Top 10s of 2014: Amazing Fireplaces

Kamuela, Hawaii

Island Resort Property

Ed Rapoza | 808-329-7170 

Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

Lake Toxaway Company

Wes Dickman | 954-850-2120 


Bozeman, Montana

PureWest Christie's

Sally Uhlmann & Mike Schlauch

Sally 406-223-5964 | Mike 406-580-8380

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Century 21 Rick White & Associates

Dania Perry | 727-215-2045

Lake Burton, Georgia

Harry Norman, Realtors

Julie Barnett | 404-697-3860 


Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Premier Estate Properties

Julie Jones | 954-525-0018 


Lake Burton, Georgia

Harry Norman, Realtors

Julie Barnett | 404-697-3860 


Dana Point, California

Realty One Group

Marilyn Nobles | 949-280-1774 


Bozeman, Montana

PureWest Christie's

Sally Uhlmann & Mike Schlauch

Sally 406-223-5964 | Mike 406-580-8380

Ocala, Florida


Joan Pletcher

Joan Pletcher | 352-226-9100 

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Posted by: Admin
Posted on: 7/2/2014 at 11:20 AM
Categories: duPont Marketplace | duPont REGISTRY Featured Properties | Luxury Real Estate | Things We Love
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Golden Oak

The name Disney brings images of happiness, sunny days, and childhood memories. Their slogan, "The happiest place on earth" has been proven true in the lives of every lucky family who visits this resort and theme park. Another phrase associated with Disney is, "where dreams come true". This phrase has come to life with their new residential community Golden Oak. Located in Golden Oak Florida residents travel down the aptly named Dream Tree Boulevard to gain access to this fantasy land. It definitely adheres to the Disney standard in that this neighborhood appeals to only your wildest dreams. Its sheer beauty and elegance make it seem almost like a visit to Disney World itself, but a lucky few actually get to call it their home. This spectacular city houses four neighborhoods. The first is the Marceline neighborhood. It's houses average 4-5 bedrooms with 4 1/2 to 5 baths. Each house is located on a one-quarter acre space and takes up around 3,000 to 5,000 square feet. The second is the Carolwood neighborhood. These houses are around 6,500 to 12,000 square feet and sit on land up to three quarters of an acre. They average 5 bedrooms 5 baths with a few six bedroom houses mixed in. The third is the Silverbrook neighborhood. These houses are mostly 5 bedroom 5 bath and about 5,000 to 7,000 square feet. Each home site is approximately one half acre. The last is the Kimball neighborhood with houses ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet. Each house has an average of 4 bedrooms with 4 1/2 baths. A full description of each house in all four neighborhoods would be nearly impossible. Each house is equally as unique and beautiful as the next. Depending on the neighborhood and specific house most come with pools and back yard space. Some of the larger models have wine rooms, game rooms, guest wings, and of course spa style pools.  Golden Oaks is a residential community that also functions as a resort. They use a concierge fee based approach to assist their residents and visitors alike. There are many unique benefits and services provided to residents and guests. Just to mention a few; Disney parks and special events tickets, private VIP tours, in-home dinners and parties, Disney-inspired holiday décor, private transportation to destinations within the Walt Disney World® Resort, dining reservations, spa reservations, golf tee-times, and home maintenance as well as move-in services. All residents and guests also have access to the Summerhouse. This amenity only partially open yet it is already being enjoyed by the Golden Oak community. The Summerhouse provides guests and residents with state-of-the-art fitness facilities and locker rooms, a private training area and workout studio, a courtyard, function lawn, outdoor fire pit, heated outdoor pool, and family room game area. This is an extremely kid friendly neighborhood however it's easy to see the developers ensured adults would enjoy this paradise as well. These houses are truly elegant while the location is also impeccable. Residents get the unique opportunity to live their life in Walt Disney's own vision of the perfect neighborhood. For more information on this exclusive housing development contact Golden Oak Realty at (407) 939-5577 or visit their website at

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Posted by: Lauryn Howell
Posted on: 5/22/2013 at 9:21 AM
Categories: Luxury Real Estate | Things We Love
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dR Home: Bar None

A home bar will become a gathering point when you entertain.

Even if you never consider setting up a bar during the year, chances are that your holiday entertaining will call for a space dedicated for drinks. Where and how you use this bar really depends on your own personal style. If you have the room and the inclination, you can have a bar ready to entertain at all times. In other words, think of this as a “dedicated bar”. Others cannot devote the space to a bar or do not want this to be the focal point of a room.

For those is this category, there are two schools of thought about how to make room for a bar. One is that the bar should be seen only when it is on use. I call that the “hideaway bar”. In other words, the bar looks like another piece of furniture when closed. When open, it is ready for entertaining. The second idea is to have a temporary area, which becomes a short-term bar. The “on-display bar”, as I call this category, can be placed wherever you want and can be mobile if it has wheels.

Whichever placement and whatever furniture you select, may the holidays be filled with good spirits in your home. Here are some ideas for making your entertaining easier.

