Archive for ‘July, 2012’

Living Large in Tiny Spaces…

Ingenuity and creative vision trumps cramped quarters in Bordeaux, France.

While many people secretly harbor dreams of living and working in France, the prohibitive cost and difficulty of purchasing there keeps most of these dreams just that, a mere fantasy. For photographer Jérémie Buchholtz however, a limited budget and extremely limited space was no match for his creative vision to live large in Bordeaux, France.

When photographer Jérémie Buchholtz came across a small garage space in Bordeaux, France, he envisioned his future home. Enlisting the help of his friend, architect Matthieu de Marien, the pair converted the dark, cramped space it into a handsome, albeit tiny, home.

What do you think? Could you live live in such a small footprint if it meant the opportunity to open your doors each morning to reveal the beauty of France?

A Life Designed

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Christina Hendricks… Class is in Session


Christina Hendricks attempts to teach the male population a thing or two. Fellas… are we listening?

Anytime a woman bothers to tell you what she does or doesn’t like, the smart man is listening and taking mental notes. When that woman happens to be Christina Hendricks of Mad Men fame, we are all ears and eyes!


Excerpt May 2010 – Esquire | Christina Hendricks: A Letter to Men

We love your body. If we’re in love with you, we love your body. Your potbelly, everything. Even if you’re insecure about something, we love your body. You feel like you’re not this or that? We love your body. We embrace everything. Because it’s you.

Speaking of your body, you don’t understand the power of your own smell. Any woman who is currently with a man is with him partly because she loves the way he smells. And if we haven’t smelled you for a day or two and then we suddenly are within inches of you, we swoon. We get light-headed. It’s intoxicating. It’s heady.

We remember forever  what you say about the bodies of other women. When you mention in passing that a certain woman is attractive — could be someone in the office, a woman on the street, a celebrity, any woman in the world, really — your comment goes into a steel box and it stays there forever. We will file the comment under “Women He Finds Attractive.” It’s not about whether or not we approve of the comment. It’s about learning what you think is sexy and how we might be able to convey it. It’s about keeping our man by knowing what he likes.

We also remember everything you say about our bodies, be it good or bad. Doesn’t matter if it’s a compliment. Could be just a comment. Those things you say are stored away in the steel box, and we remember these things verbatim. We remember what you were wearing and the street corner you were standing on when you said it.

Never complain about our friends — even if we do. No matter how many times we say a friend of ours is driving us crazy, you are not to pile on. Not because it offends us. But because it adds to the weight that we carry around about her.

christina-hendricks-4Remember what we like. When I first started dating my husband, I had this weird fascination with the circus and clowns and old carnival things and sideshow freaks and all that. About a month after we started dating, he bought me this amazing black-and-white photo book on the circus in the 1930s, and I started sobbing. Which freaked him out. I thought, Oh, my God, I mentioned this three or four weeks ago and talked about it briefly, but he was really listening to me. And he actually went out and researched and found this thing for me. It was amazing.

We want you to order Scotch. It’s the most impressive drink order. It’s classic. It’s sexy. Such a rich color. The glass, the smell. It’s not watered down with fruit juice. It’s Scotch. And you ordered it.

Stand up, open a door, offer a jacket. We talk about it with our friends after you do it. We say, “Can you believe he stood up when I approached the table?” It makes us feel important. And it makes you important because we talk about it.

No shorts that go below the knee. The ones almost like capri pants, the ones that hover somewhere between the kneecap and the calf? Enough with those shorts. They are the most embarrassing pants in the world. They should never be worn. No woman likes those.

Also, no tank tops. In public at least. A tank top is underwear. You’re walking around in your underwear. Too much.

No man should be on Facebook. It’s an invasion of everyone’s privacy. I really cannot stand it.


You don’t know this, but when we come back from a date, we feel awkward about that transition from our cute outfit into sexy lingerie. We don’t know how to do this gracefully. It’s embarrassing. We have to find a way to slip into another room, put on the outfit as if it all happened very easily, and then come out and it’s: Look at me! Look at the sexy thing I’ve done! For you, it’s the blink of an eye. It’s all very embarrassing. Just so you know.

Panties is a wonderful word. When did you stop saying “panties”? It’s sexy. It’s girlie. It’s naughty. Say it more.

About ogling: The men who look, they really look. It doesn’t insult us. It doesn’t faze us, really. It’s just — well, it’s a little infantile. Which is ironic, isn’t it? The men who constantly stare at our breasts are never the men we’re attracted to.

There are better words than beautiful. Radiant, for instance. It’s an underused word. It’s a very special word. “You are radiant.” Also, enchanting, smoldering, intoxicating, charming, fetching.

Marriage changes very little. The only things that will get a married man laid that won’t get a single man laid are adultery and whores. Intelligence and humor (and your smell) are what get you laid. That’s what got you laid when you were single. That’s what gets you laid when you’re married. Everything still works in marriage: especially intelligence and humor. Because the sexiest thing is to know you. — Christina Hendricks

Photography by James White, Sheryl Nields | Article – Esquire Magazine

A Life Designed

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New Music… kāmaguṇa

More meditative musical musings from the man cave.

