September 1, 2017 § Leave a comment

We moved!! We have crossed the country all the way back to the Boston area and… like any good designer, I’m obsessing over lighting. Here are some fav’s.

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cypressmuutoroll & hill

xo, Liv

Workplace: A Settling Millennial Generation Drives Interest in On-Site Daycare

November 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

Patagonia reports that 100% of mom’s have returned to work in the past 5 years after giving birth, a statistic that far out-performs the nation’s average of 65%. With 92% of Millennials reporting Live/Work balance as the top priority when considering a new job, it’s no surprise that as Millennials find partners and start families, workplaces that accommodate their family needs will stand apart from the rest in talent retention.


Employers have developed rich and diverse amenity offerings from in-house food services to barber shops, bike repair, and even doggy day-care. So why not child day-care? Many companies have legal reservations regarding daycare administration, but these reservations are founded in easily navigable legal territory – increased insurance and local licensing among the top concerns. Forbes puts the starting cost of opening a childcare facility at $30,000 while top estimates push $84,000. National childcare operations, like Bright Horizons, partner with corporations across the country to offer on-site, employer-sponsored childcare.

Patagonia is not the only employer who has identified on-site childcare as a priority for maintaining a happy, healthy workplace environment. Clifbar, Aflac, and the U.S Military also offer on-site childcare.

So, what is the payback? 95% of employees say that access to an on-site child care centers at work helps them concentrate throughout the day. Aside from the incredible rates of retention, higher live/work balance satisfaction, and increased feelings of fulfillment at work, there are hard line financial incentives also. Fast Company reports that “facilities may claim a tax credit of up to 25% of the facility expenditures, plus 10% of any resource and referral expenditures in a calendar year, up to a limit of $150,000.”

With the rise of flexible work/life policies, collaboration technology, and feasibility of freelance work, employers are competing to make their offices places employees want to be, rather than need be. As the Millennial generation settles into their family years, look for daycare to become the defining amenity at many corporations with exceptional corporate culture.

Tech Trends: Identity

July 14, 2015 § Leave a comment


The connectivity resulting from social media has led to more transparency than ever before.  Now that workers can see the inner workings of the companies to which they belong, they are wanting to engage with the founding and innovating processes at those companies. Young people expect the same transparency they experience on social media in all facets of life, including work.

The tech industry has responded by creating a transparent, actionable environment at work to engage employees in the growth and development of the business identity.  Now that workers can see how a company is growing its identity, they are compelled to engage.

Engaging in the growth and development of a company’s identity is supported by companies across the Bay Area. Facebook encourages employees to hack the system – pull it apart to see if we can put it back together better. Google has 20% time: employees can spend up to twenty percent of their time to work on whatever project they would like.  If the project goes well, it often gets integrated into the company’s offerings. Employees in these scenarios are actively contributing to the identity of the company and are best integrated and engaged in building the brand and value.

The influence of the Millennial generation to advocate for their own participation in business identity has driven other generations, like Boomers, to prioritize the right ‘fit’ at work. To attract today’s recruits, company identity must be fluid, clear, and actionable.

Today’s top technology companies move as quickly as the new recruits they employ. Having a clear brand is no longer about having the right graphic on the wall; it’s about being receptive to change the wall – or the whole space.


photo courtesy of M Moser Associates

While aiming to direct a sense of brand to clients visiting client space, companies are also aiming to direct a sense of brand to employees working in the space every day. The employee zone reinforces the brand’s cultural priorities, business vision, and corporate values in a dynamic, iterative way.

In the early days of tech, interior architecture was a lot about image. Today it’s about action. Large graphics that represent a cultural brand are great, but they are static, which may as well be stagnant in the fast paced economy in which they compete.

For companies like Facebook, that could mean nothing is over done – it’s an open space for employees to collaborate and create.  At Google it could mean open space for experimentation or pin-up boards to show each team’s 20% projects to the office.

For any firm looking to engage employees, it could be ad hoc desking to encourage employees to grow ideas together; a wall of faces and places for each employee to share their extracurricular lives at work; an art wall to paint/draw/hack your space however you feel.

Offices which inspire physical action are the trend. Identity is founded on action and social response now more than ever. Slick design and graphics aren’t good enough.  People should be able to graphiti the graphics, write on the walls, and reconfigure the furniture.

Architecture can open up space and attitudes for conversation and collaboration about what the company wants to be, and how it will express that to the world.

