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San Francisco: clean living at The Good Hotel

 For those of us who find being good difficult why not check into The Good Hotel.  Their philanthropic approach is designed to inspire the "good in us all'.  The eco-friendly hotel decor features reclaimed and recycled construction materials. Saving the planet has delivered quirky and interesting design features:  the bench (pictured below) made from recycled felt blankets; a vending machine branded by ReadyMade magazine which dispenses sustainable t-shirts and wallets

San Francisco: de Young Museum

San Francisco's stunning de Young Museum, designed by Swiss Pritzker Prize winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, is located in the city's beautiful Golden Gate Park. The museum describes the architectural concept: 'Constructed of warm, natural materials including copper, stone, wood and glass, the new de Young blends with and complements its natural surroundings. Ribbons of windows erase the boundary between the museum interior and the lush natural environment outside, and

It's San Francisco week!

This week we're wearing flowers in our hair as we head west to San Francisco. From the high camp of the Castro Theatre to the cultured cool of the de Young Museum, we'll bring you some of the most interesting things going in this most laid back and creative of American cites as well as recommending delicious Californian wines so that you can enjoy a taste of the west coast wherever you

Tales from allotment 65 – chapter 2: the first shoots

by Nicki Slater, The Imagination Workshop So the house smells like moist compost and all available floor space has been taken over by small green things which we have to be careful not to step on – makes hoovering tricky (shame)!  All the seeds I planted in pots and trays are now showing their first leaves. The runner and borlotti beans are growing incredibly fast. I think if I watched them

Eero Saarinen designed house opens in Columbus

 J Irwin Miller's home in Columbus, Indiana, a modernist masterpiece designed by Eero Saarinen in 1953, opened to the public on the 10th of May 2011 following a three-year refurbishment. The house was gifted to the Museum of Indianapolis in 2008.   Thanks to J Irwin Miller, Columbus is not your average mid-west town: it has over 70 buildings by noted modern architects with an elementary school designed by Richard Meier, a library

Landmark Trust – preserving the past for the future

If for you holidays are escapes from the humdrum and the familiar how about booking your next break in a stone pineapple or pretending you're a Daphne du Maurier character in a sea lashed castle? The Landmark Trust is a building preservation charity which gives historic and architecturally interesting buildings new life as unique holiday accommodation. Its aim is to 'promote enjoyment of historic buildings by enabling as many people as possible

Tales from Allotment 65 – No 1

  by Nicki Slater, owner of The Imagination Workshop, Edinburgh   After being on the waiting list for six years I’m so happy to finally have an allotment, two minutes from my house and in a beautiful sunny spot. Frustratingly I can’t start work in it until the current tenants leave on 30 April, but I’ve started planning and planting seeds in pots. Veggie gardening is a totally new experience

Germany: Soho Architektur – simple and effective

Some great looking work here from award winning architectural practice Soho Architektur. Based in Memmingen in Germany,  the firm specialises in simple, sustainable designs which sit well in their environments. The house below is particularly pleasing in that  it looks entirely livable and practical while being attractive and contemporary – the ideal new build. Perhaps the next generation of Wimpey houses will look like this. Great to see a fresh take on

Coming soon – tales from allotment 65

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve Shanghai’d ourselves a gardening correspondent. Nicki Slater has just acquired her very own allotment in Edinburgh and is counting down the days until she can start digging, hoeing and planting. This is Nicki’s first attempt at allotment gardening so it will be fascinating to see how she gets on and how the allotment progresses over the months.  The best way to garden is to watch

A very happy Mother's Day to Stifler's Mom

What is it about Mother’s Day that imagines lobotomised, chocolate-obsessed, flower sniffing, Harvester munching sentimentalists in need of a day’s attention from the very people who should know them best? Give your mother a break with something that’ll make her laugh or something she may actually want, or just give her a break.  She may aspire to be less domestic saint and more Stifler’s Mom – shop accordingly. [Oh – and a much deserved happy Mother’s