Spaces We Love: Intesa Communications’ Urban Tree House

Intessa-Communications-Office-interior-san-diego

Intesa Communications Group’s west coast headquarters in San Diego is nothing short of creative, lofty, and inspiring. The PR, government relations, and digital firm occupies the Design Center on 5th Avenue, which was built in 1949 and designed by world-renowned mid-century architect, Lloyd Ruocco. Nestled into the trees in Hillcrest – and surrounded by some of the most popular restaurants in the city – this space feels like an urban tree house.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



How To Stand Out In A Meeting

tips-on-How-to-Stand-Out-in-a-Meeting

5 Key Strategies to Help You Shine in Front of a Business Audience 

It’s widely known that women are underrepresented in key leadership positions and in the C-Suite throughout corporate America. According to the Center for American Progress, while women make up 45% of the overall S&P 500 labor force, they hold only 19% of board seats, and only 4.6% of CEO slots.  Women also aren’t known for speaking up and standing out in meetings as much as their male counterparts. Whether it’s the cause – or the result – of women’s underrepresentation in the corporate hierarchy, it’s important that women in professional settings feel confident, respected, and appreciated when sharing their opinions and asking questions in meetings.

Read more at sharpheels.com!



Spaces We Love: Lululemon’s Vancouver Headquarters

lululemon-vancouver-headquarters-reception-area

There are few brands that I love as much as I love Lululemon. I would wear it all day, every day, if I could get away with it. I am still waiting for the high-end athletic wear retailer to put out a “professional” wear-to-work line. A girl can dream!

Aside from being a great company with amazing and stylish products, Lululemon also has an incredible office in Vancouver, Canada. It’s exactly how I would envision the active wear giant’s headquarters to look – characterized by clean lines, natural elements, and warm tones.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



Commercial Landlords: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

good-bad-commercial-landlords-in-san-diego

As an exclusively tenant-focused commercial real estate broker, I get asked almost daily what makes a landlord a good landlord, and whether it really matters to a tenant if they lease space from a good landlord versus to a bad one.

There are many qualities that differentiate the good from the bad, but there is really only one quality that matters. Respect. Respect for their building and how they take care of it. Respect for their staff, as that staff is on the front line working with the tenants day in and day out. Respect for the brokers that support them and help fill their buildings. And, most importantly, respect for the one thing that makes this whole business work: the tenant – the ultimate customer in this whole equation.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



Spaces We Love: Red Ventures’ North Carolina HQ

red-ventures-charlotte-north-carolina-campus-with-fire-pitl

“The average American spends 1,804 hours at work each year. So why not make it a place that drives innovation, creativity and fun?” – Red Ventures

I love a company with that philosophy!

As a real estate enthusiast – and someone who loves diving into a company’s culture (and the impact it has on its office space) – I appreciate when companies design their offices with innovation, creativity, and fun in mind.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



Spaces We Love: IKEA’s Innovation Lab in Copenhagen

IKEA-innovation-lab-space10-copenhagen-denmark-exterior
“Innovation is the only way to win.” – Steve Jobs

Steve Job’s quote certainly holds true for the Swedish furniture giant, IKEA. In conjunction with Rebel Agency, a Swedish design company, IKEA launched Space10 with the purpose of innovating and planning for the future of home design and urban living. Opened in late 2015, Space10 is housed in an old, 11,000 square foot fishery building in Copenhagen’s meatpacking district.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



24 Hours in Palm Springs

Palm Springs

Palm Springs is the perfect Southern California weekend escape.  It’s a short-drive away from most SoCal cities, has over 300 days of sunshine each year, and has countless glamorous hotels, restaurants, art galleries, and shops, as well as beautiful hikes, bike trails, and outdoor activities.  It has something for everyone.

Where to Stay

Parker Palm Springs 2

The Parker Palm Springs is classic Palm Springs post-modern glam.  Designed by Jonathan Adler, the hotel is colorful, bright, and incredibly chic.  It also has incredible grounds.  Set on 13 acres, the complex features restaurants, three pools, tennis courts, a spa and fitness center, and fun lawn games.  That being said, the rooms were a bit worn and outdated, and if we were to do it over again, we’d love to try out the Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage, which just opened in 2014.