Identity is composed of a number of characteristics.  And as the company develops, so too will its office environment. Designing for flexibility and growth allows space to iterate as quickly as its employees.  Please look for this discussion in the next edition of Young Tech: Flexibility and Mobility.



Creative + Analytical

July 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

So much of my journey has been a careful balance between the creative and the analytical portions of our work. How I work, how other people work, and what areas of focus are dynamic and interesting to me, have all compelled me to begin my own brand of design thinking.


Under my now familiar Havana Hyde brand, I will offer workplace and lifestyle strategy.  I will strive to build strategic frameworks for clients to achieve their own perfect balance, using data analytics and research, coupled with the creatively infinite.


I look forward to working with you all!

xo,  Liv

Coyote Pack in a Snowstorm

March 9, 2015 § Leave a comment



I am from Gloucester, Massachusetts. Like any local, I know the ins and outs of this town probably better than I want to.  The coyote packs on Eastern Point have been a big to-do for a number of years now.  They came out to worship the waves last week, captured on Good Morning Gloucester. Hope all my east coasters are surviving the storms!



Skatepark Cool

February 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

My son’s obsession has caught my attention lately.  The structure and careful engineering that go into skateable landscape is quite complex. Many skateparks look overdone or underdone, but I’ve come across some that are truly works of art.


Park by BANG Architectes in St. Pierre, Belgium.

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Park by Team Pain in Rocklin, California.


LES Skatepark by Preeti Sodhi in New York City, NY.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Liv

Boots Boots Boots

October 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Heading into fall season, I’m examining my boot collection (or lack there of). And I am lately obsessed with La Botte Gardiane. Here are my faves, but enjoy looking for yourself too!



xo, Liv

“the moon,” a new series of drawings from crystal liu.

May 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

From the Hosfelt Gallery in San Francisco.

a gallerist's musings

like all of her work, these use nature as metaphor to explore human emotion.   her inconography of trees, water, rocks, mountains, clouds and the stars and moon recount stories, or maybe it’d be more accurate to say open-ended fables.   because even after you’ve deciphered her symbolic language, it’s never really certain what’s going on.

of course, that’s what makes them interesting…   every viewer brings their own interpretation based on their experience (and issues).  think of them as psychological landscapes.  or representational rorschachs.

is the tree supporting the moon here?  a gentle caress? a tender embrace?   or is the moon pushing the tree around?  bullying.  holding it down.  turning it into a bent thing… incapable of reaching its potential?

is the moon an obligation?  a burden?  you know the expression, “the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

Image 1

perhaps the moon is illuminating the reflection of the birch…  the lamp…

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Happy Easter!!

April 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

eggs 2


Vinegar + Water + Color Dye = Cute Easter decoration & some happy kiddos! (Dish: Alessi Babyboop Two-Section Hors D’oeuvre Dish).


xo, Liv

Mike D in Brooklyn – New York Times

July 18, 2013 § 1 Comment

The New York Times did a piece in their Style section on Mike D’s townhouse in Brooklyn, NY. And, all of us who screamed “No Sleep til Brooklyn” in the middle of the night at some point in our lives (regardless of how close or far we were from Brooklyn), feel totally authenticated in his sweet BK style! Here are my favorite snapshots from the Times article!

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Mike D of the Beastie Boys at home with his wife, Tamra, in their Brooklyn digs.

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Bathroom Vanity – probably from a vintage piece. You can do anything with a sweet find – even put a sink in it!

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Living room. I love this shot. I recognized the Missoni pouf (from their collection with Target) right away. I saw it in my old Boss’s house and was blown away when she told me Target! On the high-low, the chair across the way is a work by Patricia Urquiola.

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TV room. A little heavy on the color palette, but super fun idea – I love a good projector show!

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Reclaimed wood cladding in the kitchen – a Brooklyn Best Practice for commercial and residential!

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Art, art, and more art. Want your friends to believe you when you claim you’re authentically anything? Buy the art to back yourself up. Whether it’s ebay, etsy, or a gallery, you’ll find something that reflects how you identify yourself and the world around you. Showcase it – once you have a collection together, it will speak to you like no other collection can!

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Amaze-balls custom shelving by locals ESP Metal Crafts.

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Master bath. I recently read an article on Collin Burry in California Home Design– he said “A good bathroom is like good shoes. You need them to complete an outfit.”

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Bedroom. It’s always nice to know… Who would have guessed Mike D would sleep in a traditional design 4 poster bed?? Go figure – we all need a little history in our lives!



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