Do you think Erin’s vacation is looking like this right now?
If so, we should kill her
Do you think Erin’s vacation is looking like this right now?
If so, we should kill her
It is a sweltering 106 degrees here in Austin with zero zip zilch signs that summer will end any time soon (I have my sights set on you, November) but the interwebs tell me that the rest of the world is taking that last jump off the rope swing into the lake ‘cuza schools starting soon and, for the lucky majority of you, leaves will be (gasp) changing color.
Well, I want in. I am ready for a seasonal change. One so imminent that I hold tight to the last days of summer, sadly watching them zoom by. Squeezing in one last summer vacation before I snuggle into my boots and jacket. Yep, I’m shutting my eyes tight and pretending that summer is about to end. I’m spending the last days here:
Oh, did I forget to mention that I own a fantasy summer home in Portugal. So sorry, let me go on:
Back in the real world I do actually own a giant green lamp much like this one, as well as a handmade woven stool. Maybe If I ask Erin real kind and nice like she will spend the next several weeks on craigslist finding me all the other goodies I need to bring it all together. The lamp is, like, a huge start, right?
A quick reminder: while Erin is shopping craigslist, I will be laying here. poolside. at this very real summer house that i very much own.
I also own a hanging chair almost identical to the one shown, so I’m feeling like recreating this in austin really isn’t much of a stretch. are you with me?
Look! I’m not the meany you thought I was. I’ve laid down a second towel for erin to come join me once she has found everything on my list. I’m pretty much the image of altruism.
Guten Morgen! I’ve got the travel bug (read: hot burning desire to stay in a dreamy hotel with room service and fancy cocktails) and today’s fine destination ist das Vaterland. Germany. Germany, people.
Pack your baggies, we’re about to check out the only hotel on the planet that manages to make craftiness look chic.
The Michelberger hotel was designed by a team of friends who wanted a space that would “feel like an ad agency.” Great. But let’s talk about these book lights.
Yep, thems is handmade, let’s get a closer look
I see some sort of nut and bolt action and the previous picture shows some sort of wire support contraption holding the whole kitten kaboodle together. If someone out there wants to attempt this at home, photograph your process, we’ll put it on the blog. You’ll be a star and see your name in lights. Maybe then you will have enough money to stay at the Michelberger.
Ha! Joke’s on you, the michelberger only costs 54 Euros a night, which is a good thing because this blogging thing don’t make diddly.
Anyway, make a lamp, send me a picture, I’ll shower you with love. Moving on.
The Michelberger continues the book theme into one of the guest rooms
Another view of the wall of books. Ok, this needs to be discussed. This looks pretty awesome but have any of y’all been in a used bookstore recently? Newsflash: those books get moldy. Like crazy moldy. Like raging headache dirty hands if you touch them moldy. So, lovely, but the, ahem, shelf life is pretty short.
I’m not crazy about this picture but this may be my favorite use of books. I love that just the ends are used to create texture with minimal color.
So the Michelberger isn’t all books all the time: here’s a view of the restaurant with it’s sexy concrete walls. That wasn’t sarcasm, i really do like them. And, bonus! no mold.
From the restaurant looking into the bar. Still lovely.
One of the 85 guest rooms. I really love when beds are next to windows, especially in bustling cities.
Ok, so when you dudes get back from your stay abroad, remember to toss together one of those book lamps for me, I can’t wait to see your handywork!
Hidey Ho everyone and welcome back to me!! Thanks so much to Erin, Chromie, AB, and Pillow Mint for holding down the fort while I was gone. You guys rock my soul! It has been a lovely 2 week blog vacay, part of which I spent on actual vacay: The hubby (and Jeff and Diana) and I cruised down to Mexico for 5 days at a big, Disney-fied all-inclusive resort just south of Playa Del Carmen. Our hotel was lovely. And Big. And filled with yummy food, but it wasn’t really exciting enough design-wise to share with you.
We did manage to pry ourselves away from the beach and free cocktails long enough to pop our heads into town to check out the 2 dreamy hotels we did not stay at. (Some of you may remember that I was waxing and waning on all inclusive vs. boutique hotel) Here are some shots of the pads we declined.
The entry to the Hotel Basico. Just off of the tourist trap that is 5th street, the Basico is a sight for sore eyes after declining offers to have my hair braided for $10. I’ve drooled over the Basico website several times and was anxious to see the hotel in person.
The pictures from Basico site promise a shmorgusboard of fresh fruit and make-your-own cocktails.
The roof-top space has since culled the wheat from the chaff and simplified the offerings to the bare essentials: booze. The addition of a mirror delights me, as does the adorable bartender and his yummy, yummy, expensive cucumber martinis.
