Marvelous Architecture of Martha’s Vineyard

Ugggh.  I am so guilty and feel terrible that I haven’t created a blog post in such a long time!  Sorry!  It all started back in early June.  First my husband was surprised to find out that the Army was promoting him.  So planning for a ceremony and party occupied a bit of our free time, then on top of that excitement we decided to make an offer on a house we liked, which ultimately resulted in us having to get our house ready to put on the market, an offer from the military to move to Italy (which we ultimately turned down), and celebrating my son’s graduation from 8th grade, and both my husband and my birthdays within 2 days of each other…. June was a whirlwind and July hasn’t been much better.

Thankfully there was 4 days of respite amongst all of it.  My husband surprised me with a trip to Martha’s Vineyard for my 40th birthday!  I had never been there but had read several books that are set in the relaxed, upscale, posh island.  Besides spending some time lying on a beach I was most looking forward to perusing the streets taking in all the great shingle clad architecture.  Martha did not disappoint!  Architecture ogling started as soon as our little plane touched down.  The airport with its whitewalls natural wood shiplap ceiling, detailed beams complete with turnbuckles offered a worthy welcome to this picturesque little island.  Check out those beams!

I really expected to see more grand homes with lots of weathered gray cedar shake siding, and while those did exist I think some of the large compounds were tucked away in the meandering woods of the island so their residents can enjoy privacy.  I was so surprised to find lane upon lane of adorable little Victorians dripping in gingerbread details.  The first sample of vintage Victorian architecture was our little B&B, the Oak Bluffs Inn.  Painted in pretty pastel shades of blue, lavender and pink it was a quintessential Victorian with seashore inspired antiques decorating the inside.  Our little cottage was a separate building in the back yard and was simply appointed and perfect for relaxing.  Very private and no TV.

oak bluffs inn


oak bluff inn carriage house

A few blocks over the Victorian delight continued with tons of shaded streets lined with adorable doll house like seasonal residences.  The area known as the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association (MVCMA) is a community ripe with adorable Victorian homes in every color of the rainbow.



























And yes, the parks, beaches, and lighthouses were gorgeous and every meal we had was excellent – so many great restaurants to choose from.  I’d go back to Martha’s Vineyard in a heartbeat.  Alas a return trip will have to wait because, fingers crossed, if everything goes well in the next month or so we’ll be moving! Stay tuned!  In the meantime, amidst purging and packing I promise to be better about blogging regularly and will share some highlights and ideas from some of my recent clients and moving tips too!


Pamper a Camper: Surprisingly Adorable RV Renovations

Camping isn’t for everyone.  Sure, there’s purists that think it must be done in a tent, without electricity or any creature comforts, then there’s some that recognize the convenience of an RV or camper.  The thing with campers is, they don’t get used all that frequently, so they’ll last for decades but often sit accumulating issues without anyone paying attention to them and their look and décor becomes outdated.  I think a small camper redo would be a great mini-flip project, and I recently saw an adorable one in the June issue of Country Living.  Mandi Gubler of revamped her 1973 Bell Travel Trailer into some retro-kitsch-cuteness.  Can you believe the transformation?  It’s adorable.  Here’s a few before and afters of her trailer, “The Nugget”:

travel trailer interior reno

I found that there are quite a few camper renovations out there that deserve some showing off so I thought I’d share them here.  This first one from The Noshery kept some of the unique vintage appliances, polished them up and mixed them with modern decor.

This one  from Fancy Farmgirl (whose blog it seems sadly doesn’t exist under that name any longer)  is light and bright, making the space seem so much larger.

These camper renovations are makeovers of quintessential Airstream trailers, with their telltale stainless steel  accents and domed roofs.

And finally here’s another before and after highlighted by Country Living.   The change from old fake wood to bright aqua ceiling and white cabinetry bring this Airstream into the current decade.



This makes me want to embark on finding a camper to flip…. I can hear my husband grumbling now… but no worries honey, for now, you’re in luck, I’ve got nowhere to park it.


Experiencing Colombia!

I took a break from the blog last week in order to travel to Colombia!  I had never seriously considered vacationing in South America  short of some day heading to iconic areas like Rio de Janerio or Machu Pichu, but we were presented with the opportunity to travel to Colombia so my son could take part in a soccer tournament as a member of the AC Milan Junior Camp International Team.    With such a unique athletic and cultural experience confronting us, who could say no?  So while this post is a bit astray from the normal design focused material, I wanted to share some of the sights and experiences from my week in Colombia.

While the kids were practicing with their soccer teams, the parents took a sightseeing tour of the historic, picturesque  town of Salento and its fantastic mountain and coffee farm views.

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The Willys Jeep is a revered icon in Colombia where it has been used as a workhorse utility vehicle for carrying coffee, fruits, vegetables and even furniture from one place to another through the rugged terrain of Colombia. I personally would like to have this one with the built in coffee bar parked in my driveway every morning.





We spent most of our time in the city of Pereira, where the tournament was hosted. Pereira, also a coffee town, had a number of scenic town squares and churches.








Accommodations for both players at Hotel Sonesta and the parents at Hotel Movich, both in Pereira, were fantastic.


































The tournament was a great cultural experience and we had a fantastic time and met a number of wonderful people, I am looking forward to exploring other parts of this beautiful country. Hasta Luego, Colombia!