Throughout most of the twentieth century, Los Angeles and California have symbolized the good life in America. In 1951, the acclaimed Swedish furniture designer, interior designer and architect, Greta Magnusson-Grossman, who rose to prominence in L.A. alongside her contemporaries Charles and Ray Eames, Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra, said California design “is not a superimposed style, but an answer to present conditions … It has developed out of our own preferences for living in a modern way.”
Embracing new technology, innovative materials, and a language of reductive geometry, while still honouring the individuality of the Arts and Crafts movement, designers like Magnusson-Grossman championed the sense of being connected to a particular place. And California modernism, as it was called, became a different and hugely influential model for the rest of country, widely admired because it reflected the way people actually wanted to live—with fluidity, openness and experimentation.
The influence of California modernism continues to this day, and it was apparent in the interior design plans provided by Project 22 Design for the new LEVEL Furnished Living development in Los Angeles. Thematically, this direction made sense: LEVEL was on a mission to redefine furnished accommodations and vacation rentals in the city, with its artful blend of apartment-meets-hotel.
Amid the glittering towers and art deco facades, LEVEL’s luxurious one–, two– and three–bedroom apartments take advantage of the prime downtown Los Angeles location and offer panoramic views of the sprawling city, all with hospitality-style service for long-term stays. So the question for Farmboy Fine Arts (FBFA) in developing the artwork collection for these accommodations was how to help guests feel as though they were no longer living out of a suitcase, but were instead settling into an upscale California lifestyle.
FBFA drew upon L.A.’s reputation as the “capital of cool” and reached out to local artist Myan Soffia, a self-taught photographer originally from the East Coast but who now resides in La-la-land, for a special licensing agreement on a number of images to be used throughout the public areas and suites. And you can tell through her work, which captures ethereal moments in the glittering city, that Soffia is smitten with her new hometown; it was just the touch LEVEL needed to help make guests feel at home during their stay.
FBFA also rounded out the collection with a number of mid-century-inspired artworks, created in-house by our Farmhands, to tie Soffia’s photographs in with the slick, modernist furnishings. All in all, it was a successful and contemporary twist on the California modern tradition.