What the website has not shown me is this lovely lounge area, fitted with hand-made wood and rope seats and mirrored pots. Sorry for the craptastic photos, I was filled with sugary booze and veggies and high on:
the handmade seat you can see in the left side of this picture. Welded steal frame powder coated white and topped with wooden slats and a cushion. It was handmade without being crafty. Matt and I made mental blue prints and hope to duplicate the beauty for our back porch. That is, once we finally do the back porch.
I’m glad we didn’t stay in this hotel. Why? See those 2 tubs at the top of the picture? That’s the only pool offered at the Basico. Here’s the shot the pros offer:
When I saw this online, lovely as it was, it was a deal-breaker. I need to swim around like a fish, and then swim to a swim-up bar. As you can see, that is not happening here. (The pools at our hotel rivaled the ocean in size, btw)
The best part about the Basico (aside from the cucumber martini) was the way the designers repurposed used materials. This rocker was wrapped in, what used to be, intertube rubber. Awesome, yes?
But look closesly, the bestest bestest thing was the floor. Oh, I curse myself for not getting a better picture! The entryway flooring was made from used tire tread. The tires were cut and laid side-by-side just as you would hardwood. The result (not really shown here at all) was spectacular. All 4 of us swooned.
After a couple of drinks at the Basico, we walked 2 blocks over to the Deseo, the other hotel on my radar. The website promised me this:
And here’s what I saw:
Ok, actually, it looked a lot like the first photo, I just didn’t get one from that angle. Or one that wasn’t blurry. That’s the back of Diana’s head in the red. Hi Diana! Drinks here were good, but not as good as the Basico, btw.
The pool at the Deseo is much bigger than the Basico, but there is no ocean view when sitting poolside, instead you are left to consider “away from you” over and over and over again.
My traveling buddies all preferred this space, while I strongly disagreed: Basico was better, hands down. Of course, they may have been swayed by this:
Vintage Mexian Wrestling Vampire movies projected on the hotel after dark. It certainly does help to tip the scales.
So, there you go, my tour of Playa del Carmen. Sorry the pictures were junk, but, well, you see, for a few short days I didn’t obsess about design, instead, I did this:
Happy Friday, homies!!!! Even though today is short post day, I’m long on anticipation. I’ve got lots of awesome stuff coming up to look forward to. Here are my highlights for the next couple of weeks:
1. The completion of my office. No, that is not it above, but I could work like a mo-fo in that room. With that view. I do have shelves, so we’ve got that in common. I’ll be brining you guys before and after photos once the project is closer to completion. It’s getting near, get excited y’all.
2. The completion of Erin’s dining room, also not pictured. Hey, she’s got black walls, white chairs and she seems to have developed an affinity for empty heads of the table, so I thought I’d share this inspiration with her to help move her along. See how nice I am?
3. Throwing a wrench in Erin’s plans by posting dining room pictures that are nothing like her planned space but are so badass that the whole project needs to be reconsidered thereby striking out #2. Not so nice afterall. I will ride to Ikea with you, Erin, if you need me to. Maybe.
4. My 2 year wedding anniversary which will be spent right here. Suck it.
5. ROUNDTOP! ROUNDTOP! ROUNDTOP! It’s only 6 wee little baby days away!!!!
Big News Dumplings: Matty and I have decided to go to Mexico for 5 days for our anniversary this fall. Hooray!!! There’s so much culture and so many ruins and, oh, the food! Guess what?! We won’t be seeing ANY of it. Nope, not one bit. We are going to be such tourists that we probably won’t even leave the comfort of our all-inclusive resort long enough to say ¿dónde está el soporte del taco? Look, all inclusive means free booze and infinity pools so, pray tell, why would I leave?
I spent a few minutes thinking that I should forgo all-inclusive and instead stay in one of the hotels I’ve been lusting after. I did some research and found some gems in Playa Del Carmen (our destination) with rates within our budget. 2 small snags: Neither had drinks included and both were a block from the crystal clear ocean. I don’t care if Phillip Stark was conceived in the pretty hotels, if you’re not giving me free drinks or the beach, you’re not part of my vacay. I will feature you on my blog, however.
Hotel I passed up #1: Hotel Basico
See!!! That is concrete, not crystal clear water
Oh, but maybe I could just stay in the room the whole time
And try to squint to see the ocean. It may be worth it, right?
I could pay a few extra dollars to have my selection from this quaint fruit stand.
Oh, but those roof-top tubs don’t look much like an infinity pool, or a lazy river that wraps around a Disney-sized resort.
