On his first visit, it took Michael Martin—one of the creative minds behind design studio OSKLO—two tries to find the private driveway of this property. “It was like A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the middle of the Hollywood Hills, as doves and robins hopped from wisps of bougainvillea and massive lemon trees dropped fruit in front of your eyes around this very forgettable 1990s house,” he recalls. “The house had to go, but the property was one of a kind and really unbeknownst to everyone.”
Located a mile above the Sunset Strip, along one of the quieter roads of Los Angeles’s famed Bird Streets, the flat lot offers the utmost in privacy. Spread over 5,800 square feet on a single level, the new four-bedroom house gives a feeling of spaciousness, especially in the 13-foot-high great hall flanked by a central atrium with a centenarian olive tree.
“The house is a variation of whites, from the creamier white walls of stucco on the exterior and masonry walls to a lighter, powdery Decorator’s White (Benjamin Moore) on interior walls and within the atrium that makes it an extension of the interior living space,” says Arya Mohammadi Martin, cofounder of OSKLO. “We only used ultra-matte paints and surfaces, to the dismay of visitors that are often reprimanded for touching them by Michael,” he says, smiling. The kitchen was an inversion of this, with matte black cabinetry and blackened steel exhaust that carries over to the stained oak cabinet details in the bar and powder metal shelves in the main living area.
Working together for the first time as a married couple on this personal project, the OSKLO duo had to match their different ideas and approaches to what the house should look and feel like. “I wanted poured concrete and more of an industrial finish, but Arya liked the Trousdale feel of all-white architecture that came to define the property,” Martin says.
The main living room houses a comfortable custom-designed sofa by OSKLO, a bronze Rick Owens Alchemy Bench from Carpenters Workshop Gallery next to a Jean Prouvé daybed, and a collection of Pierre Jeanneret’s Chandigarh cane chairs. One of the bedrooms houses a pair of Milo Baughman chests of drawers from West Coast Modern LA, a kilim rug from Lawrence of La Brea and a midcentury-era, two-arm sconce from Stilnovo. These are just some of the gems that adorn the home.
“We have acquired many items through our travels, like an Oscar Niemeyer chair in Brazil or chunky stools in Japan,” Mohammadi Martin says. “We placed them in a way to make them feel part of a larger narrative. We find items that need some care and modernize them with updated upholstery and materials. There are also a lot of L.A. designers we pull from our inventory because we have so much.”
“A house is not a museum; it should emanate comfort and warmth in spaces that encourage conversation, inspiration and a desire to linger,” Martin adds.
Mimicking L.A.’s midcentury architecture in a more monumental way, with angles inspired by Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra infused with voluminous ceilings and bespoke stonework, the house plays with different themes in the bedrooms (beachy or all-white, for example) while reflecting a sense of free-flowing, effortless unity among all the areas.
According to the couple, designing a home is like writing a book: “Each room should connect a central story, with the occasional diversion in spaces like the powder room, where we did a stout custom sink in honed ceppo with an integrated shelf and mirror that fades into it ever so softly. We like to create visual experiences, so that if there were 30 people in one room, they would each sit somewhere different and experience a different visual.”
Hundreds of handcuffed Salvadoran gang members were displayed before assembled reporters on Saturday, a vivid show of President Nayib Bukele's policy of confronting them and the violent crime they are accused of committing. In April, Bukele provoked the ire of rights groups when he published on social media jarring pictures of hundreds of semi-naked jailed gang members, pressed tightly together in rows, despite the raging pandemic. Security Minister Rogelio Rivas called the majority of the newly-detained "terrorists" in remarks after they were assembled in an open-air plaza by heavily-armed soldiers, nearly all the detainees wearing masks and with their faces, many tattooed, looking down.
Peering down from their balconies at the luxury Waikiki hotel, more than a thousand migrants gaze out towards the sea that carried them on their desperate journey fleeing Africa. Their rickety fishing boats lie piled up on docksides waiting to be scrapped. Smashed hulls still bob in the water, a reminder of the eight lives claimed this week off Lanzarote as hundreds more migrants reached Spain’s Canary Islands. The survivors’ safety in hotel accommodation amid the sprawling resorts of southern Gran Canaria is testament to local islanders’ proud benevolence. But generosity is running thin as tempers fray amid a growing crisis that has split Canarian leaders from their mainland colleagues, and reopened old wounds in Europe's hopeless attempt to control migration. The Canary Islands has seen arrivals increase tenfold in a year to around 20,000 by late November. Plans are now afoot to build one of Europe's largest migrant camps, housing 7,000 across three islands. Around 6,000 are currently living in 15 hotel complexes after a deal was struck between hoteliers and the Spanish government.
A Maryland woman fatally shot her police officer husband and then killed herself, authorities said. Authorities identified the couple as Christina Lynn Francis, 41, and Timothy Eugene Francis, 50. News outlets said Timothy Francis was a veteran detective for the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington D.C.
