All posts filed under: travel

The design-conscious traveler, Part 2

You know how I’ve been bemoaning the difficulty of finding gorgeous holiday accommodations? You know how I love planning holidays but always struggle to find the rental home that’s just right? Well I just discovered a resource that has me thinking the struggle may be over. It’s sort of VRBO crossed with a sense of design crossed with kid-friendly… it’s called kid&coe.  And its full of awesomeness. Seriously, I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am about this site. First, it’s attractive to look at and easy to use (admittedly I haven’t actually tried to book anything yet). Second, it lists properties all over the world. Want to go to Porto, Portugal with your family? They have great houses and apartments there, like this one. Or maybe Melbourne, Australia? Look at this place. San Francisco anyone? Go enjoy this awesome kitchen. The thing that makes me love this site isn’t the fact that the houses are all kid-friendly (although that’s definitely great) but it’s the fact that most of the houses look just like somewhere I …

Perfectly simple spaces in Reykjavik

You know, for someone who writes a blog, I’d say I spend relatively very little time actually popping in on other blogs and keeping abreast of all the good design floating around on the interwebs. I mean to, I’d like to, but life just seems to get the better of me. That said, one site that I do routinely stop by is DesiretoInspire.net, an interior design blog written by two women, a Canadian and an Australian, who are self-proclaimed “interior design junkies” (um, yeah, that’s definitely me too) and who share posts about all sorts of lovely goodness. Our styles don’t line up perfectly, and now and then they’ll present something I don’t love, but they’ve got a great eye and by and large I really enjoy what they share. So somewhere between checking work email and checking to see when the next blizzard is going to hit today, I happened upon a post that really caught my eye.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s so hard to find interesting and stimulating holiday accommodations, …

Exploring Monterrey

It’s been a bit quiet ’round these parts this past week because I’ve been traveling in Monterrey and haven’t had much of a chance to write. Despite the week not being productive on the blog front, it was in fact awesomely productive on other fronts and the trip was well worth it. You might recall that I was also in Mexico three weeks ago (I happened upon that awesome ball pit at Universidad Regiomontana, remember?); it was great to go back so soon and spend some quality time both exploring the city and engaging in challenging and rewarding design work. I spent Monday in meetings for the collaboration we’re setting up there (related to the whole desk-dweller-by-day thing) and then Tuesday and Wednesday I co-taught a workshop on human-centered design. And it was fantastic. My co-instructor has a wealth of great knowledge and experience, the participants were enthusiastic and engaged, and best of all they’re embedded in an innovative organization that I know will integrate the approaches and methods we taught them into their daily work. And that’s what makes this …

The design-conscious gastronome

While we’re globetrotting and talking about accommodations that stimulate the design spirit, I’d be remiss not to share a WSJ article that talks about the confluence of design and gastronomy, and in particular, the architecture and design of restaurants. I was pretty keen on this article as I started reading and glanced over the first two striking photos of restaurants in Fez and Strasbourg. But then I started to think about some of the restaurants I consider beautiful and, well, I felt the need to respond (albeit in my own way in the little-trafficked and barely charted territory of texturedmodern.com). In general, the author’s description of the way design comes into play in restaurants resonated: “the décor carries the same weight as the quality of the food and the service. The most wonderful environments are aesthetically pleasing, reflect the style of the cooking, offer a strong sense of place…”. But the preface to the above sentence threw me a little: it starts with, “At top-tier restaurants, the décor carries the same weight…” and I sort of mentally tripped up. I’ve been …

Getting Away: Design in the Dominican Republic

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping it’s a stellar one for all of us, full of fun, excitement, and adventure. Speaking of which, we just returned from a lovely vacation in the Dominican Republic. We’ve been once before and stayed in the rather heavily trafficked Punta Cana area; this time we opted for the quieter Samaná Peninsula. We spent a week lazing in the sun, riding mules to go see gorgeous waterfalls (Cascada El Limón) and boating around Los Haitises National Park. It was, as they say, just what the doctor ordered. What I really wanted to share though were some pictures of our accommodations. You’ll know from my last post that I’m always on the look-out for holiday accommodations that aren’t the standard from a architecture and design perspective. So I was pleased to happen upon the Sublime Samaná, a modern hotel just outside of the small town of Las Terrenas. It is comprised of multi-bedroom rooms and suites, each with its own fully-equipped kitchen and outdoor jacuzzi. And in front of each of the casitas runs a …

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 …