August 2017

Student Space 101

If you are wondering where the summer went, don’t worry, we are too! As we try to soak in the sun (as much as we possibly can) before we bid the warm days goodbye, many students are preparing to head back to college and university. No matter where you live as a student, whether it be a dorm room, the bedroom you grew up in or a tiny studio apartment (you can barely afford), space is of the essence. Before you go out and spend money to personalize and organize this space, read on for tips on small space living for students!

Basics

If you are living on your own for the first time, there are a few basic pieces that you must have as a student. These essentials include your mattress, desk and task chair. You don’t know the power of a good night’s sleep until you haven’t slept for days! A good mattress will not only save you some aches and pains, but is a worthwhile investment long term. If you are just beginning college or university, getting a good desk and task chair is a must. Believe it or not, you will spend much more time there than your bed! Consider investing a bit more on a task chair that is fully adjustable – height, seat depth, lumbar support and tension – your back will thank you. We love the sleek and linear look of the Vitra Pacific Chair  which is timeless. You can also find a variety of economical options to fit any budget at Allmodern. A desk that is the right size and fit for work you will be doing is also key. The last thing you want is to end up studying on your floor because you ran out of space to lay out your laptop, textbooks and notes. A sit-stand desk is a great option when you want to stretch and study. IKEA has a manual crank model called the SKARSTA  as well as an electrical powered model called BEKANT that is quite affordable!

Organize

Staying organized is hard, but extremely necessary in a small space. We suggest that you begin with your closet. Looking for more than just hangers? Try storage and drawer boxes for seasonal clothes, shoe boxes that can stack, and hangers for items like belts and scarves. It makes getting dressed in the am quick and easy. Great places to find these items are The Container Store and the much anticipated Japanese retailer Muji soon to grace Vancouver. The key to staying organized is having prepared a space for everything. Be sure to include solutions for other needs like stationary, toiletries and food. Use bags and boxes with labels. If you tend to forget what you put in boxes, make sure to get clear plastic ones instead!

Personalize

Dorm rooms and rental suites are usually very limiting in terms of your ability to personalize them. Fear not, you don’t even have to paint! Adding just a few small accessories can help personalize your space. We suggest that you take full advantage of textiles. If you are in a dorm room, your bed is probably the largest element in the room. Start with great bedding, like a fun duvet cover, toss cushions and a throw. The bay offers a few great lines, Lacoste is colorful and graphic. Calving Klein adds a little sophistication with their subtle neutral palate. CB2 has a great black and white linen pinstripe line, and cozy throw blankets. Don’t be afraid to jazz up your workspace as well. Some great wall organization ideas are – cork boards (consider tiling a few together on a wall to create more of a statement) magnetic or dry erase boards to plan your classes and deadlines. Room in Order even offers desktop varieties. A personal favorite (if you are able to splurge) is the Vitra Uten Silo which comes in two sizes. This can be used to hold your pens, pencils, ruler, stapler, scissors etc. I use mine in the washroom – great for toiletries, make up brushes, hair bands, etc. Not only a designer’s dream but, very versatile.

How will you personalize and organize your student space? Let us know using the hashtag #area3studentspace

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4 Must see Museums

As a child, many of us dreaded going to museums – myself included. They were definitely some of my least favorite field trips in grade school! Somehow as we grow up, seeing artifacts from time periods we will never personally know and imagining ourselves living in the that time and place becomes rather intriguing. While travelling, popping into museums for a quick gander or spending entire days seems like a given! Next time you are in Europe where museums are bountiful, make sure to carve out some time for our 4 must-visit museums!

The State Hermitage Museum

Although a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia may not be at the top of your must-visit cities in Europe, it is a must for those who love art! With more than 3 million items, the Hermitage has acquired a rather spectacular collection of world art. The collection includes pieces that spans the years from the Stone Age to the early 20th century. Not only does it occupy the grand Winter Palace, but it also spreads to 5 more connected buildings along the Neva River. Finished in 1794, the blue-and-white palace is a perfect example of Baroque architecture and is beautifully kept. For several centuries it was the main residence of the czars including Catherine the Great who founded the museum. As you wander (we highly suggest a tour) through each of the immaculate rooms, expect to not only admire the masterpieces from greats such as Rembrandt, da Vinci, Picasso, van Gogh and Goya, but also at the details of the interiors! Be prepared to spend a full day or two here.

Musée du Louvre

Everyone knows that a visit must be paid to Musée du Louvre in Paris. Not only is its glass pyramid iconic, but it is also famously home to the Mona Lisa. It is no surprise that getting in can take hours, but we have a secret to dwindling down the wait. Go early and enter from the mall entrance which most tourists don’t know about! You will gain back some valuable time and hopefully see the Mona Lisa without a massive crowd surrounding you! The wealth of treasures in the Louvre is mind-boggling – from Classical sculpture, Mesopotamian antiquities and Egyptian relics to the many galleries of Italian Renaissance paintings that cover enormous walls and halls. Research beforehand which pieces you must see and take your time aimlessly wandering to discover other jaw-dropping pieces.

The British Museum

When all museums have free entry in England, it is hard to see them all! The British Museum is one that you must visit even if you only have a couple hours. It is Britain’s largest museum and houses the national collection of archaeology and ethnography. With more than 8 million objects, the museum boasts the world’s second finest collection of Egyptian antiquities outside of Egypt. Be sure to check out the Rosetta Stone which was carved in 196 B.C.! When you are done gazing at exquisite gold jewels and Assyrian palace rooms, be sure to spend a few minutes walking around the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court. The two acre-space was designed by Foster and Partners and is enclosed by a stunning glass roof with the world-famous Reading Room as its center. We love how the shadows cast by the roof juxtapose the museum’s Greek Revival Style architecture. Be sure to snap a few pictures while you are here!

Maritime Museum of Denmark

Outside of utopian Copenhagen, which we wrote about in our blog post “Inspired by Copenhagen,” is the town of Elsinore. Most people visit the town to see Kronborg Castle (better known as Hamlet’s castle), but next door is an underground gem – the Maritime Museum of Denmark. Built around an old dry dock, the museum pays homage to Denmark’s maritime roots and beautifully tells its story. The exhibits on display are evocative and dramatically staged with soundscapes and film projections encapsulating you. Designers will admire the creative display cases that are lit just-so. Before you finish off your visit, make sure to have a coffee with a delicious slice of cake or a hearty lunch in the M/S Café. The interiors exude Danish hygge and you will never want to leave. Did we mention that the museum was designed by Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG)? This is definitely one of their most well-known projects!

Which museum is at the top of your list? Let us know in the comments below or with the hashtag #Area3Museums

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