Enjoying the Stay

Residents of AKA Beverly Hills can enjoy the outdoor residents-only lounge, a spacious landscaped terrace with spectacular views of the Hollywood Hills.

Photo ©2014 Eric Staudenmaier.

In these times of social distancing and working from home, any amount of travel feels like an enormous reprieve from the new normal. Those needing or looking for high-end lodging away from home, for work or otherwise, might feel anxious striking out into a new city or living in a safe, clean environment. One brand is offering luxury, semi-permanent rental spaces in cities around the country that feel safe and more than comfortable.

The AKA brand originally formed in 2005 with the idea of recognizing an “unmet need in major cities for luxury extended-stay apartments with hotel services,” according to Elana Friedman, chief marketing officer of AKA. Founder Larry Korman and his family conceptualized furnished apartments that would satisfy residents’ need for flexible living arrangements without sacrificing luxury. Since then, according to Friedman, these innovative ideas have grown to incorporate the best in cuisine, design, wellness and technology in metropolitan locations all over, including London, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

AKA specializes in weekly and monthly stays, therefore creating a “home away from home experience for our residents, no matter where they are traveling from,” Friedman says. She adds that to meet the demand of those who are looking for a self-sufficient living experience, AKA offers luxurious furnished apartments with modern kitchens, spacious floor plans and services as requested, all furnished in a contemporary style by renowned designers.

Each AKA location offers a diverse range of services designed to provide residents with comfort, choice and luxury for any length of stay. All locations provide on-site services such as a 24-hour front desk, dedicated doorman, meticulous housekeeping, valet and laundering, in-suite dining, secure transportation, and more. Private amenity spaces are included as well, from thoughtfully designed fitness centers and lounges, to cafes and cinemas.

With the developing public health crisis, priorities over privacy and cleanliness have grown, as well as a need for safe workspaces. AKA has not only recognized these concerns, but has adapted to remain open and flexible to residents. 

“We concepted flexible office suites that will allow a person to book a suite to work, rent as a socially distanced office, or have the bed removed to create a workspace for two employees,” Friedman says. These suites also feature a full kitchen, private bathroom, copier/printer/scanner, complimentary WiFi, and can be booked on a weekly or monthly basis.

Flexible office space at AKA Central Park in New York.

Photo courtesy AKA Hotel Residences.

AKA Beverly Hills offers a contemporary residential oasis boasting suites with custom furnishings, private balconies and more.

Photo ©2018 Eric Staudenmaier

Private workspace at AKA University City.

Photo © Halkin Mason Photography

When it comes to traveling in today’s world, finding a balance between privacy and engaging activities can be difficult and have the potential to change the hospitality industry at its core. However, brands like AKA that are already seeing changes in what was “normal” prior to the pandemic, are finding ways to stay ahead. “People are now and will continue to be more hyper-focused on the cleanliness and safety of their surroundings, and these facets are taking the lead when planning a trip or experience,” Friedman notes. “Given that, we anticipate travelers will look for more extended-stay or serviced residence options coming out of the downturn as a way to have greater control over their accommodations.”

With AKA’s Live It! Program, AKA residents are encouraged to uncover new experiences like a local, while keeping safe in socially distanced settings. “From custom fitness sessions, improv classes, trapeze lessons, cooking classes and more, AKA connects travelers with the fabric of a city,” Friedman says. She adds that another new opportunity exclusive to AKA is an East Coast road trip package that offers travelers a chance to experience New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., all in one trip. With two to three hours of driving between each destination, the getaway gives residents the opportunity to embark on a journey of sightseeing, outdoor activities, photo opportunities, local eateries, history and iconic stops along the way to the next city, all in a custom, outdoor, social-distanced activity itinerary.

For more information on the AKA East Coast Road Trip, visit the link here.

For more information on AKA’s Flexible Office Spaces, visit their website here. 

For many industries, working from home has become the norm and the need to create a productive work environment is at the forefront of the minds of young professionals.

