Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Holiday - Thanksgiving Escape to Napa

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holiday season! We are enjoying the winter temps and all of the parties, functions, and holiday get togethers.

Meanwhile in the midst of the holiday fun we are busy working away on our projects – ranging from a beach home renovation on the far end of Long Island, NY to a beach home renovation in LaJolla, CA with a number of amazing projects in between – of course most right here in Arizona.

Proud to see all three of the spec homes we recently designed in Arcadia and one in Silverleaf all sell in 2016! We now have several new specs in design!

I appreciate all who came to my photography show at Isabel’s store Earth and Images. We had a great turn out and sold several of our Candelaria Collection Pasta Machines and several of my photo pieces – thank you!!!

It is definitely a busy time of the year and business wise it has been really getting busier as the year is coming to an end. Usually the slowest time, I am optimistic with what we might see in 2017. So to gear up and get a little down time in the midst of my 70 hour work weeks, Isabel and I snuck off to Napa to enjoy a long Thanksgiving weekend.

I know many of you have been to Napa – our USA version of Italy just a two hour
flight away – we love it. This time we flew into San Francisco and met with our friends and Italy travelers, Gicela and Anthony Dulcich, who drove up from Long Beach and met us at our San Fran rendezvous spot, The St. Francis Hotel on Union Square. I love the St. Francis Hotel and it is definitely my go to spot when I come to the city by the bay!

We scheduled only one evening in the city so we had to make sure we squeezed in a dinner at the Tadich Grill, supposedly the oldest restaurant in San Francisco and California. http://www.tadichgrill.com/location-sf.php. Always fabulous, the cioppino is a must.

The next morning we squeezed in our morning walk comprised of coffee and some photography. Then we were off for Napa. This time we kept it simple and charming and checked into the Cottages of Napa Valley http://www.napacottages.com at the recommendation of our good friend, designer, and fellow Italy traveler, Rebecca Curtis – great recommendation. Charming, simple, unpretentious and best of all – quiet! We loved it and highly recommend.

We checked in and we were off to Michael Chiarello’s, Bottega, in Yountville for a fantastic late lunch. Michael Chiarello is one of my favorite chefs and have loved his show and recipes on the Food Network for years.
http://michaelchiarello.com www.botteganapavalley.com  The food was outstanding but what stood out for me what the whiskey sour the bartender made with raw egg whites in a shaker…..unreal. Fantastic atmosphere and the food was 5 stars. http://michaelchiarello.com Not a bad way to start our Napa experience. After our fabulous lunch it was time to do a little shopping, grab an espresso, a little more shopping then back to the hotel to relax. The rain moved in and after a nice nap we were off to Sonoma to The Depot for a quiet dinner. http://www.depotsonoma.com/dining/

The next morning was Sunday morning and so we started the day with a lovely Thomas Keller, Bouchon Bakery https://www.thomaskeller.com/bouchonbakeryyountville basket at our doorstep, the newspaper, hot coffee brewing, a crackling fire and some George Winston playing on our Beats Pill we always bring when we travel.

After a leisurely and relaxing start to the day we made our way out into the sunshine and a visit to the Dean and Deluca store on our way to St. Helena, CA. http://www.deandeluca.com/sth-ca I always love these stores and just browsing and exploring. From there our shopping continued in the charming town of St. Helena. Loved this place with wonderful stores and the Orin Swift Tasting Room smack dab in the middle of town. Nothing like starting the day with a little wine tasting of the Orin Swift collection. http://www.orinswift.com

After a nice light lunch we went exploring with a stop at the Castello di Amorosa Winery just north of St. Helena. This winery is over the top in terms of the authentic 13th century Tuscan architecture.  It is spot on and if I woke up from a sleep I would swear I was in Tuscany on one of our Candelaria Tour Italy journeys.   http://www.castellodiamorosa.com

 From there we went further of the valley and to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. https://www.francisfordcoppolawinery.com. Another amazing winery to explore and then add all of the movie memorabilia from his films – especially the Godfather films – , the grounds and gardens and not to mention the wines and you can easily spend some time here.

So after an afternoon of enjoying wine it was time to top it off with a fabulous dinner at Bouchon. https://www.thomaskeller.com/bouchonyountville Be prepared to take your time and bring adequate funds. It was fantastic – both service and cuisine.  What an amazing sensory stimulating day – my favorite – from architecture, to beautiful scenery, to fabulous wines to savory cuisine.

