and sour.

3. When you’ve achieved the desired level of sourness, around day 3 or 4, remove the sachet of grains, mix well, cover, and transfer the container to the fridge, to set up overnight.

4. Set a mesh sieve over a bowl and line it with a double layer of cheesecloth. Using a rubber spatula, and without mixing it,

empty the dairy mixture into the cheesecloth. Tie up the ends of the cheesecloth over the labneh. Place the bowl with the sieve in the fridge overnight (or up to 2 nights for a very thick labneh). Then transfer the labneh to a bowl and season with salt.


Flour + Water in San Francisco has taken the Italian export from regional specialty to California culinary canvas. These spring recipes will raise your pastacooking game.



food is a Western culinary treasure. While for decades the city was mostly known for the red sauce pleasures of

the old restaurants in the historically Italian enclave of North Beach, a lovely thing happened over the years: the whole Alice Waters-inspired obsession for local ingredients merged with a hyperregional Italian approach to technique and preparations, and a new kind of California-Italian cuisine was born. Pioneering restaurants such as Pizzeria Delfina (which served much more than pizza) and A16 (which was inspired by the highway that runs through the Southern Italian region of Campania) set the stage for more restaurants practicing an exacting, ingredient-obsessed kind of cooking. And there is Flour + Water, the Mission district restaurant devoted to perfecting the art of fresh pasta. In inspiration and source material, the restaurant is disciplined and nearly academic. In execution on the plate, the food is simply delicious. Flour + Water is, as its name suggests, elementally about pasta. Chefs Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow are masters of the craft and know by heart and hand how to make 80 different pasta shapes in house. Yes, you can order favorites like ravioli and garganelli, but also more obscure

regional shapes such as scarpinocc and sorprese. The nuances start with these shapes that succeed or fail based on knead time, humidity, and the quality of the flour. So each night, when these fresh pastas are made, diners experience a fleeting period of pasta perfection. This is further elevated by the ingredients that grace these building blocks.

Horseradish gremolata brightens an earthy saffron ravioli, charred treviso and butternut squash and braised pork ennoble garganelli. So when McNaughton and Pollnow perfected their dried pasta game and launched a Flour + Water line of pastas in popular shapes, fans and home cooks rejoiced.

The pastas are made with bronze dies, which produce noodles with a slightly textured surface that allows sauce to cling to it, transmitting more flavor to the palate than a smooth pasta made on the Teflon-coated dies used for most commercial pasta. The wheat is organic semolina grown on farms that practice regenerative agriculture, which emphasizes returning nutrients to the soil to reduce the carbon imprint of the growing process. The company has partnered

Top: Ryan Pollnow and Thomas McNaughton; Flour + Water’s exquisite line of pastas are cut in bronze dies and made with regeneratively grown organic wheat. Order at

with the organization Zero Foodprint and contributes 1 percent of the sale of each box of pasta to farms practicing regenerative agriculture. Yes, this is good for the planet, but it also produces a more flavorful wheat that makes it better on the plate.

Any diner who’s eaten at Flour + Water has had their mind expanded by the experience of tucking into a bowl of noodles where the convergence of sauce, sourcing, cooking, and presentation has reached a new blissinducing expression. And the pastas on the following pages will similarly alter your perception of home-cooked pasta, thanks to the matching of shape with sauce and other cheffy flourishes that help transmit flavor. Pesto is made with pistachio and enriched with cream to help the sauce cling to the ridges of the penne. A bit of fish sauce can be added to the shrimp pasta to punch up the briny flavor of the seafood. Parmigiano Reggiano rinds infuse the broth in the macaroni soup. And the water is salted just so. You’ll note the abundant use of salt. While many cooks think of salt in tablespoons, the Flour + Water team recommend ¼ cup for 4 quarts of water. That’s a lot, but when you’ve spent this much time obsessing about the quality of pasta, you want to taste it. This level of salinity essentially seasons the pasta from the inside as it cooks and absorbs the salted water. (Be sure to use Diamond Crystal brand, which has the right coarseness of grain. Other brands can be too salty). Such is the precision required for Flour + Water pasta perfection. But don’t take our word for it. Procure their pastas and cook up the best San Francisco-California-Italian dishes you’ll eat this spring.


“At the restaurants, we actually use SoSalt sea salt from Sicily, but kosher salt is more accessible for the average home cook. Since it doesn’t change the finished flavor of the pasta greatly, we recommend Diamond Crystal brand.”


Stracciatella means “little rags” and in this recipe refers to the appearance of the Roman egg drop soup. Don’t confuse this ‘stracciatella’ with the cheese or gelato flavor by the same name, this one’s all about broth. We pair the broth with our macaroni, the perfect soup-appropriate sized noodle. Plus, eggs and asparagus love each other, so it was a natural fit. SERVES 4.

