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Summer is Here - We are off to Spain!

Welcome to Summer…. Yes those 100º plus days are here!

In fact, in just 2 days we are off on our first Candelaria Design Tour Spain! We have 13 travelers going on what I know is going to be a spectacular trip. From the wildly creative architecture of Antonio Gaudi to the equally out of the box work of Frank Gehry, my travelers are going to see some amazing architecture and experience some fabulous Spanish wine and cuisine. You can follow our tour right here on our blog and on our Candelaria Design Tours Page on Facebook and Instagram.


We do have a number of spots still open for our September Candelaria Design Tour Italy Tour departing September 20th and finishing in Venice on October 4th! This will be a fantastic tour – our 15th – and we already have a wonderful group going so don’t wait to join us on this year’s tour!


The drawing for the winner of the Candelaria Design HGTV Smart Home 2017 will be coming up June 12th so stay tune to that on HGTV! You can enter each day right here -


Last weekend Isabel and I enjoyed a wonderful weekend at the Mii Amo Spa at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona that I designed with my mentor and former partner, the late, George W. Christensen. I have not spent a night here since 1987 some thirty years ago. I am not sure what I have been waiting for! I love this place and especially the spa. We did not design the spa but I wish I did – it is fabulous. I have been to many spas across the world and this definitely ranks as one of the best I have ever experienced. What fun to stay here and relive so many memories of the creation of this place which you can read in my blog about Enchantment -

The late John Gardiner, Merv Griffin, George Christensen and Mark Candelaria

The Enchantment Clubhouse

The Enchantment Clubhouse

The Enchantment Casita


Isabel and I enjoyed two days here after our Friday/Saturday trip to Flagstaff to check on two of our projects in Pine Canyon, and a potential new one in Forest Highlands! I love it up here and it’s so nice for this Durango, Colorado boy to be doing some more mountain work!

New Candelaria Design home on Pine Canyon Country Club

Isabel, Ryan Serhant, and MC

Just before our trip to Flagstaff we were in New York for the Premiere of our friend Ryan Serhant’s show Million Dollar Listings, NYC! We were proud to be a sponsor so graciously set up by our good friend Margurite Brown who also appointed me to a panel with Caesarstone at the Hearst Publications Tower where we spoke about the trends in Kitchen design. What an honor to be a part of this panel with designers from across the world. I will write a separate blog about the trends that were identified by the panel which I know you will find interesting.

MC at Caesarstone Design Panel at Hearst Publishing, NYC

Enjoying the premier of Million Dollar Listing in NYC


The day before our trip to New York, Isabel and I made paella for the highest bidder of one of our catered dinners in her home on behalf of PANDA which we are big supporters of -

Well the winner happened to be our client Sue Ross who won the same dinner a year ago. We had so much fun last year that she made sure she won it again this year. What wonderful guests, one of my client’s and former editor for Food and Wine Magazine in NY, Susy Davidson and her husband Bill Entringer, whose home I remodeled in Troon and their friend, Barbara Fenzl, who is the head of the Les Gourmettes Cooking School. Ok no pressure. Well we nailed it including a new limoncello pie I made that morning at 3am. It turned out great and I will share the recipe because it is a good one for summer.

MC and client/friend Sue Ross in her fabulous Kitchen


Ok that was last week….. this week after our return home from Sedona Isabel and I appeared on Sonoran Living on Arizona ABC 15 compliments of our good friend, David Neshibori, of AZADI Fine Rugs. Love seeing our Candelaria Design project on their banner page!

In our three minute spot we spoke about de-browning homes and a recent home where we did a de-brown makeover! Fun time and wonderful exposure – thanks again David!


Then it was off to Lake Tahoe with good friend, Frank DeBlasi Wealth Manager for US Bank, where I visited Martis Camp and met with the sales team to get some Candelaria Design projects going there with a focus on the remodel and renovation market which is growing incredibly now that the project is nearly built out. Yes, Martis Camp needs to be de-browned too! We had a great trip and met many interesting people. What a beautiful development and area and if you get a chance to consider the perfect spot for a second mountain home, Martis Camp would be one of my first choices.     

Mark Murrell, Martis Camp Sales Team, MC and Frank DeBlasi US Bank - Lake Tahoe


So, in the midst of all these travels we do have a couple announcements. First, we announced our Candelaria Design MVP for 2017 chosen by the Candelaria Design staff themselves. This year’s winner is Meredith Thomson!!!! I am so proud to announce this as Meredith is a rock star. I will be writing a blog just about her, her career, and her time here at Candelaria Design. We are very fortunate to have her as a part of our team.

Meredith Thomson


Then to just add to our rock stars of women at CDA, Vivian Ayala officially purchased her first shares of Candelaria Design and is now officially a Principal and Partner of Candelaria Design. Vivian has been with me over 18 years and is so deserving of this partnership promotion and opportunity. I’m not retiring – yet! I still have a 6th grader so I have a way to go but it is nice to have this all in place with our new operating agreement that allows not only Vivian, but others, to take ownership of the firm when I am ready to slow down!

Principal / Partner Vivian Ayala

Finally, we do say goodbye to Rob Banach who joined us about five years ago. Rob will be missed for sure and we wish him and his lovely family all the best!




Well more to come along with some wonderful recipes and of course our Spain trip in the days and weeks ahead so stay tuned. Where is everyone off to for the summer???? Thanks for reading and viewing our Candelaria Design Blog!