As a blogger, it can often be hard to find fresh inspiration. Instagram algorithms, Pinterest overload and blogger ubiquity can make the online world feel a little one note. Over the years (have I really been at this for 9 years now?!), I’ve certainly struggled with ideation, often feeling like I was banging my head against a wall of stale style. That’s why I was intrigued when HP approached me earlier this summer with a challenge: Give their all-new HP Spectre notebook a try and see how its inspired design might inspire me to reinvent my work (in case you missed, check out the rather unique way I was introduced to the Spectre laptop here – it was all caught on video!).
So over the past few months, the HP Spectre has been my new companion. As I mentioned in said video – my laptop is almost like an extension of my hand. It’s never far from my reach – even in places you should never admit taking your laptop! Thankfully, the Spectre is so light and sleek it doesn’t weigh me down like my old laptop did. It’s actually the Spectre’s featherweight body and super-thin profile that inspired the reinvention of my work. Let me explain.
You see, since having my kiddo, I’ve felt a bit hermit-like. I used to pride myself on knowing the latest hot spot, trying out the new restaurant or being one of the first to discover the up and coming…whatever it might be. And I swore things wouldn’t change when I had a baby, as all people without kids do. But reality proved that with less time in the day and shifting priorities, I fell out of the loop. It was just too hard to avoid. And when you’re out of the loop it’s hard to discover fresh things you haven’t seen before. But with the help of HP, over the summer I felt inspired to shake off the mama-shackles and get back to what I love – collaborating, connecting, and being inspired by people way more talented than I.
As you may have seen in this post, collaborating with the furniture company Cisco Home to design my dream sofa certainly got me re-inspired from the tips of bloggin’ toes to the top of my head. But that type of opportunity is not an everyday occurrence. To feel reenergized on a daily basis, I’ve been grabbing my Spectre and making a point to simply get out and about in the world. For example, I’ve been trying to work from new places in and around San Francisco, like the amazing Tartine Manufactory recently opened in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood.
There are 1,000 things to love about this place. Starting with all the carbs, but I digress.
Housed in the Heath Ceramics Factory, Tartine Manufactory was created with the intention of articulating California aesthetics, to serve as an intersection between design and food and be a celebration of process. The Los Angeles based cool kids on the design block, Commune, looked to the architecture of alpine lodges, Dutch design, Stickley furniture, Japanese joinery and of course all things California to inspire the way they melded industrial architecture with a welcoming feel. Huge factory windows extend to high ceilings allowing natural light to flood the space. Unglazed Heath subway tiles along with crazy good Calacatta marble counters with faint gold veins, white plastered walls and concrete floors create a muted palette. Other details include reclaimed Douglas fir woodwork, Noguchi lanterns and mesh metal light fixtures.
It’s official, when it comes to the computer I’m working on and the space I’m working in, aesthetics make all the difference. I consider Tartine Manufactory my new happy place where I can work, run into friends and meet new ones.
When it comes to the actual work side of things, the Spectre makes it nice and easy. I’ve already espoused its petite size repeatedly. It really is an awesome feature. I also love the good battery life. I can power through a morning session at Tartine, no cord required. I also really like the wireless mouse that perfectly matches the laptop. I seriously hurt my shoulder doing too much work using a trackpad from which I am still recovering. Using a mouse is a must! The Spectre’s speed is nice and fast which is always a requirement for my short blogger attention span. I can charge my phone with the USB port and pop in headphones if I need to tune things out. I won’t sugar coat it, trying to re-learn Windows has been my least favorite part of the whole process, but the laptop’s lovely copper accents and glowing keyboard lessen makes it worth it!
The notebook is a great tool, but I’m most grateful for the opportunity to search out and rediscover what gets my creative juices flowing. That’s been the true game changer of this entire experience.
What inspires you when you’re in need of a creative boost? Please comment below!
Original photography for apartment 34 by andrea posadas
This post sponsored by HP. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations that we’re excited about and that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open.