The NBA’s plan to lure private equity money is in motion, and it’s betting on the allure of owning limited partnerships in its clubs will pay off.
With valuations in clubs rising to astronomical levels, the NBA joined the private equity chase when owners approved a plan to allow investment firms to own stakes in teams. NBA executive J.B. Lockhart is one the individuals who oversees this strategy and the league picked Dyal Capital as its partner.
Citi announced today its next round of investments through the Citi Impact Fund, a $200 million fund launched last year to invest in companies that are addressing some of the biggest societal challenges. The new companies included in this round are Clerkie, KETOS, MedHaul, Perch, Shift, Superpedestrian, and Vyv. They join four portfolio companies previously announced in September 2020: Fulcrum BioEnergy, ICON, PadSplit, and The Mom Project.
Investments focus on companies that have demonstrated proof of concept, built an existing customer base and exhibited the potential for scale in multiple markets. A portion of the fund is designated exclusively for earlier-stage seed investments in businesses led or owned by women and minorities. Of the 11 initial investments, the fund has invested in three Black entrepreneurs, one of whom is also female, three other female entrepreneurs and a veteran entrepreneur.
Nissan Motor is accelerating the rollout of electric vehicles in China under its main brand and its local, no-frills Venucia marque as it overhauls its strategy in the world’s biggest auto market, four sources said.
Besides the focus on green vehicles, the plan involves using more locally made parts and technologies to reduce costs and help the struggling Japanese carmaker compete better with lower-cost Chinese firms and major global rivals, the sources said.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried 143 satellites into orbit on a jam-packed rideshare mission Sunday, setting a new world record for the most satellites launched by a single rocket.
The mission, dubbed Transporter-1, carried 10 satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink internet network, and more than 130 satellites for a variety of customers including Planet, which operates a constellation of Earth-imaging satellites, and ICEYE, which develops small radar satellites for monitoring ice and tracking floods.
For the first time since 1983, when Anheuser-Busch used all of its ad time to introduce a beer called Bud Light, the beer giant isn’t advertising its iconic Budweiser brand during the Super Bowl. Instead, it’s donating the money it would have spent on the ad to coronavirus vaccination awareness efforts.
Anheuser-Busch still has four minutes of advertising during the game for its other brands including Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer. Those are some of its hottest sellers, particularly among younger viewers.
When interior designer Phyllis Taylor and architect Maria Rignack found themselves renovating a Key Largo condo with sharp angles and a challenging floor plan, the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi seemed an apt envelope for the Florida project. Derived from Buddhist teachings, the school of thought embraces imperfections and celebrates nature—tenets that have shaped interiors and architecture alike.
Taylor and Rignack’s clients, a prominent Midwestern family, had previously worked with their firm on a Palm Beach-style vacation home in the same resort community. But as the years went on, the family found they needed more space to accommodate an ever-expanding brood. With no acreage to build a guest cottage, the couple jumped at the opportunity to purchase in a new development just a quick golf cart ride away, enlisting the duo to smarten the existing architectural interiors and devise a tasteful, low-maintenance design scheme.
Bringing in natural light was the first priority. The unit was inwardly situated, plunging the entry and hallway into darkness. “Florida sun is our greatest natural resource,” Taylor says. “The quality of that light and how it reacts to color and gives us shadowing is what we count on to make our interiors successful.” So, as a first order of business, frosted-glass doors were added to the bedrooms off the entryway, filtering in soft outdoor light while still maintaining privacy.
Next, organic materials were employed to camouflage the hallway’s door procession. “Essentially we were given white walls, many utilitarian doors and an odd point,” Rignack explains of the corridor. “We decided the best way to address this was to conceal the doors as much as possible.” General contractor James Gregory and builder Miles Zamora clad the hall in a grainy milpa wood on one side and full-height white marble reliefs on the other. “The selections and applications of colors helped,” Gregory says. “They’re all the primarily neutral, natural tones. The natural light now bounces throughout the condo, and it’s very soft and comforting.” In tandem, the surfaces bring impactful texture to the space, which the team highlighted further with sleek sconces that simultaneously call attention to door openings. At the end of the hall, where the walls converge in that aforementioned point, Rignack carved in as much as the abutting plumbing would allow her, transforming the corner into a chic gallery niche-cum-focal feature.