The next morning we had our day teed up by my good friend and the uber-talented, Landscape Designer, Jeff Berghoff, who does the landscape design on most of my homes. http://www.berghoffdesign.com Jeff is currently working on the design for two wineries in Napa and he was so kind to set us up with private tastings at the Caymus Winery http://www.caymus.com  and the V.Sattui Winery https://www.vsattui.com both near St. Helena. Wow – knowing Jeff’s style I knew this would be off the charts and it lived up to my anticipation. From our two hour tasting at Caymus to our tasting followed by a lovely picnic on the terrace with V.Sattui President, Tom C. Davies. How gracious to spend time talking with us about our trips to Italy, wine, and the current state of the wine industry. All very fascinating and how wonderful to meet and make new friends in Napa.

We finished our evening back in Sonoma with a stop at the original William & Sonoma store and home of founder Chuck Williams – all right there, in of course, Sonoma! http://www.williams-sonoma.com/customer-service/original-sonoma-store.html Very cool and equally inspiring. You just have to go for it!

Well – our time in Napa was done and it was time to get back to the drawing board but now filled with some wonderful dinners, fantastic wine, some romance, rest, and of course many fun memories. Across the Golden Gate Bridge and back to San Fran – but of course not with a stop at one of Gicela and Anthony’s favorites and now mine the authentic Italian deli of Lucca for Christmas raviolis!  http://www.luccadeli.com

I wish you all an amazing Holiday season! Get out and enjoy some great food, wine and of course architecture!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Teen Challenge Arizona

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend! I am truly grateful for my family & friends, and I treasure the time I get to spend with everyone. The same goes to my CDA Team and the people I work with. I always want to surround myself with the best team who have the same values and love for life, as I do.  That being said I would like to introduce you to my guest writer, Mathew Grove. Mathew is one of my many talented and promising Project Managers. He is heading the project for Teen Challenge Arizona and his passion for this project and foundation is unmatched. So please enjoy and again, thank you for being a part of Candelaria Design!

Teen Challenge is an amazing national organization committed to helping those that are battling addiction. When Paul Cox, Director of Development for Teen Challenge Arizona, reached out to Candelaria Design for help with their kitchen, we were humbly honored to accept the invitation and set a meeting with him right away.  This was the beginning of a beautiful project . . .
Upon arrival to Teen Challenge, Paul Cox, Jim Moyer and Jonathon Roe educated our design team about the Teen Challenge organization and all of the incredible contributions they make within many communities around our country. Their Phoenix community alone has a daily average of sixty people (from all age groups) that participate - that is a lot of people to feed! To give you a better idea, the kitchen serves approximately 60 meals/3 times a day each year. This totals about 65,700 meals every year, not including holiday meals which serve up to 120 people each.  While jotting down these statistics, we were led to the kitchen which was noticeably in a deteriorating state – the walk-in refrigerator struggled to reach below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and continually would break down, an old dishwasher that was in constant need of repair (we noted that there was no three-basin dish washing sink to use as a backup to the dishwasher and that there was also a range that had bungee cords holding the oven doors shut), and lastly, a rough concrete floor that was not suitable for a kitchen . . . we had to help! We were told that they were applying for a $100,000 grant so they could have the funds to remodel their kitchen that was in desperate need for upgrades. So we signed on and started putting together a plan and design for their kitchen.
Getting Started
First, we had to put together a program that contained all the necessary requirements for the new kitchen. In order to accomplish this, we immediately setup our first design meeting with Chef Ward at Teen Challenge. Shortly after, we had a well thought-out conceptual plan.  At this point we contacted a home builder here in Phoenix, Arizona who helped us put together a budget for the new kitchen - his first estimates came in and we realized this project could easily cost over $500,000. We realized this wouldn’t work with the previously disclosed budget of $100,000.
After a year of fundraising and reaching the $100,000 mark, I received a call from Paul Cox who mentioned he had a builder that wanted to help.  At this point we met with President and Founder of CR Commercial Contractors, Doug Terrell, who quickly helped put together an updated scope of work, “wish list” and project schedule to help maximize the $100,000 budget.
Thank fully, much of the team was still focused on making the original concept of the new and improved kitchen a reality for Teen Challenge.  In the initial budget, appliances alone were going to utilize just about the entire budget, accompanied by the new floor, necessary dish washer and 3-basin sink. Pat Julian, from Julian Restaurant Equipment, was kind enough to bring all the new appliances in at whole sale cost! With his generosity, a rippling effect amongst the tradesmen, donors and sub-contractors began, all of whom were kind enough to donate.  Before we knew it, the kitchen had all the wish list items and we were able to accomplish our original design.
**Another BIG THANK YOU to all the contractors for their donations to make this project a reality**

