The Norman Rockwell’s of Today

New Life For An Architectural Gem


About a decade ago, the term Boutique Hotel began to surface in the travel world.  These hotels often were smaller, and a bit more minimalistic than the major chains.  They all had a unique personality.  Most had a bar with select food options, and of course coffee.  Early on, as we stayed at the various hotels, I tried very hard to relay to others what we liked about them.  What was the draw?  I really couldn’t pinpoint any one thing they all had in common except they have a “feeling” that is comforting in a haunting kind of way.

Continue reading

My kitchen doesn’t “WOW” me.

Kitchen Weekend Warriors



18891061 copy

You’ve bought a new home in the neighborhood you want to be in.  The kitchen has a pretty good layout, lots of storage and you were sure the stainless appliances and granite counter tops you added were going to make you happy.  You’ve spent a tidy sum of money.

Continue reading

It Takes a Village



If only this were true and everyone in the house was a trained organizer!

Reality is we have more hunters and gatherers.

Continue reading

Help is Just a Digit Away




Chances are you have a smart phone or a camera and a computer.  These items combined with as little as one digit and you have the tools you need to work with a designer…remotely.  You can have your own personal designer on call, just an email, text or phone call away.

Continue reading

Somethings “Off”


Often in a home that we otherwise love, there might be a feature that is a little out of our comfort zone. Perhaps something like a lot of blue and white marble as in the photo above. Although there are some cool pieces here, I’m not getting the urge to cuddle up yet. Is the marble just too blue….is a costly renovation in the future?

Continue reading

Old Guys and Online Shopping Rule


When you get to be, say in your mid fifties, you start to think about the rest of your life.  Not in a morbid way, that it’s more over than not, but in a way that perhaps you could make some changes.  We start to evaluate the decisions we’ve made up until now.  Do we have a career we like, do we want to keep doing this or consider a change. Have we planned for the next steps in our lives, whatever they will be. Are our kids starting to need us less and are we happy about that.  How big of a home do we need? None of these questions have the same answers for everyone nor are they clear cut. So many of us postpone the decisions until…say about our mid sixties.  Then we panic and think we have to do something fast!  Part of this comes from the national push to “downsize”.  To many the idea of downsizing is not only overwhelming, but somewhat depressing.  We don’t want to go “down”! Choosing to make a change in your home can be fun and very liberating.  Lets look at one inspiring example.

Continue reading

We Saw an Opening


New Opening from Kitchen to Dining Room

Recently we had an opportunity to assist our client in updating her family home and making it a bit more “her own”.  By that she meant she wanted to stay in the neighborhood she enjoyed, appreciate many of the wonderful amenities of her home and tweak the things that could work better for her role as grandmother of two precious girls.

As in most of our homes, the kitchen is always the anchor.  The place where we cram in as many people as we can no matter the occasion.  In this home the kitchen was indeed centrally located yet closed off to some of the larger rooms that were just calling out to be part of the action.   Thanks to our client for allowing us to share a small part of her welcoming home. Please enjoy a few of the before and after shots.

Continue reading

Peas in a Pod



Kristen and I are part of a tremendous team that we have the opportunity to work with on a regular basis.  Our teams, both in Venice, Fl and  in Louisville, KY consist of progressive realtors, innovative trades people and quality resources.  Recently, we participated in a round table discussion on how our team works together to provide our clients a complete service when they are considering the sale or purchase of a home.   Grab your favorite beverage, turn up the sound on your device and tune in.  We are very happy to be a part of such wonderful teams!


Podcast with Eric Seltz

Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty

Louisville, KY


Here are some quick before and after photos of a project we collaborated  on.  What a pleasure our client is to work with.  She lovingly updated her parents home, top to bottom, to make it her own and ready for the next generation.

Kitchen Before

What a fantastic room full of memories!


Kitchen After 

Ready to make new memories!




These guys are pretty happy with the renovation!

Thanks to them and their Mom for asking us to be part of such an meaningful project.


If you know of someone who might also enjoy our blog, or is interviewing designers, please pass on the links below.

Thank You!


Love It- After a Few Bucks

This time it really is a Before and After for only a few bucks!  Certainly in comparison to the national average cost of even a minor kitchen update.  As kitchen renovations go…this one looks like it was not too disruptive as well.

This is a kitchen of caterer (yes you read that right) in Southern California.  The article was in Houzz. The “after” photo caught my attention first.  Let’s take a look….we can’t see it all but enough for the chef in me to be inspired and the designer in me to applaud this accomplishment.


Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 6.40.56 AM copy.png

This kitchen offers really good function for a cook.  Counter space on each side of the range.  Sink close enough to range to make corner usable.  Daylight.  Almost everything you need is in reach, accessible while looking so Julia Childish.  The range…oh my this is a chefs dream!  Specially with an exhaust hood that looks like it could suck the hair off your head so fish smell should be no problem.  On top of all this,  I bet many gather in to have a glass of wine and chat with the cook.  Pretty nice right?

Hold On

Before I show you the before photo let me point out a few things that many of you may think are not good to have in your dream kitchen.  (Bet  at first you didn’t even notice them and are scrolling back up to take another look at the photo.)

  • There is a circa 1950 scalloped valance.
  • Looks like a similar vintage wall mounted sink faucet.
  • Hinges on the cabinet doors.  Painted hinges at that.
  • 2×4 built base for the peninsula right of the range.
  • Mix matched counter tops.
  • Old, painted cabinets.  Doors and drawers are probably stuck. If they close at all.
  • No protective material as a splash at the range.
  • Skinny little Lowe’s track light over the sink.
  • Blender on counter top.
  • I’d estimate its between 100-200 sq feet at the max.

If you had not seen the after photo, and I gave you the above list as the items we would keep in your kitchen renovation, would you be excited about a kitchen update?  Probably not.  Perhaps a look at the before photo will give you even more appreciation of updating without gutting a space.


Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 6.39.45 AM copy.png

Bon Appetite

Thank you for the few minutes a day you choose to check in with us!

Enjoying Us…Pass us On?