At least once a year I have an itch…no…it’s more like a calling to depart everything I know and seek out inspiration, novelty and beauty.  Every adventure becomes woven into the fabric of who I am and I have sparks of inspiration and insight that profoundly impact my work…. and my life.

This year that calling took me to Southern Italy where the warm Mediterranean sun enchanted me with its mind-blowing coastlines, delicious food and joyful, expressive people.  Below are are my biggest takeaways from experiencing “La Dolce Vita.”



Years ago I laid eyes on images from Le Sirenuse and I fell in love with it for its sheer beauty. At the time I didn’t know it was considered one of the Leading Hotels in the World and home to La Sponda, a Michelin starred restaurant.

Inspiration for Work:  Create Powerful Focal Points
Every direction I looked, I found something enchanting to delight my eyes.  Some were provided by Mother Nature.  Others were created by extraordinary design.  It was a reminder to find a focal point, enhance-one, or create-one.  That is the job of a great designer!

Inspiration for Life:  Bring The Best Of Yourself….EVERY DAY 
Le Sirenuse is a boutique hotel and because of that, my husband and I got to know the staff on a personal basis.  I have to say, I have NEVER felt so at home at a hotel.  Most of the staff members greeted us by name every time they saw us.  They made every effort to make us feel special and taken care of.  One gentleman that stood out is Pepe, who served us breakfast in the morning and then took care of us at dinner in the evening.  Every day from morning to late at night he “brought-it” with the energy of someone on a mission to share happiness and create extraordinary experiences.  My desire is to remain in the “boutique category” in terms of a design firm.  That type of personal concierge service is what I aspire to provide.  Thank you Pepe!  I am inspired!


Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto is one of the Natural Wonders of the World and now I know why.  To enter the sea cave you have to board a row boat that can pass through an opening that is very narrow and low. That’s right….it’s so tiny the occupants of the boat have to lay down to make it through the opening.  Upon entering, you feel like you have been transported to Pandora (from Avatar)!  The sea turns an electric blue due to the reflection of the sun off the floor of the ocean.  It’s mind-blowing and a photo cannot capture the beauty of this sublime place.

Inspiration for Work:  Color Evokes Mood
When I was in school working on my bachelor’s degree, I recall learning about the studies that had been conducted on the effect of color on our mood and physiological functions, like heart rate.  This probably won’t surprise you, but the color blue is the most calming and serene. Color is powerful and it’s effects should not be underestimated.  Before I start designing for someone, I always ask, “How do you want this space to feel?” Your desire for ambiance and mood must be considered when selecting a color palette.

Inspiration for Life:  Stop Thinking, Planning, Engaging and just…. BE
For that brief period of time I was floating around in the cave, I was fully present in the moment.  I was in awe and transfixed by the beauty I was experiencing.  Moments like that impact us much like a “restart” on our computer.  It was a gentle reminder to seek those moments to unplug…..restart…so that I can re-engage with a fresh perspective and an altered state.  In this case the moment was inspired by the extraordinary beauty of nature, other times the moment comes from something as simple as a nuzzle from my puppy dog.


Ravello ItalyIt wasn’t just that moment in the cave that provided the restart, it was the whole travel experience. Right now I am sitting in my hotel room in Rome, preparing to depart.  I’m ready….ready to go back home and re-engage with an expanded perspective.  I fully intend to bring “La Dolce Vita” (the sweet-life) with me….. to share with YOU.


Thank you Italy

P.S. If you are planning a trip to the Southern Italy anytime soon, and you need a good car service, reach out to Benvenuto Limos.  Ask for Danilo Mastromano +39 345 995 0267.  He was awesome!  He will drive you from Rome to Positano.  He will also take you on tours through the Amalfi Coast.

Xo  R~

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