Monthly Archives: October 2011


Turkey is still on my mind…what an incredible place to travel. One of the many things I love about travel is the exposure to landscapes that are completely foreign to me. The region of Cappadocia captures that sense of awe, mystery, and romance that every traveler dreams of. It is characterized by its unusual rock formations, cave dwellings, and is engulfed in a rich history dating back before Christ.  Being an Interior Designer and an artist I love to see places, homes, designs out of the ordinary…it really puts the imagination to work. Cappadocia did exactly that! Since this area has been discovered by tourism some of the cave homes in town have been converted into hotels. Derek and I had the opportunity to stay in a couple of these super cool and unique cave pensions. It was such a fantastic experience!

The town of Goreme


Spelunca Cave Hotel – one of the places we stayed

At one time each of these rooms were individual homes that each family carved out by hand.

The niches, fireplace, and bathroom were all carved out of the rock itself. In the past if a family needed more room they would add a room or space by just carving out a new area.


{image via Escapio – Unique Hotels}

Village Cave House Hotel – another wonderful cave pension we stayed in.

It is a traditional family run cave pension with a delicious freshly prepared breakfast.

{image via Escapio – Unique Hotels}

Each room has a balcony.

The entrance to our room.

{image via Escapio – Unique Hotels}

I love the character of the rooms!

One of the best ways to explore the unusual landscape is by bike. Derek and I rented mountain bikes and spent the day riding the crazy terrain.

This summer I did some graphic design work for the Monadnock Conservancy in NH. They were hosting an event celebrating Monadnock Region agriculture, where local producers were invited to showcase their products and select farmers, including those who farm on conserved land, were featured speakers.

Their graphic design needs included a poster and invitations with the following instructions:

To keep with the Conservancy look — simple, professional while making the invites and posters feel special and visually appealing.  To be contemporary without being too modern and edgy for the NH audience. They could imagine a farm scene but wanted to somehow portray a “table”.

My concept:  a table setting using farming tools as utensils and the plate depicting the Monadnock “land”




In April, I posted about the patio/landscaping design project Derek and I were working on at my parents’ summer house, where we were to be married in September. The idea was to create a garden retreat for grilling, outdoor fires, and a shaded area to relax in during the heat of the day. After the initial brainstorming, I designed some conceptual site plans to get an idea of the style and budget that would work for my family.  Vineyard Gardens laid down the blue stone patio, Derek built the fence and outdoor shower, and my parents and I planted all the gardens. This become the summer of clearing vines, moving rocks, planting gardens, and weeding….I loved it. The difference is incredible! We planted two trees set back a little from the patio which are going to take a few years to grow to maturity but once they do it will be a great source of shade and privacy. I have realized landscaping is an ongoing project and it takes a garden several years to really establish itself. It makes me excited to see how this garden evolves into that perfect retreat!


The vines in the background had overtaken the trees.


Derek and I cleared all the vines from around the trees. We planted a Stewartia Tree (close to the garden) and a Mimosa Tree on the other side of the patio to create shade, privacy, and a more intimate ambiance. The trees are in their infant stage now but should grow to about 20′ at maturity.


AFTER [the fence and shower]

We built the fence to create a more intimate and private space for the patio. It also allowed for a nice location for the outdoor shower and a backdrop for the grill. We planted Thumbersia, Morning Glory, and Passion Flowers to climb the fence.

Derek built the fence and outdoor shower.

We moved the outdoor shower from the right side of the house for good circulation between the patio and the screened in porch.

The garden next to the garage.

The hole from the dry well for the new shower was full of rocks. My dad built a stone wall  in front of the house using those rocks.

We could not have picked a more perfect place for our honeymoon. Turkey is an amazing country that has it all… great food, wonderful people, an amazing history, picturesque landscapes, ancient ruins, loads of hiking trails and water activites…the options are endless. One of our favorite places along our journey was the area of Olimpos and Cirali. We were fortunate  enough to enjoy it at the beginning and the end of our trip, giving us the opportunity to stay at two different pensions…one on the beach, Olympos Lodge, and one in the forest, Daphne House. Both places understand the importance of landscaping, not only as a functional purpose of protecting their guests from the intense heat of the summer months but also to create a marvelous retreat full of serenity and peacefulness.

View of Olimpos and Cirali beach from the castle ruins


The straw umbrellas and huts are an integral part of the hotel to protect the guests from the hot summer sun. During the hottest part of the day we were either in the water or in the shade of the hut drinking mint lemonade. You could also find hammocks and comfortable lounging areas throughout the property to retreat to.

Their restaurant is set in the shade of palm trees and Mimosa trees.

Peacocks (even and albino one!), chickens, cats, and a dog roam their property enhancing the beautiful atmosphere.

rOh how I love outdoor showers. I think I have found the coolest one yet, surrounded by bamboo, Mimosa trees, Melisa plants, and set over a pond on a rock slab. Perfection!

White rocks, deep purple plants, angel trumpets, and mimosa trees were incorporated into their landscaping. This lodge was a perfect match to my wedding day decor!

The restaurant/lobby interior…exceptionally crafted building with a floor pattern mirroring its shape.

Gorgeous landscaped paths leading to each of the bungalows.

The material choice for the rooms and bathrooms were simple elegance using natural materials and a natural palette. Loved it!

As we wandered through the extensive paths and gardens we came upon an awesome greenhouse.

Not only is it beautiful during the day, the night-time is just as magical. The ambient lighting and the night-time fragrance from the Melisa plants and the Angel Trumpets are just out of this world!


Daphne House is a home away from home. Bulent and Refi are the warmest hosts I have ever encountered. They welcome you into their house with open arms and the most outstanding food we had in Turkey. Their stone house was built by their own hands through hard work, dedication, and love. And you can feel that love as soon as you enter their space. The backyard is a magical place set amongst tall pine trees and  beautifully landscaped.

An image of their backyard taken by one of their guests.

The hammocks and “tent” are great places to relax under the shade of the tall pines

To get to the beach from the Daphne House you walk through ruins dating back 1,000’s of years

Every evening together, joined by Bulent and Refi, the guests enjoy a delicious meal by candlelight on the beautiful wood table in their backyard garden.

Bulent and Refi enjoying the serene atmosphere they have created
Every evening a fire is lit to enjoy the peacefulness of the backyard and good conversation

Olympos Lodge and Daphne House were great sources of inspiration!

It has been awhile since I have posted…but I am back from my hiatus with lots of fun posts ahead. Our wedding was amazing…everything went better than we could have imagined. Both Derek and I are detailed oriented especially when it pertains to design so putting our heart and soul into the preparations was only natural for us.  Once all the pictures are gathered I will post elements from our wedding.

We just returned from a month long honeymoon traveling around Turkey! What an amazing country! Below are a few sketches I did along the way…I hadn’t sketched in a while so it was fun putting pen to paper again.

Turkey is abundant in fresh produce…orchards and gardens are everywhere you look. Pomegranate season was in full swing while we were there allowing for a daily dose of fresh pressed pomegranate juice.

The ruins at Ephesus were absolutely incredible! This is a drawing I did of the Temple of Hadrius.

In the hills near Ephesus is a town out of the past, called Sirince. The antique homes are nestled in the hillside and surrounded by orchards. A friend took us on a great horseback ride through the surrounding countryside…it was beautiful! I did this drawing drinking tea from a treehouse looking out over the town.

The sketch I did in the courtyard of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.