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The Scottsdale architectural firm of Candelaria Design Associates is one of the premier luxury residential architecture firms in the country. Enjoy our blog which features our work, our travel, our recipes, wines, tips on design and decorating, and the lives of our clients and employees, etc.....its all the ingredients for the Candelaria Design Lifestyle. Contact Candelaria Design to start your dream residence 602-604-2001!


Happy 4th 2018 & 10 Years of Blogging

 Happy 4th of July from Park City, Utah

Happy 4th of July from Park City, Utah

 Park City 4th Parade

Park City 4th Parade

Happy Fourth of July! Definitely one of, if not my favorite holiday of the year. No gifts, barbecue, parades, fireworks, and everyone is included. What is there not to like about this holiday. 

 

We always try to do something or go somewhere for this holiday. Last year it was the high country of Colorado where we rolled our Highlander and nearly died, the year before that we were in San Diego, and the year before that right here where we are today, Deer Valley and Park City, Utah. Always such fun to chill with the family and since my clients are all doing the same, I find it to be one of the quietest weeks of the year so I always make a point of getting away somewhere. Even though I am technically “on vacation” I did manage to squeeze in six meetings yesterday but enjoyed lunch on Main Street in Park City with the family and then a Los Lonely Boys concert enjoying the mountain sunshine and fresh air. I love it!

 4th of July 2017 - Platoro, CO

4th of July 2017 - Platoro, CO

 4th of July 2017 - We got a little carried away.....

4th of July 2017 - We got a little carried away.....

 Hotel Del Coronado, 2016

Hotel Del Coronado, 2016

 Park City July 4th 2018 - photo by Alette Thompson

Park City July 4th 2018 - photo by Alette Thompson

 Isabel with her cousin Ember Conley and her classic Thunderbird in Park City at the Los Lonely Boys Concert July 2018

Isabel with her cousin Ember Conley and her classic Thunderbird in Park City at the Los Lonely Boys Concert July 2018

 Bella and I on Main Street Park City 2018

Bella and I on Main Street Park City 2018

 Cranking away on a GOTO meeting from my Deer Valley Headquarters - 2018

Cranking away on a GOTO meeting from my Deer Valley Headquarters - 2018

 Fun times with Bella at the Los Lonely Boys Concert, Park City 2018

Fun times with Bella at the Los Lonely Boys Concert, Park City 2018

 Ember Conley, Alette Thompson and Isabel at the Los Lonely Boys Concert - Park City 2018

Ember Conley, Alette Thompson and Isabel at the Los Lonely Boys Concert - Park City 2018

 

This week also marks the 10 year anniversary of this blog! This is my 250thblog! Amazing and we have had 106,285 views of our blog as of this morning! First and foremost, thanks for all the views, posts and comments. Very appreciated for sure!

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 Candelaria Design Modern Farmhouse 2017 Photo By Pearl Blossom Photography

Candelaria Design Modern Farmhouse 2017 Photo By Pearl Blossom Photography

So, it’s not like my blog is some viral blog with millions of viewers or anything, and so why do I do it? I enjoy it – it’s as simple as that. Some guys golf, I blog, write, paint, sketch, travel, and of course cook – oh and once in a while work with my amazing team and design a house or two….actually we have now designed over 2500 homes in my 36 years, so let’s just say, I like to stay busy. My mom and dad will attest to the fact I have always been this way and have been writing and drawing since I could hold a pencil. I was the Sports Editor of my school paper (40threunion in Durango, CO in just three weeks) took drafting as early as I could and have always had a multitude of little projects of some nature always going. Thank God we had a basement where I could build mega cities with my legos and matchbox and hot wheels cars. Then I started drawing cities and those that know me from my high school days will remember those city drawings! So, it is who I am as I like to say.

 Varsity Football Team Durango High School 1978

Varsity Football Team Durango High School 1978

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I am always amazed at how many times someone will ask me a question or for a recipe and I simply send them the link to one of my blogs that has everything they need. I find them fun to look back upon and see what we were doing or what I was cooking or thinking at the time. So, in essence it is kind of a public diary/journal I am more than happy to share.

 MC's seafood boil

MC's seafood boil

 Cooking with my best cooking buddy!

Cooking with my best cooking buddy!

 Wedding Day 2013 Villa d'Este, Lake Como, Italy Photo by Scott Jung

Wedding Day 2013 Villa d'Este, Lake Como, Italy Photo by Scott Jung

I have been through a lot over these past ten years and a lot of it is revealed either directly or indirectly in these blogs. Many ups and amazing moments like getting married to Isabel in 2013 and the tough times of 2008 when I started the blog through the great recession and the struggles we all fought our way through. Of course, there was our experience last year supporting my wife Isabel with her so far successful fight against breast cancer. So many experiences, so many fantastic recipes, trips and travels – it’s all there. It really doesn’t matter to me how many read it or who reads it but I love sharing what me and my amazing team are doing and thinking. It’s our story and we are happy to share it! I hope you continue to read and share your thoughts on my thoughts – I love the exchange of thoughts, feelings and dreams. That’s what it is all about. 

 Isabel's last Chemo treatment, November 2017

Isabel's last Chemo treatment, November 2017

 

So what lies ahead in the next ten years??? 

 

 Jr. Partner-Vice President Vivian Ayala, MC, and soon to be partner and CFO Evelyn Jung

Jr. Partner-Vice President Vivian Ayala, MC, and soon to be partner and CFO Evelyn Jung

Well, I will be 67 years old…. That’s kind of hard to grasp and digest. My company, Candelaria Design will be nearly 30 years old. I currently have one junior partner, my dearest and sweet friend and collaborator for nearly 20 years, Vivian Ayala, and it is my hope to have several more partners in the firm in the next ten years and that is all in the works. WE have built a vibrant, prolific and inspiring organization and I am so excited to see where it all goes in the next ten years. The team coming on are full of energy and vision to carry my passion and dream onward and that so rewarding to me and why I am so proud of what we have created. 

 Candelaria Design Crew March 2018

Candelaria Design Crew March 2018

 Candelaria Design Crew March 2018

Candelaria Design Crew March 2018

 Enjoying a sangria in Spain 2018

Enjoying a sangria in Spain 2018

My hope, God willing, is to continue to be a part of Candelaria Design as the founder, and spend my time on design, more travel, speaking, writing books – several in process now, writing music, painting – several paintings underway now, cook, and of course enjoy more time with my lovely bride, Isabel and my girls and family and dear friends and cook for you all! Oh, how I wish I could cook for you all!!! I will keep trying J.

 Houzz Kitchen of the Year 2017 - Interiors DeCesare Design Group, Builder Schultz Development

Houzz Kitchen of the Year 2017 - Interiors DeCesare Design Group, Builder Schultz Development

 Al fresco dining with the Anderson Window execs at Casa Candelaria, March 2018

Al fresco dining with the Anderson Window execs at Casa Candelaria, March 2018

 MC's lemon and herb rotisserie chicken, baked potato, and caprese salad.

MC's lemon and herb rotisserie chicken, baked potato, and caprese salad.

 Dinner at Casa Candelaria June 2018

Dinner at Casa Candelaria June 2018

 San Sebastian, Spain 2018 Photo by Pearl Blossom Photography

San Sebastian, Spain 2018 Photo by Pearl Blossom Photography

I have to say, I am more excited about these next ten years than any of time behind me, which I wouldn’t change as they have all shaped and molded me into who I am today. The ups and downs, the loves and loves lost, all of the projects and people I have met along the way… it’s all been more than I ever imagined when I graduated from high school and thought about a life as an architect. It has been beyond my wildest dreams and I know the next ten will far surpass then last 57 years especially with all I can see on the Candelaria horizon.  

 Traversing through the Madrid Airport 2018, Photo by Pearl Blossom Photography

Traversing through the Madrid Airport 2018, Photo by Pearl Blossom Photography

So, get ready, this ride is only beginning and these blogs will only get better and better. Ok Blog 250 is done and I am looking forward to the day I write my 20-year anniversary blog! 

 

Have a great fourth of July everyone! Love ya’ all!

 Christmas 2015 Rome, Italy 

Christmas 2015 Rome, Italy 

Spain 2018 - Final Thoughts from this Journey

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There are no guarantees in life. Thank God – that’s what keeps life exciting. We just finished our 16th Candelaria Design Tour, this time Spain, and frankly our best tour ever, and what was so reinforced in me was the belief that there truly are no guarantees. A year ago, the love of my life, Isabel, was diagnosed with breast cancer that later metastasized to her brain. We were on our Spain Tour last year at this same time, and the experience this time from last was so different yet so similar and for different reasons. 

 On our pintxos / tapas tour with Devour Tours in San Sebastian

On our pintxos / tapas tour with Devour Tours in San Sebastian

 The Spain 2018 Travelers in Sevilla

The Spain 2018 Travelers in Sevilla

In both cases, we celebrated life and the fact we are even able to do tours and trips like this. We celebrated the time we have together and the chance to share the experience with our travelers. This trip my travelers understood this and embraced this. We all knew how special the time together was at each and every moment. They got it. I love how we are all still texting on our group texts a whole week later. You become a family on these tours – a real shared experience that no one else has – it is an experience to be cherished and it forms a bond that is hard to describe. That is what I love most about all 16 tours we have now been fortunate to orchestrate and be a part of. 

 The Spain 2018 Travelers at Akelare

The Spain 2018 Travelers at Akelare

 Pintxos in San Sebastian

Pintxos in San Sebastian

Spain was marvelous and magical. From the beaches, tapas and pintxos of San Sebastián, to the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Madrid, and finally the Moorish mystery and delight of Sevilla, we experienced a wide gamut of what Spain is all about yet we know from my six past visits to this country, there is so much more. Frankly, I love Spain and I love it more and more each time I come. The food, the people, the culture, the architecture….it grows on you and it pulls you in like a soft blanket – you pull it over you and you slip into this beautiful dream you never want to leave. 

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 Puerta del Sol - Madrid

Puerta del Sol - Madrid

 Madrid

Madrid

 Isabel in Madrid

Isabel in Madrid

 Alcazar - Sevilla

Alcazar - Sevilla

 Walter Spitz at the Alcazar, Sevilla

Walter Spitz at the Alcazar, Sevilla

 Denise Lewis and Walter Spitz at our Hotel Alfonso XIII, Sevilla

Denise Lewis and Walter Spitz at our Hotel Alfonso XIII, Sevilla

 Tiffany and MC at the MIMO San Sebastian School of Cooking

Tiffany and MC at the MIMO San Sebastian School of Cooking

Travel refills my soul – it refills my creative tank. From architecture to cooking to simply how to live and enjoy every detail of every day. You realize how easy it is to fatigue into your every day experience that you can virtually do on automatic pilot and how many of us do just that. You get up, you see your same house, you get in your same car, you drive the same route to work, you work at the same job with the same people, you come home to your same house and go to bed in your same bed. Yes there is a comfort to all of that and I fully understand there is “no place like home”. But it is so awakening to step off this truly zombie repetitive route of life and wake up each day not knowing what is in store and what awaits you in terms of sights, smells, sounds and tastes. Your senses and mind are truly aroused from their numbed daily existence. 

