Luxury Scarves from Tommy Bahama

Chunky Infinity Scarf by Tommy Bahama

The weather is colder, and you definitely want to look good while keeping warm. Accessories like scarves can dress up an outfit while also serving a purpose. It’s amazing how much warmer you’ll feel if you cover your neck in a comfortable scarf.

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Make It Masculine: Bathroom Design Ideas for Bachelors (and Marrieds!)

ID-10069973 Couple in bathtub
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Whether you are designing a bathroom for a male client or you are a man overseeing your own bathroom décor, rest assured you have many more design options today than the traditional “stark minimalist masculine” bathroom of years past. The truth is some of the world’s most innovative, creative and popular interior designers are men. It’s possible that you can have very masculine bathroom décor while enjoying luxury and style in your personal bathroom space. You may enjoy one or more of these popular styles for masculine bathrooms — or you may choose to incorporate ideas from each style to create a hybrid décor distinctly yours.

Theme Color

Often the best place to start — before even selecting your overall décor concept — is with simple elements such as color. For instance, if you favor a traditionally masculine dark or earth-toned color palette, add in a splash of a “theme color” such as red, forest green, bright blue or yellow. You may want to use this theme color just once — such as with a piece of wall art — or several times, such as with accent towels and area rugs.

Innovation Meets Function

One way designers are currently approaching bathroom décor for men is to incorporate innovation with functionality. For instance, if you love having the latest gadgets, why not create the most modern bathroom imaginable — complete with flat-screen television embedded into the wall space, a European sauna that includes a shower and seating area, a surround sound stereo speaker system that connects to your iPod and similar elements? For best results, choose a black-and-white or neutral-tone theme that is easy to maintain so you can spend maximum time enjoying all your gadgets in your ultra-modern bathroom.

Earthy and Sustainable

One new bathroom trend that is gender-neutral is the sustainable bathroom. You can install eco-friendly options for the bathroom vanity, the fixtures and furnishings and the lighting. If you have kids, this is a great way to teach them about what the planet needs and how each person can help. If you are single, it just feels great — and makes for interesting conversation with guests. You can select certain sustainable pieces (such as a low-flow toilet or “green” light bulbs) or go all out and completely “green up” your bathroom space with recycled materials and bamboo storage cabinets. Either way, the result will be a bathroom space that you can feel great about.

Classic Rustic

With the classic rustic bathroom style, you can incorporate elements like reclaimed wood, an original iron stove (for heating the bathroom in winter), natural stone instead of a traditional counter and floor tiles and lanterns rather than modern light fixtures. This gives your bathroom an early American log cabin look and feel that combines well with the more masculine décor overall.

Combination Styles

There are several popular combination styles that maintain a masculine atmosphere while incorporating elements of decadent luxury.

Art deco with minimalist modern. Incorporate the traditionally masculine minimalist (or functional) bathroom space with a few art deco touches — a cubist painting, a stained glass window (also helpful if you want more privacy), bolder tile or wallpaper designs, or an innovative light source.

Renaissance with Early American. If you love early American and European clawfoot tubs, Renaissance torches and period oil lamps yet also enjoy the simple living of early American settlers, try adding a signature piece from each period — such as lighting your bathroom with a series of electric wall-sconce torches and putting a clawfoot tub in the room’s center as the design focal point.

Zen with sustainable. With this décor theme, combine open shelving made of sustainable bamboo materials with the elements of a traditional Zen space — running water, natural stones, clear glass paneling in the shower. Use black with neutral tones for the color palette.

These five bathroom décor concepts easily reflect masculinity while still adding in all the luxury, creativity, innovation, beauty and enjoyment a well-designed bathroom space has to offer.

About the Author: Matthew Long lives in a penthouse with two full baths. During a renovation last year, he decided to go with a luxury-meets-minimalist approach that earns him rave reviews from house guests.

  

First Drive: 2014 Acura MDX

Acura practically invented the segment for luxury CUVs with three rows with the introduction of the first MDX in 2001, and now Acura is introducing the third generation of this vehicle with the 2014 model year with significant upgrades over the previous model. The market for 7-passenger luxury CUVs in now crowded with very healthy competition from other luxury brands, but Acura will remain very competitive with this all-new MDX. I had the opportunity to drive the new model and I came away very impressed.