4 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano rinds

2 ea. Bay leaves

1 Tbsp. black peppercorns

2 qts. vegetable stock

8 oz. Flour + Water Macaroni pasta

2 cups asparagus, cut into ¼” rounds

2 cups baby spinach

Juice of a lemon

4 large eggs

Pinch of salt

1 bunch chives, minced

½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Fresh cracked black pepper

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Step 1: Making the Parmigiano rind broth is something you should plan on doing ahead of time. Tie the

Parmigiano rinds, bay leaves, and peppercorns in cheesecloth to create a sachet. Gently simmer the sachet in vegetable stock for 2 hours. The stock will reduce to about 1 ½ quarts. Remove and discard the sachet and strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve. Season to taste with salt and reserve until ready to finish the dish.

Step 2: Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a 6 quart stock pot or dutch oven. Once the water comes to a boil, season with ¼ cup of Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt and cook the macaroni until al dente (about 10 minutes). Meanwhile, bring the Parmigiano broth to a boil in a

separate pot. Once the broth comes to a boil, remove from heat and reserve until pasta finishes cooking.

Step 3: Once the pasta is cooked, strain in a colander and add to the Parmigiano broth. Turn the burner back on to high heat. Add the asparagus rounds and spinach and season with salt and lemon juice. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, a pinch of kosher salt, minced chives and half of the freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. When the broth returns to a boil, slowly drizzle in the egg mixture (think egg drop soup) and stir the broth as it comes back to a boil. Once the broth comes back to a boil turn off the heat and season to taste with kosher salt and a very generous amount of fresh cracked pepper.

Divide between 4 serving bowls and garnish with the remaining Parmigiano and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.



Most people associate mushrooms with winter cooking, but for us chefs, it’s the prized spring morel that really excites us. This recipe was developed around the wild morels from the sierras that we use at Flour + Water, but feel free to substitute other varieties that are available to you. SERVES 4.

2 heads garlic

½ cup plus 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 lb. Flour + Water Campanelle pasta

1 lb. morel mushrooms (or substitute your favorite wild or cultivated mushroom), cut into ½” rounds

1 bunch dinosaur kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped

½ cup white wine

8 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup vegetable stock

4 Tbsp. butter

1 ½ Tbsp. sherry vinegar

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

2 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated

Step 1: Roasting the garlic is definitely a recipe step that you’ll want to do ahead, as it’s the longest cook time of the entire process. To roast the garlic, cut the top ¼ of the garlic heads to expose the tops of the cloves. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and wrap securely in aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes (check the garlic cloves by unraveling the foil pack during the last 20 minutes of cooking. The garlic cloves should be caramelized, light brown and tender). Allow to cool before using.

Step 2: To cook the pasta, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a 6 quart stock pot. Add ¼ cup of Diamond

Crystal brand kosher salt to the water and make sure it remains at a constant boil over high heat. Drop the pasta into the salted water and stir to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom. Stir the pot often to ensure the individual noodles are constantly moving and cook evenly. For this dish, we are going to slightly undercook our pasta in the boiling water, as it will see an additional minute or two of cooking in its pan sauce. At 2 minutes before the estimated cook time on the box, begin checking for doneness. Once the pasta is slightly undercooked, reserve a 1/4 cup of the pasta water and strain directly into the prepared pan sauce.

Step 3: For the pan sauce, heat a 12” diameter, high sided saute pan over medium heat. Add ½ cup of olive oil and allow the oil to heat slightly. Add chopped mushrooms and allow to caramelize (don’t be tempted to stir too early here, you really want to get good caramelization before disturbing the mushrooms). Add the picked leaves of thyme and season the mushrooms with a generous pinch of salt and continue to saute the mushrooms until they have good color on all sides. Add kale leaves, season again with a pinch of salt, and deglaze with white wine. Stir and cook until the wine reduces by half. Add cream and

vegetable stock and bring the pan sauce to a simmer. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from the roasted heads and stir into the sauce. Strain the pasta into the pan sauce along with 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Add butter and cook until the sauce reduces to a consistency that coats the campanelle. Remove the pan from the heat and season with sherry vinegar and salt. Plate and garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.



Spaghetti and Shrimp Scampi has become a classic combo in the line-up of American pasta dishes. The addition of spring peas adds a touch of seasonality. Finishing with a generous amount of fresh chopped herbs at the end helps cut through the richness of the pan sauce. SERVES 4.

1 lb. Flour + Water Spaghetti pasta

1 quart vegetable stock (for “quick shrimp stock”)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ lbs. jumbo peel-on shrimp

12 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

½ cup white wine

1 stick butter

1 cup fresh English peas

8 oz. snap peas, cut on a bias into ½” pieces

½ bunch parsley, chopped

½ bunch mint, chopped

2 tsp. fish sauce (*optional)

1 lemon

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

Step 1: First, make a quick shrimp stock. Peel the shrimp and place the shells in a heat safe bowl. Bring 1 quart of store bought (or homemade) vegetable stock to a boil and pour over the shrimp shells. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow the shells to steep for 20 minutes before straining and reserving the shrimp stock (*note that this recipe makes more shrimp stock than what the recipe requires; free excess for up to a month). Devein the shrimp and rinse under cold running water. Pat dry and reserve.

