Tuesday, November 13, 2012

* Villa Midgard *

Let's start out by just taking a moment to appreciate the beauty in this home. 
DAPstockholm designed this home entitled Villa Midgard in Stockholm, Sweden

When the client met with  DAPstockholm they wished for a solid, secluded house with a maintenance-free facade, a sense of ceiling height and a master bedroom with the benefit of morning sun. They also wished for a solution where they could open up larger windows toward the scenery and have a sheltered space where they could sit and listen to the pouring rain. This resulted in a multi-faceted house where the shape and direction of the different volumes are based on various factors such as the terrain, the light conditions, the views, and the privacy. The volumes give the house seven different facades. This and the dramatic nature of the sloping site provide the house with a unique character. Cut outs in the mountain give space for the outdoor seating areas. In the south-east direction, outside the SPA, one of these creates a significant border between the arranged and the rampant garden.

 The second floor is suspended above the entrance floor to shadow and protect the yard. The infinity pool, made of dark concrete, make you think of a deep dark forest lake adding to qualities of a wilderness where the water runs over the pool edge.

The facade of the souterrrain is made out of slate and the stair from the carport out of limestone. Grass covers the roof of the tallest volume and the the roof terrace where it is themed with spruce.
 The house interior also exhibit materials that are close to nature such as walnut, ceramic, granite, and marble.

"By using living materials the house will become more characteristic with age" says Calle Smedshammar, partner Architect at DAPstockholm.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

* Windows Phone lands Chase...finally *

With Windows Phone 8 coming in the next few weeks, Developers have been pushing out apps left and right. Some are new concepts and other are important apps the platform has been missing. Case in point, the Chase Mobile App.

The addition of more banking apps is a good sign for an up and coming platform. According to Nokia the app will hit the Marketplace soon (within a day or two). Now with Chase Mobile app you can perform all your banking transactions on your Windows Phone.

App description:
Perform transactions, all from your phone

If you need to perform a transaction, such as paying a bill or your credit card, Chase Mobile has you    covered. You can also transfer funds between accounts, make check deposits via Chase QuickDeposit, send wire transfers and send/request money with Chase person to person QuickPay, the bank's innovative personal paying service.

Set your alerts and manage your account

If you need to know when a deposit hits your account, when your money is transferred or if an account balance reaches a specified amount, you can set these alerts  in the Chase application. These come in handy when managing your account and keeping tabs on your funds.

I was personally waiting for this app to finally hit the platform. I contacted Chase a few months ago requesting a Chase Mobile App for Windows Phone. I was told that it was something that they were looking into, but it seemed like just another generic answer. A few months later, its coming. I guess I will take partial credit for this milestone!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

* Sia - Breathe Me *

No matter how many times I listen to this song It never gets old! Sia always seems to pull emotions from places I didn't know existed, and I will be forever grateful. Enjoy!

What did you take from this?
Please share below...

* Sigh *

I have been dealing with a serious case of writers block, it is the first time I felt full of inspiration but no desire to create! Ugh, it's so frustrating!!! In the mean time I will be posting some of my favorite music I'm submersing myself into.... this should correct the issue!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

* In The Rock by Berg Meister Wolf *

At first glance you wonder, what is this gorgeous piece of architecture built into a rocks facade? Can you believe it's a Fire Station?

This station was designed by Berg Meister Wolf in Margreid, Italy.

Three big caverns are drilled into the rock and interlinked with a cross cut. A black pigmented concrete wall stands in front of the rock with the same inclination as the mountain. The three caverns dock on to this concrete wall.
The wall is the main architectural element of the station and at the same time a protection against down falling stones. They chose concrete as the material for the wall, its durable, strong, and powerful. The dark color is achieved by the application of beech coal dust and should bear resemblance to burned wood.
Two garages break through forming portals which are covered with black coated steel. These garages are closed with glass folding gates which allow the red fire engines to be seen from the outside. In an area of the office and the administration wing the the wall is pierced through by a cantilevered pending glass cube which gives free sight in all directions and brings in tons of natural light.

The interior of the caverns are characterized by simple materials: wood, glass and steel are used subtly and contrast the cavern with its harsh plastered surface. In terms of sustainability the fire brigade differentiates itself in two points from other projects: the positioning of the building and the overall energy concept. The building could have been placed on a normal lot as most of the stations, but because of rare grounds in the alpine, the community decided to build the fire station into the rock. Therefore valuable ground has been save and can be used for agriculture.
I have to admit to this being one of the coolest projects I have seen in awhile, very inspiring when designers begin to think outside of the box.