What better way to increase productivity than to outfit the perfect office space! Design professionals at Home Design Ideas have found some of the best and easiest ways to help you find your office style, so that the real work can follow. Whether you’ve got an entire room or just a tiny corner, this list should help spark the imagination!


Minimalism has been a consistent trend that works its way into many highly sourced styles, from Hygge to Transitional. For offices in particular, minimalism is key as it wards against clutter and helps promote a clear mind.

To keep your desk clutter-free, add in simple furniture and some shelving. Embrace a neutral color palette to really showcase the minimalist in yourself, and if you need to warm things up to avoid getting too stale, incorporate a touch of green with a plant or pieces of art.

This is the better way to keep it simple, clean, and perfectly in order.

Photo courtesy Pixabay.


Black Goes with Everything

Much like its effect on wearable fashion, black happens to go with almost anything, from brass accents on black furniture to gray-black paint as an accent wall.

Using black is an easy, yet stylish method of design for those who want their office style to look effortless (because it was!). There are tons of ways you implement black color, including the utilization of fun prints.

“To totally transport yourself somewhere way more exciting than your work, try an exotic pattern, like the black-and-white zebra motif. A rattan chandelier adds texture and personality to the space,” according to Home Design Ideas.

Photo courtesy Pixabay.


Boho a Go-Go

Bohemian, like other classic styles, is one that is timeless and free spirited in nature — a perfect setting to give your mind a rest after the work is done.

Embrace your inner free spirit and decorate your office with anything that tells a story, has sentimental value to you, or that you picked up on your travels.

Often times these pieces are little motivational tokens, a reminder of what success and productivity lead to.

Add in a bold, patterned rug, color on color, and some plants to add to this overall energy.


For other tips, visit Home Design Ideas post here!

Photo courtesy Daria Shevtsova.


How people can become more productive and creative when working from the comfort of their bed.

For Geoffrey Pascal, furniture design was one aspect of design that came naturally with a sense of joy and fulfillment. It allowed him to delve into his creative side and construct playful pieces that served a purpose.


For his latest project, called Grafeiophobia, Pascal wanted to create new experiences within the office environment by improving the modularity and comfort of furniture.


Each of these pieces offer a different position to support different postures, removing the need for a desk. And though grafeiophobia technically means “a fear of desks,” these pieces are in fact inspired by Pascal’s own struggles with productivity and how typical office spaces aren’t as welcoming. “My inspiration came from my own problems with working, I was feeling as if I was forced to work, and I decided to change that,” he says. In turn, these pieces demonstrate how people can become more productive and creative when working from the comfort of their bed.


The project is composed of three pieces of furniture: Basic Besk, Triclinium Gum and the Flying Man. Their design, according to Pascal, was thought out to support what NASA researchers have found to be the “Neutral Body Posture,” as in the posture the human body naturally assume in microgravity.What helps make these pieces stand out, aside from the unique design, is the dynamism each piece evokes, as well as the colors that give a youthful, almost playful character.  


In contrast to a classic chair and desk, the design of the Grafeiophobia furniture is meant to distribute a worker’s body weight across multiple support points, making it less stressful on the lower back, arms and shoulders. The variety and modularity of the furniture also allows you to change postures in order to maintain focus and reduce boredom.


“There are different ways of working, and people have different needs,” Pascal says, further noting that Grafeiophobia breaks the norm of office furniture and “opens people’s minds to what it is to work.”

Basic Besk

Flying Man

All photos courtesy Geoffrey Pascal.

White Space, an innovative service customizing interiors for commercial and office spaces worldwide, is redefining the office experience one space at a time. We spoke to Aytan Litwin, the founder and CEO of White Space, on his favorite projects and vision for the company’s future.
What was the inspiration for you to start White Space?
Over a decade in the furniture business led me to a simple conclusion: The furniture industry needed to be reinvented.  It was dominated by legacy players who were doing the same things for generations, while the hospitality industry was changing dramatically. Hotels and other public spaces were turning into immersive experiences where design and style statements mattered more than ever.  But when it came to furniture, the big players were unable to deliver the quality, speed, and responsiveness that this new world demanded within hospitality players’ budgets.