Step 2: For the pan sauce, heat a 12” diameter, high sided saute pan over high heat. Add extra virgin olive oil and allow oil to heat slightly. Season shrimp with salt and sear quickly on both sides in the saute pan. Remove shrimp from the pan, onto a cutting board and turn heat down to medium low. Add sliced garlic and chili

flake to the pan. Cook, stirring often until the garlic just barely begins to caramelize. Add white wine and reduce liquid by half. Turn the heat back up to medium high, add 1 cup of the quick shrimp stock and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and reserve while you cook the pasta.

Step 3: To cook the pasta, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a 6 quart stock pot. Add ¼ cup of Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt to the water and make sure it remains at a constant boil over high heat. Drop the pasta into the salted water and stir to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom. Stir the pot often to ensure the individual noodles are constantly moving and cook evenly. For this dish, we are going to slightly undercook our pasta in the boiling water, as it will see an additional minute or 2 of cooking in its pan sauce. At two minutes before the estimated cook time on the box, begin checking for doneness. Once the pasta is slightly undercooked, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water for later use and strain directly into the prepared pan sauce.

Step 4: Meanwhile, roughly chop the shrimp into large bite size pieces. Add the cooked pasta to the pan sauce, along with the english peas, snap peas, and reserved pasta water (*see above) and butter to the pan sauce. Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce is at the desired finished sauce consistency. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, mint, and the reserved shrimp. Season with fish sauce and the zest and juice of one lemon. Adjust seasoning with salt if needed.



In this recipe we incorporate an extra step that really has impact on the visual aspect of this dish. We practice the common restaurant technique of blanching the basil and spinach for the pesto. By briefly cooking the greens in rapidly boiling water for a few seconds and shocking in ice water, it sets the chlorophyll and locks in the bright green color for the finished pesto. SERVES 4.

2 bunches basil, leaves picked and stems discarded

2 packed cups baby spinach

1 garlic clove

¼ cup pistachios, toasted

½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano


Kosher salt

2 3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 lb. Flour + Water Penne

2 Meyer lemons

8 oz. whole milk ricotta

2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup heavy cream

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Step 1 (pistachio pesto). This can be made up to a day ahead of time: Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a 6 quart stock pot and season generously with salt. Prepare an ice bath for shocking the basil and spinach. In 2 batches, briefly cook the basil and spinach leaves by stirring the leaves into the boiling water for 10 seconds and then removing the leaves with a slotted spoon and transferring to the ice bath. Remove the blanched basil and spinach leaves from the ice bath and squeeze out as much water as possible before transferring to a blender along with the garlic clove, a pinch of kosher salt and ½ cup of cold water. Blend for 45 seconds to

achieve a smooth consistency. Add the extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano and toasted pistachios and continue blending for 15-20 seconds, or until the mixture comes together with a coarse but incorporated texture.

Step 2 (lemony ricotta): Using a microplane grater, zest the Meyer lemons into a mixing bowl. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze ¼ cup of juice into the bowl, reserving the remainder of the lemon juice for finishing the pasta. Add the ricotta to the lemon zest and juice along with the black pepper. Whisk to combine and reserve.

Step 3 (cooking and finishing the pasta): Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a 6 quart stock pot or dutch oven. Once the water comes to a boil, season with ¼ cup of Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt and add the penne. Meanwhile, start the pan sauce by heating a large pan over medium high heat. Add the cream and butter to the pan and bring to a boil. Add a ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water to the pan sauce and remove from heat until the pasta is cooked and ready to finish. Once the pasta is just slightly undercooked (about 9 minutes), strain and add to the pan sauce. Continue

cooking the pasta in the pan sauce until most of the cream has reduced and coats the noodles. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and pistachio pesto, stirring constantly until the pesto melts into the rest of the ingredients. Season with the reserved Meyer lemon juice and salt if needed.

To serve, dollop with large spoonfuls of lemony ricotta and present family style.

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In a historic Hollywood locale, the Aster has created a hybrid hotel and members club that combines hospitality, creativity, and community.


ollywood and Vine has always been an intersection of dreams, the sidewalks studded with the names of movie stars, the Pantages and El Capitan theaters just up the way, the iconic Capitol Records tower rising over it all. It’s a fertile historical backdrop for a neighborhood that’s now home to Netflix and numerous “techtainment” businesses. And an organic extension of that creative resurgence is the Aster, a hybrid boutique hotel and membership club that’s flipped the script on the ever-evolving social club model.