At Your Service: The handsome Crossroads Collection Serving Cart from Henredon features bronze mirrored serving surface on top with antique brass gallery, a drawer with silver liner, and two shelves below on antique brass casters. Dimensions are 43.25" L x 33.75”W x 19.75” D.  It brings your party to wherever you are entertaining. $3885, Livingston Interiors Inc. 

Counter Culture: This raised panel Northport bar by Ty Pennington for Howard Miller Home is finished in Burnished Black and includes a black faux leather armrest, accentuated with antique brass nailheads. The many features include lockable door for liquor storage and built-in ice bucket. Dimensions are 75-3/4” L x 43” H x 27.5” D. $2699, Design Interiors Furniture. 

Tall Story: Reminiscent of an apothecary cabinet, this Beveled Tall Cabinet is a signature item from designer Thomas Pheasant for Baker furniture. This version in mahogany is equipped as a dry bar-with two long doors, a lined drawer, a mirrored back, and a brass gallery. Dimensions are 30.5´Lc 60.3/4” H x 20.5”D. $12,495, PJ Newman Fine Furniture and Interiors. 

Spirited Style: The  Elegante Bar Cabinet by Oggetti is a small but sophisticated Art Deco addition to any room. It can fit in almost anywhere. The cabinet is finished in an ebony macassar with Antique Shagreen. The Interior has partially mirrored shelves, with cubbies and one drawer. Open it, and the party begins. Dimensions: are 29"L x 46 1/2"W x 14"D. $6500, Home Resource.

Take It Away: The Biscayne Bar Table is the perfect size for a small party or can be placed in various spaces or pared together. A finely polished collapsible structure supports a sophisticated tray lined with faux croc and gated with deep walls. The cut out handles allow for easily transporting delicacies and beverages to mingling guests. Dimensions are 23" L   x 23" W x 32" H. $159.95, Z-Gallerie.

Open and Shut Case: Southern hospitality is the inspiration for this Paula’s Bar Hutch from Paula Deen Home for Universal Furniture. Finished in Spanish moss, Tobacco, Linen, Sea Oat or white, the cabinet opens to great storage for glasses and spirits. The interior doors are chalkboard. Dimensions are 48”L x 87”H x 24”D. $1799, Matter Brothers Furniture and Design.

Ice Cool: The perfect martini starts with a chilled glass. And if you are a perfectionist, you will want this 10 glass martini rack that can be added to Perlick’s Signature Series 24-inch under-counter Freezer. Convertible door design allows the door the ability to be converted to wood overlay from stainless steel. $3208 includes Freezer with martini rack, Appliance Gallery.  

Bar Tended: This traditional Edwardian Bar from Pulaski is made of polished wood accented with antique brass hardware. It has laminated marble top  with inset stone pull out cutting surface and four utility drawers  There are also glass storage racks, wine racks plus an  adjustable shelf behind lockable door Dimensions are 72"L x 42"H x 26"D. $2,495.00, Robertson’s Billiards and Bar Stools. 

All Shook Up: The Century cocktail shaker in sterling silver has chic art deco attributes. While it does not promise to make your cocktails better, it is a beauty to look at.  It may be personalized with 3-letter monogram.  Dimensions 10” H. $2250, Tiffany and Co.

The Chill Factor: The Massena crystal ice bucket from Baccarat sparkles in the sunlight. The stylish 330.2/5 oz. bucket features a highly textured exterior with classic beveled pattern and has a stainless steel handle for easy transporting.  Dimensions are 4.78" H. $760, Saks Fifth Avenue.

Pull Out The Stops: Waterford’s Mixology Argon Blue Decanter is not your grandmother’s crystal decanter. It clearly with an electric blue over deep cuts of clear crystal pushes the use of storing spirits for a very happy hour..  Dimensions 5.75” L x 9”W x 5.6” H. $375, Silver Queen. 

Pitcher Perfect: From the Belle Époque Collection of French manufacturer, Christofle Silver, this Asian-Inspired water pitcher is the perfect addition to your barware. A beautiful anemone decorates the handle pf this silver plated pitcher, which holds 51 fluid ounces. Dimensions are10.5 "H X 7" w. $1,150, Saks Fifth Avenue. 

Spiked Wine: These original Spike Glasses from Artech Glass Blowing Studios are a tactile delight; a scotch thistle inspired glass that massages the hand as you indulge in a good drink. Whatever your poison, these  6 ounce thorny wine glasses are quite the conversation piece. $40, Carter’s Gallery. 

Mix It Up: Ever have blender envy when you see the powerful commercial bar blenders? Well, this Xtreme Hi-Power Blender MX1200XTX from Waring Commercial can be yours.  It is capable of handling virtually every blending need as and smoothies well as preparing ice-based drinks like a pro with its 3.5 HP motor. $1,122.71, Restaurant Depot.

duPont REGISTRY Holiday Gift Guide 2012

While we normally feature luxury homes, we're pretty sure that a multi-million dollar estate isn't going to be a holiday gift for many. Instead, we've found a few home accessories for discerning buyers.


