Monday, February 27, 2017

Spring Training Is Here!!

We are into the heart of the winter season! Spring Training is off and running and the streets and restaurants are filled!

Ok don’t forget to get your tickets for my singing of the National Anthem at Scottsdale Giants Stadium at 1pm March 6th I’m looking forward to singing for the third time. The first time I sang in opera style, the second time I went country, and this time I’m going to give it another spin and style! Let me know if you need any tickets  to the Scottsdale Charro Lodge for any of the games!

Last Wednesday I was honored to be part of a panel of design, real estate, and construction experts as we spoke on the means and methods for modernizing old world homes. We had an amazing turn out and some interesting statistics were noted by realtor Thomas O’Leary. The Phoenix/Scottsdale market is really undervalued and the number of homes/properties that are in need of remodeling or freshening up is enormous. As we said in our last blog we love remodel / addition projects and we have some amazing projects going.

Then last Thursday we had our September 2016 Tour Italy Post Trip Dinner at the Candelaria Design~IMI Design~Cullum Homes Village of Mountain Shadows. We had a such a great time reuniting with nearly all of our travelers! Seriously, these trips just get better and better and we are exciting to be adding our first Spain trip this coming June and our 15th Tour Italy this coming September finishing in Venice. We do have room for one couple and/or a single for the Spain trip and we have room for two couples for the September Italy trip!

So we do squeeze in some architecture! Here is a peek of what Candelaria Design has under construction!!!

From traditional to contemporary, from Scottsdale to Montauk, Long Island, we have some very cool new builds and remodels underway! Right here in Scottsdale/Phoenix we have some very interesting projects underway. Probably one of our most unique and extreme projects going is the home we have under construction on the south slope of Camelback Mountain! This home is being built by BedBrock Developers with the interiors by EST EST . This home is truly an engineering feat given the home is sighted on a 73% slope. Because Phoenix will only allow a 20% slope driveay the only way we could get to the pad site was to make half of the road a tunnel in order to get more length and height.  Our Candelaria Design Project Architect, Meredith Thomson, has been leading the way in getting this home out of the ground (rock)! If you drive down Camelback Road and look north you can’t help but see it emerging on the mountain.

We have also moved to Phase 2 of our Ranch compound project near Fountain Hills. Fellow Principal, Vivian Ayala and I have been working away on this project for some time. We have completed the horse arena and the connected barn is nearing completion. Next we connect all of this to the main residence which Schultz Development  broke ground on last week.  The main house will then connect to a guest house, which will connect to an indoor pool, 2 lane bowling alley, indoor pistol range, indoor racquetball court, and indoor gym. Oh, and don’t forget the indoor telescope observatory! Interiors are being done my wife, Isabel, and her crew at Earth and Images

Our Village at Mountain Shadows Project is still moving as we have now seen more than half of the available 40 units sold. The development and construction is being orchestrated by Cullum Homes with interiors by Anita Lange of IMI Design Studio Fellow Principal, Vivian Ayala and I have designed 5 models but nearly every sale has customized the plans to their needs and so this has turned out to be so fun and we have enjoyed meeting all of the new residents. Last night the Cullums threw an amazing party celebrating the new beginnings at Mountain Shadows where the new hotel will be opening soon! The 7C’s – caviar, champagne, couture, cars, cigars and car bars! What a great time and what a wonderful project.

We have broken ground on a beautiful mountain home up in the Flagstaff Area of Pine Canyon. The home is being built by Schultz Development with interiors by Kati McPherson of KAM Interiors This is our second home in Pine Canyon and is being quarterbacked by our Project Director, Rob Banach! This will be a beautiful two story mountain lodge with stellar views of the award winning golf course and the San Francisco Peaks of Flagstaff.

Ok that is definitely just a peek of what we have under construction. That doesn’t even scratch the surface of what we have under construction not to mention what is on the boards! Stay tuned for more in the weeks ahead and I’ll be adding some more recipes soon too! 

Remodeling is HOT!!

Ok so we are nearly halfway through February – wow the time is flying! I don’t know about you but January flew by and February is shorter and will go faster I’m sure.

This morning I am heading to Old Town Scottsdale to ride in the Parada del Sol Parade along with my fellow Scottsdale Charros. Come on down and support us and enjoy the parade and fantastic weather.

Ok don’t forget to get your tickets for my singing of the National Anthem at Scottsdale Giants Stadium at 1pm March 6th

This afternoon we will stop by and celebrate the two year anniversary of Gigi’s Playhouse and the kickoff of Gigi’s Café and University. Candelaria Design is proud to have offered our services to design the Playhouse and now the Café and University.

It is definitely getting busier out there and has been gaining momentum for some time. The Phoenix Business Journal in their November 30th issue noted that according to Realtor.Com Phoenix, and it’s metro area, will be the fastest growing housing market in the country in 2017 and we believe it.

We are seeing so much work in the remodel and home addition market and we are definitely doing our share. In fact this Wednesday I will be on a panel of renowned design, construction, technology and real estate experts set up and sponsored by LUXE Magazine and Russ Lyon-Sotheby’s Realtors Frank Aazami and Thomas O’Leary where we will talk about modernizing Old World/Tuscan/ Southwest Homes.

We love doing these projects although they require a totally different skill set from designing a ground up home. First and foremost is the ability to work with what is there and figure out what how walls are being supported, mechanical systems are being run and then understanding zoning and neighborhood restrictions and codes. Developing a budget for these projects is also a lot more challenging in that many times you can’t just use a cost per square foot rule as you can on a new build. Getting the conceptual design on paper and then getting some initial and early cost estimates can really aid in making decisions before you move forward with engineered drawings and construction documents.

