#017 ☼ Richard Christiansen's Flamingo Estate
Italian Police Lambo • Summer-Enhancing Art • Spanish Stables Conversion
Honey Badger Blitz
With tasting notes of hillside leisure and pleasure in Los Angeles, a 1970s inspired office store, miraculous tales of stolen art, police saving lives in Lamborghinis and London’s finest audiophile electronics.
The good life beckons once more!
CURATE WITH US
Join us in co-curating Palm Report around shared themes :) What’s on our mind this week is:
Where are you dreaming about travelling to this year and why?
Let us know in the comments 💭
And check out the best advice from last week’s top tips for living leisurely in 2023 further down in this issue!
☼ The $18 throw pillow that helped an art collector discover a stolen $10 million Dutch painting by Hendrick Avercamp
☼ This company specialises in audiophile electronics like this mixer, all hand-built in London
☼ Cameron Hammond: the photographer capturing paradisiacal summer scenes from Tanzania to Rio (NSFW)
☼ Still behind on your resolutions? Generate your path for 2023 using AI based on your Twitter profile
☼ The cosmetics store in Hangzhou inspired by 1970s office culture
☼ A Christmas miracle: The Italian police that drove a Lamborghini Huracan across the country in record speed to deliver life-saving kidneys
☼ Get lost in this iconic Los Angeles house by Richard & Dione Neutra and explore their architectural archives & cultural resources
☼ Explore the horse stables in Spain converted into a retreat for its photographer owner
☼ Sarah Burns’ funky tabletop jewellery boxes made of pine, maple, milk paint, cork and mirror
PALM REPORT by Poolsuite is an uplifting cocktail of content exploring “the good life”, served weekly. Subscribe to receive each issue!
Chasing Pleasure: Richard Christiansen
“Hot baths, lots of wine, music and really good times,” Richard explains. Leaving behind 20 years in New York helming the brand agency Chandelier Creative, he founded the wonderland Flamingo Estate in the hills of Los Angeles, the grounds on which a careful selection of natural products are created; a modern apothecary if you will.
It all began when Richard spent time in LA at the residence during the pandemic, suggesting that local farmers sell their produce in the carpark by his bookstore in Highland Park. From there, the passion project grew into a fully-fledged company with a 150+ product portfolio deeply integrated with Mother Nature: “I wanted to wake and be able to fling open a window, smell the jasmine and hear the birds. I wanted colour, I wanted a heart-of-the-house kitchen... I wanted it all to be super elegant, but full of utility, and I really wanted a place to entertain people…”
Poolsuite Picks: Pink Moon Rosé, Savannah & LeBron James Honey, Garden Essentials Artisanal Bar Soaps
On the beginning of the journey and how vegetables became an art: “Because of the pandemic, all of the clients we spent 20 years courting […] fell away. I had dozens and dozens of employees who now had nothing to do. Copywriters became in charge of stone fruit management. Art Directors started working on lettuce. It created another outlet for a big group of people who otherwise would have been furloughed. It was interesting to have a bunch of very fashion-forward art directors turn their attention to vegetables. We said that Flamingo Estate was going to be the Hermès of vegetables.”
The origins of the property itself: “Built in the 1940s, it comes with a lively history. Over the years it’s been an artists’ commune and a studio for pornographic films, and legend has it that debauched (yet discreet) parties were held there for stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age”
Watch Richard’s guided tour of Flamingo Estate, which the previous eccentric owner only agreed to sell if Richard would restore it, and buy it without seeing the inside first
On designing the space with Studio KO and the holistic decisions around colour and aesthetics: “I found two people who far surpassed me in taste, intellect and thoughtfulness. It was the first time I’d experienced that, where I could sit across a table and throw them an idea, and they’d come back to me with something that wildly surpassed it. We had this beautiful creative ping pong that went on for many years. I promised them I wouldn’t bring even a teaspoon into the house that they didn’t approve of first”
Richard Christiansen’s 11 Not-So-Guilty Household Pleasures with Architectural Digest sharing products and collectibles that bring his home to life
On the Flamingo Estate product ethos, inspired by Richard’s upbringing in the Australian outback as the son of honey farmers: “I didn’t make it for anybody else except myself and my dogs. Those first recipes are still the ones we use today. All that water still flows directly into the garden still, and my flowers and plants are flourishing. All the other products followed the same pattern. I made the things I wanted to bring myself pleasure—and to heal the garden, as well—and slowly I began to rethink everything in my own kitchen and bathroom.”
The radicalness of pleasure: ““When you’re a kid, you don’t have to be told to stand up for your own pleasure – it comes so naturally. The hot baths my brother and I took at night, the flowers my mother would pick for the dining table… These notions of sensory pleasure are the inspirations for what we create. I couldn’t wait to run away from where I grew up, and now, in so many ways, Flamingo Estate is my way of coming home.”"
Why Richard told LVMH they’ll buy Flamingo Estate someday: “If you want to OWN luxury, this is the new frontier of it — radical intimacy and hyper-localization of the things you use on your body and in your home”
Christiansen’s eclectic bookstore Owl Bureau in Highland Park
On spurring new meaning: “In reality the house restored me,” Richard says, with earnest admission that after 20 years of bullshitting people to buy the stuff they don’t need, he has repented and rounded back to the Australian farm boy with red dirt under his fingernails. “There’s no place like home.”
COMMUNITY CURATED: LIVING LEISURELY IN ‘23
Last week, we did some recon on the top tips to live leisurely in the comment section. Here are a few gems, curated by the community:
☼ “If it’s a maybe, it’s a no. If you don’t feel something immediately, it’s a no — gets rid of all that worrying about making decisions!” (via Sam)
☼ “Start something with the sole purpose of making your life more exciting”; “Ignore the people who don't fuck with what you're doing”; “Be really nice when it's not expected” and 7 other gems (via Marty for WeTransfer)
☼ “Listen to as much Masayoshi Takanaka as possible” (via Adam)
☼ “Retire early. Travel often. The world is your Oyster. Life is shorter than you think” (via Bunny)
Hop in the comments this week as we discuss where you’re dreaming about travelling to this year and why.
EXHIBIT A: Oranges (1997) by Fernando Botero • EXHIBIT B: La Riviera (2019) by Chloe Wise for Jacquemus • EXHIBIT C: Album art for Lush Life by Col3trane
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🌴 Say hey, or drop leisurely content you’ve discovered in the comments below!
Super excited to be going to Taiwan and then onto Japan — any and all recs welcome, as well as any people I should meet :) Would love to make it to Scandinavia/Hawaii/Kenya/Jamaica at some point too as well as more domestic travels in Brazil 🌴
Dreaming of Japan 💭🛩️🍣