What to Do

Cable Car

Palm Springs is the perfect place to relax.  Lay by the pool.  Book those couples’ massages.  Read a good book on the lawn at the Parker.

If you’re more adventurous, we loved the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.  The tram takes you two and a half miles over the gorgeous wilderness in the Mt. San Jacinto State Park.  At the peak, there are several restaurants, an observatory, and great hiking trails – all with a view of the desert from 8,516 feet!

Take a stroll down Palm Canyon Drive – there is great window shopping!

We also ventured over to El Paseo in Palm Desert for plenty of high-end stores (we spent some time in Williams Sonoma – our favorite!) and great restaurants (we can’t pass up Tommy Bahamas’ world famous coconut shrimp!).

Where to Eat

We loved Spencer’s Restaurant for dinner!  The restaurant is gorgeous, high-end, and romantic, and the outdoor patio is incredible.  We sat outside under the stars with lit lanterns hanging from the trees and a fire pit adjacent to our table.  The menu had a wide variety of items – mostly of American cuisine with steak, chicken, and plenty of fish options.



Spaces We Love: Harley Ellis Devereaux

harvey-ellis-devereaux-san-diego-office-entrance

Harley Ellis Devereaux’s San Diego office is the perfect mix of classy, collaborative, and creative. It is the epitome of smart design, and it’s no surprise that it is home to one of the country’s most esteemed design firms. With a 100-plus year track record, HED has mastered it all – from student housing to corporate headquarters to life science labs – and the company’s work speaks for itself.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



24 Hours in Nashville

Grand Ole Opry

We had a great 24 hours in Nashville earlier this month.  It was a quick trip – but we managed to do and see everything we wanted to in just one short day!

Where to Stay

The Hermitage Hotel – It’s the nicest hotel in Nashville, and also the priciest!  The hotel is in Downtown Nashville, a few blocks from the Ryman and honkeytonk row.  The rooms are a bit dated, but are elegant and classic in their design.  We had a great view towards the Bicentennial Capitol Mall.

Where to Eat

5th and Taylor

5th and Taylor – Located in a glamorously refurbished warehouse, 5th and Taylor is Nashville’s hottest restaurant.  It has great food, a romantic atmosphere, candles everywhere, modern art, and beautiful design. We love barrel ceilings!  This restaurant deserves a “Spaces We Love” article…

Photo Credit

What to Do

Draper James

Country Music – If there isn’t a great performance at the Ryman or Grand Ole Opry when you’re in town, not to worry!  Nashville has the best country music in the world – and you can hear it at all hours of the day on Broadway.  Our favorite country bar was Honkeytonk Central – the bands we heard were incredible!

Visit Franklin – We took a quick drive to Franklin (a half hour away from Downtown Nashville) and loved it.  It’s a cute little town without much to see other than cute shops, greenery, and quiet country roads.  We enjoyed The Iron Gate, Haven Sanctuary of Style, and White’s Mercantile.

Draper James & Sprinkles – Located next door to each other on 12th Avenue South, this is a fun quick trip from Downtown.  Draper James is adorable, and you can never go wrong with a cupcake from Sprinkles!

Country Music Hall of Fame / Hatch Show Print – The Country Music Hall of Fame is a beautiful building with lots to see and explore!  If you’re a country classics’ fan, this is a must do.  We also enjoyed visiting the Hatch Show Print Museum and Store.  It’s a great place for souvenirs too!

Frothy Monkey – Best coffee shop in Nashville, hands down.

Thanks for a fun trip, Nashville!

xo Star



What it Takes to Be the World’s Smartest Building

worlds-smartest-building-the-edge-amsterdam-sustainable-office-building

We often hear the phrases “smart cities” and “smart buildings” – but what do they really mean? And what does it take to be the smartest building in the world?

There is no one definition for what a city must have to be deemed “smart,” but it is widely accepted that a smart city is efficient with its transportation, energy, and waste management, and it is green and eco-friendly. Amsterdam has been named one of the world’s smartest cities, having implemented energy, mobility, and governance initiatives as well as the Amsterdam City Project devoted specifically to improving the city. It’s only fitting that Amsterdam is also home to the world’s smartest building. But first, what is a “smart building?”

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



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