The new kitchen
We were able to make use of an additional 300 square-feet of space that was previously unusable in the old kitchen. With the new kitchens spacious layout, we were able to create a more functional design to maximize productivity and efficiency for the main operating systems of the Teen Challenge Kitchen. Along with the new layout and top of the line appliances, a 3-layer epoxy floor was installed over the existing concrete floors, a cleanable vinyl ceiling was installed in lieu of the previous plaster ceiling, and fluorescent lighting was added to brighten up the space in correlation with most commercial kitchens. As a visual aid of the new kitchen vs. the old kitchen, please see the below photos.
Visiting Teen Challenge in the weeks after completion of the kitchen – the love and sincerity from all who were involved with this project is evident. I’m blown away by the amount of gratitude and praise it received. It’s such a testament to see the accumulation of so many people and companies, brought together to help a wonderful organization – an organization which provides the ultimate act of generosity and hope that’s possible, a second chance. Although the kitchen is complete there is always more that can be done. If you would like to help, please reach out to Teen Challenge at http://tcaz.org/donate/or you can call 800-346-7859

Candelaria Design would like provide a special to thanks all of those involved:
Doug Terrell, Lloyd Ball and Tom Palmer from CR Commercial Contractors for their expertise, outreach to sub-contractors and generosity.
Andrews Refrigeration for their Donation of a brand new Walk-in refrigerator
Pat Julian for providing the Appliances and the food preparation equipment
Bryan Hare of Maricopa County Environmental Services Department for his guidance in this remodel and his and his team’s dedication to helping out Teen Challenge and other organizations in need.
Teen Challenge for providing the opportunity to be part of a great organization and to help develop a new kitchen.
And all of the organizations and people below who also made donations and contributions in other forms:
Bob & Kathy Brown, Don and Rose  Perrotti, Enterprise Holding Foundation, Frank and Patrea Zanin, Gesner-Johnson Family Foundation, Giving Hope Worldwide Foundation, Global Outreach 360, LLC, Jonathon and Karla Roe, Marketplace One, Matthew 25 Project, Mission Increase Arizona, National Christian Foundation, Nick & Lynn Petrucci, Paul and Judy Cox, Phil & Tina Lebeda, Tim & Betsy Sith

Monday, October 31, 2016

Candelaria Design - Giving Back

Happy Halloween to everyone – I think it is eventually going to cool off….we’ll see! Thank you to you all for the wonderful birthday wishes over the last month – I am so blessed by you all.

Well it’s definitely been busy and we are so appreciative of all the amazing projects we are working on and more importantly the fun and creativity we have with our clients.

We are also so proud to be a part of so many opportunities to give back and we are so intensely involved in some wonderful projects that contribute to those in our community – and trust me there are many – who are in need. It is so easy to just write a check or go to a dinner or ball and be done – and all of those contributions are so appreciated and necessary - but to physically participate with sweat and effort when you can’t write the big check is just as rewarding.

I have never been able to write the big check but throughout my life I have found ways to do my best to make a difference – even if it’s a small ripple in the pond….it can transform one life and become a sunami! I have seen this in action for myself. I love seeing this become an integral part of our Candelaria Design culture and the young members of my firm embrace this spirit of giving back.

In fact tonight, my Project Manager, Mathew Grove is attending a grand opening for the Phoenix Teen Challenge http://teenchallengephoenix.com  where we donated our time and energy to create the plans for their new kitchen. Teen Challenge helps members of our community making their way back from drug and alchohol addiction.

Meanwhile, on the same evening, my Associate and fellow Principal, Vivian Ayala and Project Architect, Meredith Thomson, are attending The Bright Night gala at the Phoenix Art Museum supporting the Arts.