This is probably the only view of Hotel Basico I’ll get in person.
Denied Hotel #2 Hotel Deseo
I am a sucker for pool-side beds with canopies. I wonder how much drink service costs on one of those bad boys.
And a hammock in the room DOES tug at my heart strings.
Why can’t you have free drinks??!!
Yep, this is probably all I’ll be seeing of the Deseo.
You know why? Because I’m totally going to be rockin it like this:
Booya! LOOK AT THAT WATER!
In other news, I’m going to be out of town tomorrow so you’re going to have to live with these photos until Monday when Me Melodia stops by with some awesome collages.
I’ll be back on Tuesday to announce the Tam Tam stool winner. Remember, you have until Monday night to enter. If you haven’t already, don’t be scared, I don’t keep your email addresses or use your information or anything creepy like that. Really, I’m not that organized.
Kisses and happy early weekend everyone!
Upon landing in Terminal 2 of Sky Harbor, you’ll be welcomed by artist Paul Coze’s best-known work. He created this amazing three panel mixed media mural in 1962 out of what is speculated to be 52 forms of different media, including dirt from Native reservations. Then, once we snap up your bags from baggage claim, we’ll make a stop at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, where you can check-in and grab a margarita.
The original Valley Ho opened in December 1956 and was designed by the office of Edward Varney, it was recently renovated a few years ago. Hungry? Let us go to the Souper Salad in Phoenix for lunch!
The Phoenix Financial Center, also built by Sarmiento, was designed to look like an old computer punch card. The building was also featured in the 1993 film Suture. The lucky SOB lived in one of the round buildings!! Alright! We’re ready to head to the Christown Mall!
Built in 1960, Christown Mall was the first indoor air conditioned shopping center in Arizona. Check out all those bubble lamps & bird cages! Too much shopping? Feel a sin coming on?
Good thing the Good Samaritan hospital in Phoenix isn’t too far away. This gorgeous amorphous buidling was designed by Bertrand Goldberg, most known for the Marina Towers Apartments on the Chicago River, the concrete corn cob buildings.
Phew! It’s been a long day. Time to have a night cap and tuck in. Hope you enjoyed your brief tour of Phoenix. If you’re ever back again, please take a peek at the other mid-century marvels our lovely little city has to offer.
Your dutiful hostess & tour guide,
About a year ago, just after this blog was born, I wrote a post about one of my favoritest hotels ever ever. Because I celebrated my independence a week bit too hard this weekend (thank you house of slappy for your mad party throwin skillz) I’ve decided to repost it today. Enjoy and I promise all will be back to normal tomorrow
You know, Belinda Carlisle really sang her way right into my heart with all her talk of vacation business. Do you think that the missing verse to that song mentioned anything about well appointed hotel rooms and amenities up the wazoo, like pillows of varying firmness upon request? I certainly like to think that the Go-Go’s would not have been willing to spend said dream vacation traveling across the hot desert in an un-air-conditioned car with nothing but a Howard Johnsons on the horizon. Gross.
I digress, the point is, I want to go on vacation, I want to go to the Hotel Particular, and I want to steal every last gold leaf accessory in sight. Behold:
I know, right? Do I really need to write a paragraph about how this wallpaper is the most mind blowing thing you’ve ever seen? Do I need to point out that the sconces and table lamps make the forest look like it’s glowing and only magnify the already awesome dramatic silhouette? Do you really need little old me to tell you that the uber-minimalist crisp, clean linens are the perfect counterpart to the most perfect wall decor ever? I didn’t think so.
I will tell you that this room was designed by Martine Aballéa, an American artist working in Paris.
You probably think that I blew my wad on the first picture, but just you wait.
ta-da! Artist and photographer Natacha Lesueur thought it would be the coolest thing ever to put gigantic glowing portraits on her suite’s wall and I agree. I showed this picture to Matt awhile ago hoping he would rush out and buy a large-format camera for this very purpose. Funny thing, he didn’t like the idea at all. Does anyone know a good divorce attorney? I mean, did he really take a good look at this room? Maybe he thought our space wouldn’t look as nice without the spiral staircase in the center of it all. He would have had a point. On a side note, I’ve always loved the idea of a free standing bathtub in the bedroom. No, I’ve never been one for practicality.
When you’re done bathing in the bedroom, you can cruise on over to the bathroom proper and adore the black and gold walls while brushing your teeth and using the bidet.
Another black bathroom. This place is rocking my world. I usually hate pedestal sinks (where do you put your stuff? I guess I am practical sometimes) but this one is great because it has that other pedestal dealie right next to it for storing said stuff. And it’s a different shape, even better.