In the past decade, there’s been a boom in social clubs in the West, part of a global phenomenon that saw the traditional members club expanded upon in dozens of iterations: the women’s-only club, the creative class club, the tech club, the luxe fitness/wellness club. As co-working spaces like WeWork and its competitors grew in popularity, the shift from being social-first to more work-friendly accelerated. Now many clubs exist as a sort of fifth space beyond home, office, hotel, restaurant/bar, and entertainment venue. The Aster is one such hybrid model and enriches the genre with Hollywood flair.

The Aster is, like many social clubs, low-key from the outside: a large heavy blue door and a valet sign are the only clues it’s there, with no indication of the charming spaces that lie within. Beyond the door, the light shifts and a single desk serves as guest and member check-in. Before it became the Aster, the space was the opulent Hollywood outpost of the h.Club, a London-based club funded in large part by Paul Allen. The bones of the extensive revamp of the space remains, and just one floor above, there’s a secret pool discretely nestled between the two towers of the building offering that rare combination of privacy and open sky in the center of the city. Here hotel guests swim laps or sip sparkling rosé tucked into ice buckets while members work on a laptop or practice the old Hollywood tradition of the poolside meeting. Just off the pool, there’s a bright tropical-themed bar with low club chairs, marble topped cocktail tables, and plush banquettes. On the sprawling roof, guests enjoy a spectacular view of the old 1920s buildings of Hollywood with their vintage neon signs, the Hollywood sign nestled in the hills, and that mid-century masterpiece, the Capitol Records building. Intimate lounge areas with fire pits fill the space, an outdoor movie screen is on one wall, there are two bars, and a restaurant overseen by celebrity chef Marcel Vigneron. Serving punchy modern California dishes like caviar topped chips and dip and miso salmon and a stellar smash burger, the restaurant is called Lemon Grove, a name that pays homage to the agrarian roots of the neighborhood. The hotel rooms are throwback glam with rotary-style phones, plush furnishings, and black and white photos—and among the best deals in Hollywood. It’s a stylish and savvy hotel hack for in-the-know travelers.

While anyone can book a room at the hotel, members have access to a private floor that’s the heart of the club experience. With its own bar and lounges, baby grand

piano, cabaret space, work studios and meeting rooms, a screening room playing first-run films and documentaries, and a music and podcast studio, the space is an opulent full service facility for the members of the creative industries that roost here. On any given day, the Aster is buzzing with pitch meetings, table reads, and marketing brainstorming sessions, with the night giving way to wine tastings, screenings, member dinners, and industry panel discussions.

A pool is tucked away on the roof, just above the hustle of Hollywood, ready for a swim or that Southern California tradition of working by the pool.

If this all sounds rarified and out of reach, think again. While private member clubs have a reputation for being exclusive and impossible to get into, the Aster practices an open door member policy that invites anyone to join. It’s a refreshing twist that’s increasingly common in the world of member clubs. With fees that average out to a movie ticket a day—and reciprocity with clubs in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Aspen, Denver, and beyond—it represents an accessible yet aspirational paradigm shift for nomadic workers in the increasingly hybridized work world in the West.

Skilled mixologists mix up seasonal cocktails at each of the Aster’s three bars. Here a Vine St. Paloma is served at the rooftop bar (and we’ve got the recipe!).


Well-appointed spaces throughout the Aster allow for socializing, working, or dining. Here a pair of iconic Eero Saarinen Womb Chairs offer members stylish seating in a vividly wallpapered lounge on the member’s floor.

Clockwise from top left: Guest rooms at the Aster are colorful updates on the Hollywood pied-à-terre; cactii and the Capitol Records building are a classic California pairing; Aster Park Lounge is pretty in pink (and green); the bar on the member level, ready for cocktails or co-working.


Mixing a little butterfly pea plant powder with gin makes for a vivid spin on the Spanish gin and tonic. The Aster infuses their St. Germain with lavender for extra botanical flavor.

2 oz. butterfly pea powder-infused Bombay Dry Gin ½ oz. lavender-infused (optional) St. Germain ¼ oz. lime juice cucumber slices

Combine ingredients in a wine glass filled with ice. Top with tonic water, garnish with cucumber slices and serve.

Oaxacan Manhattan

A slightly smoky spin on the classic Manhattan.

1 ½ oz. mezcal

1 ½ oz. Cynar

½ oz. sweet vermouth

2 dashes chocolate bitters

1 Luxardo cherry

Combine mezcal, cynar, sweet vermouth, and bitters in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir 20 times, then strain into a Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with cherry and serve.


Vine St. Paloma

The Aster makes its paloma with bruleed grapefruit juice for a slightly caramelized flavor, but regular juice works too.

1 ¾ oz. Calirosa Blanco


½ oz. Ancho Reyes

½ oz. agave syrup

¾ oz. grapefruit juice

½ oz. lime juice

Pinch of salt

splash grapefruit soda grapefruit wedge

Shake ingredients with ice, strain into a Tajinrimmed Collins glass filled with ice. Top with grapefruit soda, garnish with grapefruit wedge.


Astrotourism has taken off in the West, and the upcoming solar eclipse will be the peak of it all .