Exterior

The changes to the exterior design of the MDX aren’t dramatic, as Acura sticks with its wedge-shaped grille for the front end, but the Jewel Eye LED headlights give the vehicle a much more modern look and feel as you can see from the photos above. The new headlights also provide superior road light and visibility as well. Acura slightly altered the size of vehicle, making it slightly narrower and longer. The new MDX is two inches longer with a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase which helps to enhance ride quality. Meanwhile, the vehicle width was reduced by 1.3 inches. The frontal area of the vehicle is also 2-percent smaller which helped to provide for greater aerodynamic efficiency. While the vehicle looks more modern with a number of refinements to the design, it retains the sporty essence that makes it an attractive option in this segment.

Interior

Acura strived to make significant improvements to the interior of the MDX with the goal of creating “synergy between man and machine.” The result was a very luxurious and practical driving experience that will appeal to buyers in this segment. The overall feel is modern and sophisticated and I experienced a very comfortable drive that will meet the expectations of the target market.

I particularly liked the improvements to the center stack. The center console storage area is large and well thought out with a handy slot for mobile phone storage. The sliding lid above the storage area and below the leather-trimmed top is equipped with rubber strips which prevents items like phones from sliding around.

Another feature that stood out for me was the turn-by-turn navigation feature in the main dashboard which compliments the main navigation system in the center stack, letting drivers see instructions in their direct line of site without needing to turn their heads to the main display panel in the center stack. The MDX also features a new 7-inch color On Demand Multi-Use Display touchscreen with haptic feedback which helped to reduce the number of hard buttons in the center stack from 41 to 9.

For the third row seats, Acura wanted to make it easier to get in and out, so they added a very convenient “one push” button in two different places for second row seats. With the longer wheelbase, the new MDX now has 4.5-inch wider foot entry point for third-row passengers along with a 1.8-inch lower floor height for easier step-in. With the new
Extended Slide second-row seats the process of getting into the third row is now much easier.

Performance

The new MDX is powered by a direct-injected 3.5-liter 24-valve V-6 engine, generating 290 horsepower at 6,200 rpm; 267 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm and 267 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The aluminumV-6 engine is paired with a reengineered 6-speed automatic transmission that provides reduced friction and smoother gear changes. I drove the all-wheel drive model and was very impressed with the responsiveness and acceleration. I’m partial to vehicles that offer different driving modes so I was happy to see that the MDX offers Sport, Normal and Comfort modes. You can really have fun with the Sport mode option and the paddle shifters, and when you’re stuck in slower traffic you can save more fuel with the Comfort mode. Speaking of fuel, the 2014 MDX also achieves best-in-class fuel economy with 18/27/21 MPG city/highway/combined for the AWD package.

Overview

The MDX is a family-friendly vehicle that also meets the expectations of luxury buyers. It’s a beautiful vehicle, inside and out, and it’s loaded with all the luxuries and amenities you’d expect from today’s luxury vehicles. Buyers with families will also appreciate all of the safety features as well. Prices range from roughly $42,290 for the base 2-wheel drive model to $56,505 range for the fully loaded SH-AWD model. If you’re in the market for a luxury CUV the MDX should be on your list.

  

The stunning 2012 Lamborghini Aventador

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Ever since we profiled the new Lamborghini Aventador when it was introduced last year, we’ve been looking forward to the opportunity to photograph this incredible supercar. Thanks to Jose Morazan and Lamborghini Palm Beach, we had the opportunity to shoot a white 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 in an ideal setting in an airplane hangar with a Gulfstream G4 in the background. Bullz-Eye.com Senior Photographer Paul Miller was able to produce some amazing photos as you can see in the slideshow above, highlighting the fighter jet styling of Lamborghini’s successor to the Murcielago.

Heralded by the automotive press as the near second coming itself, this uber-exotic from the marquee that invented the term “supercar” once again delivers spot on. The Aventador boasts neck snapping 700 horsepower to all four wheels and hits 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds! It features world class suspension and body design dynamics, with moving carbon fiber air intakes and spoilers, all activated via on-board processors that analyze speed, road conditions and braking parameters within the driver-requested handling/performance program.

As you can see from the photos, the design of the Aventador is another leap forward for Lamborghini while also finding inspiration from the legendary Miura. It’s a stunning achievement for Lamborghini, as the Aventador is beautiful from every angle.

We had the unique opportunity to photograph the Aventador in a private hangar in West Palm Beach courtesy of IGT Enterprises with the charter company’s Gulfstream G4 in the background. IGT Enterprises President Tomas Bueno helped is position the G4 in the perfect spot to capture the best photos and perfectly compliment the Aventador. Lamborghini Palm Beach also supplied a black 2011 Gallardo 550-2 that Paul positioned in the background to compliment the shoot.