 The Spain 2018 Travelers in San Sebastian

The Spain 2018 Travelers in San Sebastian

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 Becky and Dave Stockett enjoying some refreshing sangria in Sevilla

Becky and Dave Stockett enjoying some refreshing sangria in Sevilla

So my takeaway as with all trips and journeys is to make sure every day becomes more of an adventure. Anyone that knows me, especially, my wife, Isabel, and my Assistant, Stacey, know I live and breath this way of thinking and living. No two days are every the same.. Every project is different, there are endless new recipes to prepare and meals to share with new and different people, new paintings to work on, new places to share, new ways and moments to spend with the people I love. Travel keeps me cognizant of how life needs to be an awakening experience and not a repetition rewind of one chosen recording that just happens to be safe and comfortable. 

 Bella and Denise enjoying pintos in San Sebastian

Bella and Denise enjoying pintos in San Sebastian

 Stair detail at the Hotel Alfonso XIII, Sevilla

Stair detail at the Hotel Alfonso XIII, Sevilla

 The Spain 2018 ladies in San Sebastian at the Hotel Londres

The Spain 2018 ladies in San Sebastian at the Hotel Londres

Yes, more travels to come, more architecture and details to absorb, more delicious meals to experience and recipes to learn and later share, and most importantly, more ways to simply live and enjoy life and love each moment and each person along what is my unique and adventurous journey. 

 Tiffany and Isabel at the Al;cazar in Sevilla

Tiffany and Isabel at the Al;cazar in Sevilla

 San Sebastian 2018

San Sebastian 2018

Madrid - The Start of My Travels

 My first trip to Spain in 1990 making my first paella with Mama in Luanco!

My first trip to Spain in 1990 making my first paella with Mama in Luanco!

 My friend Laurie in 1978 Durango High School

My friend Laurie in 1978 Durango High School

My first real travel abroad as an adult was in 1990 when I came to Spain at the urging of my lifelong friend, Laurie Clauson, who during high school was an exchange student with a wonderful family from the small northern Spain seaside village, of Luanco, in Asturias Spain. I was 29 years old, had a two year old daughter, and had just gone through a separation and divorce of my first marriage and was searching for my soul and a reconnection of who Mark Candelaria was and is. I found Mark Candelaria’s soul here in Spain.

 

 

 Visiting our friends in Luanco Spain 2017

Visiting our friends in Luanco Spain 2017

 Luanco - Asturias Spain

Luanco - Asturias Spain

 Laurie Clauson, MC and Isabel in Spain 2017

Laurie Clauson, MC and Isabel in Spain 2017

 

One of our visits on that trip was to Madrid and so it is especially powerful and reflective to return here some 28 years later and spend time here and look back at my life and all that has happened. From getting my license as an architect in 1992, to remarrying in 1999, to then starting my own firm that same year, the birth of Bella in 2002 and then Sophia in 2005 and then separating from my second wife in 2010 and divorcing again in 2012 but then marrying the true angel of my life, Isabel, in 2013, -  let’s say life has had its ups and downs. 

 Our wedding day on Lake Como, Italy 2013

Our wedding day on Lake Como, Italy 2013

 Isabel in Madrid 2018

Isabel in Madrid 2018

Here I am now in Madrid in 2018 with my wife, Isabel – who also came here her first time when she was 29 – and my two daughters, on our 16thCandelaria Design Tour and our second Tour in Spain. Funny how the journey of life can take you on a ride. Mine has been tremendous. So as I walk the streets of Madrid on this trip it is not very difficult to pause and think back on all that has happened over the course of the last 28 years – really the second half of my life since that first trip here when I was 29 years old. 

 

Travel will do that to you – especially return trips to places you have not been in years. Now, if I break the 28/29 years into thirds I wonder what the next 29 years will bring. I will be 87 years old…. Isabel will be 76, my daughters will be 59, 45 and 42. Maybe they will wheel me through Madrid and the Mercado de San Miguel for paella and a sidra?

 Bella and Tiffany in Madrid 2018

Bella and Tiffany in Madrid 2018

 MC, Tiffany and Bella at the Prado Museum - Madrid 2018

MC, Tiffany and Bella at the Prado Museum - Madrid 2018

 

I cannot thank my lifelong friend, Laurie Clauson, for the thirst for travel, cooking and life in general she gave me some 28 years ago. It lives on my friend and now I am sharing that with my girls and friends and all those who have been on my 16 tours. Who knows what life holds – all you can do is try to live each day to its fullest which I always try to do. We have five days in Madrid and we will most definitely make the most of it!

 Laurie Clauson and MC in the Basque Country 2017

Laurie Clauson and MC in the Basque Country 2017

 

Madrid is a total contrast to our first stop San Sebastián. San Sebastián is a beautiful sea side town with amazing basque cuisine and architecture. Madrid, with its 6.5 million people, is the third largest city in Europe and is a combination of New York and Washington rolled into one but of course with its Spanish culture and flair. 

 Dining at Sobrino de Botin - the oldest restaurant in the world!

Dining at Sobrino de Botin - the oldest restaurant in the world!

 Madrid Royal Palace and Cathedral de Santa Maria 2018

Madrid Royal Palace and Cathedral de Santa Maria 2018

 Madrid 2018

Madrid 2018

 Madrid 2018

Madrid 2018

 Plaza Mayor, Madrid 2018

Plaza Mayor, Madrid 2018

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Madrid 2018

 Becky and Dave Stockett with Isabel in Madrid 2018

Becky and Dave Stockett with Isabel in Madrid 2018

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This trip we are staying at the Palace Hotel which is spectacular. Elegant and sophisticated its guests have included the likes of Picasso, Einstein, and Hemingway – not bad company. We arrived at the hotel at about midnight and still had time for a fabulous dinner consisting of short ribs and a perfect Manhattan. So let’s see what adventures await us in Madrid!

 At the Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid with my peeps!

At the Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid with my peeps!

 Enjoying a cappuccino at the Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid

Enjoying a cappuccino at the Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid

Welcome to Spain - 2018

 Time to reflect on San Sebastian with a good cigar!

Time to reflect on San Sebastian with a good cigar!

 Plane change in Madrid

Plane change in Madrid

Welcome to Spain and our 16thCandelaria Design Tour – our second in Spain. We have a great group with us this year – nearly all repeat travelers with a few newbies which I love.  

 Arrival in San Sebastian

Arrival in San Sebastian

 The view from our hotel room in San Sebastian

The view from our hotel room in San Sebastian

 

We are on a bus from San Sebastián to Bilbao this morning to tour the Frank Gehry Guggenheim Museum and enjoying the lush and green Northern Spain landscape. Farms with vineyards interspersed and just vivid green everywhere you look. Such a nice contrast from the brown we are so used to in Arizona especially this time of year. 

 The Basque Countryside

The Basque Countryside

 Frank Gehry Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

Frank Gehry Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

 Having some fun with Wally in Bilboa

Having some fun with Wally in Bilboa

Before I begin this blog I would like to just say a few words about one of my idols and influencers in my life, Anthony Bourdain, who sadly took his life on Friday. Ironically, our group was at our cooking class at the Mimo San Sebastián School of Cooking when we received the shocking news.    

 Anthony Bourdain in San Debastian

Anthony Bourdain in San Debastian

 

Bourdain’s shows, Parts Unknown andNo Reservations, were always a joy to watch and the perfect escape when I was busy and could not travel. His shows and his brilliant commentary inspired me many years ago to travel and cook and both are two of my favorite passions for sure. His episode featuring San Sebastián, where we are now, inspired me to put this venue on our tour and it will always be the way I start any tour of Spain. 

 Our Candelaria Design Travelers at the Mimo Sn Sebastian School of Cooking

Our Candelaria Design Travelers at the Mimo Sn Sebastian School of Cooking

 Tiffany Candelaria and Dad

Tiffany Candelaria and Dad

Although I didn’t always agree with every aspect of Bourdain’s political views, I definitely could connect and embrace his love of humanity and how food, cooking, and a good meal shared by a group of people from different cultures had the unique ability to dissolve both geographic and cultural barriers. I love how food and preparing and sharing a meal does this and how we have made sure this aspect is incorporated into everyone of our tours, not only with our travelers but with the people we meet from around the world on our tours. A good example has been our tour this year where we met a lovely couple from Oslo, Norway while having tapas and they expressed a desire to find a cooking class. I mentioned that we had a reservation at the Mimi Cooking School and that we might have room for two more! They said they would love to join us if it was ok and of course we said let’s do it. What fun it’s was to share the 6 hour cooking class and then lunch with our new friends from Oslo and who knows, I can see a Candelaria Design Tour Sweden in the works!

 Lunch at Mimo

Lunch at Mimo

 

Anyway, I got the chills when we heard the news of his loss but at the same time I now feel like I need to carry on his passion, spirit, and soul. I love travel and of course great food. Spain is such an amazing an beautiful land and my ancestors left this country in the 1600’s for the New World so my DNA feels at home here. We are now on Day 5 and today is our last full day in the Basque County. San Sebastián has been fantastic – as always. Beautiful architecture, food, wine and wonderful people. My ravelers are loving it from tapas and pintxos on the street, dinner at the Michelin three star restaurant, Akelare,  cooking the next morning at the Mimo School of Cooking, to something as simple as just enjoying a sidra – a fantastic fizzy apple cider with a nice kick – some flavorful cheese, and olives on the Plaza de la  Constitucion and just watching life go by!  Mr. Bourdain would be proud of our journey and his spirit and inspiration will always be a part of my soul.

 Out on the town in San Sebastian

Out on the town in San Sebastian

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 Tiffany and Bill Stankovic cooking away at Mimo.

Tiffany and Bill Stankovic cooking away at Mimo.

 Anchovies in oil and garlic

Anchovies in oil and garlic

 Walter Spitz at Mimo School of Cooking

Walter Spitz at Mimo School of Cooking

 Plaza de la Constitucion

Plaza de la Constitucion

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 Beautiful view of San Sebastian

Beautiful view of San Sebastian

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Spain - Here we Come!

