My Dream House

Recently I was inspired to resume designing my dream house.  Want to see?

ImageSome day, God willing, I will be able to build it for my family.

For the Love of Cookouts

Yee haw!  Memorial Day is coming and the cookouts are on!  I always bring the fruit salad.  You?

This Spring I’m doubly excited because my first outdoor kitchen design project is getting underway.  We are going to build something like this…



The design will also feature a mahogany deck with wrap-around stairs, a new bluestone patio and built-in benches to create an outdoor room for frequent entertaining.  It’s going to be just beautiful and I can’t wait to share photos of the finished space!

In the meantime, I want to share some helpful information I learned while doing research for this project.   Despite the manufacturer’s installation instructions for grills, the Fire Department does not recommend placing a grill within ten feet of any building even if it is made of brick or stone or other seemingly fire-proof material.  Our local Fire Chief explained that wood trims and roof overhangs pose a fire hazard when close enough to come in contact with stray embers.   You might think this is a no-brainer, but I recently heard a story of a NASA engineer who melted the siding of his house because the grill was too close.  

Also, when researching different types of construction materials for an outdoor kitchen, I learned that while you could use Spanish Cedar or Mahogany for a wood surround, stone is far better for longevity and maintenance.  Again, it may seem like a no-brainer but there are lots of photos out there of wooden outdoor kitchens.  (I can’t help but wonder what they look like after one or two hard winters.)

Lastly, a solid stone surface counter top is the best choice over wood or tile.  Wood requires a lot of protective maintenance while the joints in tile are very susceptible to erosion, allowing water damage to the structure.  

If you’re going to invest in such a luxury, why not do it right and for the longest return possible on that investment?  In fact, that should be the philosophy for every investment in one’s home. 

Happy barbecue-ing!





Have you seen Houzz yet?

Have you seen Houzz yet?

This is a great site for homeowners or anyone interested in design.  While you’re browsing, look me up!  I’ll have more photos posted soon of the cupola project progress.  It’s nearing completion!

Optimism is a lovely thing...

Believe Me, It’s Personal

There are a few things that are absolute pet peeves of mine.  One is the word ‘proverbial’.  What is the point of that word?  Really. Just say what you mean and mean what you say.

Another is that there are way too many professionals that do not know the difference between “than’ and ‘then’ or ‘there’, ‘they’re’ and ‘their’.  Ugh!  That’s all I have to say…UGH!

But, there is another one, too.  The saying “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business”.  Everything is personal.  People are PEOPLE!  They have issues, feelings, problems and yes it sometimes affects work.  When it does, the first thing needed is compassion and understanding, not a boot in the arse.

Of course the health of a company must be priority for managers and owners and sometimes that does mean directing an employee along a different path towards a different job, including for their own mental health and happiness.   But, it is ALWAYS personal to that person at that moment.  How could it not be?  We should remember that.  Because it would be personal to us, too.  

This world NEEDS more compassion.




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