Previous: Utah’s Kodachrome Basin State Park. This page: Time lapse photography reveals the Milky Way over Goblin Valley.


in the hell am I doing?” I mutter to myself as I step backwards off a 100 foot rock wall into extraterrestrial ochre slot canyon. Engulfed in the alien abyss, my hands tremble, clenching on to the fixed rope. My breath is painfully shallow. I’m absolutely terrified. Instead of looking down, I focus upwards on the Southeastern Utah sky, just as I’d done a few hours earlier while viewing the ring of fire of the annular solar eclipse. Reminded of my human insignificance, the fear melts away. “We’re just water and stardust.” I inhale deeply, lock in on what’s above, and rappel. It’s not often a 6’0 woman feels small, but nature has its ways.

It’s hard to quantify the significant shift on your mindset seeing a celestial event like a solar eclipse can have. But it’s no doubt a profound one, as the hundreds of thousands of people participating in various forms of astrotourism can attest. This sector of the tourism industry has skyrocketed in the recent years, and for good reason. Urbanites are undoubtedly craving a deeper connection to our infinite universe.

And there’s no better place to do so than in Utah. Inarguably the dark skies capital of the world, the state is home to 24 International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) accredited places that include national parks and monuments as well as state and local parks. With urbanization taking hold, the skies are so polluted with light that

it’s rare to see little more than the North Star or Jupiter on an average night. Which is why organizations like the IDA are fighting to restore the nighttime environment and protect communities and wildlife populations from the harmful effects of light pollution. And it’s working; 10.5 million people visited one of Utah’s dark sky places in 2022 alone.

I’m one of the many who visited on a recent trip to Southeastern Utah to

see the annular solar eclipse firsthand. With Hannah Barry and her team at Stargazing Zion as my guides, I trekked out to the very Mad Maxsounding Sandthrax campsite with a handful of other outdoor enthusiasts, waking up at 3 a.m. and driving from the Field Station Hotel in Moab approximately 2.5 hours towards Lake Powell just to get a front row seat to the spectacle. In this desolate part of the desert, the usual light

Campers gather under the stars on the Utah side of Dinosaur National Monument, a certified International Dark Sky Park.

interference from towns disapparates, making it prime stargazing territory, no matter the time of year.

But a solar eclipse is the Super Bowl for stargazers. And we had front row seats.

Trying to make myself handy during the countdown to the Ring of Fire, I put my production background to use and helped their women-led team of astronomers set up the tripods for their observatory-grade Celestron telescopes. The ladies carried some serious glass, as we’d seen the nights before mapping out the constellations with them in the night sky.

In the pre-dawn hours before the eclipse, the anticipation was palpable, like awaiting New Years on the brink of the millennium, with the astro-enthusiasts counting down to totality. Playlists bumping Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, and Bonnie Tyler blared in the distance. When the moon finally blocked out the sun, it left what was typically a vibrant orange landscape in a apocalyptic, rusty darkness similar to the surface of Mars. Dogs howled. And so did the humans. It was surreal, spectacular, and absolutely worth every hour of travel getting to this remote part of the West.

But what is astrotourism exactly? It can take many forms, from group trips focussed on astrophotography to star parties with other enthusiasts to hotel programming centered around viewing the constellations. And come April 8, astrotourism will be booming. It will be the last solar eclipse to cross North America for 20 years.

Just as they did for the total eclipse in 2017, tourists will arrive in droves to stay along the 115 mile wide region in the Continental United States referred to as the path of totality, where viewers can see the full glory of the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, visible only when the moon completey covers the sun. (The path of totality for the solar eclipse in 2017 covered much of the West, whereas this year’s best viewing will be central Mexico and south-central Texas.)

Though astrotourism may seem like a recent phenomena, the cosmos have long been the object of our attention. While the ancient Greeks are

GUTTER CREDIT Natural Bridge in Bryce Canyon illuminated by the night sky.

often touted as some of the earliest astronomers, the first documented records of systematic astronomical observations date back to the AssyroBabylonians around 1000 B.C. And, of course, indigenous Polynesisan wayfarers used star compasses to navigate the seas, reading the night sky to set their course.

So perhaps it’s that ancestral pull that has us yearning to reconnect with the stars. Meteor showers, supermoons and aurora borealis seem to be at the top of everyone’s travel bucket lists. But for many, a total eclipse is apex viewing. And remote towns explode with guests during these celestial events.

Barry believes these naturally occurring phenomena are having an increased interest for many reasons.

“I think that the uptick in dark sky recreation is driven by the reality that humans as a whole are less connected to the stars and night sky than ever before. Many of our visitors remark on how it is their first time seeing the Milky Way, as they rarely see stars at home,” she says. “The feeling of gazing up at constellations twinkling, watching meteors fall, the moon illuminate the night while out in nature without light, without city noise, really allows time to reflect and be in solitude. The grandiosity of our universe has a way of humbling a person, and also garnering appreciation for life itself.”

