Sharing means

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-10-39-27-am Caring about capsule concepts like this: Airbnb recently revealed a new evolution of its sharing economy. Slated to open this fall, the Yoshino Cedar House is a semi-communal space that nurtures relationships within its walls as well as within the rural Japanese community in which it resides. Designed by architect Go Hasegawa, the two-story building— entirely clad in local cedar trees—enables communal gathering on the ground floor with bedrooms upstairs. Meanwhile, inhabitants of Yoshino—a village in the rural Nara district of Japan—maintain the Airbnb listing, with proceeds reinvested in cultural organizations. A community incubator on multiple levels, the house addresses a pressing concern in rural Japan, as young professionals leave home for the cities, never to return.

The Yoshino Cedar House is the inaugural offering of Airbnb co-founder and CPO Joe Gebbia’s new design studio Samara, based in Tokyo, which endeavors to “bring together design and engineering experts from Airbnb to further avant-garde ideas and build advanced services that explore new areas of the Airbnb community.” If it works, the community house could be replicated elsewhere. Gebbia says: “We’ve sprouted our first seed with the Yoshino Cedar House,” Gebbia says, “and we’ve got a lot more on the way.”



Living archive

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A Neo-Gothic former archive in Cologne reborn as a Bauhaus boutique hotel: Michael Kaune, editor of QVEST Magazine (a publication devoted to “fashion, culture & attitude”), spent two years meticulously renovating the 1897 building, preserving structural elements like the dark-oiled parquet floors and marble columns and adding Modernist pieces from his personal collection of museum-worthy furniture, photography and art (think iconic designs by the likes of Arne Jacobsen, Eames and Le Corbusier). All 34 rooms are different: some suites feature two-story ceilings and ornate filigree windows, while others boast hand-painted medieval rafters. One common dominator: In lieu of TVs, each room shelves a small library of books on fashion, art and design—my heaven.

Park it

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 10.07.25 AM.jpg In the mode of summer scheming, a conversation last night introduced the reality that the national parks will likely be teeming with visitors in honor of their 100th anniversary. Surely a birthday to celebrate but also take heed of; ever the more reason to adventure early. In this special steed: Airstream has paired up with Pendleton—long-time loyalist to the national parks with its so-themed blanket series—on the 2016 Pendleton National Park Travel Trailer (getting cutesy with the centennial, only 100 of these limited-edition trailers have been produced).

Many Pendleton accoutrements accompany the cabin-chic design of the 28-foot trailer, from the custom Pendleton-designed embroidery on the leather banquettes to the Pendleton awning package (army green with primary stripes) and the stash of blankets (and pet bed). An ultra wide hatch makes the back feel almost like a convertible (lunchtime picnics, starlight dinners). Next to the stainless steel cooktop, a map of Yellowstone—the first national park, in my backyard, inviting personal annotation (bison jam here, hot springs hopping there). Too bad the price tag is so formidable (though $1,000 does go to the National Park Foundation). To enable adventuring, I may settle for this spritely towel poncho instead.

Saddle up

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 11.43.28 AM.jpg If you build it, they will come. Two years ago, Lyon Porter and Jersey Banks did just that: They created a cool space for a cool community to stay overnight—not a particularly novel B&B concept, but perhaps for the location: an unassuming block in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Designed with a city loft-meets-hunting lodge-meets-stoop party style and “run by a dream-team of creative bastards,” Urban Cowboy Brooklyn welcomes artsy wanderlust with its communal kitchen and living room, bounty of Pendleton blankets, and even a cabin out back. The shingle-sheathed row house is now a Billyburg staple.

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And it’s bound to fill the same niche in East Nashville: Several weeks ago, Porter and Banks opened Urban Cowboy Nashville in a Victorian mansion they found within two hours of their first scouting trip to the Music City.

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The pair announced the soft opening on Instagram, introducing the concept as: “The design came out of an urge to try something new. To create a magical place, where big ideas come to grow and life-long friends are made. And so it begins…” So we shall see (and stay).

Kick start

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.56.02 AM.jpg The hotel that Kickstarter (re)built. Owner Greg Hennes crowdfunded $107,000 to revive a rundown 1910 landmark at the base of the snowcapped Wallowa Mountains. Now, the Jennings Hotel boasts three design-rich rooms (and counting), like Room Two, a serene space suffused by loft light, downtown views and chic finds, inspired by the Danish concept of hygge (loosely, coziness), the work of Ashley Tackett (not to mention the whole situation sits across the hall from the stylish sauna). Despite the interior allure, the Jennings' proximity to the natural playground of this remote patch of the Pacific Northwest is its primary draw (i.e. pack gear).

Ever the hermit though, I imagine kickstarting a book in Room Two, bundled up in this warm number by PNW darling Bridge & Burn, to the boombox soundtrack of cassette tapes pulled from the supplied collection. Consider me applied for the residency...