Truly Grand!

View of Grand Hotel from the Strait of Mackinac

View of Grand Hotel from the Strait of Mackinac

World’s Largest Front Porch- Grand Hotel:
Grand Hotel has always embraced its rich history, but kept up well with the times. Today, guests enjoy modern amenities while the hotel’s original architecture and charm have been tastefully preserved. At 660 feet, Grand Hotel’s Front Porch is the world’s largest, and is visible as you approach the Mackinaw Island from the Straits of Lake Michigan, where cars are not allowed and the horse and carriage and bicycle are favoured modes of transportation.

About Mackinaw Island:
Mackinaw (MACK-in-awe) became one of the nation’s favoured summer resort destinations during the Victorian era. Vacationers arrived in large lake excursion boats from Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit seeking the cooler weather on Mackinaw Island. They danced to Strauss’ waltzes, listened to Sousa’s stirring marches, dined on whitefish and strolled along the broad decks. To accommodate overnight guests, boat and railroad companies financed the building of Grand Hotel.
The 1980 film Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer, was filmed on location at Grand Hotel. You may remember it.

Hydrangea Quercifolia Oak leaf

Summer color

Summer color

Fall color

Fall color

…Is the newest addition to my garden, and I just love it. One of the few hydrangeas’ native to the United States, the oak leaf has a white bloom in the summer and generates four seasons of interest with its various colored leaves and blooms.
Equally as lovely in the fall as in the summer, the summer’s large white blooms and green leaves give way to multi-colors shades of yellow, red, brown and burgundy foliage, with the bloom turning shades of purple.
The Oak leaf’s bloom has two forms: single and double. Its name comes from the large shape of the leaves; they thrive in sunny locations and grow rapidly without much water or help from the gardener. Check out my new favorite plant this summer…

An inspiration of creativity from another artist : David Belyeat Photography

Lady in the wind

Lady in the wind

Forbidden Pool

Forbidden Pool

Some people think of photography as pictures of family and friends. But photography as a means of art is another way to experience our wonderful world. David Belyeat brings that feeling to all his work. Whether it’s nature or city scapes. David captures the essence of the environment with his eye for detail and his developing style and printing techniques.
Large scale photography doesn’t have to be only for the corporate office environment, it works well in medical and residential installations too. Photography can bring you to places you have only dreamed of, it bring calm to stressful environment, and light to a cloudy day!Lady in the wind
By shooting images with a large format camera he is able to make the most of color and image. By opening up his lenses for longer periods of time, he captures movement as it happens… David’s color development is second to none, which he has developed by uses cutting edge materials like crystal infused paper and metals. His images transcend into two dimensional art.
David is a self-taught photographer with a true gift. After living in an urban environment, David and his wife decided he wanted a new way to experience life and they recently relocated to Denver, Colorado and opened a studio there. I invite you to view his extensive collection of work on his web

Blu Homes

A New Way To Build Your Home of the Future

Blu Homes started as a two year study program at MIT and the Rhode Island School of Design. The program set out to identify ways to build “green”, or sustainable, homes in a modular environment.

A Stunning Blu Home

A Stunning Blu Home

By creating a prefab template and using state of the art technology, Blu is able to create a custom home for a fraction of the time and cost. Forget about what you ever thought of as a mobile home. This is no double wide.

Typically constructed in a factory in about 6–8 weeks, this construction method is much less stressful on the environment, yourself, and your new neighbors. Blu explains that the whole process from site selection to move-in can be completed in about 9 months, much shorter than your typical construction schedule.

Varying in size and cost, and with the newest energy savings construction on the market, Blu Homes claims that their design and construction methods can provide you with up to $7,000 in energy cost savings over a 10 years, when compared to a traditionally built home. With a variety of sizes and a wide selection of finishes, you can customize every aspect of your home to fit your tastes. Prices vary from as little as $130,000 to as much as $600,000.

Blu Homes is one of the few prefab home-builders that offer space spans of 18’ to 25’ wide, with ceilings up to 16’ high, making for an open, sunny and spacious living area.

Check out their web site:, and start thinking about that second home, or the next way you’ll purchase a home.

When you’re ready for an interior design consultation for your Blu Home, contact us!

Illuminated Paint by Peter Bynum

For the second year in a row, I have seen Peter’s work at the Architectural Digest Home Show; it glows from a far, and draws you near. He paints on panels of glass and then spaces them out and layers them to create depth and colors, shapes and forms, which draw you in for a closer look.

Detail of one of Bynum's layered glass creations

Detail of one of Bynum’s layered glass creations

Peter describes it as “light surrounding paint”. His art takes on dimension; when multiple layers of painted glass are lit from behind, the light  filters out from the back, front and sides, giving volume to the light and creating a three dimensional painting that glows.

The paint becomes translucent and luminous. When viewing, it feels like you are able to dive into the painting and swim through the piece…it’s a very calming effect.

By painting on separate panels of glass and spacing the panels out from each other, it allows a flat surface to take on spatial depth, similar to a sculpture; layers can be changed or rotated to create up to eight different possible ways to present the piece, reminding you of a microscopic slide of nature.

With a remote control dimmer, you can change the light intensity of the art and become an artist, in what Bynum describes as a passive role. The viewer decides the setting and mood for the moment.

Dede Young, Art Historian at the Neuberger Museum of Art, called his work “most provocative, when contemporary art turns a corner and moves away from the past. There is sort of a secret world to his painting, almost as if you are underwater.” See the close-up image of Peter’s glass and visit his website, to see examples and how it’s done.

Spring is Here! Check Out the 2013 Color of the Year.

Green - The Color of 2013!Who isn’t ready for spring and the colors of 2013?

I know I am ready, and from all I’m reading the colors for 2013 are spring colors. Primarily greens of all shades and tones – emerald, pistachio, daiquiri ice. Pantone has a huge color selection of greens, and the fashion world has jumped on the band wagon, with emerald as the dominate shade for clothing and accessories. Yes it seems like where heading back in 1986, with deep dark green walls and carpets…but here is it!

I just wish I could somehow have green eyes…they have always been my favorite.

Think Spring and check out some of the greens for this year!