Half of your construction budget is generally composed of the bones or sticks and bricks and the other half are the finishes and goodies of the project. It’s the goodies where most clients blow their budget so it is important to get this initial estimate broken out so you know what comprises your budget. Then use this initial estimate to fine tune your “goodies” budget so you and / or you and your designer can select “goodies” that match your budget.

Of course there are SO many homes that have been built in the 70’s and 80’s here is Phoenix/Scottsdale that simply need to be freshened up. On February 15th from 12:30 to 2:30 PM LUXE magazine will feature an event where I will be on a panel along with Interior Designer, Anita Lange and Architect and fellow ARA member, Dale Gardon whereat we will discuss ways to freshen up Old World Custom Homes. Let’s just say, there are a lot of them out there and it seems the color of choice was “brown”! We have been busy de-browning a lot of houses in the last ten years and many times that is all it takes to give an existing house a simple makeover. Check out this episode of our show SKETCH where that was all we basically did to a home we had designed ten years ago. What a difference!

From the brown trim – casings, crown moulding and baseboards, to the brown doors and brown millwork – lightening these elements up can make all the difference in the world.

Working with our team and a good interior designer and a landscape architect can make all the difference in the world in freshening up a dark Old World, Southwest or Tuscan Style Home. The difference is dramatic. We are happy to come out at no charge and give you a consultation to get your project going! I wonder in ten years if we will be “de-graying” homes????  

2017 Here We GO!

Happy New Year. I’m still having trouble getting used to writing or accepting 2017 but time marches on as we all know.

We are all back from our travels and back to work on some amazing projects. A lot of new work is in the pipeline and many projects are about to break ground and we have a bunch currently under construction! We have a ton of remodel and makeover projects going which we love!!! We see this market only growing in the future and we are very excited to be a part of it.

We are busy adapting and employing new technology to both design, present and experience our designs and we are currently working on a Candelaria Design Dream Home that we will share in the virtual reality world each month as it is designed so that everyone can experience and in essence live in a Candelaria Design home. With no limitations, we expect to have a lot of fun with this and at the same time show our untethered abilities. As the home takes shape our viewers will be able to send comments and ideas so the project will in essence evolve over time.

Our Candelaria Design crew is always involved in community service and giving back and we are currently in full swing for our Gigi’s Playhouse University and Café project and the Colten Foundation Bat Cave. Two projects that we are so proud to be a part of and we encourage all of you in the design and build community and of course our clients and vendors to get involved in.

Last week we announced the kick off for the construction of Gigi’s Playhouse University and Café. Candelaria Design along with Earth and Images donated our services for Phase 1 of the Playhouse a couple years ago and the project has had such success that now we have just completed design on Phase 2 and are in the process of raising money and donations of materials and services for its construction.

Then there is the Colten Foundation Bat Cave!!! This 35,000 square foot cave is getting ready to kick off under the construction expertise of LGE Design Build. We have a number of fun events planned to raise funds including an auctioned off home cooked dinner for 20 at Casa Candelaria where Isabel and I will cook a gourmet meal paired with wine. This will be a blast and all of the proceeds will go to Colten Bat Cave.  I look forward to getting more people involved in this project – email me for more details.

Finally, we have a couple amazing Candelaria Design Tours set for 2017. In June we will embark on our first Candelaria Design Tour Spain and we are happy to say that that trip is SOLD OUT.  We will start the tour in San Sebastian Spain and include a day the San Sebastian Cooking School. From there we will head south to the Rioja/Basque Wine Region and enjoy four days in LaGuardia, Spain. The trip will finish up in the magical city of Barcelona where we will enjoy the work of Gaudi and the cuisine of Catalan. We are now taking reservations for our 2018 Candelaria Design Tour Spain which will in essence be this same trip so make your reservation now to join us in 2018.

In September 2017 we will embark on our 15th Candelaria Design Tour Italy! We do have a couple spots open for this trip if interested. We depart on September 20th where we will fly to Florence, Italy. We will enjoy three days in Florence and then will take our convoy down to our Umbria farmhouse compound where we will enjoy a week in the countryside of Umbria and Tuscany. From there we will drive to Venice, Italy where we will enjoy three days in this magical city. If interested – don’t hesitate to contact us as this trip will fill quickly. We are offering reservations now for our 2018 trip which will finish in Treviso where we will tour a number of Palladio Villas. This tour will depart on September 26th 2018 so get on the list for this spectacular experience.

We are considering adding a Candelaria Design Tour Santa Fe this August. This will be a short 5 day tour featuring the art, cuisine, and spas of Santa Fe, New Mexico which is a very special place for my wife Isabel and I. She was born in nearby Espanola and my ancestors settled the area in the late 1600’s. We are looking forward to sharing this experience to a handful of travelers over an extended weekend. Email me if interested.

Next, I am a board member of the Arizona Chapter of Habitat for Humanity and we have some fantastic events coming up this spring including a big fund raiser we will hold at the Candelaria Design Village at Mountain Shadows  This will be a fun event where I will be cooking for the entire venue with our Mark Candelaria Collection Pasta Maker. By the way you can purchase your machine complete with recipes on our website. You will love it.

Ok so that fills in my free time. Meanwhile, we are busy with our projects and clients with homes on the board on the far east coast of Long Island to projects on the Oregon and California Coasts and projects underway in Kansas City, and a beautiful home on the boards in Cherry Hills, Colorado. That’s just to mention a few – not to mention the wonderful projects we currently have underway right here in Arizona from Scottsdale, to Flagstaff down to Yuma, AZ. All exciting!

We look forward to a great 2017! Thanks for reading and participating on our blog. We will continue to share our designs, travels and of course recipes for Inspiring Living the Candelaria Design way!