Decorative and functional animal sculptures made from recycled metal by Yardbirds. These unique and whimsical creatures for the garden and home are full of personality! Giraffe, $630 at Carter's Gallery.

The Lynx is a 54-inch, 100,000 btu with a cooking area of 1,555-square-inches and comes on a cart. It also has a sear zone and rotisserie. $6,100 at Appliance Gallery.

Identical to the classic photo booths found in amusement parks, arcades and boardwalks, this photo booth can take and print a four-frame strip of pictures in 16 seconds. Comes with two rolls of film that provide up to 3,200 pictures (or 800 sessions of four-frame photo strips). Uses a thermal printer exclusively designed by Polaroid, producing 2-inches high x 2-inches wide, 72 dpi monochrome images. The booth is made of powder-coated 14-gauge steel. Plugs into AC. The dimensions are 74-inches high x 37-inches wide x 60-inches long and is 770 pounds. $11,000 at Hammacher Schlemmer.

The Venetian is a six-leg, solid maple wood pool table in the Olhausen Signature Series. Customizable in terms of size, finish, legs, rails and sights. Can be made as a billiard table of snooker table. $7,995 at Citrus Park Billiards.

Polished gemstone and Swarovski crystal picture frame. Handcrafted in the USA. Price for 4x6 is $675 (5x7 is $775). Sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus this holiday season.

A soft cashmere blanket with suede trim features a scene from the famous Grand Priz de Monaco, which takes place every year in Monte Carlo and was held for the first time in 1929. Produced in a limited and numbered series. $5,450 at Loro Piana.

A 24-set handmade leather cufflinks' case is crafted in fine Tuscan calf and Italian leathers. The world-class quality men's storage box also serves as a men's jewelry ring holder. $799 at Brookstone.

A chic contrast of graphic black and ivory, Courtly Check three-tier sweet stand by MacKenzie-Childs features hand-painted tiers and decorative solid brass. $435 at MacKenzie-Childs.

Magnifico! From the Enzo Mari Collection, a collaboration between acclaimed Italian artist Enzo Mari and Corsi Design Laboratory of Milan Italy. Scacchi Cono, a stunning vase of bubbled resin. 12-inches high by 9-inches wide. $700 at Barney's of New York.

From California glass blower, Caleb Siemon's Meteor series. Murrine made of overlaying colors on a clear core created and then fused together in a carefully laid out arrangement. The slab is then rolled up and shaped into form showing differences in the viscosities of the colors used creating a heavily textured piece. Piece is signed and numbered. $2,650 at Barney's New York.

Every inch of this table is beautiful and finished in an actual auto-body shop to showroom quality. It's even painted in original 1965 "Rangoon Red" and clear-coated with real automotive clear coat and buffed and polished by hand! $9,995 at Gibbs Sports.

MWE Emporer 200 Workstation is the ultimate high-tech workstation for the home or office with three monitors, a touch-screen interface, air filtration system, electric powered leather seat and light therapy illumination. $49,150 at MWE Lab.

Lighted countertop makeup mirror by Electric Mirror Company has 3 times magnification. Available in polished chrome finish. 8-inches wide by 8-inches tall. $425 at Olde World Cabinetry.

Relax in this beautiful chaise lounge chair. The headrest adjusts to fit you perfectly and the premium leather is available in Cappucino or Snow White. $1,185 at Scan Design.

One of the world's finest backgammon sets. Chrome plated checkers inlaid with Water Snake and trimmed with Swarovski crystals, a giant inlaid Water Snake and chrome Doubling cube, ball cornered precision dice for a perfect unbiased roll. $8,800 delivered at Geoffrey Parker Games.

Love watching stock car racing and wish you could try it too? Now you can with a realistic state-of-the-art simulation experience. The Stock Car Racing Simulator reproduces the racing conditions you'd find at the track like entering a turn and moving up a bank. Realistic audio surrounds racers who sit in a padded racing seat as they speed around 21 renowned stock courses. Realistic graphics are displayed on a wide-screen LCD monitor. $60,000 at Hammacher Schlemmer.

Three Simple Home Upgrades to Revamp Your Living Space

Tired of looking at the same old decor in your home, but don't want to go through the hassle of an elaborate remodeling project? Simple finishes and fixtures can have a dramatic effect on virtually every room in the house and can easily be applied and exchanged as often as home decorating trends evolve. If you're looking for a fun and easy way to get creative with your living space without committing to a huge project, the following list of cool and contemporary ideas can give your home a brand-new look and feel in just a few hours.

Fashionable finishes are your friend

One of the quickest way to update your kitchen or bath is to choose a new finish for your fixtures. According to Judd Lord, the director of industrial design for Delta Faucet Co., chrome is one of the best-selling types of finishes on the market today. Although chrome offers an eye-catching, glamorous look, homeowners can also choose brass, copper, nickel, gold-plated, oil-rubbed metals, matte finishes, shiny finishes, satiny sheens or even customized textures for an entirely unique look. Lord claims that one of the most popular finishing trends is customization, which involves combining two different finishes such as brushed nickel with oil-rubbed bronze for twice the shine and an original appeal.

