Our 2013 hot list
The top trends, openings, and exciting developments we're eager to watch around the West this year
Bikesharing hits the road
Programs have sprouted in Boulder (pictured) and San Francisco, but with bike-savvy cities like Portland jumping on board this spring (and one likely on the horizon in Seattle), the concept has hit the mainstream.
The first commercial space flight
Virgin chief Richard Branson confirmed in July that Virgin Galactic’s first commercial flight to outer space is expected to take place in 2013. Branson and his two adult children will be on board and, for just $200,000 a pop, you can join them for the 2.5-hour flight, which will fly 60 miles above the earth and include five minutes of weightlessness.
A new Ace up L.A.'s sleeve
We love Ace Hotel's three Western locations, in Palm Springs (pictured), Portland, and Seattle. Each brings its own sense of place to the overall quirky-cool vibe the brand is known for. And coming this fall, a fourth Ace Hotel opens in the West, in L.A. We can't wait to see the new property's take on vintage room furnishings, outdoor lounging, and little in-room perks.
Decorating goes social
What's the home décor web site that we think will be huge in 2013? Without a doubt, Well Furnished. It's a mash-up of Pinterest and now-defunct Domino's design files. Self-described as "going shopping with an interior designer," it allows you follow designers, "like" their items, and build personal collections that you can use to revamp your home.
We’re all for reuse, but it’s got to look good. We’re expecting more and more examples of repurposing done right, like this garden path made from 100% scrap materials.
More: 28 DIY salvage makeovers
Seed starting makes a comeback
Starting vegetables from seed is cheaper than buying seedlings at the nursery. It also opens up much more diversity of varieties to choose from. And for the next crop of gardeners looking to get in touch with the soil, it’s the only way to go.
Gardening gets easier
The 20-Minute Gardener is the latest installment in the Sunset Western Garden Book series, hitting bookstands in February. Expect simple techniques, quick projects, and top plants for easy care that will have your garden looking awesome in no time.
Drinking your vegetables
The secret is out! Juicing vegetables like kale, carrots, beets, and parsley is a great way to bump up your daily intake. And it tastes amazing to boot. Luckily, with the increase in sales for industrial juicers and new juice bars popping up all over, getting a fresh veggie libation is easier than ever.
More: Tasty garden cocktails
After a few years of crazy creative cocktails made by mustache-wearing mixologists, we predict classic drinks will come back with gusto. Expect to see martinis and Manhattans poured with locally distilled, small-batch spirits. After all, what better way to show off the true craftsmanship of a hearty rye or an aromatic gin than simply serving it straight?
Move over salmon and gouda, you’re about to get some smoky companions. Thanks to new kitchen tools like smoking guns and ingredients like smoked sea salt, the flavor of smoke is penetrating other foods. We’ve recently seen fish tacos with smoked mayonnaise and a drink using smoked ice cubes. To all of the above, we say: Which way to the smoking section?