But not everyone believes it’s something that should be gawked at. In fact, for members of many local indigenous tribes, looking at the eclipse is actually forbidden, as the solemn meeting of the moon and sun is one to be revered, but not seen.

Regardless of if and how you observe it, the psychedelic magic along our cosmic highway is something that certainly is scared, and worth traveling for.

What a wonderful cosmic coincidence it is for us to be here, now witnessing these natural wonders.

SCOTT MARKEWITZ PHOTOGRAPHY/UTAH OFFICE OF TOURISM Mountain bikers enjoy the world-class riding in Utah, the state known for having the darkest skies in America.

Perhaps it’s that ancestral pull that has us yearning to reconnect with the stars. Meteor showers, supermoons, and aurora borealis seem to be at the top of everyone’s travel bucket lists. But for many, a total eclipse is apex viewing.

Bryce Amphitheater boasts the most iconic and popular views of Bryce Canyon National Park at night. MARCIN ZAJAC/UTAH OFFICE OF TOURISM

Astral Accompaniments



OtterGrip Symmetry Series

These phone cases feature a built-in grip to securely hold your phone at different angles, helping you stabilize while looking at the sky. Pro tip: press your camera lens up to the telescope (make sure it’s filtered for safe eclipse viewing!) to get some really cool shots. OTTERBOX.COM, $59.95

Black Diamond Cosmo 350 Headlamp

Red light minimizes pupil dilation, thus preserving night vision, making it easier to see constellations with the naked eye. We love this affordable version for its many bells and whistles, including an integrated battery meter display that shows the percentage of power remaining so you know when to replace the batteries. REI.COM, $34.95

Nomadix Puffer Blanket

With the combined utility of a sleeping bag and a camping blanket, this adorable, packable, insulated puffer is perfect for bundling up while laying under the stars, and the neck snap allows it to be worn as a cozy cloak, leaving your hands free for snapping away. To really deck out your campsite, grab one of their Mystic Moon Phase towels. NOMADIX.CO, $99.95

EclipSmart Solar Eclipse Glasses

It’s absolutely imperative to wear eye protection during a solar eclipse. Look for glasses that are NASA approved and ISO-compliant by the American Astronomical Society, which block harmful ultraviolet, infrared, and intense visible light.


Celestron NexStar 130SLT

Telescopes are an investment, so you might as well get the best on the market. This entry level scope comes with an eclipse filter as well as the StarPointer finder, which assists with alignment and object location. A free download includes access to Celestron’s 36,000-object database, printable sky maps, and 3D renderings of stars, exoplanets, and galaxies.



West Essentials


Find Your Bliss In Storybook Carmel-by-the-Sea

Discover California’s coastal gem in world-renowned Carmel-by-the-Sea with awe-inspiring scenery and a fairytale village where you’ll experience a vibrant food, wine, art, and shopping scene — all within walking distance from your charming hotel.

Redwood… The West’s Original Building Material Redwood is the sustainable alternative to tropical hardwoods, grown to the highest environmental standards in the world. Redwood imparts natural beauty and warmth to residential structures.

The Peak of Adventure

Yellowstone is more than a park. In Montana, it’s a whole country—an entire ecosystem that doesn’t stop where the park ends. In Montana’s Yellowstone Country, adventure is wide open. Experience world-class outdoor recreation and captivating mountain towns.

Experience Skagit Valley’s Tulip Festival

Welcome to the largest Tulip Festival in North America! 200 acres of tulips await you in Skagit Valley, Washington. Don’t miss this breathtaking annual spectacle that attracts visitors from all over the globe. For information and tickets, visit

Explore Fairbanks, Alaska

Be inspired by the light of the Aurora Borealis. Renew your energy under the Midnight Sun. Experience the warmth of Fairbanks – the basecamp to Denali, Interior and Arctic Alaska. Start planning your Alaskan vacation with a Fairbanks Visitors Guide.

Unbox The West!

The Sunset Subscription Box brings the Best of the West straight to your door! Every three months, you’ll get a box full of home, design, food, and gardening products curated by Sunset editors. Choose the box that fits your style and price point, then get ready to be surprised and delighted by what you find inside!


This month: Moab, Utah

The insider:


Whitney Saggboy is a proud born-and-raised Moabite. Growing up as a Navajo woman in one of the West’s most notable regions for natural beauty, she has a deep passion for the outdoors, whether that be hiking, mountain biking, paddle boarding, or kayaking. When she’s not trail running with her pooch Crimson alongside her fiancé, you can find her guiding at Wild West Voyages, where we met on a session paddling down the Colorado River. Here, Saggboy shares her local tips on how to enjoy this quirky town located in a unique corner of the American West.

Seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts.

West Voyages


At the newly opened ULUM Moab, you can “have all the comforts of a luxury hotel while being immersed in the outdoors.” It’s located “just south of Moab on the outskirts of Canyonlands National Park ” and “feels otherworldly with its expansive, picturesque views.” Field Station is also an excellent option.