 The Phoenix Crew ready for departure - Dave and Becky Stockett, Walter Spitz, Denise Lewis, Isabel, MC and Bella! Tiffany is meeting us in Miami and the Stankovic's are already in Spain!

The Phoenix Crew ready for departure - Dave and Becky Stockett, Walter Spitz, Denise Lewis, Isabel, MC and Bella! Tiffany is meeting us in Miami and the Stankovic's are already in Spain!

This Tuesday we embark on our 16thCandelaria Design Tour and our 2ndCandelaria Design Tour Spain! Isabel and I are excited to be going on this trip as it was about this time last year, in fact just before our Tour Spain last year, that we found out about her breast cancer diagnosis. Our thought then was, let’s go on the Tour and enjoy ourselves as who knows what lies ahead. And boy was that true – we are so glad we did the tour and now a year later here we are going back to Spain for our second tour this time knowing Isabel is cancer free. 

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Not only did she get through breast cancer, but just as she was finishing her radiation treatments for that she was diagnosed with brain cancer. On mega radiation zap to the head and we just found out last week that at least for now there is no trace of cancer in her body – AMEN. Thanks to all of your energy, prayers, meals brought to the home, etc., etc. etc. WOW how blessed we are to have such wonderful friends and family such as all of you. Amazing and so powerful.

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So you can only imagine how excited we are to be going back to Spain this year and we have an all repeat group of travelers on this Tour so all seasoned veterans and just the best group I could assemble including my two oldest daughters, Tiffany, who is visiting Spain for the first time and will be flying from Denver and meeting us in Miami and Isabella who will be on her second trip to Spain and flying with Isabel and I.  This trip is going to be off the charts!

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We start with a 1:30 departure from Phoenix today and we will switch planes in Miami this evening. Then its off to Madrid where we arrive around noon local time tomorrow and then switch planes again and we are off to our first venue, San Sebastián where we arrive around 5pm local time – 8 am Arizona time so nearly 22 hours later….. Small price to pay for where we are going to spend two weeks!

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After checking into the hotel we will freshen up and then its off for Tapas – Pintxos as they call them in the Basque language. I cannot wait for that very moment! 

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We have five days in San Sebastián where we will enjoy a Michelin three star preset dinner and wine pairing at Akelare on Thursday, cooking at the San Sebastián School of Cooking, a day trip to Bilbao and the Frank Gehry Guggenheim Museum, amongst other sites and adventures. 

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From San Sebastián we will return to Madrid by train where we will spend the next five days with our home being the Grand Palace Hotel in the heart of Madrid. So many amazing sites and places to dine in Madrid and during our five days we will take a quick train trip for a day trip to Toledo, followed by another day trip to Segovia. 

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 The Royal Palace Madrid

The Royal Palace Madrid

 Segovia

Segovia

 Segovia

Segovia

 Toledo

Toledo

 Toledo

Toledo

 Seville

Seville

Finally, we will finish our last five days in Seville and our home the Hotel Alfonso right in the heart of Seville. We will visit the Alcazar, the amazing cathedral – third largest in the world and of course enjoy paella and flamenco. This will be my first time to Seville and Isabel’s second so she will take over as the tour guide. 

 Seville

Seville

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So this will be my 6thtrip to Spain and my 25thoverall trip to Europe – its hard to believe I have been there now that many times yet I am as excited as anyone….maybe because I know how amazing the experience truly is. I’m probably most excited about watching my travelers and their first experience here – that is always the best part of the trip for me! 

London for Two!

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I hope you got a chance to enjoy the Royal Wedding this weekend! Isabel had a few of her girlfriends over and I worked some magic in the kitchen and we enjoyed watching the Royal Wedding replay! It was especially enjoyable having just returned from a long weekend jaunt with Isabel. Romance was definitely in the air and London was the perfect spot for just the two of us for a little romance of our own. 

First, we would be remiss without thanking one of our clients, who will remain nameless, for sending us the first class round trip tickets as a gracious gift for Isabel’s fight. Thank you!!!! You know who you are and all we can say is – Amazing!

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We left Phoenix on Thursday afternoon and arrived in London on Friday around noon. A short drive from Heathrow into the center of London just a few short blocks from Buckingham Palace and the quaint and so British, Duke’s Hotel, https://www.dukeshotel.com.  I have stayed here before at the recommendation of another amazing client and this place never disappoints. The hotel is small, quaint, but so elegant and the service and friendliness of the staff all add to the pleasant experience. 

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We checked in and went right to the hotel restaurant for afternoon tea for Isabel and for me a cold cider beer with fish and chips – how else do you start a trip in London?! Although tired from flying, as usual, the adrenaline kicks in and we were off for our first walk of the trip.

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A quick walk through Piccadilly Circus https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piccadilly_Circus, then a few blocks to Trafalgar Square https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/our-building-and-squares/trafalgar-square. They were both packed with people as it was a Friday afternoon and the weather was beautiful! 

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From the north side of the Thames, we made our way down Whitehall to Parliament Street passing 10 Downing Street, by Big Ben which is under renovation and scaffolded so barely visible, across the Westminster Bridge to the south side of the Thames and the London Eye and the Southbank river walk. 

We found a nice spot to enjoy happy hour with the locals and just chill and enjoy the wonderful weather – we were in London – just the two of us with three full days ahead and no itinerary! 

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We made our way back across the Thames on the Golden Jubilee Bridge with a little shopping along the way, a walk down the Mall along the St. James Park and back to our hotel – we were done for the day. We racked up several thousand miles in the air and a nice 13,000 step walk to finish our first day. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Saturday morning started with us both waking up at 4am and so by 6am we were off on our early morning walk! Anyone who has traveled with me on our tours know I love to do that early morning walk and get out with the streets empty and the city just to ourselves. London was no exception – quiet, peaceful, and completely empty! 

We strolled through an empty Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square which just hours before were teaming with people! What a different experience. From there we made it back across the Thames to the southbank river walk and made our way east all the way to the Borough Market which sits just under the shadow of the Shard!

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I love these open air markets and the Borough Market did not disappoint. Fabulous diversity in the various vendors and a very friendly atmosphere. From breads, flowers, vegetables, meats, fish, to paella being made on the spot the array of sights and aromas were sensational and not a bad way to start the day. It was only 8 am and our day was already off to a great start. 

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From the Borough Market we hopped on the London Underground and took it clear across London to Marble arch at the far northeast corner of Hyde Park. We then walked along Hyde Park and the Kensington Gardens to Notting Hill and Portobello Road for a little breakfast and some shopping. Portobello Road was quite lively and the quiet of the day we had started with was now long gone and this place was packed with locals and tourists from all around the world! From engaging with the vendors to watching a lady who went out of control get arrested there was plenty to keep the mind moving. 

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We then hoped a double decker to the Ladbroke Underground and rode that back to Green Park Underground at the far northeast corner of Green Park – a short walk through the park and back to the Duke Hotel. 

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We freshened up, took a power nap and when we awoke the rain had moved in. So, we grabbed the rain jackets and headed out for a nice evening stroll through Piccadilly and Trafalgar and the surrounding shopping areas. What amazing shopping and as a guy all I can say, London has the best men’s clothing stores I have ever seen! 

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With all the walking, we had worked up an appetite and we found a fun little Pinxos bar that had really tight quarters but fantastic tapas. Not a bad appetizer to start the evening, but then it was back out for a little more shopping in the Carnaby district and then we made our way back to out hotel with a nice stop for dinner at Ciccheti on Piccadilly – it was fantastic – nothing over the top, but very good Italian food in a very nice and friendly atmosphere. Some oysters on the half shell followed by a grilled duck salad accompanied by a refreshing stem of prosecco and our Saturday night was set. http://www.sancarlocicchetti.co.uk/ Definitely a wonderful Saturday and the rain didn’t slow us down. We racked up 26,482 steps and 11.27 miles. Not bad!

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Sunday morning and our second full day in London and we started with tea brought up to our room while we both got a little work done. Then it was off for another morning walk. We stopped for a quick breakfast at Duck and Waffle  https://duckandwafflelocal.com/for a duck eggs benedict. Amazing!!! Powered this time to Trafalgar Square and as we arrived the church bells were ringing at Saint Martin in the Fields Church so we thought we would go check it out. Well our timing was perfect and they were just beginning the morning service so we stayed for the entire service and enjoyed the amazing choral performances and the intense music from the pipe organ. Great way to reflect, give thanks for all of our blessings and the fact we were sharing this amazing weekend together!

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With the service ended it was just a walk across the street to the National Gallery which is free and open to the public and contains endless art treasures from Leonardo to Van Gogh to Picasso https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk. Fantastic and between the morning service and enjoying the art our Sunday was off to a great start. 

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From there we were ready to do some walking. We walked eastward to the Covent Gardens and enjoyed the live music and a little shopping. The down Fleet Street – I remembered to check it out Fred Fleet – and made our way to St. Paul’s Cathedral which is simply glorious and always worth a stop. This part of London is so interesting as you can experience the old architecture right next to the extreme modern and celebrate and appreciate the contrast. London has pulled this off magnificently and it is one of the reasons I enjoy this city probably more than any city in the world. 

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As we kept walking eastward we made it the Tower of London for a quick lunch and quick walk by, across the London Bridge and back to the Borough Market and the Shard. A quick stop into the  Southwark Cathedral and then we walked westward along the southbank of the Thames and grabbed another bite, beverage and a rest. We made our way back across the Thames and down the Mall along St. James Park which was now closed off in preparation for the upcoming events for the Royal Wedding. At the terminus of our walk was the regal Buckingham Palace where we took in a few moments made our way across the east side of Green Park and back to our hotel. 

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We freshened up and went down to the Duke’s Bar for cocktails and by now it was getting close to 9:30 pm and we needed to find a spot for a quick yet romantic dinner and we found the perfect spot not far from our hotel at the 45 Jermyn St. Restaurant https://www.45jermynst.com/. It appeared they were closing when we arrived but we convinced them to serve one more party and so Isabel and I, with the exception of a few stragglers, pretty much had the restaurant to ourselves. Such a great way to finish another amazing day in London. We outdid Saturday by racking up 27,428 steps and 11.37 miles. 

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Our last full day in London we slept in and enjoyed our last dull day off. It was Monday and one more day to explore what we could of London. Today we headed to the King’s Road shopping and design district to do a little shopping and research of some of the stunning showrooms. A nice lunch, some more shopping, and we walked back along Buckingham Palace and back to the Dukes Hotel for our final evening. 