**Listening to Blue Jeans by Lana Del Ray**

Saturday, May 5, 2012

* #PutOn - Lana Del Ray *

The story of Lana Del Ray is somewhat of a strange one.

The short version... Lizzy Grant (her first stage name) was a flop, she changed her name to Lana Del Ray and was acclaimed a new star! But there is so much more to the story!
 Elizabeth "Lizzy" Grant was born and raised in a town in Upstate New York (real upstate, not West Chester). At the age of eighteen her uncle taught her the guitar starting with the basic chords: "It was G, C, A, D minor, A minor and some diminished chord as well. Some trick, some shortcut," Grant recalled. " I realized i could probably write a million songs with those six chords, so I moved to NY and I took a couple of years to just write whatever I wanted"

Back in 2008, Del Ray released a three-track EP titled Kill Kill under the name Lizzy Grant, featuring the tracks "Kill Kill", "Yayo", and "Gramma (Blue Ribbon Sparkler Trailer Heaven)". Fast forward two years, when producer David Kahne got wind of Lizzy Grant and wanted to instantly turn her into a star. The album they created was Lana Del Ray AKA Lizzy Grant, it was released under an independent label and was available for purchase for about a month before being withdrawn by Grant.

Grant realized she needed something to push her forward, something that would take advantage of her sweet American good looks and contralto vocal range. "I wanted a name I could shape music towards... I was going to Miami a lot and speaking Spanish with friends, I made up Lana Del Ray because it reminded me of the glamour of the seaside, it also sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue. I wanted to be part of a high-class scene of musicians. It was half-inspired because I didn't have many friends, and I was hoping that I would meet people and fall in love and start a community around me, the way they used to in the '60's", and with that thought, Lana Del Ray was born!

Del Ray received a backlash from fans for her new persona, but lets not be mistaken, quite a few female seductresses (Marilyn, Madonna, Anna Nicole, and Dorothy Dandridge) have changed their name, image, and it changed their lives.
On January 31, 2012 Lana Del Rey released her first album Born To Die under the new name and it has been praised every since. With 40+ million views on her videos and topping the charts in eleven different countries including Australia, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Apparently change is not only inevitable, it is great for 'sexxing' up a failing career. 
Del Ray could be described as self-style gangsta Nancy Sinatra. Her sound reminds me of Amy Whinehouse, Sia, Adele and even a little Chrisette Michele. But with her girl next door good looks and a voice with that much depth and emotion one would think she is pulling a Milli Vanilli on us.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

*Friendly Fires - Kiss Of Life*

If you need a little pick me up or just some good music to start your day, Friendly Fires has you covered.


This is one of my favorite songs which causes it to be on heavy rotation in my home. Enjoy!!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

* #PutOn - Sarah Blakely *

Sarah Blakely is the youngest woman on the Forbes Billionaires list. At age 41, she has been able to invest her life savings of $5000 and turn it into a billionaire dollar idea. Blakely created the company Spanx back in 2000 when she moved to Atlanta with the idea of footless pantyhose.

Before Blakely was to become a big success, she worked her share of unglamorous jobs--all of which, she says, contributed to her eventual success. Having scored miserably on the LSAT twice chasing a dream of being a lawyer, she decided to forgo law school and went into selling $20,000 worth of fax machines door-to-door. Soon after Blakely decided to take her idea and run with it. Reading marketing books, creating a logo on a friends computer, and plunking down a $3000 legal fee needed to trademark the Spanx name (which she learned to from a Barnes & Noble textbook).

Sarah has given her top 5 lessons for those would-be entrepreneurs interested in building a brand:

1)  Don't let the first "no" (or five) stop you.

2) Don't quit your day job just yet.
~Sarah was two years into her idea for Spanx, before she resigned from her role at Danka. She has said, "I didn't turn in my resignation letter until I was absolutely sure her start-up was on the right track." Sarah resigned on October 14, 2000 and two and a half weeks later she was on Oprah.

