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The 5 Best Places for Art and Design Lovers to Travel in March

March is a major month in the design world. Here’s everything to know about where and how to make the most of it

 

March means two things: art and design fairs and spring break. New York City will host Armory Art Week at the beginning of the month and AD’s annual Design Show toward the end of the month. Meanwhile, Art Basel is set to return to Hong Kong, offering art aficionados a chance to discover the latest work by established and emerging artists. Austin will draw innovators in fields ranging from music and film to tech for the latest edition of SXSW. If you’re itching for a relaxing vacation, you might want to consider a private island getaway at the newly renovated COMO Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos or plan a safari for the low season, when you can practically have the savannah all to yourself.

New York City

The Freehand.

Photo: Adrian Gaut

March is a busy month in New York, with Armory Art Week kicking off on March 7 and AD’s 17th annual Design Show slated for March 22–25. Between the Armory Show, SCOPE, and VOLTA, Manhattan will draw a who’s who in the contemporary art world. If you’re planning to visit, check out the Roman and Williams-designed Freehand, the latest opening behind the very aesthetic-conscious Sydell Group, which runs the NoMad just a few blocks away. Indulge in a cocktail at the Pool Lounge in the Seagram Building (we recommend the Cucumber, an artful and delicious concoction made with cucumber-infused absinthe) then head downstairs to the Lobster Club for sushi in a madcap space designed by AD100 architect Peter Marino.

Hong Kong

Photo: Getty Images

Art Basel Hong Kong returns March 29–31 with booths by 248 galleries hailing from 32 countries and territories. The buzziest new opening is the Murray, a luxurious new hotel in a landmarked 1969 building in Central with a sleek design by Foster + Partners. Of course, you can’t go wrong at the Peninsula Hong Kong, which has been an icon since it opened in 1928. If you make the trip to this design lover’s paradise, book a table at hip hot spot Ho Lee Fook and check out the design shops at PMQ, the revitalized Police Married Quarters.

Turks and Caicos

Photo: Courtesy of COMO Parrot Cay

Itching for an island getaway? Escape to sunny Turks and Caicos, where you can stay at the renovated COMO Parrot Cay. Located on a private island that’s home to Donna Karan’s estate, the resort reopened in December after repairing some damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, with refreshed rooms and a new Beach Club. Its wellness program is designed to help you recharge, with guided beach meditations, yoga and pilates classes, and consultations with the on-staff Ayurvedic doctor from India.

Austin

The Austin Motel pool.

Photo: Courtesy of Austin Motel

Heading to Texas’s capital of cool for SXSW? The annual showcase of music, film, tech, and more will feature Wes Anderson’s latest movie, Isle of Dogs, as its closing-night film. Stay at the Austin Motel, the newest property in Austin by hip hotelier Liz Lambert, who’s also behind the ever-popular Hotel Saint Cecilia.If you can, tack on a few extra days and plan a road trip to Marfa to see Donald Judd’s groundbreaking Chinati Foundation, which added a major new installation by Robert Irwin in 2016.

Tanzania

Photo: KT Merry

Though it’s considered low season, March is an ideal time to visit the Northern and Central Serengeti before the rainy season, which usually starts around April. Leading safari outfitter Extraordinary Journeys recommends this time of year because you can go on game drives and not encounter another vehicle for hours or even the whole day. They partner with several lodges and tented camps, including the conservation-focused Singita, which has a handful of properties in Tanzania, and Bushtops Camps, which has a roving luxury tented camp that packs up and roams around the Serengeti tracking wildlife.

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HOUSE TOUR: A MIAMI PENTHOUSE THAT MARRIES EUROPEAN POSH WITH OCEANSIDE CHARISMA

Designer Jean-Louis Deniot stripped a South Beach penthouse to the bare cement for a striking home with Art Deco nods.

I had an impression of Miami long before I ever visited. I grew up in Paris and loved hearing about the South Beach scene: Gianni Versace and his mansion, Madonna hanging out at the clubs.

 

When I first arrived here 10 years ago, I expected to find a sexy paradise with pastel-colored Art Deco buildings and convertibles cruising along the beach. And a lot of Miami Beach was exactly like that. But on that trip, I also discovered another side to the city at Vizcaya, the Renaissance-style estate built by the industrialist James Deering in 1916.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

Designer Jean-Louis Deniot relaxes in the living room of a Miami Beach penthouse that he extensively renovated and designed. In the entry corridor, the wall panels are in polished brass, and the floor ball lights are custom.

Wandering through the villa and its gardens, I found that there was a link between European taste and American culture that was surprising to see in the midst of such an easygoing and cool vacation spot.

Simon Upton
Simon Upton

In the living room, the sofa from Deniot’s collection for Baker is in a Martyn Thompson Studio fabric, the 1930s Jindrich Halabala chairs are in a JAB Anstoetz fabric, the vintage cocktail table is by Paul Frankl, and the gold side table is by Hervé Van der Straeten; the 1920s bronze-and-alabaster chandelier once hung in the Villa Kerylos in France, the indoor-outdoor rug is by Galerie Diurne, the artwork is by Franz Kline, and the shelf holds a Roger Desserprit sculpture (center) and a French 1940s lamp.

Since then, Miami has become one of my regular destinations (I mostly divide my time between Paris, where my firm is located, New York, and Los Angeles). I am currently renovating a house here, and I have several client projects in the area, including the interiors of the Elysee Miami, a 57-story luxury condo tower that is being designed by Arquitectonica.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

The master bath’s walls, vanity, and flooring are in a coordinating marble from Marble of the World, the R.W. Atlas fittings are from Waterworks, and the Jonathan Browning sconces are from Andrew Kornat Designs.