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I love the Duke’s Bar, thanks to the fine recommendation of client and friend, Bill Franke, who they all know well, this venue is as British as it gets. The head bartender at the Duke’s Bar Alessandro Palazzi, is world renown and treats you with utmost dignity making you feel like maybe you are a royal! https://sacredspiritscompany.com/index.php?route=blog/post&post_id=6What I love about a venue such as this, you never know who you will meet and tonight’s visit was no exception. From a lovely couple sitting across from us from Charleston, South Carolina who knew our clients the Speakermans to another group right behind us who was the brother of local Arizona developer and acquaintance, Rick Andreen, …. Needless to say, it’s a small world out there. 

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A quick stroll to Franco’s for one more cocktail and some wonderful Italian food and our trip had come to a close. We definitely dialed it back on our last day and only got in 16,658 steps and 7.15 miles. 


For the trip we racked up 83,694 steps for a whopping 35.45 miles. Not bad for four days! 

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What a great trip and in the course of enjoying and exploring this fabulous city we determined to make London the destination for our 2019 Candelaria Design Tour next June. This will take Spain’s spot next year and we will still have our Candelaria Design Tour Italy in September. We will take between 12-18 travelers for a two-week tour featuring 7 days in London and 7 days in the England countryside where we will book a manor house complete with cooking classes. We will be putting together an amazing trip and you will want to get your spot quickly. Email me at mark@candelariadesign.com for details. 

Ok stay tuned for the Candelaria Design 2018 Tour Spain as we depart in just 10 days on June 5thfor a two week tour featuring San Sebastian’, Madrid, Segovia, Toledo and Seville. 

Have a nice Memorial Day weekend everyone!

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Spring Renewal and 2018 LUXE Red Awards

 Spring in NYC

Spring in NYC

Spring is a time for renewal, rebirth, and a new start – another chance to write the script for another year. 

Nothing can depict the feeling and spirit of Spring more than the way I feel this morning. Yesterday, my wife, Isabel had her first comprehensive scans following her five months of chemo, and then surgery in December, only followed by another 33 radiation treatments only to find out she was then diagnosed with brain cancer which was addressed with one mega zap after all of the radiation for her breast cancer was completed. That all concluded in mid-March and yesterday she was finally ready for her whole-body scans to see the results of this challenging ordeal for her and all of us. 

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She went in yesterday morning and we expected we would hear the results perhaps this coming week but we were happy to receive a call yesterday afternoon that all of her results came back CLEAR – NO CANCER! As you can imagine, we are thrilled and so relieved to get this news. She will go back in three months for another round of scans to continuously monitor her condition but for now she can start anew! It’s spring here at Casa Candelaria and another chance to enjoy this day to its fullest and any days God so chooses to give any of us! 

As the saying goes, “none of us get out of here alive”, and the day will come when we will all get the news – if we are lucky to get advanced warning – that our days are coming to an end. The play is over, the game is done, the lights are dimming to darkness. Hence, it’s always important to  remember that EVERY day, EVERY hour, minute and second are precious and a time to give gratitude, create beauty, and spread love even if just in the smallest ways. 

 Checking in to the Homestead Inn, Greenwich, CT

Checking in to the Homestead Inn, Greenwich, CT

And so, life continues and Isabel and I just returned from a marvelous trip to Greenwich, CT and New York City both for a little rest and rejuvenation before her tests.

 The Homestead Inn, Greenwich, CT

The Homestead Inn, Greenwich, CT

What a great trip and there is not a better way to start this jaunt than a trip to Thomas Henkelmann’s Homestead Inn in the heart of Greenwich, CT. With an hour plus drive from JFK Airport you transition from the hustle and bustle of the energy of NYC to the tranquil and calm of the New England countryside and the beautiful homes and estates along the way. We quickly checked in and grabbed our walking shoes and cameras and we were off on a nice two mile walk enjoying the homes along the way while the sun set over our arrival day. A fabulous romantic dinner for two at L’Escale and it was time to check in. 

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The next morning we met with our good friend, Sara Doto, who we are collaborating with on an amazing project, and she took us on a nice tour featuring first the showroom and workroom of textile and fabric artisan extraordinaire, Elizabeth Eakins http://www.elizabetheakins.com! What an amazing place and what an interesting, gracious, and just plain out fun lady. Of course Isabel and Sara were in textile heaven and I just sat and enjoyed and of course learned. Squeezing in a conference call with our team back in Arizona and our joint venture lead architects in Ibiza, Spain just to keep things moving while the ladies poured through bolts of delicious fabrics. 

 

 The workroom at Elizabeth Eakins

The workroom at Elizabeth Eakins

From there it was off to another one of my favorites and another marvelous collaborator, Christopher Peacock, and his spectacular showroom Peacock Home http://peacockhome.com/homein the heart of Greenwich. I have been blessed to work with Christopher Peacock on a wonderful Nance Construction and David Michael Miller home in Arcadia back in the early 2000’s and now again we are on stage with a spectacular home we have under construction with Schultz Development in Paradise Valley. Christopher gave us a wonderful tour of his showroom along with lunch and then Isabel and I went back to the hotel for a nice siesta and catch up on emails and calls for the day. 

 Sara Doto and Isabel at Christopher Peacock Cabinetry, Greenwich, CT

Sara Doto and Isabel at Christopher Peacock Cabinetry, Greenwich, CT

 Christopher Peacock in his showroom in Greenwich, CT

Christopher Peacock in his showroom in Greenwich, CT

 Mark, Isabel and Christopher Peacock

Mark, Isabel and Christopher Peacock

 Isabel enjoying the Christopher Peacock ladies closet line. 

Isabel enjoying the Christopher Peacock ladies closet line. 

 MC with our fabulous bartender and chef and hotelier Thomas Henkelmann of the Homestead Inn

MC with our fabulous bartender and chef and hotelier Thomas Henkelmann of the Homestead Inn

That evening we gathered the troops for cocktails and amazing dinner specially prepared by Thomas Henkelmann himself. Off the charts in terms of the service and cuisine. Definitely one of the best meals I have enjoyed and I have enjoyed some memorable meals over the years. I enjoyed the roasted duck which was spectacular. What I enjoyed most of all was the company around the table. Christopher Peacock and his wife Jayne shared their stories of how they came from London and how he established his business over the years both through the tough times and the good times. Then we met a new builder from the area, Brian Hyla, of APEX Projects http://www.apexpps.com, who builds amazing homes in the Greater NY and CT area and beyond, and of course our dear friend Sara Doto, my lovely wife, Isabel and Susan Fletchner who we are working with in connection with Paris Ceramics http://parisceramics.com. The stories were engaging and the food and wine enhanced the experience and with dinner completed we made it out to the front porch for port and cigars – a fabulous end to a most memorable day. 

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 Bryan Hyla, Christopher Peacock and MC getting ready to enjoy a little port and a nice cigar. 

Bryan Hyla, Christopher Peacock and MC getting ready to enjoy a little port and a nice cigar. 

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The next morning, we slept in until 7 am (eastern timeJ) and got some work done, enjoyed our tea and a light breakfast before we packed up and heading into the City! Of course, it was a rainy day and so the view of the City was somewhat obscured. Nonetheless, you can always feel the energy of the City the closer you get to its core. This time we stayed at the Mondrian Hotel on Park Avenue, checked in, grabbed a cab and made our way to the Freedom Tower and a quick visit of the 911 Memorial. The 911 Memorial is always so moving and the weather on this day just sort of enhanced the experience with the wafting fog drifting through and around the skyscrapers that vanished into the mist. 

 Is and I on our way into NYC

Is and I on our way into NYC

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From the somberness of the memorial we made our way to the Tower, through security which, by the way is quite intense, and then up the elevator to the 26thfloor and the offices of Architectural Digest. We had a fantastic meeting with Associate Market Director, Maddie O’Malley, as we discussed one of our projects that is currently under construction and will be simply magnificent. After reviewing the project progress photos and plans and the story behind the project, she kindly gave us a tour of the offices and introduced us to several of the AD team. What an experience and I am sure this is just the start of this story. 

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 MC, Is and Associate Market Director, Maddie O'Malley at Architectural Digest

MC, Is and Associate Market Director, Maddie O'Malley at Architectural Digest

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Now we just had enough time to make a quick trip to one of our favorites, Joe and Lidia Bastianich http://lidiasitaly.comand Mario Batali’s Eataly https://www.eataly.com! We love this place and one of our dreams is to bring one to Phoenix or recreate one! Isabel and I had the wonderful experience of having dinner with Lidia at Avanti’s  http://avanti-phoenix.comin Phoenix a couple years ago and needless to say, we are huge fans of Lidia and Eataly. Be sure to pick up a copy of her new book which is outstanding! https://www.amazon.com/My-American-Dream-Life-Family/dp/1524731617/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524973379&sr=8-1&keywords=lidia+bastianich+my+american+dreamNothing like a little grilled polpo for lunch with a nice sangiovese for a quick snack.  

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 Lidia Bastianich and Isabel at Avanit's 

Lidia Bastianich and Isabel at Avanit's 

 Eataly, Freedom Tower

Eataly, Freedom Tower

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 Neuehouse

Neuehouse

A quick trip back to the hotel and a spruce up and we were off to the shared office space of Neuehouse on 25thStreet http://neuehouse.com/location/new-york/for the LUXE Magazine RED Awards – red standing for Residential Excellence in Design. This was the purpose of our trip and of course all the other activities and experiences emerged from setting up this trip – I love how that happens all the time for us! 

 MC with Erik Peterson at the LUXE Red Awards in NYC

MC with Erik Peterson at the LUXE Red Awards in NYC

What a wonderful event and so fun to see such a great turnout for Arizona including, Interior Designer, David Michael Miller http://davidmichaelmiller.com, Architect, Erik Peterson of PHX Architects https://phxarch.com, Michele Shelor and Alison Colwell, landscape architects of Colwell Shelor, http://colwellshelor.com, and Dana Lyon of The Refined Group http://www.therefinedgroup.comwho were all in attendance. A special call out also to Claire Ownby and John Schultz who also received an award  http://www.ownbydesign.com, and http://www.schultzdevelopment.org.

 Isabel and I were so proud to be awarded the first LUXE Magazine RED Award for best regional renovation project for a beautiful makeover in Paradise Valley http://luxeredawards.com/2018winners/#.WuU5MC-ZOfc. It’s quite an experience to be on the same stage with the likes of Robert A. M. Stern! Our teams of Candelaria Design and Earth and Images http://www.earthandimages.comcollaborated on this project and what a makeover it was. The Candelaria Team was headed by Project Manager and Team Director, Damon Wake, and the Earth and Images team was headed by designer, Nikka Bochniak and purchaser Angelina Ponce. Together our teamwork along with builder, True Performance, took what was a home ready for new life to a whole new level. We lightened it up but kept the punches of color and we opened it up. It is truly a project we are all proud of and nothing makes me happier than the timing of this award for both of us on a project and clients we both love so much! In fact our clients have graciously offered to host a celebration dinner for all of the Arizona LUXE Red Award winners in their home in May! 