Last Monday, I had the honor at the invitation of Jimmy Walker, Founder and CEO of Celebrity Fight Night http://www.celebrityfightnight.org to speak at the Monday morning breakfast  at St. Vincent DePaul https://www.stvincentdepaul.net and 600 homeless people. What a humbling experience and honor that was, to give a speech about Not Giving Up….. an easy topic for me to talk about that is for sure. The magnitude of people who are in need right under our doorstep is eyeopening and it definitely puts things in perspective as we worry about how we are going to squeeze ten more feet into a closet or figure out how to add just two more garages onto a home.....The fact of the matter is it really should not take that much to make us happy and give us what we really need especially when there are so many others who just need the basics. My talk however was not about giving a man a fish but teaching a man to fish which I totally believe - again its easy for those on the fed side to just hand over an extra fish but it takes time, effort and love to tach a man to fish. The focus in this country has been just giving the fish and that needs to change.

Meanwhile, Project Manager, Tim Mathewson, and his team are making great progress working with founder and our amazing client, Charles Keller, on the Colten Cowell Foundation Crime Fighting Cave  https://coltencowellfoundation.org !!! We are getting excited to be breaking ground soon and we will be inviting our entire repetoire of clients and design/construction community to help out! This will be an amazing facility and we have donated all design services for this state of the art Bruce Wayne Manor.

At the same time, our Project Manager, Damon Wake, is diligently designing along with my wife Isabel and her team at Earth and Images http://www.earthandimages.com on donating our design services for the new addition to the Gigi’s Playhouse http://gigisplayhouse.org/phoenix/ we designed a couple years ago in Scottsdale. This will be spectacular and such a fabulous addition to those families dealing with the needs of children with Down’s Syndrome.
Finally, I am now on the Board of Habitat for Humanity and we are working on our Spring Gala where we are hoping to host a wonderful evening at one of our projects to raise money for this fabulous organization! Let me know if anyone is interested in hosting about 200 to 300 guests for this wonderful evening.

Well that’s a complete list of projects to keep any office busy and these are just our “give back” projects and yes they take time, effort, and dedication along with the normal pressure and stress of any project but it’s what you do when you are part of a community and have a talent and service that can serve others.

On a final note, the earthquakes continue in our beloved Italy. Please go to our Community Page http://www.candelariadesign.com/community-involvement/ and make a donation to the Red Cross on behalf of the Italy earthquake victims. At this moment they just need funds for blankets and housing for those whose homes have been destroyed.

I strongly urge all of you to help out – even if it’s a donation of money or time to any of our efforts and causes. Trust me we can find a place for you where you will instantly make a difference but more importantly experience first hand, the joy and grace of making a difference…….Text, email, or call me and we will plug you in to a spot where you can instantly impact our community. Who is in????

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Client Appreciation Party

I want to thank our clients who made it to our Client Appreciation Party on Friday night! What a fantastic evening and it was so great to see so many of you there – especially some of you I had not seen in some time!

We are so blessed to be a part of your lives and create something as personal as your home. What amazing memories and experiences we share and it is so gratifying to know that so many of you live and experience our creation every day….that is what makes what we do so motivating to us as architects.

I want to thank my staff and especially Evelyn Jung who spearheaded the event and put it all together. I hope those of you who came walked away with one of our farewell party favor bags and our invite to my Photography show set for November 17th at 6pm at Isabel’s store and studio, Earth and Images. I will be featuring a series of various photos from my travels during the Scottsdale Art Walk.

So – the rest of this blog is a look back as some of those memories with our clients over the years. In the 17 years of Candelaria Design we have designed over 1000 homes all across the country and we currently have projects in design or under construction from Long Island to the coast of Oregon. We have been blessed to work and design homes for rock stars, athletes, Hollywood stars, politicians, restaurateurs, CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, and just moms and dads and their families.

We have designed 60,000 sf homes down to 650 sf Guest Houses, whole house remodels and something as simple as a courtyard ramada. We love them all but what we love most are the people behind these projects and their unbelievable stories. We have so many fabulous projects on the boards or under construction now and we look forward to the years and projects and most importantly, friendships, ahead. A special thanks to my Mom and Dad who many of you met at the party. I know they had a fantastic time with everyone. Thank you for letting us be a part of your lives and for being a part of ours!