Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from Candelaria Design

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Wow, I cannot believe the Holidays are upon us. I think it always sneaks up on us out here in Arizona when you go outside and the grass is green, the geraniums are blooming, and its sunny and 84º!

We all have so much to be thankful for that is for sure. What a year it has been so far. We have all weathered some tough seas out there and we are so excited with what we see ahead. First we have added some new faces to Candelaria Design. We welcome Stacey Payne who acts as my executive assistant and runs the front desk, Damon Wake and Peter Ekema who are both recent graduates and now part of our design team, and we have just brought on Rob Banach who will join the Candelaria Design team on January 2nd! So we have done our part to add new jobs to this economy. As many of you know, I firmly believe its the small businesses in this country that make our economy. So we are proud of this accomplishment and we appreciate the support and confidence of our clients who give us the wonderful commissions to make this happen.

So what is happening....??? First, we have some exciting projects we have recently completed, projects in construction, and projects on the boards! Here is a quick run of just a few...

Recently Completed

First, projects completed include a beautiful registered historic renovation we have just completed on North Central with Nance Construction, Vallone Design , and Berghoff Design Group, Vivian Ayala, Project Manager.

We have just completed a stunning 10,000 sf hillside, mountain home in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho on Hayden Lake - constructed by Rosenberger Construction, Robert Vieracker, Project Manager.

Finally, a contemporary Hillside home in Paradise Valley constructed by Schultz Development on Mummy Mountain in Paradise Valley. Interiors by Holly Ogden, Wiseman-Gale, Braden Santarcangelo, Project Manager. We just set an amazing sculpture custom commissioned for the project by Santa Monica sculptor, Guy Dill

Under Construction

A 20,000 sf formal Mediterranean Estate in Silverleaf ~ Horseshoe Canyon is nearing completion by Schultz Development, Interiors by Treken Design, Landscape by Berghoff Design, Braden Santarcangelo, Project Manager.

Another 20,000 sf Rural Mediterranean Estate is underway in Silverleaf ~ Horseshoe Canyon by Salcito Construction, Interiors by David Michael Miller, Landscape by Berghoff Design, Braden Santarcangelo, Project Manager.

A two-story beachside renovation in LaJolla, CA under construction by Parker Construction, Vivian Ayala, Project Manager. Wait until you see the before and afters on this one!

A new retail space for Julia Baker Confections, is under construction by Schultz Development with interiors by Claire Ownby Design Project Managers Vivian Ayala and Tim Mathewson. The new store is going to feature a wine and chocolate bar and is located in the Biltmore Fashion Square next to William Sonoma, set to open right before Christmas.

On the Boards

We are finalizing construction documents on a new mid-century contemporary hillside home on Mummy Mountain which will be constructed by GM Hunt, Landscape by Berghoff Design Group and Project Manager Braden Santarcangelo.

Drawings are underway on three cabin plans for 86 lots at the Rim Club in Payson Arizona. The project is being developed by Diamond Ventures  and constructed by Mb Fine Homes, LLC. Three cabins are being created ranging from 2700 sf to 3500 sf in a Mountain Miner, Mountain Manor and Contemporary Style. Stay tuned for some amazing upcoming events with this property. Robert Vieracker, Project Manager.

Plans are in for permit on a new home in Verrado that will be constructed by GCon Construction, Jeffrey Kramer, AIA Project Manager. Its nice to see things happening at Verrado which is a beautiful property in the West Valley.

For Sale

Definitely one of our masterpieces from the last 12 years has come on the market. Listed by Ellie Shapiro, this French Chateau features 8400 sf livable space on an exquisite lot in Arcadia. The home was built by Nance Construction and Landscaped by Berghoff Design Group. Project Manager Vivian Ayala.

Comfort is first and foremost in this Rural Mediterranean home just listed in the Upper Canyon of Silverleaf by Debbie Sinagoga. This home was built by West Construction with Interiors by Charles Glover Interiors http://charlesgloverinteriors.com

Finally, we have two stunning estates available in Paradise Valley. Listed by Christopher Karas. Constructed by MRA Custom Homes and landscaped by Berghoff Design Group. We have also started design on two additional homes for MRA in this subdivision. The two completed homes are spectacular and open most weekends from noon till 4 pm. Please stop by and enjoy a tour of these homes.