 Project Manager, Damon Wake, Isabel and MC at our award winning project!

Project Manager, Damon Wake, Isabel and MC at our award winning project!

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Isabel and MC receiving the 2018 LUXE Magazine RED Award

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Of course, we had to go out and celebrate, and one Mario Batali venue in a day was not enough so off to another of our must stops each trip to NYC is Babbo’s in Greenwich Village http://www.babbonyc.comnot to be confused with the Babbo’s here in Phoenix…. Definitely one of our favorites and how fun to bump into co-owner Joe Bastianich as we walked in the door https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2012/04/joe-bastianich-restaurant-man-book-excerpt-mario-batali-stoned-babbo. We always love to dine at the bar as you never know who you might be sitting next to on any given evening. Tonight’s dinner was fantastic as always, great service and spectacular cuisine. Linguine with clams for me and a savory arugula and shaved parmigiano reggiano salad with a fabulous glass of wine from Umbria. Heaven. 

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It is amazing how this trip, just days before Isabel’s scans, added such positive light and energy mostly from the wonderful people we spent time with and the new people we met during this journey. I love how positive energy works if you just embrace it and at the same time keep sending it out to the universe. 

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Ok and so it is back to the boards, I have plenty to get done before Isabel and I head to London in two weeks to celebrate her diagnosis and enjoy five days together.  Stay tuned for that trip as it will be amazing and we are both so excited to enjoy spring in London. Send me your tips and restaurant recommendations!

 London here come the Candelarias!

London here come the Candelarias!

April 2018 Travels - Let's Go!

 Enjoying a quick rest while keeping up with Isabel at Market in Highpoint

Enjoying a quick rest while keeping up with Isabel at Market in Highpoint

The summer travel season is nearly here. I’m already hearing my clients and friends talking about heading to NY or Maine or of course California for the summer so it is definitely on everyone’s radar. 

Isabel and I have already started our travel season as we just returned from one of our favorite spots, Highpoint, NC where we spent four days traversing the April Furniture Market. Of course as soon as we land in Charlotte we head to one of our favorites, the Midwood Smokehouse.  This place is always on our itinerary and it never disappoints and is always a great welcome to the Carolinas.  

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From Charlotte it’s about a 90 minute drive to the Greensboro/Highpoint area where we checked into the Grandover Resort which would serve as our home base while in shopping heaven. On this shopping extravaganza Isabel brought one of her junior designers, Nikka Bochniak, to experience her first Market. Of course there is no way to describe this experience.

 Nikka Bochniak, Isabel and MC ready to hit the Market

Nikka Bochniak, Isabel and MC ready to hit the Market

Highpoint, NC is the capital of the US furniture market. For two weeks a year, April and October, this small, sleepy, town awakens with merchandisers and designers from not only across the country, but across the world. Everything from antiques to contemporary furniture and accessory products are displayed and marketed to the roving designers and merchandisers looking for the products for their clients’ homes and their showrooms and retail outlets. 

 Nikka and Isabel hitting the Market!

Nikka and Isabel hitting the Market!

As an architect, I find it fascinating to see the trends in styles, colors, and textures change from year to year and I find it a great foreteller of how styles and tastes are changing and where they are going. 

 Always fun to run into Rodger and Jamilynn Fournier at Market

Always fun to run into Rodger and Jamilynn Fournier at Market

 

Of course, it’s not hard to run into friends and associates along the way. This trip we once again bumped into Interior Designers extraordinaires Suzanne Kasler and Alexa Hampton at Hickory Chair https://www.alexahampton.com http://suzannekasler.comhttp://www.hickorychair.com. Two giants in the industry, they always make time to say hello. 

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Our friends from The Design Network, who host our show, SKETCH, https://www.thedesignnetwork.com/series/sketch/are based right there in Highpoint, and the founder of The Design Network and executive Vice President of Furnitureland South, http://www.furniturelandsouth.comJason Harris, always goes out of his way not only to make arrangements by reserving our rooms at the Grandover, but makes time for dinner with us – this time with fellow Design Network star, Mia Malcolm  https://www.thedesignnetwork.com/series/upcycled/and Design Network producer and creative editor, Sarah Weidman, from Los Angeles. 

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 The Design Network Founder, Jason Harris, MC and Surya President, Satya Tiwari

The Design Network Founder, Jason Harris, MC and Surya President, Satya Tiwari

 E-Design seminar hosted by Surya and The Design Network

E-Design seminar hosted by Surya and The Design Network

I also attended a very interesting seminar hosted by The Design Network and President Satya Tiwari at their fabulous Surya showroom http://www.surya.comdiscussing EDesign which is basically a new trend where designers are available on line to “virtually” design your interior. You upload your design project, need or problem, and a designer takes the project on and provides all of their services electronically over the internet. I definitely see this as a trend a d great way to bring good design to the masses. We in fact have a project in Amarillo, Texas where I have yet to meet the client but have now completely remodeled their Kitchen and now are working on the Master Bath. They found us through a referral of another client who found us through our social media. They sent us their photos, videos and room dimensions and from there we went to work and through GOTO Meetings we put the entire design together. So yes this does work and I think it’s a great way to reach a much broader market. Check out our Befores and Afters on our website at  http://www.candelariadesign.com/before-after

 Top - Kitchen After, Bottom - Kitchen Before

Top - Kitchen After, Bottom - Kitchen Before

 

All in all, a great trip and so fun to go with Isabel and see her in her element. She was hard to keep up with! What’s interesting is how with social media, pinterest, houzz, etc. it is becoming very difficult to actually spot or react to a trend because as opposed to say ten years ago a trend would emerge and stick around long enough that a manufacturer could react to the trend with new products – now I am not sure how a manufacture reacts to a trend that in just a few hours can change. Nonetheless, the Restoration Hardware grey is still prevalent but definitely a lot of chatter about how everyone is getting burnt out on it. Color seems to be making a comeback for sure – and brilliant colors for sure. 

 Candelaria Design and Schultz Team in the studios of Christopher Peacock

Candelaria Design and Schultz Team in the studios of Christopher Peacock

 

We returned on Thursday and tomorrow we are off to NYC and Greenwich, CT to meet with a client and master cabinet/millwork maker Christopher Peacock http://peacockhome.com/home, and then we have some fun surprises to announce while in the City so stay tuned!

 

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A few nice features of our Candelaria Design homes to announce, first a big thanks goes out to editor Michael Hiatt and Modern Luxury Scottsdalefor the feature of our Mummy Mountain Contemporary and then another feature in Luxury Interiors Scottsdalefor another contemporary home in Paradise Valley. Both homes were masterfully built by Schultz Development http://www.schultzdevelopment.orgwith the mountain contemporary interiors by Holly Ogden of Wiseman Gale https://wisemanandgale.com, and the Paradise Valley contemporary interiors by Claire Ownby http://www.ownbydesign.com. This project also received and ASID award for Claire Ownby and the team in 2017 for the best design for a home over 6500 sf.  So YES we do CONTEMPORARY and its nice to see our work now dominating the publications. 

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A special call out to editor and writer, Patricia Hart McMilllan, and her new book Christmas By Design: Private Homes Decorated by Leading Designers. We are proud to have three spectacular homes featured in this first edition now available on Amazon.com. More to come on this!

https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Design-Private-Decorated-Designers/dp/0764356542/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524402818&sr=8-1&keywords=christmas+by+design%3A+private+home+by+designer

  ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!

ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!

Finally, last weekend our Candelaria Design Team headed by Project Manager and Team Director, Damon Wake and the team from Earth and Images of Nikka Bochniak, Kim Schroeder, and Angelina Ponce, attended the Gigi’s Playhouse, University and Café Gala hosted by actor from Extra and Saved by the Bell, Mario Lopez. We are proud to have had our two teams design all three facilities and we auctioned off one of our paella dinners for the evening. Definitely a successful night and kudos to our client and founder, Jennifer Gage! 

 Damon Wake, Angeline Ponce, Nikka Bochniak, MC and Kim Schroeder at the Gigi's Gala

Damon Wake, Angeline Ponce, Nikka Bochniak, MC and Kim Schroeder at the Gigi's Gala

 The Gage Family with Mario Lopez at the Gigi's Gala

The Gage Family with Mario Lopez at the Gigi's Gala

 

Ok back to the boards, I have plenty to get done before Isabel and I head to NYC tomorrow. 

 Designing away on a Helicopter Hangar and Barn with lighting designer ad dear friend, Walter Spitz of Creative Designs in Lighting

Designing away on a Helicopter Hangar and Barn with lighting designer ad dear friend, Walter Spitz of Creative Designs in Lighting

 

Keep on the lookout for more quick episodes of what’s happening behind the scenes of Candelaria Design with our SKETCH Daily episodes. Tune in and subscribe on our Candelaria Design YouTube Channel for updated episodes https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbgBYVic9aP2PWdKS8duS6A?view_as=subscriber. You never know when one of your projects will be featured as we cover a lot of ground every day and every week!

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Inspiring Living ~ The Candelaria Way!

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Good morning from snowy Utah, as I’m up here with the family getting a little skiing in here in Park City while visiting and staying with Isabel’s cousin in the quaint Guest House cabin! Great day of skiing yesterday at the Canyon’s Resort and today it’s windy and about to begin snowing. The girls came with us as we are celebrating my daughter, Bella’s 16th birthday and tonight we will make a celebratory paella! The girls are still sleeping and Isabel and I are listening to George Winston and watching the storm blow in. Nice to have a day to chill!

 On the slopes in Park City

On the slopes in Park City

 

The time is flying as everyone is very busy that is for sure. Skiing solo yesterday gave me some time to reflect and look back as I have lots of great memories of past ski trips with good friends and how the time has moved on. The lift ticket tag was still on my jacket from the last trip with a good friend who complained while skiing that his back was bothering him. Well we have all experienced that, especially after a day of skiing. Sadly, upon return he visited the doctor whereupon they discovered a tumor the size of a grapefruit – he lived just three months more and was gone. 54 years old.

 The boys in Park City January 23, 2011

The boys in Park City January 23, 2011

 

Then just this last week I heard the news of another friend, Paul Einan, who many of you know in our industry, recently passed away suffering from a fatal heart attack. My last time with Paul was at a cigar and bourbon mixer we had at John Schultz’s home we designed.