Start from the top with a modern ceiling fan

A lighting fixture without a ceiling fan is a wasted opportunity. Although some newer lighting fixture styles – such as skylights – may add a chic touch to your home, homeowners can derive much more functionality and personality from modern styles of ceiling fans. Ceiling fans come in a wide variety of different styles, and they all come with the added benefit of improving the air circulation in your home. You can choose a finish for ceiling fans that complements other fixtures in the home. 

Create a pop of color and comfort with decorative rugs

Rugs offer one of the simplest ways to completely change the look and feel of your living space. The best part? You can switch out a decorative rug frequently to match your mood or the season. Adding a rug to a hardwood or tiled area of the home keeps the floor warmer beneath your feet, which gives your home a cozier feeling and provides better insulation during the colder months. Add utilitarian low-pile rugs to areas of the home where you do a lot of standing, including in front of the refrigerator, sink, stove and doors for better support and comfort. For enhanced safety, make sure to include a slip-proof mat beneath each rug to prevent accidents.

Busy homeowners, have no fear. In just half a Saturday, you can freshen up the look of your home just in time for that dinner party or friendly get-together without hiring a professional designer. These simple projects can add a touch of elegance and newness to every room in the home, which can keep you on top of the latest trends between major renovations.

This post was provided by Jessica Sark, an architecture buff with a flair for interior design. In her spare time, she blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands. Image Source: koocbor

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/14/2012 at 3:27 PM
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LoveStone Inn

Restore your soul today with this masterpiece manor, the LoveStone Inn, located on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. While the lake itself is known as the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge,” LoveStone Inn could easily be the “Jewel of Smith Mountain Lake.”

“This inn is different from other estates in Smith Mountain Lake due to the six acres of grounds, beautiful two-tiered beach, no-wake cove, and private neighborhood,” say Dawn Spencer and Tom Zirkelbach, current owners of LoveStone Inn. “In addition, the architecture is unique and unlike anything you will find around the lake area.”

Built as a private residence in 1977, the property now serves as the LoveStone Inn Bed and Breakfast and the PebbleStone Cottage and Conference Center. “We moved from Chicago to Virginia with a dream of being on Smith Mountain Lake and running a premier bed and breakfast,” say Dawn and Tom. The bed and breakfast has become just that – LoveStone Inn has been voted the “Best Place to Stay Overnight” on Smith Mountain Lake every year from 2003 to 2011.

The inn features four guest rooms, four full bathrooms, three large living spaces, a custom, gourmet kitchen with granite counters, two decks encompassing 2,500 square feet, and a hot tub. Just 100 feet away, the cottage has over 1,400 square feet with a master bedroom, massive loft great room, full bathroom, custom kitchen, laundry room, and storage room.

With two tiered beachfronts and a boat dock, the location is perfect for boating, kayaking, sailing, or fishing. Antiquing and wineries are favorite pastimes of Dawn and Tom, and Smith Mountain State Park is a short walk from their front door. Though the grounds are peaceful and private, you can enjoy city amenities with a quick 40-minute drive to Roanoke or Lynchburg.

“This lifestyle has renewed our faith in people, places and brought us peace of mind,” the couple says. “LoveStone Inn can bring a renewal of spirit and peace that is rare in the world we live in. It must be seen to believe.”


For more information:

Leslie Becker
Smith Mountain Lake Properties


Articel by Nicole Lauber

Making the Grand Entrance

In this age of oversized garage doors, the front entry door has taken a back seat. Add value and style with a new front door.

Drive down almost any block of beautiful homes and you will discover that the front door has almost disappeared from view in many neighborhoods. “Nothing adds more welcome than a well designed door,” notes Neal Fiske of TriplePoint Design-Build in St. Petersburg. “It should be elegant and yet overwhelming.”

Mark Leek of DoorPro Entryways in Tampa suggest that the front door is the most important door in the house. “It not only sets the style but should reflect the architecture of the house,” he adds. On how many homes do you see the inappropriate door style-like a Victorian on a ranch house?

Ed bailey of Artistic Doors in Tampa whose custom doors have changed the personality of a house insists that a well-designed entry door creates curb appeal and sets the tone for the rest of the house. For example, craftsmen style and more contemporary doors make a vast difference when fitted to a similar style house. However, a great door is not just about good stylish looks. It should have strength and longevity as well.

In 2012, the Florida Building Code will change to include higher wind ratings and this will affect not only windows but exterior doors as well for new and replacement construction. This may be a good time to really look at your own door with better scrutiny.