The Government is preparing for a 100 per cent increase in the number of Hong Kong citizens coming to Britain after Boris Johnson offered up to three million residents sanctuary. The Prime Minister said in July that Hong Kong's freedoms were being violated by a new security law and those affected would be offered the chance to settle in the UK and ultimately apply for citizenship. The Foreign Office estimated that 200,000 people would move from Hong Kong to the UK, but a leaked internal briefing paper warned of a "rapid rise in the issue of British National (Overseas) passports since June". BN(O) passport holders in Hong Kong were granted special status in the 1980s but currently have restricted rights and are only entitled to visa-free access to the UK for six months. Under the Government's plans, all BN(O)s and their dependents will be given the right to remain in the UK, including the right to work and study, for five years. They will be able to apply for settled status and, after a further year, seek citizenship.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly flew to Saudi Arabia last week for a secret meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Saudi Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in the hopes of striking a deal that would normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel. But he came home empty handed after Prince Mohammed backed out, The Wall Street Journal reports.His reasoning, Saudi advisers and U.S. officials told the Journal, was President-elect Joe Biden's victory over President Trump in the U.S. general election. Although the Trump administration was a factor in the recent so-called Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between Israel and both the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Prince Mohammed reportedly wants to build ties with Biden and was reluctant about following suit while Trump is still in office, although the chances of that happening reportedly aren't impossible.Negotiating normalization agreements between Israel and other Arab nations is one Trump policy Biden seems likely to keep pursuing, but the president-elect has taken a tougher stance on Saudi Arabia than Trump, especially after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the Journal notes, so reviving talks with the new administration may be Prince Mohammed's best chance "to repair its image in Washington," a U.S. official said. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.More stories from theweek.com 5 witheringly funny cartoons about Trump's sort-of concession Is Mnuchin trying to sabotage the economy? Obama the pretender
When Turkey changed the way it reports daily COVID-19 infections, it confirmed what medical groups and opposition parties have long suspected — that the country is faced with an alarming surge of cases that is fast exhausting the Turkish health system. In an about-face, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government this week resumed reporting all positive coronavirus tests — not just the number of patients being treated for symptoms — pushing the number of daily cases to above 30,000. No country can report exact numbers on the spread of the disease since many asymptomatic cases go undetected, but the previous way of counting made Turkey look relatively well-off in international comparisons, with daily new cases far below those reported in European countries including Italy, Britain and France.
The high-profile epidemiologist who led Sweden's no lock-down strategy in the spring appears to be being sidelined by the government after his prediction that greater immunity would mean a lighter second wave proved badly wrong. Anders Tegnell's biweekly press conference was on Thursday pushed into the shade by an overlapping press conference fronted by Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, where new scenarios prepared by the Public Health Agency were announced. "There's certainly a split, and I'm pretty sure that many in the government have rather lost faith in the Public Health Agency," said Nicholas Aylott, an associate politics professor at Stockholm's Södertorn University. "By some counts, we've now got exactly the same level of spread of the virus that we had in the spring, and that's about as clear a refutation of Tegnell's strategy as you could wish for." Dr Tegnell has always insisted that his Public Health Agency has never pursued a herd immunity strategy, but he repeatedly suggested in the summer that his counterparts in Norway, Finland and Denmark would face a tougher task over the winter because of lower levels of immunity in their populations. This month, though, the number of deaths in Sweden has again begun to soar above that of its Nordic neighbours, with 630 deaths so far registered as a result of Covid-19. That is about ten times the per capita death rate in Norway -- where just 30 Covid-19 deaths were registered between October 28th and November 25th.
There's a reason why North Korea has remained quiet about the United States presidential election, The Associated Press reports.South Korean lawmakers were briefed by the country's National Intelligence Service on Friday, and one of the issues reportedly addressed was Pyongyang's anxiety about the incoming Biden administration. The briefing's contents could not be independently verified by news organizations, but Seoul's spy agency alleges North Korea has ordered overseas diplomatic missions to refrain from provoking the U.S., reportedly warning its ambassadors there will be consequences should any of their acts or comments rattle folks in Washington.One South Korean lawmaker said the NIS believes North Korea is nervous that the friendly relationship between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be rendered moot when President-elect Joe Biden steps into the Oval Office in January, so the government apparently wants to ensure tensions remain relatively at ease for now. The NIS does expect North Korea will hold a military parade around the same time as Biden's inauguration as a show of force, although they've done so with Trump in office, as well. Read more at The Associated Press.More stories from theweek.com 5 witheringly funny cartoons about Trump's sort-of concession Is Mnuchin trying to sabotage the economy? Obama the pretender
A Singaporean woman, who was infected with the novel coronavirus in March when she was pregnant, has given birth to a baby with antibodies against the virus, offering a new clue as to whether the infection can be transferred from mother to child. The baby was born this month without COVID-19 but with the virus antibodies, the Straits Times newspaper reported on Sunday, citing the mother. "My doctor suspects I have transferred my COVID-19 antibodies to him during my pregnancy," Celine Ng-Chan told the paper.
Harvey Weinstein's appeal against his rape and assault convictions has been hampered after the disgraced former movie mogul's two ex-wives reportedly froze £4.5 million of his remaining assets. Weinstein, who was given a 23-year jail term at a court hearing in New York in March after being convicted of rape and sexual assault, is allegedly no longer able to pay the lawyers working on his appeal. Weinstein's two ex-wives, Eve Chilton, whom he divorced in 2004, and Georgina Chapman, a British fashion designer who left the producer after assault allegations against him emerged in 2017, have reportedly taken legal action to freeze his accounts. According to the Daily Mail, the pair filed a motion in April raising concerns over the state of Weinstein's finances and provided evidence in July in the form of private jet receipts and expenses related to his criminal trial. The two women also reportedly provided the court with evidence of large deposits that had been made into Weinstein’s bank account as well as proof of insurance fees he was set to collect.