I renovated this striking penthouse for a tech entrepreneur from Los Angeles. I had noticed the apartment — in the 1995 La Tour building—from the street even before it was for sale. Through the massive glass windows, you could see into the living room, with its 20-foot ceiling; it had the look of an artist’s studio, which I thought was appropriate for the home of Art Basel Miami Beach. Its location in the Mid-Beach area known as Millionaire’s Row, between the Faena and Soho Beach House hotels, is ideal. When the penthouse went on the market, I convinced my client to buy it.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

In the master bedroom, the headboard in an Aldeco pattern and standing lamp are both custom; the coverlet is in a Kirkby Design fabric. The armchair is 17th-century Spanish, the mirror is by R&Y Augousti, and the carpet is by Toulemonde Bochart. Deniot lined a wall in distressed stacked bricks and commissioned a hand-painted mural with a spiral motif to make the ceiling appear higher.

On our first visit, we found the place done up like a Spanish castle: tapestries, terra-cotta walls, fountains, columns, and a massive wrought-iron candelabra. I am not kidding. My client was living in a painted-concrete loft in L.A.; I told him I could peel off the drywall here and create a similar kind of Brutalist look.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

The entry’s French 1940s bronze-and-marble console is from Gallery Yves Gastou, and the artwork is by Stephenie Bergman.

One of my inspirations was the Brancusi atelier in Paris. In photographs of the studio, a monochromatic blue canvas is surrounded by sculptures, some on rough-hewn pedestals. Miami’s Art Deco scene was another influence; I gravitated toward the style of Gerrit Rietveld, a Dutch designer of the period, whose work was geometric and avant-garde. In the living room, the walls were stripped to the bare concrete, which was never meant to be visible.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

In the breakfast area, a custom table is framed by midcentury chairs in a Romo velvet; a custom glass-and-bronze bar cabinet is topped with a 1980s cement vase, a French 1940s carafe, and a 19th-century Nigerian helmet; the pendant is by FontanaArte.

But once exposed, it looked like beautiful stone, textured and vibrant, and I left it untouched. I lined the entry corridor with brass panels to reflect the light; it makes the space look bigger, and the effect is pure sunshine. The flooring is newly installed terrazzo — a nod to classic midcentury Miami.

Everything in the living room needed to be on a huge scale to balance the room’s height. The sofa is giant, the concrete head on a pedestal is massive, and the 1920s Italian terrazzo fragment of a nose and mouth on the white shelf near the ceiling is much bigger than it appears — more than two feet tall. If decorating a room is like creating a story (and to me, it always is), then this living room is a tale of the sea.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

The kitchen’s custom stainless steel cabinetry has been laser-printed with an abstract pattern, the sink fittings are by Dornbracht and Franke, the bronze pendant is custom, and the flooring is terrazzo.

I designed the cabinet in straw marquetry to hide the television set. It’s the blue of the deepest ocean, and it rests on lacquered wooden balls shaped like beach balls (the shape also references both Art Deco and Memphis design). On top of the cabinet, a row of onyx cones reminds me of shark’s teeth. The cocktail table has the form of a surfboard, and I designed the rug’s pattern to resemble sand and water.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

On the terrace facing South Beach, the Ilmari Tapiovaara rocking chair is vintage, a 1960s rattan chaise is covered in an outdoor Kravet fabric, and the marble side table is from a Paris flea market.

The ceiling in the master bedroom is just eight feet high. To make it look loftier, I commissioned an artist in Paris to paint a canvas of a storm or massive wave. We put the painting on a boat to Miami and glued it in place in the bedroom. The swirling pattern almost appears like a dome. In the master bath, which has a bird’s-eye view of the Intracoastal Waterway, I wanted the marble to look like a landscape.

I found a stone in Miami with beautiful veining — it looks very Art Deco—and covered every surface in it, along with the vanity, and even designed a matching marble waste bin.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

The living room’s midcentury chair and stool are in a Kirkby Design fabric, the custom television cabinet has doors in straw marquetry, and the marble side table and vintage cones are from a Paris flea market. The artwork above the cabinet is by Jérôme Robbe, and the French 1930s table lamp is from Teo Leo.

In this penthouse, 26 stories above the ground, you feel as if you are floating above the beach, the neighboring buildings, and even the clouds. You can see birds flying by. It’s a very poetic, serene, and some might say surrealistic way to live.

This story was originally published in the April 2018 issue of ELLE DECOR.

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Continue reading HOUSE TOUR: A MIAMI PENTHOUSE THAT MARRIES EUROPEAN POSH WITH OCEANSIDE CHARISMA

The 5 Best Places for Art and Design Lovers to Travel in March

March means two things: art and design fairs and spring break. New York City will host Armory Art Week at the beginning of the month and AD’s annual Design Show toward the end of the month. Meanwhile, Art Basel is set to return to Hong Kong, offering art aficionados a chance to discover the latest work by established and emerging artists. Austin will draw innovators in fields ranging from music and film to tech for the latest edition of SXSW. If you’re itching for a relaxing vacation, you might want to consider a private island getaway at the newly renovated COMO Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos or plan a safari for the low season, when you can practically have the savannah all to yourself.

Continue reading The 5 Best Places for Art and Design Lovers to Travel in March

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