There are new doors that resist the elements better than older ones. Popular in the high-end luxury homes, wood doors, which has natural warmth and beauty, requires maintenance over its lifetime. A new generation of wood doors now has options to enhance the durability and lifespan in areas where inclement weather can be a factor. The new Simpson WaterBarrier technology is available in over 200 of their wood door designs. “The secret is a one-piece overlay over the exterior which helps them withstand direct exposure; the result is the beautiful look of real wood on the inside of the door with the protection of WaterBarrier on the exterior,” says Brad Loveless, Marketing Manager for Simpson Door Company.

Perhaps, the most important decision is what the door is made of. Beside wood doors, which are generally more traditional in style, high-tech alternatives of fiberglass composite and steel doors have popular design choices. Fiberglass is a smart choice for harsh or humid climates as it is virtually maintenance-free. Many mimic the look of wood and can be stained or painted to match the other outdoor details. Steel doors are the most durable and they do not warp or crack. The new generation of steel door is also the best choice if security is an issue.

If you’re considering a glazed entry door, you’ll have many glass options to choose from, including clear, etched, beveled, leaded and many others with ornamental glazing. Low-e-window glazing is a popular option but if you are concerned about security; look into laminated glass that is designed to resist break-ins. The fastest growing category in front doors, vented sidelights, offer the ventilation consumers want without the inconvenience and obstruction of storm doors or sliding screens. A new alternative from Therma-Tru for their Fiber-Classic Oak Collection Smooth-Star Collection now allows you to let in light and fresh air into your home without sacrificing energy efficiency or style.

Some homes directly on the water are lucky enough to have two front doors, adds Neal Fiske of TriplePoint. “The front door on the road is about security and street presence. The water entrance is all glass, although these days the glass may be high impact and laminated.”

Not quite ready to make a door change? Lucianna Samu, color expert for Benjamin Moore Paints, suggests that the creative use of color can add life to an old door. And do not just pick one color but three instead. A low contrast door and trim combination can enhance details of a door. Select a color and then step the next colors up or down so the color mixture pulls your eyes beyond the door. Neighbors will think you have a new door. And you will never tell!

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Posted by: Camille Rabbat
Posted on: 2/21/2012 at 5:26 PM
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Can I have this Kitchen Range for Christmas ...Pretty Please?!


Dear Santa,


I want to bake the best cookies for you...and my family, so...

Please send me my dream Kitchen!

I'll make it easy for you, it looks just like this:




DACOR’s Epicure Dual-Fuel Range has a control panel that looks like a keyboard and tilts so it’s easier to use the digital touch pad to set the time and temperature.   It also has one of the fastest pre-heat times in the industry, according to Julian Exclusa of Florida Builder Appliances.  “How many times have you complained about how long it takes to pre-heat a stove?,” says Exclusa.  “This oven pre-heats in nine minutes.”  Why so fast? Most ovens put the heating element on the bottom under metal or porcelain.  The DACOR uses glass.


An excerpt from "Dear Santa: Please Make it A High-Tech Christmas." by Janan Talafer was used for today's blog,

To read the rest of this article please visit: and turn to page 48, enjoy.









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Posted by: Camille Rabbat
Posted on: 12/12/2011 at 4:46 PM
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A Punch of Color: Purple Reigns

Purple can be a somber color by itself but it adds a lot of atmosphere when mixed with another color. Decker Ross likes to include this shade on pillows for their shock value.


The Centennial Eggplant Velvet Club chair gets more attention. The seat is a generous size, and the tufter buttons and side bolsters add comfort. It is 41.5-inches wide by 34-inches high by 36-inches deep. $594. 800-782-1967 or

No one understands the power of large objects as Canadian designer, Martha Sturdy. These plum-purple resin round bowls set themselves apart as an eye-catcher. Available from 6-inches wide by 6-inches high for $188 to 17-inches wide by 16-inches high for $378. Fine Things, Boca Ratona, Florida; 561-392-5747 or

Even your bathroom is not immune to a hit of fabulous color. Especially, when you add these luxurious Mossi Collection faucet and jeweled handles with Lalique amethyst crystals by the famed THG Designs from Paris. $12,081. Miller's Fine Decorative Hardware, Jupiter, Florida; 561-746-4800 or

No one loved purple more than the creator of Marimekko designs, Maija Isola. She created Silkkikuikka Blue and Purple Bed Linens in 1961, and Crate and Barrel has re-issued them for today's enjoyment. Jazz up your bedroom. Prices start at $24.96 to $99.95. Crate and Barrel, International Plaza, Tampa; 813-241-2777 or

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 11/16/2011 at 9:47 AM
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A Punch of Color: In The Pink

Pink is a little less intense than red and can be very flattering to the skin. Decker Ross adds it to master bedrooms as an accent to freshen up the space.