 Paul Einan May 2017 with MC

Paul Einan May 2017 with MC

 

We all know this but sadly we forget that each day, each experience, each encounter with everyone you meet on any given day, may be the last encounter and the last experience. We all get so preoccupied with our lives and our problems that we forget to simply be in the moment and enjoy that moment – take it in, connect, and appreciate it as if it is the last moment. Fortunately, my last two moments and times with these two friends were special and will always be cherished.

 

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Skiing yesterday and getting the girls all set for ski school – although a real adventure – was and is now a wonderful memory. The girls will never by 12 and soon 16 and who knows maybe that was my last time to ski. No one knows….. I enjoyed every minute of it, from watching the girls head out on the gondola with all the anxiety and enthusiasm of their first time on skis, to my first run of the day to my last run. Having a cold beer on the lodge roof deck and watching the girls from afar as they struggled with their pizza wedge form on the slopes, to grabbing hot cocoa at the end of the day and watch them drift off to sleep from exhaustion!

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During the course of the day, I heard so many parents, and couples and kids, complain, fight, and say some pretty nasty things to each other….I wonder how this same day and those particular moments would have played out had they all known this might be the last day. Having been close to death a couple times I have learned and have tried to keep this in mind – that today might be it. Someday it most definitely will be for all of us. Why take that chance? I love our company tagline “Inspiring Living” because that is what we are passionate about with everything we do from the design of our homes, to our tours, to our cooking. LIVE people!!!

 Happy 83rd Birthday Dad - January 31

Happy 83rd Birthday Dad - January 31

 

Ok so many exciting things going including a new charity project we are pitching in on that I mentioned in our last blog – a new playground for the River of Hope Orphanage in Port au Prince, Haiti. Through builder Michael Dudley and interior designer, Nora Johnson of Est Est they have invited my team to help out in raising the funds and building this new playground. A group from Candelaria Design will be heading to Haiti in April to be a part of the construction crew. On February 7th we co-hosted, along with Arcadia Design Group and Dudley Development, a happy hour at Arcadia Public Market! What a fun evening and a beautiful setting for our fund raiser. Thank you for the incredible turnout and thank you for all of the continued donations – we are getting closer and closer to reaching our goal.

 Fun evening at Arcadia Public Market for the River of Hope Orphanage

Fun evening at Arcadia Public Market for the River of Hope Orphanage

 

Keep on the lookout for more quick episodes of what’s happening behind the scenes of Candelaria Design with our SKETCH Daily episodes. Tune in and subscribe on our Candelaria Design YouTube Channel for updated episodes https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbgBYVic9aP2PWdKS8duS6A?view_as=subscriber . You never know when one of your projects will be featured as we cover a lot of ground every day and every week!

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Isabel Update:

Isabel is doing great and each day she gets a bit stronger. She has started her radiation treatments – 33 in all and she has completed 13 already and she is doing great! Again, we cannot thank all of you for the continued prayers, thoughts and posts on our social media and Isabel’s Caring Bridge https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/isabelcandelaria

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Let's Get 2018 Started!

 The Candelaria Clan in LaJolla, CA 

The Candelaria Clan in LaJolla, CA 

Well we are diving into 2018 and it has started with a bang! Boy it is busy, which is great, and we are very excited about the new projects along with all of the very amazing projects we already have going!

 Team Candelaria on our project Tour in November

Team Candelaria on our project Tour in November

 MC and Vivian at Martis Camp - Lake Tahoe

MC and Vivian at Martis Camp - Lake Tahoe

So far this month I have been to Wyoming, Nashville and today San Diego so I have already racked up some miles! We have projects going across the country from two projects in New York to a new home in the Bay Area of California and another in Martis Camp near Lake Tahoe. Overall, we have projects going in 11 states now which is great and something I am very proud of as this has been a long-standing goal of our company!

 New Mountain Residence in Pine Canyon, Flagstaff with Schultz Development

New Mountain Residence in Pine Canyon, Flagstaff with Schultz Development

This takes nothing away from the fabulous projects we have going right here in Arizona. Even in Arizona we have projects going from north to south, with three projects underway in the Flagstaff area and a new renovation and addition in Tubac, AZ.

 New Play Barn in Paradise Valley, AZ being built by GM Hunt Builders

New Play Barn in Paradise Valley, AZ being built by GM Hunt Builders

 A New Candelaria Design Home in Silverleaf

A New Candelaria Design Home in Silverleaf

 New Paradise Valley Estate Project

New Paradise Valley Estate Project

 New Paradise Valley Contemporary Design 

New Paradise Valley Contemporary Design 

 Under construction in Silverleaf with Schultz Development

Under construction in Silverleaf with Schultz Development

 Interior Designer Alena Capra, MC and Project Architect Meredith Thomson at a Candelaria Design project under construction!

Interior Designer Alena Capra, MC and Project Architect Meredith Thomson at a Candelaria Design project under construction!

It is so rewarding to work in different areas with different styles and all with the most amazing people. I also am loving watching my team grow in creativity and experience. My team is the best and I absolutely love working with them. The advances in technology make it all possible. In fact I have a project in Texas, where I have never been to the site, never met the client, and the project is completed – in fact they have now started Phase 2 of their project. With Facetime, video, photos, and GOTO Meeting it is amazing what we can accomplish anywhere. I love it and the time it saves. Of course, nothing beats seeing the site for real and walking it and smelling it, and experiencing it….then of course seeing a site by helicopter is not too bad either!!!

 Getting ready to climb on board helicopter to tour Wyoming Project

Getting ready to climb on board helicopter to tour Wyoming Project

 MC and Tony Sutton of EST EsT - Wheels Up!

MC and Tony Sutton of EST EsT - Wheels Up!

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So many exciting things going including a new charity project we are pinching in on – a new playground for the River of Hope Orphanage in Port au Prince, Haiti. Through builder Michael Dudley and interior designer, Nora Johnson of Est Est they have invited my team to help out in raising the funds and building this new playground. A group from Candelaria Design will be heading to Haiti in April to be a part of the construction crew. We will be co-hosting, along with Arcadia Design Group and Dudley Development, a happy hour at Arcadia Public Market on Wednesday, February 7th  from 6-8 pm where we will explain more about our mission and hopefully raise some funds to make this a reality for these children. See more on our social media in the weeks ahead.

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Meanwhile, we have plenty coming up in the weeks ahead with our other philanthropic projects including Gigi’s Playhouse, Café and University https://gigisplayhouse.org/phoenix/gigis-playhouse-phoenixscottsdale-gigis-university/ , Colten Cowell Cave and Foundation https://coltencowellfoundation.org , Habitat for Humanity https://habitatcaz.org  and Ryan House https://www.ryanhouse.org . Stay tuned – we have some cool events and ways for all of you to help make a difference.

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One final tidbit, we have posted some more quick episodes of what’s happening behind the scenes of Candelaria Design with our SKETCH Daily episodes. Tune in and subscribe on our Candelaria Design YouTube Channel for updated episodes https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbgBYVic9aP2PWdKS8duS6A?view_as=subscriber . You never know when one of your projects will be featured as we cover a lot of ground every day and every week!

Isabel Update:

Isabel is doing great and her hair is growing back and each day she gets a bit stronger. Next week she begins her radiation treatments – 33 in all over the next 6 weeks just to make sure they get it all! We cannot thank all of you for the continued prayers, thoughts and posts on our social media and Isabel’s Caring Bridge https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/isabelcandelaria

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Happy Holidays - Reflection and Gratitude

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Hanukkah . We had a nice, quiet holiday with just my girls, folks and Isabel’s mother. Very nice to have some time to just chill and enjoy time with our parents and family after the crazy year we have had in 2017. No one know what lies ahead and so this Holiday was truly special.

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It is so important to reflect and give gratitude for all the blessings bestowed upon us. From a kid who grew up in Durango, Colorado and moved to Phoenix in 1979 not knowing but a handful of friends who were attending ASU, we have come a long way. Of course, no one does it without a lot of help and plenty of breaks along the way.

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My list of gratitude is long, from my wife, my family, my teachers, my mentors, to my Candelaria Design Team, I am truly blessed. There is one group however, that I would love to recognize and that is my clients! When I think about the list it brings back so many memories and stories and so many are still important players in my life.

Wow – what a list of people and personalities….and what stories! I have designed over 2000 homes so that’s a lot of clients so I am only going to recognize a few who definitely had an impact on my career.

 Murphy Residence - Coeur d'Alene, ID 2003

Murphy Residence - Coeur d'Alene, ID 2003

 Drue Engels, Patrick Murphy and MC at Chris and Jen Karras's Wedding 2008

Drue Engels, Patrick Murphy and MC at Chris and Jen Karras's Wedding 2008

First, my list would not be complete without my good friend and my first client, Patrick Murphy. We met in 1993 when he called late on a Friday when I was still at George Christensen’s office. Fortunately, I was the only one there so I picked up the call versus letting it go to the answering service. He wanted to remodel his home in Paradise Valley and I was ready to help him out. We met, I got him a proposal and we were underway. That project led to another project in 1999 when he purchased a lot in Coeur d’Alene and convinced me to go on my own and make this my first project. How could I resist that? We completed that project in 2003 and the two of us have been through so much since then. He has always been there for me and me for him – we talk on the phone several times a week and catch up on our work, our lives, our kids and of course politics. https://www.thedesignnetwork.com/episodes/sketch-lincoln-logs-on-the-lake/?autoplay=true

 Larry Peery and MC in South Carolina 2017

Larry Peery and MC in South Carolina 2017

 Italy 2012

Italy 2012

Then there is my good friend, Larry Peery, who I first met in 1983 when we worked together on the creation of the Enchantment Resort in Sedona which I just stayed at this week with my girls. What an experience that was. I was 23 and was the Project Manager for my mentor, the late George Christensen, and Larry was the Project Manager for The Phil W. Morris Company. From that experience we became lasting friends, been through several marriages, raising all daughters, and I have designed three personal homes for him along the way. We have traveled together as he has been on a couple of my Italy trips and recently on our first Candelaria Design Tour Spain. Great times and lots of memories and creations along the way.