The unit’s bones proved challenging for the clients as well, having long-favored classic interiors. “We couldn’t throw a traditional style into a modern layout—the space just didn’t lend itself to that,” Taylor explains. “The difficult thing was convincing the owners their sensibilities would still shine through—that the design would be an updated interpretation of what’s important to them and how they like to live.” Entrusting their fruitful long-term relationship, the couple took a leap and embraced Taylor’s contemporary “Zen with zing” vision.
To incorporate the wife’s favorite color—“blue, blue and more blue,” the interior designer describes—antique indigo textiles from Japan were introduced as a jumping-off point. Throughout each room, indigo fragments are sewn into throw pillows, framed as wall art and gracefully draped across furnishings, establishing a color narrative that carries across the hallway rug and powder bath detailing. Japanese references continue with details like the glass and rope pendants in the kitchen, inspired by the culture’s rope and knot art, and in the use of woven textures throughout, such as a living area armchair that nods to traditional basket weaving. Beyond these nuances, a reverence for fine craftsmanship and earthy forms permeates the space, from the intricate built-ins in the master bedroom to the bespoke surface of the indoor dining table: a slab of bleached wood Taylor had cast in white acrylic.
Bringing the wabi-sabi ethos full circle, the outdoor living space is undoubtedly the unit’s most enjoyed feature. Accessible via a wall of retractable glass doors, the expansive terrace flows into the airy interiors, blurring the lines between inside and outside. “The owners enjoy the Florida air and live more in that outside room than in the conventional interior spaces,” Taylor says.
In a happy surprise to both client and design team, the new apartment has drawn unexpected visitors to the family’s beloved vacation destination: the owners themselves. “They thought that this was going to be a house for guests,” Taylor says. “But as it turns out, they’re the guests.”
Who runs the world? These days, it feels like Miami. That’s where Rita Chraibi, the French-Moroccan designer who founded International Designers in Casablanca, has opened her second global headquarters. Even bigger news: She’s partnering with Roche Bobois as the exclusive interior designer for the brand’s 60th anniversary. Chraibi will oversee several design projects in Miami, including a $30 million residence in Miami Beach. “My collaborations with Roche Bobois represent the firm’s haute couture designers, who craft tailor-made home pieces,” says Chraibi. “I balance comfort with the signature styles of world-renowned fashion designers Christian Lacroix, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Kenzo, and fabric brands such as Lelièvre Paris and Missoni Home. This is a new concept that harmonizes fashion design with interior design.” intdesigners.com
Boulder may be more than 1,200 miles to the closest ocean, but that didn’t stop architects Annette and Dennis Martin from building their dream beachfront-inspired home there. But in this house, the vistas are of undulating hills and noble mountains—a panorama rivaling any seaside view.
The Martins, partners in both business and life, are travel enthusiasts who love vacationing in waterfront locations designed to embrace the beach landscape. One house in particular, however, became the broad-brush impetus for their mountain abode. “We were inspired by a waterfront home in the Hamptons that allowed a glimpse of the ocean through the main room,” Annette says. “It was so inviting, we wanted that feeling here.” The memory of that drove the architects to recreate the look and feel of it on a site perched among the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Using the New York dwelling as their benchmark, they designed a house that wholeheartedly celebrates alpine views from the first room.
Built around a central courtyard to allow privacy from the street, the home welcomes guests both formally and informally. Exterior materials—gray Kansas limestone, rich brown vertical siding and light-painted wood—come together to create a warm, textural first impression. Refined architectural elements and contrasting rustic details feel more carefree than staid.
A limestone path guides guests through the courtyard to a beguilingly ornamented entry porch and large, wooden door. But when stepping into the entry and around a mirrored wall, the view is revealed, and that’s when the magic happens. “The entry sequence offers an anticipation of the view beyond,” Annette notes. “From there, guests are led to the great room, which is designed to be as transparent as possible, with oversize doors framing the amazing scenery.”
