Canopy & Stars

canopy and stars

This site is so much fun to browse. Talk about wanderlust. Alistair Sawday, author of the Special Places to Stay travel guides, has a new site called Canopy & Stars that features very off-the-beaten-path, notch-above-camping lodgings, including yurts, a houseboat, shepherd’s cottages, and old campers/RVs (like the red truck above) in incredible locations where you could never have an actual hotel (or you could, but then it wouldn’t be special).

(Did you notice I avoided the word ‘glamping?’ That is one of the worst recently invented words I’ve hear in a while. But it is sort of what this site specializes in, and they’ve gracefully embraced the word. I’m still working on it.)

A few of my favorites are in the gallery, but check out the site for more, as well as more info on each property and where it’s located. It will majorly give you the glamping travel bug.


World’s Coolest Public Pools

public pools

One of my favorite things about living in Santa Barbara was how many public amenities there were, including all kinds of city-maintained beautiful parks and trails, city rec leagues, and of course, the beach. The experience of seeing people everyday playing beach volleyball, windsurfing, playing soccer/baseball/ultimate frisbee, barbecuing, running on the sidewalk along the beach, and just generally enjoying life outside, for free, made me really value public amenities.

So, I thought these public pools rocked!! It makes me so happy when fun things in beautiful spots are made available for free.

Also, if you missed it, check out this pool, called +Pool, being proposed for the East River in NYC (using kickstarter)! Btw, +Pool achieved almost double their funding goal on kickstarter! For two more interesting pool/public design projects, check out this article.

For more info, check out the original article on Budget Travel, via Cup of Joe.




Wooo Iceland has really grabbed my imagination. It started with that mountain at left– Brennisteinsalda– a volcano that has been colored by sulphur (the name means sulphur wave). How amazing is that? (There are more pics in the gallery.)

After digging up lots of pictures of Brennisteinsalda to be sure that wasn’t photoshop trickery, that discovery lead to an exploration of more photos of Iceland, and I really don’t know how I hadn’t seen some of this stuff before.

And then those wild horses and “Icelandic sheep”!! (Don’t they sound more intriguing since they’re not just normal sheep, they’re Icelandic sheep? I think that’s the beginning of a very good marketing campaign for very expensive Icelandic wool sweaters…) This place looks amazing. And so wonderfully foreign

Check out the gallery for lots more eye-opening pics!

Photos from hereherehere.





That striking creation you’re looking above is a room in the Treehotel in Sweden. How awesome is that? Treehotel has six treehouse rooms, each with a completely different concept and design. The room above is called the Mirrorcube, and is by far my favorite.

Aside from the modern high-design aesthetic of the structures, the concept of the hotel is based around a complete retreat-to-nature approach, eschewing even snowmobile tours for their noise in favor of guided nature hikes. With the location in Lapland, 60km south of the Arctic Circle, guests are able to experience not only the surrounding nature, but also the phenomenon of midnight sun in summer and the Northern Lights in winter. You’re already staying in a treehouse, and then you add an experience like that, and really the whole thing could not get more surreal!

Check out the video below for more info…

For more treehouse posts, click the “treehouses” tag under “labels” in the info for this post.


Serengeti Under Canvas


As if the dreaminess of a canvas safari tent weren’t enough reason on it’s own, Serengeti Under Canvas, a part of &Beyond Africa, explains an additional motivation for their mobile camps:

“Carefully planned to bring guests as close as possible to the magnificent natural spectacle of the Great Migration, the two Serengeti Under Canvas camps are situated at a variety of private campsites throughout the national park and move according to the path of the migratory herds. A comfortable drive brings guests into the midst of moving masses of wildebeest and zebra, ready to witness the natural drama as herds brave obstacles and predators to reach rich grasslands.”

Sign. Me. Up.



The Lion


This is by no means new news, as it opened almost a year ago, but I still love the design of The Lion in New York and had to share. Owned by John de Lucie of the Waverley Inn and Mark Amadei of Delicatessen, The Lion was born for success.