 John Gardiner, Merv Griffin, George Christensen, and myself at the Grand Opening of Enchantment 1987

John Gardiner, Merv Griffin, George Christensen, and myself at the Grand Opening of Enchantment 1987

 Larry Peery and MC in Umbria, Italy 2012

Larry Peery and MC in Umbria, Italy 2012

 Gloria Ipock and Larry Peery and the Candelaria Design Tour Spain group in Barcelona 2017

Gloria Ipock and Larry Peery and the Candelaria Design Tour Spain group in Barcelona 2017

 Peery Residence - Paradise Valley 

Peery Residence - Paradise Valley 

 Isabel, Don Ulrich and my daughter, Tiffany - LaJolla, CA 2106

Isabel, Don Ulrich and my daughter, Tiffany - LaJolla, CA 2106

Another would be Don Ulrich! What a mentor and good friend. I met Don also in the early 90’s and designed a beautiful home for him and his lovely wife Sharon in Paradise Valley and then later a home in Gainey Ranch. So many stories around the Paradise Valley home but the one I remember most was him sending me to New York to go check out the Ralph Lauren store so I would know exactly what he wanted. He arranged a seat for me at a nearby bar so I could sketch everything I saw because they would not let me take pictures. I just spoke to him last week and we catch up quite often and are always tinkering away on something together. What an amazing man and mentor he has been for me all these years.

 The Ulrich Residence 1996

The Ulrich Residence 1996

 The Ulrich Residence 1996

The Ulrich Residence 1996

 Gil and Phyllis Lerner with MC and Isabel

Gil and Phyllis Lerner with MC and Isabel

Yet another on my list would be Phyllis and Gil Lerner. What wonderful clients and friends they have become. I have been working with them now for over 10 years and their amazing home being built by http://www.manshipbuilders.com is nearly complete! Through this journey of designing and building and traveling to Italy together and sourcing materials for their home we have built a truly special friendship. Their home will be a Candelaria Design masterpiece for sure.

 Phyllis, Isabel and MC at the Design Icon Event 2017

Phyllis, Isabel and MC at the Design Icon Event 2017

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 The Millwork Team from Italy at the Lerner Residence November 2017

The Millwork Team from Italy at the Lerner Residence November 2017

 Phyllis selecting her doors at Porte del Passato in Umbria, Italy 2015

Phyllis selecting her doors at Porte del Passato in Umbria, Italy 2015

 Vivian Ayala with Phil and Renee Giltner in Italy 2014

Vivian Ayala with Phil and Renee Giltner in Italy 2014

 Phil and Renee Giltner with isabel in Venice, Italy 2015

Phil and Renee Giltner with isabel in Venice, Italy 2015

 Phil and Renee at Isabel's Chemo Treatment - two hippies in the center :-)

Phil and Renee at Isabel's Chemo Treatment - two hippies in the center :-)

Then there is Phil and Renee Giltner who have likely become our best friends ever. There are not too many Sunday night dinners at Casa Candelaria that we are not sharing some good wine and cooking together. They have been on I believe three of our Candelaria Design Tour Italy’s and are joining us on our 15th Tour this coming September. We met many years ago and then regrouped when Isabel and Earth and Images http://www.earthandimages.com and Candelaria Design remodeled their home in Desert Mountain! That was quite the facelift and it will be featured in an upcoming episode of SKETCH. We are now starting work on a new build for them on the nose of Camelback Mountain. Stay tuned for this one as this will be a spectacular home for two people Isabel and I consider family.

 Phil and Renee Giltner with a special appearance and hug from Walter Spitz in Florence, Italy 2015

Phil and Renee Giltner with a special appearance and hug from Walter Spitz in Florence, Italy 2015

 isabel, her cousins Jarred, her mom, Alette, and the Giltner in Santa Fe 2017

isabel, her cousins Jarred, her mom, Alette, and the Giltner in Santa Fe 2017

 The Giltners and friends at Sunday dinner at Casa Candelaria

The Giltners and friends at Sunday dinner at Casa Candelaria

 John and Denise Schultz on the Charro Ride

John and Denise Schultz on the Charro Ride

Then there is my good friend and collaborator, John Schultz and his lovely bride, Denise. We have been through so much together over the years including designing their personal residence with the collaboration of Caroline DeCesare of DeCesare Design Group http://decesaredesigngroup.com and Jeff Berghoff of Berghoff Design Group http://www.berghoffdesign.com . This beautiful home will be featured in a 2018 episode of SKETCH. John and his company Schultz Development Corp http://www.schultzdevelopment.org has been building homes with us since the beginning and we currently have six amazing homes under construction with them now. John personally invited me to become a member of the Scottsdale Charros http://charros.com which I am so proud to be a member of! John and Denise have always been there for us and we have shared many wonderful trips including Italy, Park City, London, to name a few. I look forward to the completion of the projects we currently have going and who knows what adventures and creations lie ahead.

 The Schultz Residence Kitchen

The Schultz Residence Kitchen

 The ski crew in Park City

The ski crew in Park City

 Tour Italy 2004 

Tour Italy 2004 

 MC and Schultz wheels up to Montana with a client

MC and Schultz wheels up to Montana with a client

 Bill Franke and John Schultz being nice to Bill's puppies!

Bill Franke and John Schultz being nice to Bill's puppies!

 The Schultz Residence

The Schultz Residence

 Mullard Residence LaJolla, CA - BEFORE

Mullard Residence LaJolla, CA - BEFORE

 Mullard Residence LaJolla, CA - AFTER

Mullard Residence LaJolla, CA - AFTER

Let’s not forget once of my favs, Melissa Mullard and her husband David! We have had a lot of fun over the years and have created a number of beautiful homes together. We met thanks to an introduction of Interior Designer, Teresa Nelson of NelsonBarnum Interiors http://www.nelsonbarnum.com who asked I join her to meet a Phoenix client who had purchased a property in LaJolla. Melissa and I jelled and started working away on transforming that home which we still need to photograph the changes! This home and project will be featured in a 2018 episode of SKETCH. We then moved back to a project in Phoenix when she purchased a home I had designed years before. Melissa put her touch on this home which now has been published numerous times and was a featured episode in Sketch  https://www.thedesignnetwork.com/episodes/sketch-reimagined-spaces/?autoplay=true  We just did a cooking class at her home last week that was a total blast. I am looking forward to many more collaborations with her as she is uber talented and we work so well together.

 Melissa in her LaJolla, CA kitchen

Melissa in her LaJolla, CA kitchen

 On the set at the Mullard Residence in LaJolla, CA

On the set at the Mullard Residence in LaJolla, CA

 Mullard Residence in Phoenix, AZ

Mullard Residence in Phoenix, AZ

 Making paella with Melissa for our cooking class at the Mullard Residence in Phoenix!

Making paella with Melissa for our cooking class at the Mullard Residence in Phoenix!

 Candelaria Design Holiday Paella Cooking Class at the Mullard Residence December 2017

Candelaria Design Holiday Paella Cooking Class at the Mullard Residence December 2017

 Holiday Photo 2017 Nancy Hanley and MC

Holiday Photo 2017 Nancy Hanley and MC

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I will finish with one special lady, Nancy Hanley! All I can say is WOW. I love this lady and how gracious and giving she has been for us over the years. Her home is definitely a Candelaria Design masterpiece and was so selected in 2011 by the Pacific Coast Builders Council as the best home in America over 6000 sf. With the dream team of Desert Star Construction https://desertstarconstruction.com , Jim Smith of Serving the Nation, Vallone Design http://www.vallonedesign.com , Berghoff Design http://www.berghoffdesign.com  and my good friend (and best man at my wedding) Walter Spitz of Creative Designs in Lighting http://www.cdltg.com we all worked together as a team to create not only a beautiful legacy home but memories that will last forever. Nancy has been so gracious to have all of us over for a fabulous dinner on the terrace where I was honored to prepare homemade pasta and a Bolognese right in her kitchen. Her home will also be featured in the 2018 version of Christmas – Designer’s Homes Across America by Patricia McMillan https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Designers-Homes-Across-America/dp/076435163X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1514551889&sr=8-1&keywords=Christmas+Designers+Homes+across+america which is a real honor and stay tuned to this home being featured in an episode of SKETCH in 2018. Nancy and her late husband, Lee, are so special and have inspired all of us endlessly with their style, dignity, and generosity.

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 Zona Verde

Zona Verde

 Donna Vallone, Walter Spitz, MC and Nancy Hanley - dinner on the terrace October 2017

Donna Vallone, Walter Spitz, MC and Nancy Hanley - dinner on the terrace October 2017

 Walter Spitz, MC, Nancy Hanley and Jerry Meek dining at Zona Verde Oct 2017

Walter Spitz, MC, Nancy Hanley and Jerry Meek dining at Zona Verde Oct 2017

 David Neishabori of AZADI with Nancy

David Neishabori of AZADI with Nancy

 Jerry Meek of Desert Star and Jeff Berghoff during construction with Nancy

Jerry Meek of Desert Star and Jeff Berghoff during construction with Nancy

Now my list can go forever, and I would love to tell stories of how so many clients have influenced me through the experience of designing their homes. Not only influencing my design but how they influenced my outlook on life and the life lessons I have garnished from just being with these amazing people. It is definitely one of the more rewarding aspects of this career.

I don’t think people understand that we do this because it is what we love to do. You don’t choose this profession for the money. We love to create, to see an idea, or a statement, or a wish manifest itself on paper in a sketch and then have interior designers, landscape designers, engineers, vendors, subcontractors all collaborate to make that vision a reality. It never stops – 24/7 we are thinking of our projects, looking for ideas and inspiration, wondering if our clients’ are happy and do they like the design. But on the flip side we are fortunate to see our work built and enjoyed and we can show our work to family, friends, and prospective clients for many years.

I finally, want to thank my Candelaria Team! I wish you all a wonderful 2018 – get ready because we have quite a ride ahead of us. It’s been great to see all the growth in my team over this past year and I am SO excited about what we bring to the table and what we will create and produce in the year ahead.

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One final tidbit, we are now posting quick episodes of what’s happening behind the scenes of Candelaria Design with our SKETCH Daily episodes. Tune in and subscribe on our Candelaria Design YouTube Channel for updated episodes https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbgBYVic9aP2PWdKS8duS6A?view_as=subscriber . You never know when one of your projects will be featured as we cover a lot of ground every day and every week!

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Update on Isabel – as I mentioned we had a very nice Holiday especially given Isabel had her surgery on December 22nd at the Honor Health Greenbaum Surgery Center by the amazing Dr. Liu http://azbreastcenter.com/linda-liu-md/  . I am happy to report, thanks to all of your thoughts and prayers that Isabel received a call two nights ago from Dr. Liu that she has the all clear and will now finish with 6-8 weeks of radiation treatment starting the end of January. So one more hurdle completed and not an easy one. But as with this whole ordeal, Isabel has come through with amazing strength and grace. She is a fierce warrior and maintains a positive outlook and manifestation. We cannot thank all of you for the continued prayers, thoughts and posts on our social media and Isabel’s Caring Bridge https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/isabelcandelaria

The support you have given us has been so appreciated and has made a huge difference. We LOVE you all and we wish all of us a prosperous and most importantly, a healthy 2018!