The great room acts as an elegant epicenter as well as a floor plan intermediary, graciously linking the kitchen, living and dining rooms while simultaneously insulating the master suite from the more public spaces. Design devices—statement lighting, built-in bookshelves and varying ceiling planes—delineate the large, open room into utilitarian subspaces, while white oak floors with a whitewashed gray finish throughout the home connect the dots.
In the living room, two seating areas provide further spatial cues. Center stage, a smattering of smoky-hued furnishings plays off the dark tones of the kitchen cabinetry and form an entertaining-friendly space for gatherings. Nestled up to generously scaled sliding doors that open to the terrace, the interior space blends seamlessly with the outdoors.
Across the room, a trio of seats dressed in blue velvet and nailhead trim form an intimate seating vignette created for fireside tête-à-têtes. Four kaleidoscopic Andy Warhol lithographs bring to mind summer flower gardens, colorfully crowning a streamlined concrete fireplace with a herringbone detail. This small but mighty gathering spot packs a vibrant punch, energizing the otherwise neutral palette and offsetting verdant views. “We wanted this room to become part of the outdoors,” Annette says. “The artwork and accent pieces really pop with their touches of bold color.”
Elegant and composed, the adjoining kitchen is a unifying element. Reminiscent of the home’s exterior, with the same contrasting tones and mix of materials, it feels equally light and dark, formal and relaxed. The 14-foot-long island is a study in yin and yang, its ebony cabinets topped with glowing Calacatta Borghini marble that’s seemingly lit from within. Jewel-like, champagne-hued ceramic tile balances the more casual painted paneling above. Translucent pendant lights over the island provide a hint of sparkle—subdued yet expressive. “We brought the exterior palette, which is light and neutral with dark accents, inside,” Annette says. “The kitchen is very calming, which we love.”
Equally comforting is the master suite, clad in an earthy hue that Annette refers to as an all-encompassing “brown, gray and green.” Separated from the great room via an ante room, the bedroom feels secluded and hushed—a private oasis punctuated with confident pattern that’s quieted by a cream-colored upholstered bed and shapely lacquered bedside tables.
The scene stealer here, however, may just be the floor-to-ceiling windows and doors that open to a generous rear terrace that runs the length of the house—though “terrace” may be a bit of an understatement. The space was envisioned to be a well-used outdoor room, complete with intricately designed beams, curvaceous brackets and lofty proportions equally appropriate for espying mountains or sandy beaches. “Coloradoans are outdoor people,” Annette says. “We wanted to create a grand area that exemplifies everything about outdoor living.”
It’s that love of the landscape and classic style that relates this mountain home to the Hamptons dwelling that inspired it. Yet it possesses a personality all its own. “All of the details and finishes are modern renditions of traditional designs,” says Annette. “I’d call this house a contemporary classic.”
AMBIENTE EUROPEAN TILE For Ambiente European Tile, it’s all about textural surfaces, eye-catching accents (such as a bold mosaic in a shower niche) and floor-to-ceiling tile. As the year goes on, Kristen Branning of Ambiente says, “Expect plenty more colorful tiles and head-turning statements in the form of mosaics, ceramic tiles and encaustics.” A favorite interpretation of the trend continues to be terrazzo, which can be customized in your favorite mix of materials and stone. Gea tile from the La Libertà collection (manufactured by Mosaïque Surface), is a gold glass and brushed brass tile that adorns Miele terrazzo for a chic, feminine mosaic. ambientetile.com
PHOTO COURTESY PRATT & LARSON
PRATT & LARSON Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Pratt & Larson is taking advantage of growing requests for more pattern in textures in their new InLine series, created by owners Belle Iskowitz and Anthony Asch, which enhances a classic shape with contemporary linear patterning. The collection includes 12 glyphs that allows designers to create patterns both simple and complex with mixing and matching, brought to life through more than 300 glaze colors—such as the deep turquoise found in W63 (shown below). prattandlarson.com
PHOTO COURTESY EDGEWATER STUDIO
EDGEWATER STUDIO Vancouver’s Edgewater Studio inspires creative installations with art glass tile, combining calming hues (think cool tones like aquamarine and viridian) with asymmetrical gradients for added movement up and down kitchen backsplashes and bathroom walls. Classic scale mosaics, like the custom green-and-white art glass featured in Māk Interiors’ kitchen design, trickle from the ceiling into a smattering of bold blues by time they meet the counters. Formerly operating from a private studio, Edgewater celebrates the launch of its Vancouver showroom this spring. edgewaterstudio.com
As a seasoned professional, interior designer Kristen Smokowski knew she and her husband, Bernard, needed to field multiple proposals before choosing an architect to conceive their new home in La Quinta, California. Among the firms pitching ideas was Danielian Associates and a young architect there named Andrew Schaffner. Ultimately, the then 26-year-old Schaffner, who also happens to be Smokowski’s son, and the firm prevailed with the winning concept. “We wanted to give everyone equal opportunity, but he nailed it,” she recalls. “It’s so important to find somebody who can translate your vision, and he did that at such a young age.”