3) Don't seek validation from others. 
~While working on her big idea, Blakely decided not to tell her friends and family what she was doing. "Don't solicit feedback on your product, idea or your business just for validation purposes. You want to tell the people who can help move your idea forward, but if you're just looking to your friend, co-worker, husband or wife, be careful. It can stop a lot of multimillion-dollar ideas in their track in the beginning."
4) Hire your weakness.
~Laurie Ann Goldman, a longtime Coca-Cola executive, was out shopping for some Spanx control-top fishnets at her local Saks. They were sold out of most sizes. Goldman insisted the vendor be contacted and informed on creating a replenishment plan. Blakely was a charismatic salesperson, but she had never worked in fashion nor had she ever taken any business classes. Blakely met with Goldman for lunch shortly after the Saks incident where she came on as a consultant, then in 2002, as CEO. "She brought much more formality and structure," Blakely says.

5) Never stop evolving.
~In her first year of sales, Blakely saw 4 million dollars of revenue, a huge jump from the $11,000 plus commission salary she held just 2 years prior. The second year, revenues hit 10 million dollars off of the one $20 item. In a decade, Spanx's has grown from an initial pair of pantyhose to over 200 products and is currently worth over 1 billion dollars.

Sarah has recently moved herself and her Atlanta HQ to the Sovereign, the tallest condominium in Atlanta, located in the swanky Buckhead neighborhood.

Talk about some serious live/works digs. She continues to inspire women and men alike to follow their dream and to be the person you believe in!

** Listening to - Polaris by Zero7**

Thursday, March 22, 2012

* Mill Valley Cabins *

Feldman Architecture have designed two small cabins as accessory buildings for an existing home in Mill Valley, California

-front of Cabin2 and roof of Cabin1 (above)
-side view of Cabin2 (above)

-interior spaces (above)
-roof of Cabin1, seconds as a garden (above)
-side entrance of Cabin1 (above)
-stairs to Cabin2 (above)
-path between Cabins (above)
-Site map of Cabin1 and Cabin2 (above)

The clients for the Mill Valley Cabins wished to add some accessory structures to their existing hillside home. Programmatically, the clients sought to provide space for an artist studio and a yoga space which would also serve as a private guest cabin. The program was divided into two small cabins which could be placed lightly between existing trees with minimal re-grading. Additionally, the orientation of the two cabins capture different views. The roof of the lower building was planted with a garden since the upper building would look down on it and the client and design team wanted the building to blend into the hillside. The green roof also provides additional landscape for the clients love of gardening.

I fell in love with this design the moment I saw it. Its always a pleasure to see architecture built by respecting nature and blending into the backdrop rather than defying and standing out. The inside is filled with tons of natural light and I can only imagine how great this place feels on a perfect spring day! #SimplyStunning

** Listening to - The Cardigans - Your New Cuckoo **

Saturday, March 3, 2012

* Android Homme: Fall 2012 *

Check out Android Homme's upcoming 2012 Fall Collection!!!
-A.H. Cork (above)

This day and age there is a plethora of shoe companies coming out of the woodwork. With studs, zippers, buckles, and metallic, they claim to be the new cool shoe and others falsely claim to be couture. While these other brands tend to lean towards the title of 'too trendy', Android Homme has been able to distinguish themselves in the flooded shoe market, while continuing to give consumers what they truly want.
I really enjoy the Navajo Boot in navy. (pictured above)
Supernova Low (above)
Discovery Boot (above).. a play on Doc Martens, yet refined.
Camo Boot (above)
Leather Pack Boots (above)
Camel Ice Pack Boots (above)
Navy Ice Pack Boots (above)

With a strong focus on premium materials and construction, Android has certainly created something worth lusting over. This collection offers a good mix of high tops, with great texture and contemporary styling. For many who are looking a high-quality sneaker with less emphasis on athletic appeal, would definitely want to check out what Android has to offer year!

Price: not yet available.
**Most Android Homme shoes start in the $250 range.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

* Wipe me down *

With its three broad stripes, the Wipe T-Shirt has an eye catching appeal from the start, but there is also a secret to the design.

One of the stripes is actually a strip of Microfiber cloth, the go-to-remedy for wiping down dirty, finger-printed glasses and those hard to keep clean smart phone screens.
You may get a few strange looks wiping your phone on your chest, but the convenience makes it all worth it.

Sizes: Small, Medium, Large (Unisex)
Materials: 100% cotton, microfiber (nylon 50%, polyester 50%)
Colors: blue/black and light gray/black
Price: $89.00
Purchase: gnr8