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READERS' CHOICE
Best Restaurant
Otium 

Best Installation
Illume by Paul Ferrante 

Best Hotel Upgrade
Rancho Valencia 

Best Hotel Lobby
Casa Laguna Hotel & Spa 

Best Winery
Freemark Abbey 

Best Hospitality Designer
Ken Fulk 

Best of Design: Out & About

From San Francisco to San Diego and everywhere in between, California is teeming with undeniable design talent. Here, we pay homage to the Golden State’s brightest stars.  

READERS' CHOICE
Best Restaurant
Otium
Given The Broad’s astounding collection of modern art, any restaurant associated with it needs to be equally breathtaking. Or, in the case of Otium, the more appropriate adjective might be mouthwatering. First, there’s the food from chef Timothy Hollingsworth. The French Laundry alum draws inspiration from the bounty of the California and the cornucopia of flavors, tastes and techniques that are redefining the way Angelenos eat. The setting is equally jaw-dropping. Tamara Kaye-Honey of House of Honey and Greg Bleier of Studio Unltd. have created a homey, elegant space that celebrates the talented artisans that are drawing the spotlight to West Coast design. From the staff’s Hedley & Bennett aprons to custom dishware by Heath Ceramics to furniture by Chris Earl and the enormous chandelier from Neptune Glassworks that sparkles overhead, the entire restaurant is designed to celebrate the creativity of the Golden State. “If the food is good and the service is good and the ambiance is great, then that’s something,” says Kaye-Honey. 222 Hope St., L.A., 213.935.8500

Best Installation 
Illume by Paul Ferrante
Nestled within a valley surrounded by the Topa Topa mountains a mere 15 miles from the Pacific, the town of Ojai has been a respite from L.A.’s hustle and bustle for many decades. But very early on—approximately 13,000 years ago—the ancient Chumash Indians saw something special in the land: a sacred energy, or vortex, that visitors and residents have felt ever since. Whether or not you subscribe to this idea, one thing that’s undeniable is Ojai’s enigmatic pull, a force made stronger by the area’s crown jewel, the historic Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. Now, adding to the luxurious Spanish Revival-style resort’s allure is a new installation: Illume by Paul Ferrante. Hung from the branches of a 200-year-old tree are 28 handcrafted wrought-iron and glass lanterns by L.A.-based Paul Ferrante artisans, an attraction that truly shines when the sun goes down. On Friday nights starting in April and going on through the summer months, the resort will offer complimentary flutes of Champagne underneath the tree, setting a sparkling alfresco scene for guests before they head off to dinner across the way at the Inn’s Italian restaurant, Olivella, or for drinks at the historic Wallace Neff Heritage Bar. With a setting so beautiful, it’s a perfectly natural fit. From $400 per night, 905 Country Club Road, Ojai, 855.696.8780

Best Hotel Upgrade
Rancho Valencia
If you thought one of the most-talked-about hotels in San Diego couldn’t get any better, think again. This past summer, Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa unveiled myriad fresh amenities and exclusive programs for both locals and visitors alike. First up, the auberge’s highly anticipated adult-only spa pool and bar opened for business, boasting a serene setting complemented by handcrafted cocktails and healthy dishes like chino carrots and hummus ($15), ahi sashimi “poke style” ($22), and a toasted quinoa and vegetable salad ($16). If it’s a spa treatment you’re after, make sure to book the recently introduced Vitality Ritual (90 minutes for $275), a nourishing body wrap, head massage and meditation session that will leave you feeling rejuvenated. Of course, Rancho Valencia couldn’t leave the little ones out. … Tennis Director Robin White just launched a five-star junior tennis program (from $75) on the property to coach the fundamentals of the sport. The pièce de résistance? The renovated villas (from $1,992)—a private residence club that offers 96 fractional interests in 12 of the luxe villas found on the grounds of the prestigious resort. Talk about new beginnings! 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, 858.756.1123

Best Hotel Lobby 
Casa Laguna Hotel & Spa
Built in the early 1900s, Laguna Beach’s storied Casa Laguna Hotel & Spa underwent a spring awakening last April led by designer-to-the-stars Martyn Lawrence Bullard. The eclectic property—composed of 23 guest rooms and suites—makes a grand impression upon arrival thanks to its awe-inspiring lobby. “The lobby was designed to capture the spirit of the hotel’s historic architecture,” says Bullard. “I custom-designed tiles for the walls in bold sunshine yellow and ocean blue—colors that reflect the vistas from the windows.” As for the furnishings, Bullard plucked sumptuous seating influenced by cultures from around the world. “The furnishings are an eclectic mix of Spanish, Portuguese, Moroccan and English gentleman’s club-type furniture that are highly individual whilst being wonderfully comfortable and inviting,” he notes. Rustic pottery, antique Indian doors and a wood-burning fireplace add to the space’s idyllic charm. The best way to revel in its luxury? At night while enjoying “a glass of wine or two from the bar,” advises Bullard. We’ll drink to that. From $249 per night, 2510 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, 949.494.2996

Best Winery 
Freemark Abbey
Freemark Abbey had been making soulful wines for nearly a century when it was invited (as one of only 12 U.S.-based wineries) to compete in the famous Judgment of Paris blind tasting in 1976—the event which propelled Napa to the forefront of the global viticulture industry. Building on that gravitas, while keeping in mind the vintner’s modern wine-making panache, SB Architects of San Francisco honored the esteemed wine house’s history in the complex’s refurbishment, which opened to the public in July. “We sought to express the intersection of history and today’s wine culture,” says Bruce Wright, VP and Principal of SB Architects. His team added contemporary elements, such as a 6-foot-wide skylight, while bringing in stone masons to restore the rough-hewn, original warehouse. Ideal for member events, a number of renovated outbuildings surround a shaded courtyard. A yakitori restaurant by Sang Yoon and Douglas Keane adds to the au courant allure. 3022 St. Helena Highway N., St. Helena, 800.963.9698

Best Hospitality Designer
Ken Fulk
Over the past year, San Francisco-based, Virginia-born interior and event designer Ken Fulk has continued to leave his indelible mark on his adopted hometown. In early 2016, he debuted Leo’s Oyster Bar, a chic midcentury-style eatery filled with rich mahogany paneling, mother-of-pearl chandeliers and cozy banquettes. He also reimagined Marianne’s—the former members-only lounge at the back of popular restaurant The Cavalier—into a swinging bacchanal-style public bar. But his biggest project yet is The Harrison, a 298-unit luxury residential tower with an exclusive penthouse lounge located on the 49th floor (Uncle Harry’s, pictured above). “I was inspired by the city itself and its rich layered history,” Fulk says of the impressive project, which opens with a striking two-story Grand Salon and library. “People have long been drawn to San Francisco. They come here and stay and leave their imprint. I wanted this sense of history and place reflected in the design.” And now with his first book, Mr. Ken Fulk’s Magical World ($75, Abrams), it seems this dapper decorator is only getting started. 310 Seventh St., San Francisco, 415.285.1164

Best of Design: At Home
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Best of Design: Products & Pieces