The couple envisioned a modern take on a Spanish-style ranch, “which fit that site,” says Smokowski, pointing to the surrounding desert landscape and Santa Rosa Mountains beyond. “It was essential to have something that felt intrinsic to the landscape.” To satisfy both the family’s wishes and community design guidelines, Schaffner, working with colleagues Michael Boyd and Dale Patton, employed traditional elements such as plasterwork, pillow-cut limestone and reclaimed brick for the parapet trim. He then laced black steel details throughout, such as the floor-to-ceiling windows, and incorporated decorative steel I-beams softened with warm wood inserts. The I-beams, installed under the direction of general contractor Bill Leddy of Sun Vista Construction, were a “trust me” moment with his mother, Schaffner recalls. “But I knew we needed that contemporary detail to come through, to show that this is a new home.” Once the wood insert was in place, “it so perfectly blended in,” says Smokowski. “It gives that hint of a modern, forward- thinking perspective.”
Punctuated by two enclosed courtyards, Schaffner’s open-plan layout invites discovery. “As you walk around the entire home, you have views from both sides,” says Smokowski. “There is this constant unrolling of surprises.” The wonders begin outdoors at the massive custom gate. There glimpses of the front courtyard, planted with palms and bougainvillea (a collaboration between Smokowski and landscape designer Gustavo Magaña of GM Future Designs) are visible through square cutouts. “They make you want to see what’s on the other side,” says Schaffner. “We wanted to create visual interest that keeps you moving to the next space.”
Many of the entertainment areas also radiate from this sun-kissed core, including the dining room, which opens wide to uninterrupted vistas of the Chocolate Mountains.
Other social spots such as the kitchen, media room and wine bar flow together. Private spaces flank the rear courtyard, where the master bedroom suite overlooks a reflecting pool, which features a commissioned sculpture by artist America Martin.
When composing these interiors, “I like to keep it simple,” explains Smokowski. “Because I think the interior designer’s true job is to create a canvas, so you can fill it with things you love, things that matter.” Colors remain neutral to showcase the family’s vibrant artworks and sentimental pieces, like the lamps made from antique concrete wallpaper rolls by Smokowski’s maternal grandmother. For furnishings, she also favored pared-down yet easy silhouettes in lush fabrics and finishes, from the cashmere B&B Italia sofas in the living room and a family room to the richly stained dining table by Flexform. “Her approach to design is always about making everything feel comfortable,” notes Schaffner. “She would never choose a cold piece just for appearances.”
A vein of familial warmth indeed runs throughout the project, forged through sunny days on the construction site and late-night text exchanges, swapping sketches and ideas. This spirit is perhaps best captured by Schaffner’s unexpected detail for his mother—an exterior fireplace at the entrance. “We were finalizing the massing,” says Schaffner, who turned 29 this year, as the project was wrapping up. “We thought a chimney would evoke that Spanish Revival look and create a warm welcome for people entering the home.” The surprise worked perfectly. “We light it when we’re home, to let people know they can come by,” says Smokowski. “And I think everybody who comes here enjoys our space. I hope they see the passion and the beauty of a family who knew what they wanted and was actually able to bring it to life.”