If you want to mingle with the other guests, here are some public spaces:
When I first saw this picture I thought that crazy giant angel was the coolest thing in the room, then I decided that the heavy red drapes might trump the crazy cherub, finally I came to my senses and realized that the crown over the mirror is the greatest gold accessory I’ve ever seen. I really want to store it right next to my crunk juice goblet.
Still feeling social?
I will give a dollar to anyone who can tell me what is going on in that photograph above the stunning black tulip chairs. I will give four dollars to anyone who will bring me the chairs.
Did you spot an American tourist in a starter jacket and need to race back to your room? Go to this one:
Purple and gold… so regal. I could wear my gold crown from the breakfast room in here! I have to admit that the distressed scribbly wallpaper is a little 2004, I bet I’ll like it again in about 12 years, which works out great as I will have finally saved enough Euros to book this room by then. (room designed by Pierre Fichefeux)
**Ok, everyone, this is important: I want you to take a good look at the photo I just showed you. Did you note the incredible gold bathroom? Yes? Got it? Listen to this: I painted my master bath in my last rental in the most luxurious (and insanely expensive) metallic gold paint. Floors, ceiling all of it. My landlord liked it (it was just a duplex not an apartment) he kept it when I moved. BUT the, ahem, stylish, girl who moved in after me is painting over it. I am so grossed out. I’m tempted to cut out all the UK magazine articles I’ve been reading about gold walls and mail them to her with a threatening letter. Seriously, what is she thinking? I bet she paints it beige. yuck! yuck! barf city!**
sorry. back to the hotel.
Incase you’re as in love with this hotel as I am and you want to find it, here’s what to look for:
so cute, right? I couldn’t find any information on the building, but I’m guessing it was originally a home built forever ago, like everything else in Europe. Go there, let me know what it’s like, bring me back a little scrap of wallpaper.
Did you guys hear that tomorrow is Thanksgiving? Yep, it is so. In honor of this slightly bizarre holiday, today I’m going to take you on a photo tour of deluxe hotels in (wait for it)… Turkey! Yum.
While it is true that I have put a moratorium on holiday travel, I think it will be just fine to take a virtual vacation to any of these fine resorts. Race you to the pool!
The Adam & Eve Hotel, in Belek, Turkey
Looking for a little more Turkey in your Turkey? Try the Marmara Bodrum Hotel in, where else? Marmara
Well, If you’re going to fly all the way to Turkey, for crying out loud, you outta at least spend one night in Istanbul. I suggest you stay at the Witt Suites:
And finally, if you totally want your face rocked off, stay at the Hillside Su Hotel in Antalya:
So, what does everyone say, shall we start a new Thanksgiving tradition? I mean, really, no one actually likes turkey as a meal, perhaps next year we should all pack our bags and chow down on the real Turkey?
Don’t you all wish it were still the weekend instead of smelly, yucky Monday? Well, you’re in luck! We here at the influential Design Crisis head-quarters have deemed this a long weekend in observation of our record-breaking Texas Heat. (not since 1920-something have we had 37 consecutive days of triple digit heat, with no rain, might i add). So be it long weekend, so it was written so it is done. What should we do with this extra day? Why, take a dip of course:
Mind Blowing Pool at La Purificadora Hotel, Puebla, Mexico
Exterior, La Purificadora Hotel.
After swimming, my second favorite weekend activity is to peruse design magazines (perfect weekend: design magazines pool-side), this weekend I curled up with my fave: Elle Decoration UK. Apparently the Brits like to swim too and they chose to rub it in my face by delivering pictures of some of the swankiest pools I’ve ever ever seen. Here are some of my top pics from the issue.
Blood Red tile pool at the Hotel Unique, Sao Paulo, Brazil
I am so so curious to see what this pool looks like in real life. Of course I’m only budgeted to stay in Brazil’s swanky Cidade de Deus, but, perhaps I could hop the fancy glass fence.
itty bitty pics (sorry) of Therme Vals Spa, Vals, Switzerland
I love how clear the water is in the first picture, I know, it’s a pool, it’s supposed to be clear. But I really really like clear water so whatever. Those Alps in the background aren’t too bad either. I’m not sure what’s happening in the last picture but I am willing to guess that it is very calming and relaxing.
2 views of Badeschiff, Berlin
Again, I love clear water. There is no way in hell you would ever get me to swim in that yucky lake that surrounds Badeschiff’s open air pool. I love the idea that you could swim in this man made wonder and totally pretend that you are being all out-doorsy. Interesting note: the pool is made from shipping containers, so, yay, it’s totally green (faux-outdoorsy AND green? I wonder if I have to wear a flannel bathing-suit to get in?)
