Archive for ‘October, 2012’

Making Magic with Metal–Jon Sarriugarte


Equal parts Willy Wonka, Walt Disney, Jules Verne and Mad Max all rolled into one… This inventive “mover of metal” creates fantasy on a grand scale.

One of my favorite things that I’ve come to love in creating and curating cool ‘stuff’ for this blog is the rush and sense of discovery I feel when I stumble upon an amazing, inventive individual, or team, following their passions and making those around them all the richer and happier because of it. Jon Sarriugarte is one such man. Continue reading…

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Roman And Williams Buildings And Interiors New Book: Things We Made


Things We Made—A stunning retrospective of the work of the ‘dynamic duo of design’ known as Roman and Williams.

What do Manhattan’s Ace Hotel, The Standard Hotel, and the campus food hall of the new corporate digs of Facebook all have in common? Aside from being beautiful examples of a truly unique, multilayered approach to interior design that mixes Modernism while respecting history, all three, (and many other famous projects), are the handiwork of renowned New York-based design firm, Roman And Williams. First featured in A Life Designed in the post; The Timeless Design of R+W, a new book commemorating their tenth anniversary has just been released and it is a feast for the eyes and design soul!


A Multi-talented duo, Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch bring their rich and varied experience as architectsinterior designersfurniture designers and painters to their work, all of which is beautifully captured and documented in this new book. Complete with stunning photography and working sketches from the team, Roman And Williams Buildings and Interiors: Things We Made is an insightful snapshot of a creative team at the height of their powers… A truly fascinating read.

A Life Designed



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Men of Style—Chet Baker


The poster boy of 50s-era ‘hip’, trumpeter Chet Baker epitomized cool jazz and cool style.

Long before chronic drug and alcohol abuse wreaked havoc on his matinee-idol looks and health and ultimately turned him into a man who at his untimely death at age 58 looked more like 88, jazz trumpeter Chet Baker was making a fashion statement that can still be felt to this day.


An icon of the West Coast “cool school” of jazz, helped by his good looks and singing talent, Chet Baker’s clothing style was influential as well. From Elvis-styled rockabilly to Ivy League-inspired chinos and button downs, Baker put his personal stamp on whatever he wore.


Looking like a cross between the young Elvis and another 50s heartthrob, James Dean, the jazz trumpeter and crooner cast a spell on women everywhere.


To this day, the Chet Baker stylistic influence can be felt and seen in the looks of musicians such as Chris Isaak, fellow trumpeter Chris Botti, singer Michael Bublé and any number of GAP menswear ad campaigns.

Say what you will about his self-destructive lifestyle, (and it WAS ), but in his prime the cat could blow… And man did he look good doing it!

A Life Designed

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Rough Luxe Design


‘Eye Candy’ for those who like it rough… Their living space that is!

The graphic designer in me was drawn to it first. Beautifully bound and presented in a heavy slip cover, Rough Luxe Design is definitely eye-catching. But it was the lover of all things vintage & industrial-chic in me that has me singing its praises. Rough Luxe Design had me at the first page! Continue reading…

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Alpha Dogs—Sonny


Sonny… The man, the myth, the legend of Arizona’s Camelback Mountain.

Recently I celebrated the passing of yet another year on this spinning orb by treating myself to a physical challenge—Hiking to the top of Arizona’s famed Camelback Mountain. As anyone who has successfully made it to the top of Camelback will tell you, doing so is no easy feat. So it is not surprising that I was feeling pretty puffed up and pleased with myself as I worked my way up the steep, rocky incline. That is, until I met… Sonny.

Alpha Dogs come in all shapes, sizes and age groups. While we may tend to think of them as extremely wealthy titans of business or kings of cyberspace, to me, being an Alpha Dog or Super-Achiever has less to do with a person’s bank account and everything to do with their spirit. This was illustrated beautifully on the side of a mountain when I chanced upon an elderly gentleman so full of life that I shall never forget our meeting.


I first spotted Sonny up ahead of me on a particularly steep and rocky portion of Camelback, (above), that sunny morning. Shirtless and deeply tanned, Sonny’s wiry frame was my first clue that this probably wasn’t his first time scrambling up a mountain. When I finally did manage to catch up to him, we struck up a conversation. “First time tackling Camelback young fella?”… he asked, grinning brightly. Yes I replied, completely out of breath. “Good job! It’s not easy. Camelback is more of a ‘climb’ than a ‘hike’, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.”  When I asked him if he had made this hike before, he told me it was his third ascent… Today!! What?!!


Suddenly, I needed to know more about this remarkable man. Well into his 8th decadeSonny has been climbing to the summit of Camelback, elevation 2,704 ft(he had it memorized)3 times a day6 days a week, for the past 39 years!! What?! What??!! When I asked this marvel, his knees wrapped up for support, what he did on his ‘off-day’, he quickly replied; “I play tennis.” Clearly I was in the company of a very special man… A true Alpha Dog in the best sense of the term.


When I finally crested the summit, Sonny was waiting, smiling and relaxing on a rock – (yes he beat me, as he did on the way down). With my endorphins racing and elated at having conquered Camelback, I immediately asked if I could have my picture taken with this inspirational man and he warmly obliged – (above & top image).


I believe I was given a rare gift on the side of that mountain on what was the occasion of my 53rd birthday. In meeting this amazing octogenarian, I was allowed a glimpse of what the future could be like should I continue to fight the good fight, working towards better health and living with the belief that filling your mind and heart with a positive outlook can be the best medicine and key to living A Life Designed. Thank you Sonny… You my friend, are a true Alpha Dog.

A Life Designed

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He’s Back! 007 and His Trusty Aston Martin DB5 Return in ‘Skyfall’


The world’s favorite secret agent is back and as always, riding in ‘Bond-worthy’ style.

With each new release of the world-famous James Bond movie series, 007 aficionados wait anxiously to see the newest gadgets, beautiful Bond girls and arch-villains. But ask most fans what they look forward to the most and many would say, the cars!



In Skyfall, the latest saga in the mega-franchise set to hit theaters November 9th, rumor has it we will find Bond behind the wheel of an old favorite, the Aston Martin DB5 as well as a new stylish beast, the Range Rover Evoque.


Longtime followers of the Bond adventures will no doubt recognize the famous Aston as the ride first seen in the classics Goldfinger and Thunderball, then ably manned by Sean Connery. This time out, Daniel Craig takes the wheel in his 3rd stint as the world-famous agent in what promises to be another action-packed adventure. We can’t wait!

A Life Designed

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Free Spirit Spheres—Our Kinda’ Tree House!


Vancouver Island’s Free Spirit Spheres give a whole new meaning to the phrase, ‘go climb a tree.’

Imagine swaying gently, suspended in air amongst majestic evergreens, the only sounds you hear are the chirping of neighboring birds as they pass by. Free Spirit Spheres imagined this and more and made it a reality for others to enjoy.


Located in the idyllic west coast rainforest of Vancouver Island, Canada, Free Spirit Spheres offers visitors a new spin on a childhood favorite, the tree house. These beauties are unlike anything you probably remember though. Completely outfitted for one or more guests, these suspended getaways offer the perfect, tranquil retreat for nature lovers looking to truly unwind.


The vision of Tom Chudleigh, inventor, manufacturer and distributor of Free Spirit Spheres, these handcrafted spheres are suspended like pendants from a web of rope. Three unique spheres; Eve, Eryn and Melody, are available for overnight, year-round rental.

For more information and to book your stay amongst the tree tops visit: | tel: 250.757.9445

A Life Designed

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