Diamond in the Rough, Paolobongia Opens First U.S. Store on Rodeo

Diamond in the Rough, Paolobongia Opens First U.S. Store on Rodeo

OK, we know it’s a cliché but this mini-jewel box on Rodeo designed by LA based Gulla Jonsdottir of G+ Gulla Jonsdottir Design is just that – a diamond in the rough.

Stainless steel wall cases resemble rough cut diamonds and the pop-out three dimensional front window also looks like the shape of an uncut stone. Enter through an abstract silver branch door from England into beautiful black and white petrified wood walls that resemble cut stone and a floor mixed with more wood and pale leather; flanked by giant side mirrors and a custom chandeliers. This project was a great marriage of designs from the jewelry to the interiors. “I was inspired by Paolo’s designs and trying to create a jewelry box for him,” says Jonsdottir.

This jewel box is the first U.S. store from celebrated Beirut, Lebanon based designer Paolo Bongia. Paolo gathers inspiration for his stunning rings made with shells, diamonds, jade and other raw materials such as stone and fossils from ‘everything.’ As he held out a rather large gold cat ring made with mother of pearl and plenty of diamonds, the piece looked like it was actually going to pounce off our finger. “Everything inspires me,’ says Paolo, “but it’s mainly the sea.”

The stainless steel collection starts at a few hundred dollars and runs up to $100,000 for some of the giant cocktail ring statement pieces. One-of-a-kind gems, including chandelier earrings, can also be found for $6-15,000 as the medium price range. Everything is cut in Switzerland but it takes about a month to construct a ring from design concept to production. Paolo’s Mother is a jewelry designer and his Father is a diamond dealer, but Paolo went into the family business reluctantly after studying fashion design in Paris. We are grateful that he is now creating these works of art and has brought them to the 90201 shopping district. Paolo and Gulla are also collaborating on a line of furnishings and plates in the near future.
4391/2 N. Rodeo Drive, Bevelry Hills.

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