Finally, we had our new Featured Model, Katelin Dane, on hand to add the final touch. As you can see from the photo below and many of the photos in the slideshow above, there’s nothing like a beautiful women to compliment a design marvel like the new Aventador.

Special thanks is in order for our friends who helped make this shoot possible. Jose Morazan, General Manager at Lamborghini Palm Beach was kind enough to bring out the Aventador after inviting us to attend the drive event we featured last week. Lamborghini Palm Beach is the ultimate resource for anyone looking for new Lambos or used exotic cars! Contact Jose and he will take care of you.

Tomas Bueno was the ideal host as he opened up his airplane hangar and helped create the perfect setting. IGT Enterprises has the G4 pictured here along with other aircraft for the ultimate luxury experience for anyone looking to charter private jets. IGT Enterprises was formed by aviation professionals for the purpose of providing a higher level of service to the business aviation community, specifically to owner, operators, and users of business class aircraft. They help you identify your particular needs and develop a program suited to those needs. Check out their website for all the services they provide.

Finally, we’d like to thank Byron Douglas and Trent Martinez from Exotic Composites for helping us coordinate this shoot. Look for upcoming stories on Bullz-Eye featuring the high-end products they offer for exotic cars like Lamborghini.

Enjoy the photos!

  

Driving Impressions at 135 MPH: Lamborghini Palm Beach presents the 2012 Gallardo

As we dropped into the back stretch on lap 4, I knew this would be the moment. Strapped into a screaming yellow 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera, it was finally my turn to pass one of the other track cars and catch up to the lead pace Lambo. Following the pace car were me and three more Italian speed machines, all Lamborghinis with a total of about 1700 horsepower among them. I was in the second position among the four cars as the Lambo in front of me swung to the right, giving me a clear path to lift off. The stands to the left were a blur, not unlike a dash cam at Indy, as I paddle shifted at red line to second at 9000 rpms. Nothing can equal the wail of a Lamborghini at these engine speeds, and even with my insulated driver’s helmet and flame retardant mask, it was both deafening and intoxicating.

I mashed the petal with earnest, knowing that this car had a top speed in excess of 200 mph and I was on the longest backstretch of motor speedway in the Southeast United States. Ahead, the white Gallardo pace car taunted me to play catch-up with the other Lambo swinging aside to the right in a 135 mph blur as we hurled toward the hair pin right turn. The huge brakes produced physics-defying deceleration and I caught up (sort of) to the pace car and then rocketed again by the pits for the final lap. I now had the privilege of following the line the instructor found on the track, and I threw all here-to-known concern for life and limb and plowed into the turns. G forces in excess of 1.1 and 1.2 stunned me as we carved the S turns and sweepers past turn one. The Gallardo’s 570 horsepower V-10 goaded me on along with the state-of-the-art All Wheel Drive, ultra light carbon fiber body and Formula 1 speed paddle shifting technology. It all proved that there wasn’t anything I could do that would even mildly challenge this Lamborghini, as this beast was made for this kind of track. It’s as if it was saying: “Is that all you can do? Come on!” I knew then I was in the absolute pinnacle of sports car engineering and design, without peer world-wide. That was my welcome to Lamborghini.

I’ve driven many exotic sports cars so I was thrilled when Jose Morazan, General Manager of Lamborghini Palm Beach, invited me and Bullz-Eye.com to participate in this exclusive Track Day Event hosted by Lamborghini at Palm Beach International Raceway. The experience of driving Lamborghinis on a track far exceeded anything I’d experience in the past with exotic sports cars. In addition to the All Wheel Drive Gallardo described above, all of the guests at the event also got to drive a two-wheel drive Gallardo LP 550-2, which in some way was even more terrifying as it didn’t grip the turns like its All Wheel Drive counterpart.

One of the photographers at the event summed up the experience with a quote from one of the owners of Lamborghini Palm Beach. Erik Day once said about his experience behind the wheel of a Lamborghini on the track: “It’s the closest thing to having sex with a gun pointed at your head!” I have to agree as this summed up the fear and the ecstasy of driving this beast around these turns.

If you want to experience the pure exhilaration of driving a Lamborghini and owning one of these incredible machines, the team of professionals at Lamborghini Palm Beach can help make your dream a reality. Jose Morazan and his team are experts who can help you with new or used Lamborghinis along with all sorts of other used exotics. We were very impressed with their professionalism along with all the Lamborghini representatives that helped us at the track event.

