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

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“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  That being said, the rooms were a bit worn and outdated, and if we were to do it over again, we’d love to try out the Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage, which just opened in 2014.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

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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

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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!



Women and Money: The Real Reason We Don’t Want to Discuss Our Finances and How to Fix it

Star-Hughes-Gorup-Equal-Pay-Day

With Equal Pay Day 2016 approaching on April 12th, women and men around the world turn their attention to the pay gap between their earnings, specifically how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

As we draw awareness to such an important issue, I’d like to bring some attention to a disheartening figure by the 2015 Fidelity Investments Money FIT Women Study. According to this study, eighty percent of women confess that they have refrained from and feel uncomfortable with discussing their finances with those they are close to. Their parents, spouses, siblings, best friends, etc.

Eighty percent.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



Spotlight on Alpha Project’s Alpha Square

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I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Bob McElroy and Amy Gonyeau of Alpha Project and touring Alpha Square, the organization’s beautiful new development in East Village. Alpha Square, located on the corner of 14th Street and Market Street, is a six-story building with 203 studio apartments for previously homeless and low-income individuals in Downtown San Diego. Each of these studio apartments is furnished with Internet, cable TV, and telephone services, and the building itself includes on-site amenities including case management, long-term treatment facilities, and even a pizza shop! The $46 million development was a collaborative effort by The Alpha Project, San Diego Housing Commission, City of San Diego, Civic San Diego, and Chelsea Investment Corporation.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



Millennials & Nonprofits

Millennials-and-nonprofits

For the millennial generation, volunteering and donating to nonprofits are not just resumé-builders, they are a way of life. According to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report published by Achieve and the Case Foundation, 87% of millennial employees donated to a nonprofit in 2013, and the same percentage of millennials enjoyed company-wide days of service to a nonprofit.

Read more at sharpheels.com!



Spaces We Love: Refinery29’s New York Office

refinery29-new-york-office-spaces-we-love

One of my millennial staple websites is Refinery29 – it’s colorful, fun, creative, inspiring, and full of all things travel, fashion, lifestyle, and entertainment. Naturally I was very curious about what a company like Refinery29 would create in the space that it calls home. Few things get me more excited than when a company’s office fully captures the essence of its brand – and Refinery29’s chic space in Manhattan is one that does exactly that.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



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