Candelaria Design Tour Italy

Well that is just a quick peek at what we are up to on the architecture side. We also had a fabulous trip to Italy on our Candelaria Design Tour Italy 2012 Trip. We had 10 travelers who enjoyed 14 days of amazing architecture, food, wine, and scenery. We had a wonderful Post Trip dinner just a couple weeks ago and relived our memories. We are sold out for the 2013 Trip that departs September 4th as we have 16 travelers already signed up, so we will start planning the 2014 trip! See our previous blogs and our Candelaria Design Tour Italy page on Facebook

Charities and Publications

Thanks to all of you who attended the Phoenix Home and Garden Dream Home Tour this month. We were fortunate to have two homes on the tour, including the Extreme Home which was also featured on the cover of the November issue of Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine  I sincerely thank my two clients who so graciously offered their homes for the tour which raised funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

We also had a home in Silverleaf featured on the LUXE Home Tour for Life which raised funds for the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS

Finally, we have one of our homes featured inside and on the cover of the new Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine coffee table book, Essential Southwest. You can purchase the book at

I continue to contribute time and resources to the Scottsdale Charros of which I am a very proud Grande member. I enjoyed my 7th ride in September, and made many new friends and acquaintances. We raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year which benefit youth and education in Scottsdale and throughout Arizona. Our big fundraiser is coming up, that being the Charro Lodge at Scottsdale Stadium, for the World Champion San Francisco Giants I have amazing packages for the games this spring and advertising opportunities in our spring training programs and banners. Help us raise money for our amazing programs and enjoy some spring baseball! Contact me for details at the office 602-604-2001.

Wrap up

Finally, I will wrap up this blog update with a personal announcement. Last month I made it official as I proposed to my lovely Isabel with all of my girls present and we are looking forward to an intimate gathering and wedding sometime in February of 2013. I am very excited to have found such a wonderful person who shares the same passion for life and beauty that I do and we look forward to building a life and future together. Make sure to check out her beautiful boutique, Earth and Images, in the Scottsdale Design Center for your Holiday treasures.

We are excited about all that has transpired and everything we have created in 2012. We are looking forward to another very exciting and creative year as we start our 13th Year as Candelaria Design and my 31st year of designing homes. We wish you all the best during this Holiday season!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Candelaria Design Tour Italy - Day 8 - Lacole' and Cooking

We are roughly half way through the trip now so today is usually a wind down day. Everyone chose to head into the nearby town of Umbertide, a small but charming town about 20-30 minutes northeast of where we are staying on the banks of the Tiber River.

Each Wednesday the local farmer’s market is in Umbertide. It’s a collection of actual farmers and their local produce, food vendors and vendors selling everything from table linens to shoes to undergarments. Of course my first stop was to the porchetta vendor whose stand features a roasted pig filled with herbs set on a slab of marble whereupon the pig is slowly consumed one slice at  time – I am not sure why the pigs always look so happy! The delicious and succulent slices are placed on a French roll and then topped with pieces of the crunchy and fatty skin. It is delicious and not a bad way to start this day.

From there we made our way to the piazza for some coffee and pastries – I continued on with my porchetta sandwich! After coffee it was onto the market.

I lost the ladies immediately as they were in shopping paradise. I was in photo paradise and strolled around and captured images of these happy people all so proud of their crops and wares. Again, some of the same vendors were in their same spots as they have been for the 12 years I have been coming.
With the shopping winding down – me and four of the ladies were off to the antique warehouse and yard - Lacole’ the Larry, Gloria and Tiffany either stuck around Umbertide and Joan and Phillip headed back for some alone time at the country houses.

Lacole’ is a fabulous place if you are interested in old stone sinks, fireplaces, tiles, beams, and antique furniture and accessories. If not it can be the most boring two hours during the trip. So its great with the cars how everyone can do their own thing! My group of ladies – for the most part all interior designers and of course Isabel with her store – were all thrilled to be here and they scattered like seeds in the wind.

I have been visiting this family’s operation for the last 12 years too and they have come from a little open air stone yard along the highway to this amazing facility they now have. The materials and collections they have assembled is truly astounding and their pieces have been featured in Architectural Digest, I have used their roof tiles, fireplaces, and doors on Candelaria Design homes.