“Anytime I get the chance to go out, Trailhead

Public House & Eatery is my go-to. They have really fantastic kombucha on tap, and my favorite is their mushroom Swiss burger—a staple!” Also of note is Sweet Cravings Bakery & Bistro. A “locally owned bakery with incredible paninis, fresh food, and an awesome gift shop. Beyond their culinary delights, I love the outreach they do within the community and their passion for giving back in Moab.” A nearby Sunset staff pick is Spitfire Smokehouse, where you’ll often find guides enjoying a local craft brew and a plate of ribs, baked beans, and cornbread after knocking off work on countless trails and slot canyons.


Stand-up paddleboarding, also known as SUP, is Saggboy’s preferred way

of getting down the river. “Growing up in Moab, I never had a ton of river experience, but I always love gaining new skills. The past seven years with Wild West Voyages, one of my favorites has been stand up paddle boarding and SUP Yoga. I’m partially deaf in one ear so balancing on a SUP board without an equilibrium is a challenge I enjoy.” Another sport that doesn’t cost anything at all is trail running. “Living in Moab, there’s no shortage of gorgeous trails to walk or run. Growing up doing sports and cross country, running has been a hobby of mine. I love to run the mountain biking trails here. A favorite is the Pipe Dream mountain biking trail. It’s so close off the main road that it is often overlooked, but it’s quite a challenge with the reward of breathtaking views.”

SAGGBOY: KRISTA SIMMONS; THOMAS J. STORY (2) Spitfire Smokehouse Trail running in Moab


Izzy Tihanyi started surfing when she was just 8 years old. Her passion for the sport swelled, propelling her to a competitive level and eventually to teaching while attending University of California, San Diego. Now, she co-owns Surf Diva with her twin sister Coco, where they focus on introducing women of all ages to the sport in a fun and encouraging environment. (We can vouch; our lesson on the pristine and protected La Jolla Shores had us up, stoked, and officially hooked within an hour.) Here you can find some of Tihanyi’s favorite places to visit, both on and off the water, in this charming enclave of San Diego.


“I love staying on the sand. La Jolla Shores Hotel is located beachfront with a beautiful view of the cove and access to excellent surfing and snorkeling with gorgeous sunsets.” Another option in the area is the Sunset Travel Awards-winning Estancia La Jolla , an expansive yet somehow intimate garden oasis known for their spa and wellness programming.


“Osteria Romantica is a block from the beach, offering authentic Italian cuisine including fresh, traditional homemade pasta, salads, grilled artichokes, with a deep, delicious wine selection.” A Sunset staff favorite is Marisi, an impeccably designed space focused on Italian hearth cooking and handmade pastas. Don’t miss out on their stellar Negronis.

This month: La Jolla, CA

The insider: Izzy Tihanyi, CEO and Co-Owner, Surf Diva, Inc.


“Shore Rider is the quintessential beach bar with a local surf vibe, craft beer, and cocktails. It’s the perfect spot to unwind barefoot with a burger and killer nachos after a day at the beach.”


“Of course we are going surfing! Sign up for surf

and stand-up paddleboard lessons at Surf Diva Surf School, considered the gold standard of surf schools worldwide. We love sharing the stoke of surfing with our guests!” Another great way to get out on the water is to dive or snorkel in the La Jolla Cove, inarguably San Diego’s most famous dive site, where you can often spot a variety of sea lions, sharks, and fish that call the kelp forest home.


“ Surf Diva Surf Shop has a great vibe and carries a curated mix of heritage surf brands alongside new brands, creating a fun and welcoming atmosphere. We’re all about sharing the love of surfing and the California beach lifestyle, with lots of surfboard rental options available too.”

Surf Diva Shore Rider Marisi

This month:

Downtown Los Angeles

The insider: Sujan Sarkar, Chef/ Partner, Baar Baar


For breakfast, The Original Pantry Cafe is a must. “Go early before the line gets too long.” Later in the day, head over to Bottega Louie “for wood fired pizza and pastries,” then round out the day of eating at Bavel “for great Middle Eastern food, wine and atmosphere.”


Perch is an excellent “rooftop bar for to meet friends for happy hour,” and of course our own Baar Baar has a “beautiful bar,” that includes a menu of “unique cocktails inspired by Indian movies.” If you find yourself out into the wee hours of the night as many do in DTLA, head to Death & Co, “a must for great cocktails and late night food.”


Chef Sujan Sarkar grew up in a suburb of Kolkata, and while he has a real reverence towards the regional cuisines and produce of India. Now, he’s all about pushing the boundaries of the country’s authentic flavors at Baar Baar, which has locations in New York and Los Angeles. His playful take on cooking from the Asian subcontinent draws in a diverse and vibrant crowd, particularly during Sunday brunch, where a DJ spins as guests nosh on dishes like dahi puri with raspberry chaat masala or cauliflower with pickled kumquat and curry leaf. Here he shares some of his favorite spots in the heart of Downtown.


