Wish We Were Here: Ace Downtown LA

(Photos courtesy of Ace Hotel Downtown L.A.)
In case you're living under a rock, the 2014 Oscars were held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles last night. Naturally, the City of Angels has been dominating all kinds of water-cooler talk this morning, so I thought I'd adhere to the theme by bringing you the new Ace Downtown L.A.—it's housed in the old United Artists building, after all—in this week's installment of Monday Design Daydream. A collaboration with L.A.-based design firm Commune, the hotel blends glamorous Art Deco sensibilities with grungy West Hollywood tastes—and somehow it all works.

Let's start with the theater itself, a Spanish Gothic structure built in 1927 to resemble the cathedral in Segovia, Spain—the favorite building of silent-screen siren (and UA founding member) Mary Pickford. The Moorish grand entrance, original murals, and intricate vaulted ceiling, which is encrusted with thousands of glittering mirrors, were painstakingly restored, and the theater's seats were reclaimed and reupholstered in a deep shade of red velvet.

The attention to historical detail finds its counterpoint in the 185 pared-down suites. Informed by architect Rudolf Schindler's 1922 residence in West Hollywood, each minimalist guest room features original concrete ceilings, homasote wall treatments, and muted gray fiberboard furniture. Steel-and-glass windows delineate the bathrooms; Noguchi lamps and Mondrian-inspired Pendelton blankets appear throughout. Of course, no Ace Hotel guest room would be complete without a bevy of hipster standbys, from custom Ace x Rega turntables to C.F. Martin & Co. guitars.

The hotel's public spaces are equally compelling. There's Upstairs, a Moroccan-tinged rooftop lounge with ceramic lanterns, a wooden banquette strewn with printed pillows, and wicker chairs covered in crisp white fabric. But our preferred hangout has to be L.A. chapter, which, with its dramatic black-and-white palette and playful illustrations along the walls, feels like it belongs in New York City (a.k.a. home).

I'm the former Deputy Editor at Lonny.
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