Infinity Pool at Mystique, Oia, Santorini Greece
I know it’s kinda hard to tell what’s going on in this picture, but I’m pretty sure it’s amazing and magical. First of all, there’s an infinity pool. There is nothing on earth better than an infinity pool. Yes, I am so easily amused that if some silly architect tries to trick me into thinking that the water goes on forever, I feel as though I’m living in a giant posh paradise. Also, again we see a pool near a real body of water: nature without all the yucky nature encounters: perfect!
These 4 pools actually weren’t in Elle Decor, I just thought they looked like a nice place for us to spend our long weekend (and look, bonus eye candy without the $9.00 cover price! rose garden: promised, delivered.)
Don’t you just adore the striped ottomans at the Azucar Pool? I think I could make myself feel right at home laying on those bad boys. Also, since these last 4 are in Mexico and the Caribbean they all feel a bit more attainable. Well, at least I like to trick myself into thinking that.
I can’t help but wonder, if I take back this 3-day weekend I just granted us all, and actually did something a bit more productive, would I be able to afford to visit one of these private alcoves of paradise rather than just fantasize and tell you about it? Perhaps we could all go and have the world’s most well-designed pool party? Who wants to set up the evite?
Whenever I think of hotels the first thought in my mind is that scene from Revenge of the Nerds 2 where they stay at the hotel coral essex, throw a wild party and change the sign to read hot oral sex. ha ha, it makes me giggle. Unlike the hilarity of the classic film hotel, the hotels I’ve been dreaming about lately are so insane awesome I’ve been crying a river of tears. I’ve also been wondering: is it OK to plan a vacation just to visit a hotel? Do I really even need to worry about the city when the lodgings are so posh? I’m almost ready to stop funding on my remodel just to go on a global inspirational tour… but not quite. Until then, I’ll be virtually vacationing right here with you. Enter, the first column in my world-wide hotel expose, first up: the Hotel Fox in, of course, the design holy land, Copenhagen.
clockwise from top left:
room 408 “Cultivated Nature is More Fun” Eike König and Martin Lorenz Frankfurt – Germany
room 407 “Strong enough / Forte o Bastante” Speto – Brazil
room 121 “Sleep Seasons” Rinzen – Australia
room 409 “Heidi” Benjamin Güdel – Switzerland
We’ve all seen plenty of (really amazing) hotels who’ve employed the work of famed designers to decorate a room or floor or lobby, but this project differentiates itself by using street artists. Over 1000 artists submitted applications to design their own room, the owners (funded by, ahem, Volkswagen) selected the creme de la creme. And now I want to go there and live for a week at a time in each room. This room jumped right out at me:
I’m planning a black and white (and lime!) bedroom for myself so the above, room 206 sent me into a decorating frenzy. French street artist (get this), WK interact, designed custom wallpaper for this sexy room. After playing shut in for 3 or 4 days, I’ll probably want more color, so I’ll move down the hall to this swanky pad:
This room personifies everything that is right with design: stuffed animals, check; raccoon, dog and llama wallpaper, check; sacred heart motif with low-level lighting, check. I think I could just as easily achieve this look if I packed a suitcase and moved into Hope Perkins’s warped little mind. Actually, this room was designed by Miami based artists Sam and Tury of friends with you. Who are you guys? I love you and thanks for being friends with me.
If 206 and 214 are all booked up, I’d love to stay here:
room 217 by German artist Birgit Amadori, featuring layers of wallpaper and handpainting. More contenders:
“Sleep Well” Room 106 by French Artist Geneviève Gauckler. (I wonder why it’s in english??)
I’d have a coin toss for any of these beautifully sterile rooms:
counterclockwise from top left:
room 306, “pico pico” Kim Hiorthøy –Norway
room 414, “Complexity – reliability” E-Types – Denmark
room 502, “hearts, the royal wedding” Nicola Carter and Luise Vormittag – UK
room 317, “monday” Kim Hiorthøy – Norway
Looks like I like this Kim Hiorthøy girl, I think I smell a future post coming on
Here are some last looks:
room 509 “King’s Court 1″ Birgit Amadori – Germany.
All that wallpaper is custom, which brings the heartbreaking factor of this room up to about 752million.
room 302 “ Harmony’s Helm” Friendswithyou – U.S.A.
Right now I’m learning the hard way that tile isn’t so cheap and neither are giant gold gilded bull heads, go figure. I think a trusty plane ticket is in order.