With Lacole’ complete we were all starving so we proceeded back towards the country homes with a quick stop in Citta di Costello, another  small town in the area. The girls were hungry so we proceeded to the town center – centro and found a little trattoria / art gallery and the girls found a comfy table under a large umbrella on the street to unwind and re-nourish. I kept on with my camera and explored the nearby church, the little winding streets and piazzas.

When I returned the girls were just being served, I grabbed a gelato and a coffee latte’ and joined them. They were playing some amazing music that was sort of choral versions of hit cover music. It was beautiful and I tried to purchase a copy from the bar but it was their only copy that they apparently had just purchased and she wasn’t ready to part with it – needed Tiffany to bargain with her!

Once our snack was done we were back on the road to the country houses for our cooking class. A quick swim and it was up to Casa La Pietra for some cooking with Elizabeth and Paola. Tonight they had a variety of local dishes on the menu. We started with some appetizers featuring figs from the trees outside stuffed with gorganzola cheese and wrapped with prosciutto and then baked in the oven until the cheese became nice and gooey.

Meanwhile, the pasta machine was set up along with flour and eggs and we were off to make homemade pasta. This time it was raviolis and tagliatelle. Meanwhile, Elizabeth had a delicious tomato sauce simmering on the stove, made from carrots, celery, onions and of course tomatoes.  Elizabeth made Isabel a delicious roasted eggplant dish as a substitute for the pasta and that was accompanied by local sausages sautéed with grapes. It was all fabulous!.  This was then all topped off with roasted pears in a chianti wine reduction with lemon zest and pepper topped with marscapone cream…..ok the best dessert I think I have ever had.

We enjoyed the dinner, drank plenty of the wine purchased on our wine tour, and just hanging out in the country home. Another great day in Umbria. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Candelaria Design Tour Italy - Day 7 Wine Tour of Tuscany with Pino

As I mention all  the time, one of the things I love about Italy is the loyalty of the people here. Pino has been my wine guide for the 9 years I have been coming to this region. Pino is now 74 years old and going strong.  He is extremely knowledgeable about the area, the geology, the history, and of course the wine!

We met Pino at the little coffee spot and due to lack of space on his van we also took one car. We proceeded over the hill from the Niccone Valley and dropped down into Tuscany and on to our first stop Montepulciano. Montepulciano is home to the Vino Nobile. The town of Montepulciano is stunning – set high on a hilltop with church steeples reaching for the sky all surrounded by rolling hills draped in vineyards. It is a beautiful place and definitely a great stop on any trip to Italy.

Pino gave a us a nice tour of the city and two amazing cellars. We stopped at the coppersmith who had just completed the finial for the duomo in Siena that we would see later in the week, and we worked in some shopping. Of course with a little wine tasting mixed in our day was into full swing.

With our departure from Montepulciano we were on our way to Pienza home of the pecorino cheese.  We stopped for a nice lunch – same place as our previous 9 tours with the same person cooking and the same waiter and waitress! We enjoyed a nice salad and some melted pecorino cheese and ham with tartufo oil. Delicious. A caffe’ and we were set for a quick walk through town and then off to our last stop Montalcino and home of the Brunello.
Montalcino is a quieter town and seems to be even more off the beaten path. We were running out of time in our day as we had an 8pm reservation for dinner at Mimmi’s back in Mercantale and we were about 1-1/2 hours away here in Montalcino. Pino led us to the Enoteca di Piazza which is an amazing wine tasting store in the center of town. Here we tried the different Brunello’s including the number 1 ranked Casanova di Neri as ranked by Wine Spectator. Fabulous introduction and explanation given to us by Nicolo.

With a couple more tastings completed and enjoyed we were off on our return home to the Niccone Valley and Mimmi’s. With our goodbyes to Pino it was time for dinner! Mimmi’s is always one of everyone’s favorites. A 9 course meal of country food served country style of course by the same people who have been serving us for years, all around a big community table in a room with people always from all over the world – again out in the middle of nowhere.

We started with two different crostinis then onto three different pasta dishes; linguini with pesto, lasagna, and then cannelloni. We then proceeded onto three different roasted meats, turkey, roast beef and roast pork. All spectacular and all accompanied by local roasted vegetables. Finally, dessert included tiramisu and a caffe flan. All the way through the are refilling the pitchers with vino rosso.

Dinner always ends with people singing and of course anyone who knows me this is right up my alley! From Hey Jude to Sweet Caroline  to Louis Armstrong and the BeeGees we had the room going! It is always fun and another fabulous meal!