Lilly Pulitzer is synonymous with pink, and her Boulevard Arm Chair from the Lilly Pulitzer Home Collection reflects her snappy taste. 23.5-inches wide by 23.5-inches deep by 36-inches high. $935. Excenticities, North Palm Beach, 561-845-3250 and Delray Beach, 561-278-0886 or

Bring your favorite color into the kitchen with this 1950s-retro-style 24-inch refrigerator by SMEG. Dimensions are 57.5-inches high by 23 and 5/8-wide by 27.5-inches deep. $1,999. Vita Moderna, Sarasota; 941-487-7016 or

This traditional style, 4-light electric candelabra with pink and clear crystals (plus pink fabric mini shades) will dress up the quietest powder room or bedroom. No one will guess that it is made from cast resion construction and uses four 20-watt halogen bulbs. It sits 20.5-inches high. $99. 800-479-6188 or

Talk about a colorful fan! With a sleek, round shape, sharp retro lok and hot pink color, Deco Breeze retro look fan re-defines cool! Features all steel construction with two speed motors and great portability. Measuring 12.5-inches by 10-inches. $51. Sears, Westshore Plaza Mall, Tampa; 813-288-6000 or

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 11/8/2011 at 8:30 AM
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A Punch of Color: Terrific Turquoise

There is nothing timid about turquoise. It is stimulating by itself, or when it combines with other colors, as long as they do not overhwlem this blue-green. Just a touch will cheer up the room, says Decker Ross.

The bright patterned cotton pillows imported from India by Rizzy Home are a perfect hint of turquoise to lift the spirits of a white or beige room. They are available in sizes from 11- x 21-inches to 18- x 18-inches. Prices range from $77.60 to $112.50. Adams Interiors, Fort Lauderdale; 954-491-2326 or

This dramatic crackle finish Turquoise Chest from the Melange Collection by Hooker Furniture will add personality to a dull room. The bonus is that the three drawers are wall-papered inside. The chest measures 44-inches wide by 18-1/4-inches deep by 34-inches high. $1,059. Matter Brothers, Pinellas Park, Florida; 727-577-6660 or

This dazzling Turquoise Glaze Zen Garden Stool will make itself at home by a chair or sofa, indoor or out. It sits 19-inches high by 15-inches wide. $299. 800-262-6612 or

This sleek, chrome Shimmer hydraulic barstool with a unique turquoise shimmer-effect acrylic seat will add a contemporary flair to your room. The stool measures 18-inches long by 18-inches wide by 36.5-inches high and the seat adjusts from 23-inches to 30-inches high. $99.99. 847-699-8988 or

Jonathan Adler is known for his turquoise design and he does not disappoint with his Channing Desk. It measures 54-inches wide by 24-inches deep by 30.5-inches high. $1,750. Jonathan Adler's, Miami; 305-576-0200 or

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 11/3/2011 at 9:56 AM
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A Punch of Color: Red Alert

Red is an attention getter or traffic stopper. A little touch of it can go a long way, recommends Decker Ross to make a big change.

The Artemis Red Ceiling Fan from Minka-Air is outstanding and will draw heads upward. 58 inches in diameter with an etched opal glass covering a halogen light, it's a head turner. $498. House of Shades and Lamps, Largo, FL; 813-463-2748 or

This red wire Parker Pendant Chandelier from Currey and Co., will change  any dining space into a conversation place. Only 15-inches rouch by 21-inches high. $490. Paris Flea Decor and Design Studio, Tampa; 813-837-6556 or

Imagine a narrow hallway with this Double Happiness Long Bench in Shanghai red from Red Egg enlivening up the room. It is 60-inches wide by 19-inches high by 15-inches deep. $1,536. Decorative Arts, Vero Beach; 772-563-0040 or

Add some drama to your decor with this stunning hand-painted chest by Pulaski Furniture. A stunning storage piece in bamboo, this chest of drawers boasts an elegant Asian-inspired design with red drawer fronts hand-painted with delicate floral accent with pewter drawer pulls. It measures 34-inches high by 38-inches wide by 20-inches deep. Castner and Castner, Inc., Bradenton; 941-795-1297 or

The Cracked Ice Garden Chair from McGuire's Garden Classics Outdoor Collection in cayenne red will alter an space inside or out. This powder-coasted aluminum frame is 23.5-inches wide by 23-inches deep by 37-inches high. $1,531. Fifth Avenue Design Gallery in Naples or 239-417-2650.

A Punch of Color: Amazing Gray

Although gray is generally considered a neutral because it mixes so easily with bold colors, you can also use it as the main focal point when it comes to color in your home.

Smoky gray can illuminated a room when you have Cosmos by Troy Lighting. Its central sphere radiates resplendent light and vitality into the room. A hang-straight canopy and Federal bronze suspension support glassware in an opal white finish. The Cosmos Pendant measures 32-inches wide by 26.5-inches high by 75.5-inches deep. $599. Pego Lamps, Miami; 305-447-0667 or

This Brushed Pewter Bombe Cheest by Butler Specialty will call attention to itself no matter where it sits. Three deep drawers provide good storage 32-inches wide by 16 inches deep by 30 inches high. $839. Franklin Lighting, Inc., Sarasota; 941-355-2550 or

Hard as rocks? Not these pillows! The Felt Stone Pillow in Gray from DIGS are not only conversation pieces, but they are functional art. Handmade in Peru from Alpaca wool, one of the world's finest fibers, it comes in small, medium, large and extra large sizes. Prices vary from $28 to $116. 888-868-DIGS or

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 10/31/2011 at 12:21 PM
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Creating Your Dream Home: The Hottest, Newest Trends of the Season

Whether you're designing and building your dream home, or planning a major remodel, small details can make all the different. For inspiration, we asked a few Tampa Bay, Florida experts for their advice on the right products, colors and styles for creating a luxury residence that makes a statement.

