Month: December 2014

The design-conscious traveler, Part 1

Holidays. I live for them. Love them. Can’t wait for them. I even enjoy planning them. But the one thing that always trips me up is finding accommodations that catch my eye and excite me. As someone who spends a lot of time thinking about architecture and design, I love exploring new hotels and houses just for the opportunity to scavenge for new ideas and appreciate someone else’s curation. With that in mind, my strong preference is to stay in places that are aesthetically interesting and encompass thoughtful design. This, unsurprisingly, is pretty hard to find. Online there are a few sites that offer a curated array of accommodations, like BoutiqueHomes but they hardly ever have a property in the area where we wish to travel. Inevitably I end up scouring HomeAway for hours, trying to find the gem in the rough. Adding “modern”, “mid-century”, or even “contemporary” doesn’t to your search terms doesn’t really help either, because people property owners throw those terms around in the property descriptions like they are going out of …

Those little gingerbread houses on Pinterest

I succumbed to the pressure of Pinterest this weekend and decided to make those little ginger bread houses that have been showing up in everyone’s Pinterest feed. I thought that since they’re really graham cracker houses that it would be a pretty straightforward project for me and the kid to try while we had four days of fun without the husband.  It certainly wasn’t as straightforward as I anticipated (boiling sugar syrup isn’t exactly super toddler friendly) but on balance it was really enjoyable and an entirely worthwhile project. We ended up making a whole village, but alas I only have two of the houses left to share with you since a large furry natural disaster (read: our big friendly Akita) made a meal of the rest of the village when our backs were turned. Anyway, as I created gummy bear wall patterns and tiled roofs with twizzlers, it dawned on me that with a little imagination I could have been making modern masterpieces à la Dwell Magazine. I’m pretty excited about the prospect and while it might just …

A beautiful skyscraper in São Paulo. Wait, what?

While in São Paulo recently, I was lucky enough to spend some time in the new pad of one of my very close friends. They live in this amazing new building that’s been designed to take advantage of it’s hillside location and to give each apartment a wonderfully open, yet sheltered outdoor living area almost as big as the apartments themselves. Take a look at the clever use of space and the original design, it’s really something. Of course it wouldn’t work in temperate climates, but if we lived in the middle of a hugely dense, urban city with a pleasurable climate I think I might just want to live in something precisely like this. And yes, that gorgeously bold yellow walkway is real and is the path by which you enter the building once inside the security fence. Oh and it has a gorgeous lap pool, indoor/outdoor kids play area (with an eames elephant no less), and gym. You know, just to top it all off.