Inspiring Home Office Environments

It seems more and more people are working from home these days.  It makes sense if you do most of your work online or on the phone.  Especially  if you live in a big city with long, smog producing commutes to and from work. In order to maintain focus and productivity, an inspiring and well-organized home office is key. One of the many positives in technology is that we don’t need to store the endless file folders many of us are all too familiar with. I found these  clean and chic home offices inspiring.

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Love the Charlotte Perriand chair.  Shows how a great piece of furniture can make the space.
Photo © Manolo Yller via Yazer

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All of the sleek designs above are by  Feldman Architecture in San Francisco.

Or if you do not have the space in your home, The Orb may be the genius option.

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Flooded with natural light, The Orb is an affordable extra room that requires no planning permission to be set up within the boundary of your home.  Developed by a team of UK’s best architects, engineers and interior designers and constructed using boat-building techniques and materials, it’s more durable and long lasting than any other traditionally built structure on the market.  The totality of the body, chassis and legs gives the orb a structural strength more akin to a yacht than a garden office.  Adjustable legs for leveling, energy efficiency, easy maintenance and custom options make this a very inspiring choice.  The Holiday Park Home sleeps 7 and Corporate Orbs are also available; and there is even talk about a houseboat version…

Everest Base Camp: Fellow Enthusiast?

Okay, so it’s a dream. It always starts out as one, doesn’t it? Why would you ever want to climb a mountain? It’s an age old question. Because it’s there? Because you can? Because it’s exotic? So many reasons..

.

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A particular goal of mine has always been to climb to Everest Base Camp. Not to climb to the mountain summit, understood, but still an aggressive pursuit nonetheless. Even landing at the base of it seems more grueling than one might expect, and the thought of organizing and pulling together a trip of that magnitude seems daunting. I think I have pulled together a group of fellow enthusiasts to go, and have no doubt my presumed climbing teams’ ready acceptance was fueled by alcohol over a martini or two. So, my hat goes off to Abercrombie and Kent, the tour coordinator. Not having traveled with them since our Botswana safari in 2000, when we had a lukewarm response to ever traveling with them again, we were invited to join good friends on their family vacation in Alaska on an A & K adventure. That trip was wonderful. Now, lo and behold, their new ‘extreme adventure’ tour division has planned my ‘dream’ climb….Nepal: Ascent to Everest Base Camp.

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Wow. This will be an amazing trek, but it is definitely on the bucket list! Now Abercrombie and Kent is not to be confused with Abercrombie and Fitch, the clothier……, certainly worth a visual inspiration but, probably a better outfitter would be Patagonia…. as the altitiude of base camp is nearly 17,500′ or 5334 meters. We’ll need to be well prepared, even in summer, as daytime temperatures rarely get much above freezing….and then there’s the impact of the altitude…..

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Now if I can keep the fitness level up, train regularly and get my ‘team’ organized, we can plan this for 2012….wanna join?

Green Building: New Alternatives

Have you ever thought of using rice to build your next home?  Probably not, but according to the BBC, new materials for building such as rice, straw and coconut are emerging.  We are always excited to discover new prospective materials for our next sustainable project. Our first project slated to be  Platinum LEED Certified is almost finished.

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Resysta resembles a tropical hardwood, but the main ingredient is rice husks.  The husks are powdered and mixed with salt and mineral oil and pressed onto board.  The advantages over wood include the inability to absorb water and its lack of the compound, lignin, which causes wood to grey.  The material is recyclable and has won awards for its sustainability.

Kirei board is another alternative made from sorghum stalks. Kirei translates to “beautiful” in Japanese and it is known for its aesthetic appeal.

Kirei also makes a great selection of LEED qualified materials from Coco and Bamboo. Use these materials in architectural millwork, wall coverings, furniture or anything else you can dream up.

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Top Chinese: Food & Fashion

Our top recommendation for fashion with a Chinese flair is Shanghai Tang. The line is elegant, chic and unique with lines for men, women and  children. And, for  delicious Chinese food, we suggest heading over to the popular blog of an old friend of mine: The Red Cook.

Shanghai Tang’s latest line, Metamorphosis, transforms the traditional costumes of the Miao into contemporary luxury collections that anyone would love.  I love Shanghai Tang’s manifesto for the Mandarin Collar Society. It highlights some of the many reasons to abolish the necktie.  You may also enjoy the post on the Polo Shirt line and their Mongolian Polo team( here).

I have found that good Chinese food is hard to find in the US.  If you agree, or if you just love to cook,  you will want to check out  The Red Cook. With delicious recipies from Won Tons to Steamed Sea Bass and a variety of vegetarian dishes, we like  this mouth-watering and refreshing cold dish: Garlic Chive Blossoms and Daikon Salad.  The vegetarian may also enjoy an upcoming Chinese Buddhist Vegetarian cooking class offered through the Culinary Herb Center that I also found on The Red Cook’s site.

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Sun and Sea: Art, Fashion & Design

It is a sunny day in California and the gorgeous colors of the ocean and the sky this morning prompted this post on the Turquoise and Tangerine colors found  in the art, fashion and design we love.  I just bought the Tangerine shoes over the weekend.

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1.  Sliding to Sunset/ Fine Art Photograph by Chris Bukard 2. Luzelle van der Westhuizen beach Towels. One Kings Road 3. Tekkies Jam Shoes. Puma 4. Schumacher Carmel Coastline Print Fabric in Tangerine/Laguna. Schumacher. 5. Le Soleil Pendant Lamp in Aquamarine.Y Lighting 6. Men’s Adidas Water Grip Shoe. US Sandals 7. Juicy Couture Turquoise Shimmer Sunglasses. Everything Turquoise

Place your Bets: Fancy Hats & Mint Juleps

Time to get out your hats and place your bets!  The Kentucky Derby is on tomorrow, May 7.

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Speaking of hats, I love this image from BoDog.   Character.

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But when the subject is hats, the first designer who comes to mind is UK Milner, Philip Treacy.  He is  a first class artisan in his craft for men and  women …and even the Horse. …Apparently (via Alice is Lost).  Lady Gaga was even his intern at one time.

Images (clockwise):  Guardian, Harrods, Blogoogles

Sarah Jessica Parker showed off this Fascinator, also by Philip Treacy,  in “Sex and the City.”  These were a hit at the Royal Wedding and these from NYC Fascinators are even budget friendly.

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(photo by: Elizabeth Perrin)
If you will be watching from home like me,  get your Mint Julep ingredients together.Forbe's Best Bartender, Eben Freeman from the Tailor Restaurant in New York City, offers up his secrets and even a video on Epicurious.  
I have my eye on the Tipsy Tea. I am a sucker for a kitschy title, but it's also made with vodka for those who can not quite stomach the Bourbon.  

 Whatever you do, don’t forget to place your bets.  See the official site for all the details.