November 2017 So much to be Thankful for!

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Well it has been quite a different year than Isabel and I planned but it will also go down as a year we have learned so much and met so many amazing people. This past Wednesday Isabel completed her last chemo treatment – 16 in all! What a journey it has been and she still has quite a way to go but her courage and faith are guiding her forward with grace and continued hope and optimism. She is truly an amazing woman and I am so blessed to have my angel with me here on earth.

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And so with this being Thanksgiving week, I want to continue thanking everyone with the wonderful dinners brought to our home on her Wednesday chemo nights, all the cards, flowers, books, posts, etc….I hope to have all of you to Casa Candelaria for dinner some time soon!  I want to also thank my entire Candelaria Design Team for coming out Wednesday to the clinic for a congratulations bridge for Isabel - she loved it. Finally, a special thanks to my mother-in-law, isabel's mom, Alette Thompson. She has been there all through this and has done so much for all of us. Thank you! You are also an angel on this earth for our family. You can read more on Isabel’s Caring Bridge https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/isabelcandelaria

 Alette Thompson, Isabel and MC on Isabel's final chemo treatment 11.15.17

Alette Thompson, Isabel and MC on Isabel's final chemo treatment 11.15.17

Last night, Isabel gathered the energy to make it to the Heart Ball and we were blessed to host a table for our own Vivian Ayala who served on this year’s committee. What an event and what a turnout. It was great to see my fellow neighbor, former Senator, Jon Kyle, and meet current Senator Jeff Flake. So many wonderful clients and friends and as I understand from the comments, a record night. Congratulations to all and thanks to my guests – we had a fantastic evening.

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 Mark, isabel, Jim and Jessica Audiss at the 2017 Heart Ball

Mark, isabel, Jim and Jessica Audiss at the 2017 Heart Ball

 Paco and Vivian Perez

Paco and Vivian Perez

 Arizona Heart Ball with Senator Jeff Flake

Arizona Heart Ball with Senator Jeff Flake

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Last weekend we were fortunate to have a home on the Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine Home Tour! It was great to spend the afternoon there with builder Brett Brimley of Brimley Development who built this French Revival home for our client. A special thanks to our client who graciously offered her home for the tour. What a fantastic turnout! It was so fun to see clients I had not seen in over 25 years make it out for the day.

 

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 Brett Brimley of Brimley Development and homeowner, Laurie Hunter!

Brett Brimley of Brimley Development and homeowner, Laurie Hunter!

Such a special home and special client who has also allowed us to feature her home along with two other spectacular Candelaria Design homes for a new book by Patricia Hart McMillan called Christmas – At Designer’s Homes Across America. The 2016 edition was a best seller on Amazon and so we are so excited to be a part of this year’s edition. Here is the link to last year’s book and as soon as the new addition is available we will let you know! https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Designers-Homes-Across-America/dp/076435163X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511146243&sr=8-1&keywords=christmas+at+designers%27+home+across+america

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Finally, we also squeezed in a fun run in Scottsdale for the TGen fight against pancreatic cancer in support of our client Nancy Hanley and her late husband Lee who lost his battle against this horrific disease. I am thankful for my crew who made it out during the weekend in support of Team Lee!!! https://www.tgen.org  

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 Team Candelaria Design all part of Team Lee!

Team Candelaria Design all part of Team Lee!

So many other things brewing and we will be posting some good recipes in the days and weeks ahead. We wish you all a super Happy Thanksgiving! So, so, much to be thankful for and I’ll be posting over the Holiday with more thoughts on that……

Time to Get Out and Enjoy!

 Hanley Residence - Paradise Valley

Hanley Residence - Paradise Valley

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We are blitzing our way through October and those busy months as we start to close in on the Holidays! But with the weather cooling it is time to get out and enjoy and we did plenty of that in the last couple of weeks! It was nice to spend a full weekend here at home given I have been traveling the last 5 weekends!

First – thanks for all the wonderful birthday wishes last week! You can still wish me a happy birthday by casting your VOTE for me and my team!  https://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/best-of-our-valley-2018/voting/190.html

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We also want to thank all of those who attended our co-hosted event Dietro la Maschera with Scottsdale Modern Luxury at Galleria Stone celebrating their Grand Opening! Unfortunately, Isabel and I could not make it but I want to personally thank my Candelaria Design crew for being their and hosting our table! I also want to thank Dave Stockett and Walter Spitz for helping our crew! I understand it was a wonderful evening! http://www.galleriaofstoneaz.com https://modernluxury.com/modern-luxury-scottsdale/digital-edition

 The Candelaria Design Crew!

The Candelaria Design Crew!

 Anthony and Hillary Castiglia

Anthony and Hillary Castiglia

 April Lozevski and her Husband!

April Lozevski and her Husband!

 Walter Spitz and Dave Stockett with a pretty lady in disguise!

Walter Spitz and Dave Stockett with a pretty lady in disguise!

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Well that was two weeks ago – then we made the most of this past week! Tuesday, Isabel and I were the guests of Jason Monzcka and Anderson Windows https://www.andersenwindows.com at the Chef’s Table at The Omni Montelucia Resort. https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/scottsdale-montelucia/dining/private-dining . What a special evening and so appreciated by Isabel and I. We had a wonderful group of friends, clients, and people from our industry and the food and wine were fantastic.

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 Tina Majerle, Nick Ferrara, Isabel and MC

Tina Majerle, Nick Ferrara, Isabel and MC

Then Thursday we had two fabulous evening events with our clients. Of course, you cannot be everywhere at the same time – although I try all the time! Tim Mathewson and several members of our team attended the Colten Cowell Foundation fundraiser at Molina Fine Jewelers https://www.molinafinejewelers.com Special thanks to Al Molina and Black, Starr & Frost for hosting an amazing event for a charity that we at Candelaria Design are very passionate about!  The food and drinks were great and it was a gorgeous setting to meet with the some of the Valley’s most influential people to discuss the mission of the Colten Cowell Foundation and our designs for their future headquarters, which will be known as “A Monument to Compassion.”  It will be a landmark for Phoenix and for our state and we are very proud to be a part of it.  Check out their website to see more about the joy that they bring to children and families battling disease as well as the grants they provide to other local charities.   https://coltencowellfoundation.org/

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Our mission is to help them raise funds in order to build their new foundation headquarters designed by Candelaria Design. We welcome all donations to this amazing cause and If you are a distributor of building products, a subcontractor or installer and would be willing to donate your time or materials to this great cause, please reach out to me or my staff on how you can help.  We would love to have you on board. http://www.candelariadesign.com/community-involvement/

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Then at the same time part of the crew was at Molina’s there was a group of us filming an episode for our upcoming third season of SKETCH https://www.thedesignnetwork.com/series/sketch/ at one of our classic Candelaria Design homes in Paradise Valley. This home was completed about seven years ago and it was about time to get this home well documented with our show and at the same time reunite the design team for interviews during the day and a reunion dinner that evening prepared by my partner, Evelyn Jung, and myself. The footage shot by WedgieMedia will be spectacularhttps://www.wedgiemedia.com. This LEED certified home also received the Pacific Coast Builders Gold Nugget Award in 2011 for the best home over 6000 sf in the country. What an amazing team – Vallone Design Interiors, Berghoff Design, Creative Designs in Lighting, and Desert Star Construction – the Dream Team for sure.

Finally, we finished the week with our Candelaria Design Tour Spain post trip dinner. It is always so fun to get the group together and relive the tour with a dinner, a book, and a video of the trip. We still have a few spots for our June 2018 Candelaria Design Tour Spain but don't wait!!!

Enjoy the 2017 June Spain Tour video by clicking the link below:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fomk9uy4opgrqiw/Tour%20Spain%202017%20Movie.mp4?dl=0

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Looking ahead, we are happy to invite you to join us for the Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine Home Tour and we will have a very special French Revival Candelaria Design home on this year’s tour benefitting the Humane Society. Get your tickets and I will be there all afternoon! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/phoenix-home-garden-2017-home-tour-tickets-36844397585

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Update on Isabel

Isabel has now completed 14 chemo treatments including her second treatment of the Red Devil – the heavy duty chemo concoction! She has two more Red Devil treatments to go and then her surgery is scheduled for late December. As always, she continues to stay positive and strong but she is definitely feeling the effects of these new treatments and I know these next three months will be tough. Her mom, Alette, continues to be such an amazing help for both Isabel and I and we are so blessed to have her. 

 Gicela Dulcich with Is at the Honor Health Chemo Treatment Room

Gicela Dulcich with Is at the Honor Health Chemo Treatment Room

Thanks for all of your continued thoughts and prayers. They truly make a huge difference for us both.

You can read more on Isabel’s Caring Bridge https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/isabelcandelaria

Make the most of each day! 

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October 2017 - On the Road

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It is definitely busy – we are cranking away at Candelaria Design with amazing projects just completed,  underway, and on the boards…and not just in Arizona.

We just got some fantastic aerial photos of our project in Kansas City build by Grand Construction http://grandconst.com who built this Tuscan Style Estate in less than 14 months featuring its own private golf hole. We have another home for this family underway right here in Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale and they are cranking on that home too.

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This morning, I am in Northern Idaho, touching base on our Gozzer Ranch http://gozzerranchclub.com spec home! We have two versions designed, a traditional mountain design and a contemporary mountain design. Curious as to which style you prefer??? Love it up here – this is our seventh design in the area. While here, I had all of my Candelaria girls rendezvous for some Dad time. We used to have a summer home here so my girls have lots of many memories here and it is nice to have some one-on-one time with them.

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At the same time my associate, Meredith Thomson, is in Beverly Hills this morning with another project team doing a little “research” and building material sourcing. We go to great lengths to make our homes as authentic as possible and this estate we currently have under construction with Schultz Development is going to be spectacular. http://www.xsurfaces.com

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Meanwhile, my other associate, Mat Grove, just returned from Venice, Italy where he went with the Arizona Residential Architects group as the guest of host Brombal Steel Windows and Doors http://www.brombalusa.com Thank you to Brombal for hosting this amazing tour of their factory and the lovely area around Venice.

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Last week, was crazy as I was in Vail, Colorado over the weekend getting up to speed on two projects there – one a seven story condo project and the other a custom home about 30 miles west of Vail. Growing up in Colorado, it was nice to return to one of my Mom’s favorite weekend getaways.