Archive for the 'lifestyle' Category

Green Meets Luxury in Downtown Bend

A few weeks ago I had the opportuunity, along with other members of the High Desert Design Council, to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the new Oxford Hotel in dowtown Bend. The Oxford in noteworthy for a few reasons. First it is only Bend’s second four-star property . Second, it is the first for downtown, bringing a much-needed element to the heart of this charming and historic district. Third and most interestingly, it was designed and built for sustainablility.

The Oxford is a small boutique hotel, 59 suites. The rooms are comfortable, well-designed and well-appointed with soy-foam Natura beds, high-quality linens, organic locally-made bath products (in bulk) from Dani and in-room coffee/tea service including organic teas. The lounge and restaurant feature locally-grown, organic ingredients whenever possible, wines from NW wineries and beer from local breweries. As you may or may not know, we Bendites take our beer very seriously and have more micro-breweries per capita than any other city in the Northwest. Many of them award-winning. But I digress…

The kitchen/bar areas feature concrete countertops and Energy Star appliances, the bathroom shower and vanities have recycled glass counters, the towels are a bamboo-cotton blend, sinks and showers reduce water flow and the guest rooms feature dual-flush toilets. The list goes on…

What I find most interesting about The Oxford is the electrolyzed water system that creates two salt water cleaning solutions – one acid, one alkaline. By charging it with either positive or negative ions, these two solutions are then used for sanitizing, degreasing and in washing machines eliminating the need for chemical cleaners. Detergents used for dishwashing and laundry are eco-sensitive. Imagine the amount of chemicals the average hotel…even a small one…uses on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. It adds up! That is a lot of toxicity released in to our sewers and atmosphere. At The Oxford this has been dramatically reduced. Amazing!

So Kudos to the owners, designers and managers of The Oxford Hotel. You’ve shown us that green can be luxurious even on a medium-sized commercial scale. And you’ve created a healthier environment for your guests and employees. I wish you success.

Come visit us our charming mountain town. You can experience The Oxford…and the beer…for yourself.

Note: The Oxford has applied for LEED certification and it will be used as a blueprint for all of Baney Corp’s future properties.

Top two photos courtesy of The Oxford Hotel

Metropolitan Home’s Design 100

I always look forward to the Metropolitan Home Design 100 — an annual showcase of  100 of the design world’s best. It represents everything for homes, architects, furnishings and materials to people and ideas. The editors of MH collaborate, discuss, debate, and downright argue for what they believe are the best. The final 100 are those that they agree on. Each page of this publication can be lingered over and savored. I find myself leafing through it multiple times. Each time finding something or someone new to be enamored with.

I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you…

3-09-09masterFirst (#100 on the MH list), without a doubt, is the new LED lightbulb from Philips.It fits a regular socket, consumes 7 watts and burns for about 45,000 hours, sells for about $40 to the trade. We’ve been waiting for this product for a long time. Compact flourescents, in my opinion, just don’t cut it — the color is still dismal, they contain mercury and they’re not dimmable. This LED bulb will finally bring good quality, energy saving light into the household. And it’s DIMMABLE. Now on sale in Europe, it will be avialable in the U.S. mid-July.

Second (#96 on the MH list), designer Ana Borrallo’s transformation of a Chicago office suite into a spectacular apartment. She took advantage of the unique traits of the space and created a home completely reflective of it’s owners. It’s open, flexible and gorgeous. If you ever want to know what my dream home looks like, this comes very close.

index.1Third (#4 on the MH list) – The Oslo Opera House in Norway. Dressed in white marble and blue-tinted glass it emerges like a glacier emerging from the landscape. Visitors are able and encouraged to walk up the sloping roofs to views the city and fjords below. I am completed enamored with the architure of the last decade or so that invites visitors to interact with the structures themselves. The Academy of Science in San Francisco, being another recent example.

PC_Antonis-Achilleos32Also worth mentioning are MH#11, tableware designed by Masanobu Ido. As one who loves to set a table, I love these plates. They offer near-infinite flexibility allowing you to create the perfect tablescape. And  MH#28, Idea Paint, the next step from the chalkboard paint we’ve all come to love. Idea Paint turns your walls into white boards. Just like the ones you use in your meetings…only bigger. How great is that!  

Take a look at this collection of incredible design. Let me know what your favorites are.

Photos:
Oslo Opera House – Friends of the Oslo Opera House
Tableware – Antonis Achilles, Metropolitan Home

Inspiration. Where do you find yours?

Inspiration. What an elusive thing. Really hard to describe. Words don’t always fit. It’s really more of a feeling – a visceral experience… at least for me. My pulse quickens…my breathing becomes shallow…my vision blurs…I get goosebumps. That’s what I experience when I am inspired, truly inspired. I know it sounds a bit like I’m having a heart attack, but really, for me, it’s more like falling in love, even if just for a moment. So what might cause this kind of physical reaction in me? Where do I find my inspiration? That’s a question I get asked a lot. Having spent my life pursuing one creative venture after another, it’s a good question.

13wine500.1Well today, the New York Times provided two really good examples of things that inspired me. The first was somewhat expected – in an article on an absinthe, that mysterious, mythical, recently legalized drink. What first grabbed my attention was the photo of a stunning Art Nouveau fountain used to drip the water over a sugar cube into the beautiful green liquid. The lines are gorgeous… so fluid, so graceful. It harkens back to a more civilized time. The second were the descriptions of the absinthe itself…from crystal clear to celadon to tourquoise. The flavor… anise and herbs. Then, the alchemy…when water is added, it moves from being clear to an opalescent cloud. Heaven. Now I have never had the opportunity to taste absinthe, butI love the name, the color and reading this article made me want to run out and try it, as long as I could also have it served from a stunning Art Nouveau fountain.

netoslide17Art is something that never fails to inspire me. Again the NYT didn’t disappoint. They have an online slide show of an art installation by Brazilian artist Ernesto Armory. These photos literally took my breath away. This installation engages all of your senses – sight, smell, touch, taste and sound –  and the organic, sensual, forms are other-worldly. To be able to conceive of such a thing is beyond my comprehension. I stand in awe.

So where do I find my inspiration? Everywhere. I find it everywhere. I am so inspired by creative minds…artists, thinkers, innovators…the way they work, their vision, their passion. I am inspired by things of beauty, art, color, texture – natural and man-made. I am inspired by people…your average, everyday people…living their lives, going to work, raising their kids. I am inspired by my brother, one of the most remarkable people I know. I find inspiration everywhere. It IS everywhere, all you have to do is look.

Where do you find your inspiration? Tell me, I’d love to know.

Photos: Absinthe – Tony Cenicola/New York Times,
Neto –  Librado Romero/The New York Times


Contact the Author

martha@mmdsf.com 541-330-5899 www.marthamurraydesign.com

Pages

Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Twitter Posts

    Subscribe in a reader

    June 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Mar    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    252627282930