The Lamborghini team stressed the driving experience. This was not a race or a competition, and safety was the primary concern. Yet even with all preparation and the well-designed track program, it still came down to driving these rockets on wheels around tight turns with four more Lamborghinis on the track as well. It was the experience of a lifetime.

Each driver had the opportunity to test two cars on the track, and I started with the 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2. This more traditional Lamborghini layout adheres to the classic mid-engine/Rear Wheel Drive layout that made the marquee famous, and this raging bull was made to impress with 550 brute horsepower and Lambo’s unique E- gear electronically controlled shifting.

With a thumbs up from the pit crew chief we took off. A near vertical acceleration curve was created as we rocketed out of pit row, chasing the other test track Gallardos ahead of us. The first lap was a warm-up lap to let us get to know the car and the track, though at at breakneck speeds of 80 to 110 mph!. The pack of 4 showed no sign of trepidation, so I barreled ahead, through the sweepers, round houses, and S configurations to keep pace with them. The famous Palm Beach International Speedway back stretch came soon after the S’s, which gave me the opportunity to finally up shift to second, or dare I say third!

This car handled magnificently, with predictable over steer, both in left and right cambers. Yet I knew this car wouldn’t grip the track quite like the All Wheel Drive version, and I could feel the back end sliding just enough to scare the hell out of me as we raced through the tight turns. That’s why the purists and driving pros love this traditional model, but I was just trying to keep up without spinning out, so my stress level was through the roof!

This car was especially impressive, however, on the straight-aways. On the back stretch I saw the electronically controlled rear spoiler rise up as I got over 100 mph, planting this aerodynamic wonder even firmer on the raceway. With a stunning top speed of 199 mph and a thrilling 3.9 second 0-62 mph launch time, few words describe the power and presence of a classic Gallardo.

After five exhilarating laps, we switched vehicles to test out the more stout and athletic version of the 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera. I was more comfortable with the track and this All Wheel Drive version would give me more confidence in the turns, yet that produced even more challenges as I pushed this one a little harder.

With equal part fear and lust, I shoehorned my way into the cockpit with the smell of ultra-heated brake pads lingering from its previous track run. Carbon fiber enveloped us and the lack of seat recline only reinforced the no nonsense approach to the driver/machine union Lambo engineers intended upon creation. Currently the most powerful V-10 sports car in the world and with state of the art All Wheel Drive, this car oozed performance and never failed to deliver. The lead pace car took off and we blasted out of pit row 0-80 in a tic over 4 seconds, a continuous rush all in first gear. The first of the 11 turns on this 2 mile track was a medium right sweeper, and the Gallardo laughed at me while I hung the sharp right with barely a yawn of effort . . . it’s as if it was saying, “Can’t you do better than .91 g lateral acceleration?” I immediately knew this car’s potential far out-paced my own, even in my wildest dreams. The pack started to spread out slightly, just in time for the big roundhouse right turn, leading to the wild S curves. I decided to now give up all hope of sanity and drive this car well beyond what I was truly believed was a speed that would spin us hard into the retaining wall. But this Lambo gripped the track unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.

Holding the wheel tightly to keep me from being flung to the far right hand door of the cockpit, I was amazed at the lateral 1.0 + G forces generated by this Italian wonder, all with absolute neutral steering. The All Wheel Drive geometrics redefines what you assume is physically capable in a road car, all while telegraphing minute and nuanced feedback through the steering wheel and chassis. Forgiving is not enough to describe the balance, and along with an all aluminum space-frame and carbon fiber body/chassis, this car can do no wrong. Now I had the confidence to thrash my way to the thrilling S curves, and nothing was like it! Clearing the S’s, we banked right into the Speedway back stretch, finally allowing me to paddle shift up to 135 as I described above and then within milliseconds slam on to the brakes, hauling the beast back to 25 and then hair pin right back to the pit row straight. Each lap give me increased confidence, and with that my lap times improving accordingly. Finally behind the pace car, I followed and learned his line, break points and shift timing, giving me the best lap time of the session. A seasoned professional Lamborghini test pilot, he politely didn’t waste me in his dust, although at the time it felt like break neck Indy speeds to me. Undoubtedly, this car has the best sounding v-10 engine anywhere; the wail is positively spine-tingling at 8,000 rpm redline.

With the weight savings of the Superleggera model, Lamborghini presents the driver with a 2953 pound rocket with 570 horsepower to play with, thus translating 0-60 lift-offs in a thrilling 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph! Its unique 5.2 lb/hp power-to-weight ratio and single clutch electronically managed E shift technology, Lamborghini once again offers sports car enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike an opportunity to live the automotive dream.

  

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