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.
REDS is a new electric vehicle — designed by former BMW Design Chief Chris Bangle — that is crafted for long commutes and sitting in traffic.
REDS is the alpha prototype of a new kind of electric vehicle that introduces a novel visual language for cars. Designed by Chris Bangle — former BMW design chief — REDS is a 2.97-meter-long city car built around a multi-layered, design-led space-use analysis. The car is conceived and crafted to get the most out of life in Chinese mega-cities, where a car is not in movement 90 percent of the time.
The China Hi-Tech Group Corporation, a commercial vehicle manufacturer, asked Chris Bangle Associates to lead a series of workshops on the future of electric vehicles in China in 2014. In 2016, CHTC began developing REDS for production with CBA providing the design. CHTC also registered REDSPACE, CHTC’s newly formed Chinese car company, to be the home of REDS.
In 2017, REDS was premiered worldwide in Los Angeles. Mr Wang Jinan, assistant president of CHTC Group and chairman of CHTC Motor, explained why they chose Los Angeles as the city to debut the new electric vehicle. “We want to know what people think about REDS and its evolution. Californians are opinion leaders in the future of mobility — this is why we present here real solutions for the real world,” he said.
REDS is an experience of layering and textual reading that challenges our notion of rhythm and perspective. At times, the interplay between elements radically changes the eye’s direction and forces the viewer to choose between perceptual interpretations. “This car is, for me, the demonstration that we can have something that is extremely emotional with immediate appeal, and at the same time highly functional and intellectually engaging,” Bangle said.
REDS represents a departure from the visual language that has been the stock and trade of car designers for generations, which is surfaces and forms that predictably blend into one another to create a contiguous whole. REDS exchanges this holistic approach to car design for one of abrupt transitions and ambiguous statements that oscillate between graphic and volumetric extremes.
The interior design of REDS arranges color and materials to enhance the idea of joyous space through images of light and shadow. Strong diagonals link the color statements from front to back in an anamorphic manner.
REDS has a reversed windshield, vertical doors and large roof. The shadowy overhang provided by the roof keeps the car cool. There is also space on the roof for a large array of solar panels — enough to drive the air conditioning without draining the battery.
The driver’s door has an armrest that is also a purse-bin, the air outlets in the instrument panel swivel 180 degrees to help defrost the windshield and the space behind the rear seat will hold a folding stroller.
The driver’s seat is a particular highlight, as it is able to fold flat or rotate 167 degrees, even when the doors are shut. REDS’ reversed windscreen allows the steering wheel to fold forward and give the driver’s seat space to change and orient itself backwards. In this position, the occupants can face each other, creating a convivial atmosphere and allowing them to enjoy each other’s company without being forced to speak over their shoulders.
The person in the passenger seat can enjoy the commanding view from the front and have their feet massaged by the built-in unit in the carpet or stretch out in the luxurious comfort of row two. REDS is also the first car that can actually claim to have a wrap around loveseat.
The mobility and shape of the seats promotes a socializing atmosphere around working, chatting, watching films or playing video games on the large 17 inch screen that emerges from the instrument panel.
Photos courtesy of Chris Bangle Associates