Meg Sharpe, a former employee of Kelly Wearstler, designed the English hunting estate-meets-Paris salon-meets-Gentleman’s Club interiors, which are finished off with works including a Basquiat (“on loan from a friend”), a David LaChapelle portrait of Andy Warhol, prints of old “New York’s Most Wanted” photos, and antique oil portraits.


I also love this story about The Lion, via New York Social Diary:

“The space in its previous incarnation was a restaurant called Village. In the early 1960s it was a gay bar called … The Lion. It had a cabaret show in those days, and once the club’s hatcheck girl won the amateur night contest. The prize was a two week booking at … The Lion. That little girl was called Barbra Streisand.”



Spain’s Micro-Coasts

micro coasts

I love the look and idea of these “microcoasts” along the rocky Mediterranean shores of Vinaros, Spain. How fun if one day all of a sudden you were able to take advantage of a nearby beautiful natural asset that had hitherto been mostly unusable?

Apparently the microcoasts were an instant hit, as locals and weekenders headed to the “beach” for sunbathing and picnicking. I know I’d be there all the time if I’d always lived in a town with an amazing shoreline that had previously been too rocky to sit around and enjoy!

I also think it’s cool that these were funded by the Vinaros City Council. Perhaps not the most practical use of funds, but why not an occasional project purely meant for the enjoyment of a local asset? It doesn’t hurt that it’s incredibly well-designed and is also probably drawing tourist dollars as people come to check them out. Brilliant!

Designed by Guallart Architects.


The Rolling Hotel


I’m having a major Wes Anderson-meets-Motorcycle Diaries daydream right now due to discovering “Das Rollende Hotel”– “the rolling hotel” concept by Rotel.

Their converted buses have little sleeping cabins like trains, freeing you from having to stay within a day’s drive of a hotel while you travel and letting you traverse destinations all over the world way off the beaten path. Meals are eaten at local eateries or cooked bus-side after finding ingredients at the market.

This has officially been added to my list of trips I need to take at some point in life. The destinations they offer are amazing!



When in LA: The Eveleigh


I’ve never even been to the new restaurant The Eveleigh in LA, but I’m posting it anyway solely based on the design and the logo.

Depending on the weather, or more likely, your mood (because let’s not kid ourselves, it’s really rarely cold enough to need to be inside in LA), you can choose from an open air dining area with rustic wood floors, striped button-tufted banquettes, and a canvas tented top and sides, or a homey inside room with a brick fireplace, leather arm chairs, and wood beam ceilings.

Both options are alluring, and the food is described as “21st century LA comfort food.” Hilarious in it’s meaninglessness, and yet nonetheless appealing.


How Wine Became Modern


Last week, my roommate and I went to the exhibit “How Wine Became Modern” at the SFMoMA, and I think the only way I could have enjoyed it more was if they’d actually served wine (and seriously, they should have, that would have been awesome).

From winery architecture to terroir and dirt to labels, the exhibit covered such a range of topics related to the wine world that there was something for everyone, and it was un-pretentious enough to appeal to wine-novice but in-depth enough to still be educational for the wine-lover.

A few high points:

  • The wall of modern labels categorized by theme– funnn to explore. Also made me pretty sure some of the labels we’re about to put out for some of our projects are going to crushhh it. So excited.
  • The smelling wall– wine in little beakers with atomizers that you squeeze to get a whiff of the wine, with accompanying descriptions of what you’re smelling (see pics above). Super interesting!
  • Wine additives– Ok, I felt majorly naive when I saw this display. I had NO idea that winemakers used fake red/purple coloring and oak chips and all kinds of other freaky things to “enhance” wines. It’s totally legal! There was a quote next to the display from a winemaker saying that she wishes wine labels were required to list everything in the bottle, because very few would be able to say”100% wine from grape juice.”
  • Animated infographics– I was super impressed with the infographics. There was one about a NASA and Robert Mondavi-developed “precision viticulture” system that uses satellites and all kinds of crazy stuff to keep track of each section of each vine. The other big infographic showed the wine-producing regions of the world, why they are where they are, and how they’ve shifted over time.
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