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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!