Everyone's In The Kitchen

Kitchens have evolved as the centerpiece of the home - the place where families love to gather to talk, cook, eat, do homework, play on the computer and even entertain. The latest trend, says Patty Figiel of Leverette Home Design, is kitchen cabinetry with less detail and cleaner lines, almost a Shakar style. "We're also seeing one or two cabinets with a glass front or little squares of glass at the top with an interior light. You can showcase a collection without the need to dust and the soft lighting adds a warm glow to the room.

With cooking a favorite pastime these days, there's a big demand for high-end, high-tech appliances that save time and give fabulous results. Lynn Kislin of Appliance Gallery points to the new MasterChef convection speed oven as the perfect example.

"One of the greatest features that it has both an infrared broiling system and a microwave function," says Kislin. "If you want to cook something small like a baked potato, popcorn or a chicken, you can use the microwave. You can cook a chicken in just 20 minutes and it will come out brown and crisp on the outside and moist inside."

Convection steam ovens are also high on Kislin's "must-have" list. Once available for commmercial kitchens only, now homeowners can take advantage of the oven's features, which include the option of cooking with steam only, or a combination of the two. "It's perfect for fish because it holds the odor and doesn't dry out the fish," says Kislin.

For a kitchen that pushes the envelope for artistic creativity, T2theS is earning a reputation for their custom, modern kitchens like the "all-black" kitchen they recently did that features dyed Koto wood cabinets and countertops made with concrete. "Concrete is an interesting material because we can design a chunky countertop and incorporate different colors and finishes, resulting in a marble or terrazzo look," says Derek Grasso. "The result is really spectacular."

Quartz counterops are also very "in." Dan O'Donnell of Cutting Edge Granite reports that Consumer Reports just ranked quartz number one for kitchens and batchs for the third year. Why quartz? "It's one of the most abundant materials on earth, so it's environmentally friendly," says O'Donnell. "It is also non-porous, stain-resistant and extremely durable - harder than a knife blade and virtually maintenance-free." Quartz has the appearance of natural stone and comes in a variety of colors, from white to cream, terra cotta, green, broen, grey, even blue.

Bathrooms Go High-Tech and Sensual

With our busy, stressful lives, it's essential to have an area at home to unwing and relax. Nowadays, it's the bathroom that is serving as a tranquil retreat, says Patty Figiel, a certified kitchen designer with Leverette Home Design Center.

To create a spa-like ambience, consider a free-standing bathtub with a sleek, contemporary design. Sherell White of Herman Home also suggests a Jacuzzi tub or a luxurious shower that features the heavenly sensation of rain panels and a body jet for a wonderful at-home massage.

Technology is helping redesign today's bathrooms, which are often filled with high-tech toys, like Kohler's new Numi smart toiler. This is a toilet with amazing multi-tasking capabilities, all controlled by a detachable remote, says Nathan Parker of Ferguson Kitchens and Bath. "The Numi has a heated seat and foot warmer, automatic sensors that open and close the lid and flush the toilet," says Parker. "There's even an area to hook your iPod into it."

Set the Mood With Light

Lighting can make a remarkable difference in a room. Just ask Carmen Ulgade Vazquez of Lights and More. The right lighting will depend on the "ambience you want to create, the personality of the homeowner and the room," she says.

While LED lights are the number one choice for energy-efficiency, Vazquez points out that they give off a "cool" light. On the other hand, fluorescent light has a bluish glow, while incandescent is yellow. Halogen is used more as a soft accent, as in a wall sconce. For the kitchen, Vazquez recommends using all of them to achieve a "layered" effect that will give a cozy, warm feeling to the room combined with sufficient bright light for the workspace.

What's new in lighting fixure design? The trend is toward a blend of traditional and contemporary, like a modern lamp shade on a traditional base, says Vazquez. A chandelier may have the traditional curved arms and lots of crystals, but the overall design is more modern and clean.

Windows, Doors & Gates Add the Finishing Touch

Window coverings have a lot of tasks to accomplish: privacy, light control, glare and heat reduction, energy efficiency. Motorized solar screen shades are one of the latest products that do all of these things, says Judy Dechant of Mar-Go Interiors. "They come in an assortment of colors, textures and weaves, plus you can operate them with a remote control or integrate them into a home automation system," says Dechant. She recommends using the shade as a first layer, then dressing up the window with drapery panels or a top panel in a fabric that ties into the color scheme of the room. "Draperies soften the look of the window and add a nive touch, almost like a piece of art, especially if you have a whole wall of windows," she says.