Lately it seems as if music has been ‘falling out of me’ which, for anyone involved in the creative arts knows, is a very nice problem to have!

Similar in style and mood as some of the other original music posted here, kāmaguṇa is another page from my musical ‘sketchbook’. I hope that it brings you a sense of calm and peace. Oh, and if you should doze off while listening, I won’t be offended. In this case, that’s the idea!

kāmaguṇa — a Buddhist term which means:
Strings of sensuality. The objects of the five physical senses: visible objects, sounds, aromas, flavors, and tactile sensations. Usually refers to sense experiences that, like the strings (guṇa) of a lute when plucked, give rise to pleasurable feelings (vedanā).

Strings of sensuality… I like that.

A Life Designed

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I’ve Found the ‘Perfect Storm’ for Men!


Scottsdale’s; One part barbershop / One part bar / One part ultimate man cave.

This past weekend I stumbled upon what has to be one of the most brilliant concepts in retail I have ever experienced. The, located in Scottsdale Quarter is one of those places you walk into and suddenly a lightbulb comes on over your head and you think; “Duh!… Why didn’t I think of this?” Continue reading…

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‘Something’s Gotta Give’ — The Home That Stole The Show


In the romantic comedy Something’s Gotta Give, the house demands equal billing with Keaton and Nicholson and gets it!

Few actors today can hold their own on camera with movie legends Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. Yet in the 2003 romantic comedy Something’s Gotta Give it wasn’t a young upstart who stole the show, but rather the movie set itself!


A large portion of the movie, set in the Hamptons, takes place in Diane Keaton’s character’s upscale beach house and while only the exterior was real, the interiors, all created on a soundstage, are still being talked about and emulated to this day.


In an interview with Architectural Digest, the movie’s writer/producer and director Nancy Meyers had this to say about the creation of the house which became so integral to the movie’s story;

The house had to reflect Diane’s character, who is a very successful, accomplished New York playwright in her mid-50s,” says Meyers. She is also a divorcée, following a 20-year marriage, who built her Hamptons house as “a gift to herself—no compromises—just her total vision of a peaceful life. Naturally, it’s a different mind-set than that of a woman who has been single or is part of a couple. There was no chance, for instance,” she chuckles, “that she was going to put a double sink in the bathroom.” Nor, for that matter, include an office. “The desk in her bedroom signifies she’s romantically shut down, in a stage of life where nothing’s going to be going on in the bedroom, so why not have a desk?”


Jon Hutman received an Oscar nomination for Production Design because of this now-iconic movie house. The way that the interior was lit and the wall colors, all specially mixed to look spectacular on film, gives the home’s interior an almost serene glow that invites you come in, curl up and stay… forever!



Never one to be outdone of course, Nicholson’s character, the womanizing mogul Harry Sanborn also lives in a pretty amazing crash pad himself. (Doesn’t everybody live in amazing homes in these types of romantic comedies?) Harry’s New York townhouse(shown above), would be the envy of any self-respecting bachelor.


I can recall that when Something’s Got To Give first came out, I found it to be a fun and charming movie. Yet, while the chemistry between Nicholson and Keaton was strong and the banter between the two witty and humorous, it’s that unforgettable beach house that I remember the most. Ahh… I can almost smell the salty air now!

A Life Designed

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American ‘Giggle’ Oh-No!


Proving that even superheros and secret-agents can’t escape Father Time.

Ahh… The stealth-like, cruel mistress that is middle age. It sneaks up on you without warning until one day you look in the mirror and suddenly it becomes glaringly apparent that you are, alas, no longer the ‘shiniest penny’ in the roll. So it is with a perverse sense of relief to see that mere mortals such as ourselves are not the only ones susceptible to the constant tick-tick-ticking of the biological clock.


Even one-time James BondPierce Brosnan and everyone’s favorite American GigoloRichard Gere are not immune to the battle of the middle-aged bulge. Say it isn’t so!

So gentlemen I ask you, if these guys are losing the battle, what possible hope is there for us? Fear not! Below are just a few possible plans of attack that I have tried and find are working for me as I attempt to go kicking and screaming very loudly into the unknown that is middle age. Pants hiked up to your ‘man-boobs’ does not have to be an inevitability. Choose your weapon(s) carefully and fight the good fight!

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Portland’s Pro Guitar Shop


Pickin’ and Grinin’ goes uptown in this hip Portland Music Store.

On a recent walkabout in beautiful downtown PortlandOregon, my best friend clued me in on a beautifully-executed music store called Pro Guitar Shop. How I had never heard of these guys before is beyond me!


I was immediately taken by the upscale approach and design of the store’s layout and tasteful presentation of a wide-array of instruments, amps and effects. This attention to design aesthetics and detail shouldn’t come as any big surprise as the store skirts the edge of Portland’s Pearl District, an area known for its cool stores and upscale shopping experience. However, I had never seen a music store presented in this way. Pro Guitar Shop is most definitely not your typical Mom & Pop music store.


If you are a musician, know someone who is, or you just appreciate a cool shopping experience, swing by Pro Guitar Shop, plug in and hit a few power chords… You’ll be happy you did.

Pro Guitar Shop | 1100 NW Glisan Street | Portland OR 97209 | 503.670.4949

A Life Designed


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