So, I created White Space to fill this void.

At the heart of our model is a new infrastructure that delivers a custom-built supply chain for every project. We work with — and manage — the factory best suited for the task, no matter where in the world it’s located. This is the big change the industry needed — the ability to manufacture the highest quality furniture, casework, lighting fixtures and flooring with scale, efficiency, and attention to detail.

To put it another way, my inspiration for starting White Space was identifying that there was a white space in my industry — a gap that we could successfully fill.



What is the big change you’re bringing to office spaces?
We’re eliminating the false choice that existed in the market: that you have to choose between quality and affordability, or creativity and efficiency. Buyers and purchasers of all kinds were resigned to picking out generic furniture from a catalogue, because that’s the way it had always been. Now no one has to make that choice.

Can you share a brief history of White Space?
It really started with the epiphany described above, and the realization that I had the experience to start a company like this. I knew the strengths and weaknesses of so many factories around the world — and I had cultivated the professional connections and knew the projects I brought them would get the focus and effort they deserved.

Those connections also mean that we can bring our own quality-control teams on site: they’re there at every stage of the production process to make sure we’re delivering exactly on our clients’ specs. Because of our ability to deliver the highest quality on time, within budget and at scale, we’ve been able to mature very quickly and work with some of the biggest names in the hospitality industry — from Disney to the Ritz-Carlton.


What are some of your favorite projects?
One of my favorite projects is the work we did for the Nakoma Lodge. I feel particularly proud of this — not only because it came out so well, but because it is an honor to be associated with a Frank Lloyd Wright design. That we were able to successfully and seamlessly extend his aesthetic speaks to the power of the system we’ve built, to fully realize even the most complicated and nuanced of visions.

Also, I feel very proud of the work we did with WeWork to open their Tel Aviv flagship. They are clearly changing the workplace and it’s a thrill to be part of that change. They also have high standards and a sophisticated vision for their brand, that’s always extended to the spaces they design, so it was extremely gratifying that they chose us. It’s also always fun to work on such a cool, trend-setting project.


How is White Space innovating office spaces today?
We’re helping to kill the cubicle — and more broadly, the fluorescent-lit, colorless, isolated environments that employees were almost universally forced to work in a few years ago. A lot of modern corporate offices are taking cues from the hospitality industry, surprisingly enough: the shared spaces that encourage socialization and collaboration are increasingly a focal point in corporate office design, as we come to realize that happy, healthy employees who actually like each other end up more productive. People do more when work when it doesn’t feel like work — and creating that vibe and work ethic starts with the physical environment. It’s the main reason people come to us to make their offices feel less like offices.


What are your future aspirations for White Space?
I aspire to continue to expand globally, both within the hospitality industry and within adjacent industries, including co-working spaces. We want to continue to work with creative brands who have expansive visions, and with designers that share these qualities. We’re here to support anyone who has an envelope they want to push.

The system we’ve created is agnostic to the project, and we want to work with people who’ve been boxed in by their previous vendors, that couldn’t deliver as fast and as fully as we can. We help those companies compete through innovative design. Design is a true competitive advantage today.


Photos courtesy of White Space

As we move further into the age of digital communication, more and more Americans are working remotely. Residents are beginning to find it important to live in a building with office space. Working from home has become very popular, especially during times of disaster — Hurricanes Irma and Jose forced millions to work remotely.