The right type of door is also vital to creating that "WOW" factor for your home. Mark Leek of DoorPro Entryways recommends replacing old drafty, sliding glass doors with custom, energy efficient French doors. "The new French doors have a lot more aesthetic value and a higher wind-load capability," says Leek. "They're also much more secure." Personalize your French door with an etched design of your choosing or incorporate mini-blinds within the glass for more privacy.

Nothing puts the finishing touch on the exterior of a home like a beautiful hand-crafted ornamental gate. "When people drive by, you want something unique, artistic and creative, something that will complement the style of the home," says Dominique Martinez of Rustic Steel Creations. The company can also fabricate custome steel and iron staircases, sculptures and furniture.

Interior Design

When it comes to the interior of the home, Tampa Bay residents have a broad range of styles to choose from. Contemporary trendsetters like Herman Home are moving toward nurturing environments that reflect a simplified, clean-lined approach, especially as more people scale back and remodel outdated spaces, says designer Sherell White. "We're creating the illusion of more space by avoiding visual clutter and raising the hight of draperies to the ceiling, floating cabinetry and using furniture with legs."Earth tones of green, blue and chocolate brown add to this sense of relaxation and calm.

Home Resource takes contemporary a step further with its European-designed furniture from names like Cor, Interlubke nand Moroso. General manager Eric Cross reports that mixing contemporary with something traditional, especially antiques, continues to be a focus this season, and so is using a neutral color scheme with a "spot" of color or geometric patterns and stripes in pillows.

A coastal, tropical look is always popular here on Florida's Suncoast and two local stores carry this style. Drama Home Furnishings offers custom coastal furniture made by a private label company in Ocala, and custom upholstery, slipcovers and window treatments made on-site at the store. New this fall: beautiful area rugs that can be designed with Florida motifs of seashells, coral and palm fronds or high-end braided rugs in bright colors and contemporary designs, says owner Warren Waldo.

The Bronze Lady also carries the coastal theme, but here the focus is more on a timeless West Indies and Tommy Bahama look with lots of tropical colors in cream, yellow, light green and blue, says Carol Brawner.

For those who prefer a more traditional look, Annabelles Home Furnishings has an excellent assortment of collections that reflect the dark woods, leather and metal touches found in Mediterranean and Tuscan-style designs. Sherri Johns, sales manager, reports that the new colors this season include chocolate brown, blues and turquoise, while animal prints are still very popular for accent pillows.

No dream home would be complete with the latest automation to control the lights, alarm system and window shades, or a home theater system featuring the new 3-D projection screens. Brian Henriquez of Suncoast Power Solutions offers these products, along with residential solar energy systems and Big Ass Fans, a commercial grade ceiling fan perfect for cooling large residential rooms with high ceilings.

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 10/31/2011 at 10:04 AM
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New Materials on the Forefront of Kitchen Design


For years granite has been the only counter top surface acceptable in high-end homes. Granite’s beauty and functionality has helped prove this stone’s value and classic staying power. Recently though, with many developers and homeowners tiring of seeing granite in every home, new countertop materials have made breakout appearances on the kitchen design scene.

New production techniques have made many other materials, such as glass and quartz, just as resilient and beautiful as granite without giving homeowners “granite fatigue”. Granite, formerly only seen in ultra-high-end homes due to its high price has become increasingly available in consumer outlets, like home-improvement stores. The luxury homeowner often looks for the newest and rarest in home design in order to set their multi-million dollar pad apart from the one sitting next door. Many kitchen designers have turned to rare materials like lava stone, stainless steel and glass to set their client’s kitchens apart.

Lava stone which is harvested from volcanoes in France, is not only extremely different in looks, but can be textured and colored to match the home’s décor. Lava stone is heat, stain and scratch resistant, making its costly price tag worth it for use in a busy kitchen. Glass surfaces have been gaining popularity for both their beauty and clean look. Many glass countertops are lighted from underneath, adding an ambient glow to kitchens. Glass is easy to clean, a huge plus in today’s germ-a-phobe society. Stainless steel holds the same appeal; first popularized in restaurant kitchens and on appliances, the gleam of a stainless steel countertop is becoming increasingly popular in residential kitchens. New textures and finishes have fixed the problem of fingerprints and scratches making stainless a beautiful and durable option.  

The eco trend has made its way into kitchen surfaces as well, with the production of recycled glass and even wax-covered recycled paper countertops appearing in green-homes.

Granite countertops, while decreasing in popularity, won’t be going away anytime soon though. They have proved their staying power as a classic. The newer options have yet to be more than trend, and due to their high price tags they may stay just that.   


Blog via Sun Sentinel Homes Blog  Photo via Capital Sheet Metal

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Posted by: Gabby P
Posted on: 9/27/2011 at 12:31 PM
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