Hotel Per La boasts a “cozy and tastefully designed room, and the rooftop pool is amazing.” At Hotel Figueroa you’ll find a mix “of old and modern charm. You won’t want to miss Cafe Fig for breakfast” on their ground floor. The view of the pool gives that classic California vibe. If you’re looking for something for a work trip, Citizen M is “simple, no-frills fun.”

Death & Co


Peruse the bookshelves and “look for cookbooks at The Last Bookstore,” or explore the many works at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Make sure to stop in to “check out the vendors and shop for goods at Grand Central Market ,” a historic space that’s been continually operating and serving the community since 1917.

Grand Central Market
Hotel Per La
The Last Bookstore

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At the La Peer or the restaurant space at Palmilla there are lots of global influences and eclectic pieces that somehow don’t clash. What are some tips for how to bring elements of great hotel design into your own home without having it feel busy or disjointed?

Don’t be afraid to experiment and let your home reflect your personality and experiences. Bringing eclectic elements into your home is about finding balance and cohesion amidst diverse pieces. Ultimately, creating a comfortable and welcoming space is about expressing your unique taste and style. Balance unique objects and plants by focusing on a cohesive color palette. You can mix modern and natural elements but maintain consistency in color or texture. Group similar items together for impact.

What’s the number one thing someone can do to elevate their living space to get that designer touch?

Invest in statement pieces like a unique rug or artwork that becomes the focal point. Quality over quantity can make a space feel designer-inspired.

A key to your hospitality spaces is elegant, flattering lighting. What are some efficient and affordable ways to do this in the home?

Opt for layered lighting: a mix of overhead, task, and accent lighting. Install dimmer switches for versatility, and invest in LED bulbs for energy efficiency.

The spaces you design both soothe and surprise. What do you look to for inspiration?

I look to nature often, from its calming colors to its surprising textures. Travel, art, and fashion also play a big role as well. For one of my most recent projects, Sandbourne Santa Monica, I drew inspiration from the two contrasting worlds of sand and city which creates a unique ambiance that encapsulates “sand chic.” It’s a concept that effortlessly merges the laid-back ease of coastal living with the sleek elegance and sophistication of modern urban design. Imagine a space where natural textures like woven fibers and soft linens coexist harmoniously with sleek, polished surfaces, contemporary art pieces, and minimalist accents.

What are some of your favorite flea markets or thrifts for folks to shop at that might be lesser known that are in the West?

Gulla Jónsdóttir is an Icelandic architect known for her dynamic forms that have found their way into award-winning projects in the West like the La Peer Hotel, Palmilla in Newport Beach, and the Sandbourne in Santa Monica, the latter of which is set to open this spring. From her Los Angelesbased design studio, she shares insights on how to integrate organic beauty and function into your own home.

I sometimes like to mix antiques; it brings history and warmth to the space we design. I like Lief in West Hollywood. Big Daddy’s Antiques is always good to find big statement architectural pieces. And the Rose Bowl Flea Market is always an adventure to find the one-of-a-kind piece.

Are there any websites for great deals that look high end? It’s always worthwhile to consider websites like Chairish or 1stDibs for unique, high-end pieces that might have a more accessible price point.

SUNSET (ISSN 0039-5404) publishes 6 issues per year in regional and special editions by S. Media International Corporation, P.O. Box 15688 Beverly Hills, CA 90209. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, CA, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. (See DMM 507.1.5.2.) Nonpostal and military facilities: Send address corrections to Sunset Magazine, PO Box 680 Lincolnshire IL 60069. Vol. 247, No. 2. Issue: Apr/May 2024. Printed in U.S.A. Copyright © 2024 S. Media International Corporation. All rights reserved. Member Alliance for Audited Media. Sunset, The Magazine of Western Living, The Pacific Monthly, Sunset’s Kitchen Cabinet, The Changing Western Home, and Chefs of the West are registered trademarks of S. Media International Corporation. No responsibility is assumed for unsolicited submissions. Manuscripts, photographs, and other material submitted to P.O. Box 15688 Beverly Hills, CA 90209 can be acknowledged or returned only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. For 24/7 service, please email You can also call 1-800-777-0117 or write to Sunset Magazine, PO Box 680 Lincolnshire IL 60069. U.S. subscriptions: $24.95 for one year. Home Hotelier Architect and designer Gulla Jónsdóttir shares how to get the aesthetic of a high-end boutique hotel in your living space without breaking the bank. Interview by KRISTA SIMMONS “ ULTIMATELY, CREATING A COMFORTABLE AND WELCOMING SPACE IS ABOUT EXPRESSING YOUR UNIQUE TASTE AND STYLE.” 96 SUNSET • HOME & DESIGN 2024 THOMAS J. STORY

Decking. Railing. And other reasons to never go back indoors.

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