These residential developments have gone above and beyond to create professional environments within a residential space:

Commuting residents of Downtown Brooklyn’s 1 Flatbush will envy their neighbors who work from home, as the apartment building’s Hill West Architects and Whitehall Interiors-designed amenity spaces are ideal for Brooklynites who don’t have a traditional office. The building includes workspaces for every profession, from business executives who can concentrate in the industrial yet chic lounge, to chefs who can perfect their skills in the building’s demonstration kitchenette. To avoid cabin fever, 1 Flatbush’s game room and roof terrace offer a solution to those afternoon slumps.

courtesy of Whitehall Interiors

The Edison, the first luxe residential building to rise in D.C.’s Union Market District, was designed to accommodate the working professional. The property offers several common spaces for co-working and private break-out rooms for meetings. The building’s most prominent work-from-home feature is its privately managed fiber-optic internet network — a first for a multi-family building in the U.S. The network and built-in wireless access points in each residence will deliver immediate and uninterrupted high-speed connectivity that will be seamlessly integrated throughout the building and monitored 24/7.  

courtesy of LCOR

At TF Cornerstone’s 33 Bond Street in Downtown Brooklyn, entrepreneurs can forgo the kitchen table for Homework, the collaborative co-working space designed exclusively for the building’s residents. Homework features two large conference rooms with television screens for conferencing and presentations, dedicated booths with bench seating, two long tables for laying out the latest business plan and a coffee bar for those long work nights.

courtesy of Robbie Noble

At Huis24, a new 91-unit rental building in Long Island City, residents can gather in a communal work space reminiscent of a start-up think tank where ideas flow. The space is equipped with Wi-Fi, USB outlets, segregated working stations and has speakers throughout to create an upbeat atmosphere. A breakout room has a conference table, a large screen with HDMI hookup for presentations or video conferencing and  is complete with a chalkboard wall, perfect for inscribing ideas during brainstorming sessions.

courtesy of Modern Spaces

Moving from Amsterdam to the Mediterranean sea, the staff at Boatsters now works remotely on a superyacht.

By Alyssa Gautieri

As the first startup company in the world to open an office on a yacht, Boatsters now works, meets with clients, and sleeps on the boat. Sailing from harbour to harbour on the Pershing 88, Boatsters, a global rental platform for yachts and boats, enjoys all the comforts their aqua office has to offer. Complete with two double rooms, two twin cabins, and office space, the Pershing 88 is the perfect aqua office.
Being on a yacht is already a rare and unique experience,” says Raoul Milhado, the managing partner at Boatsters. “Every day you wake up, it feels like you are in paradise. Therefore it doesn’t feel like working anymore at all. We usually work every day, because we rent out boats while we are on a boat, so it’s a lot of fun.”

Boatsters rents the boat from one of its long-time clients, Roberto Vazquez. “Boatsters is not only a charter company, they have a new life concept which is about enjoy and improve your life,” Vazquez said. “When I met the young partners a while ago, I believed in them.”
Because Boatsters has partners, clients and events spread out along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the Pershing 88 is an ideal way of transportation. The yacht office is moored in Mallorca, cruising to all the major harbors such as Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, as well as all the coasts of the French and Italian Riviera. “It’s very special, more productive and a lot of fun,” Milhado says. “We go from place to place, while meeting interesting people, clients, partners, etc. You can’t imagine how cool it is!”

More and more companies are realizing that employees need freedom in order to maximize productivity and creativity. Is it possible that aqua offices might become a trend? Milhado believes that the concept may gain traction. “Due to rise of online companies, people don’t have to work in a regular office anymore,” he says. “They can work from everywhere.” While many companies may not have the luxury of working from a yacht, Milhado “really believes that working in a regular ‘cubicle’ office is changing fast.”
“Unique offices are popping up everywhere and nowadays it’s a trend to have a unique office with all sorts of amenities at hand for the employees,” Milhado adds. “These office vibes also creates an atmosphere that’s pretty unique for a startup. We’ve noticed a lot of people do want to work with us for that reason.”

Boatsters, a world leading rental platform for yachts and boats, has a portfolio of over 10,000 rental boats spread across 63 countries. Boatsters, while simultaneously changing the maritime industry, is innovating what it means to “go to the office.”

Photos courtesy of Boatsters

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