Thursday, August 18, 2016

5 Kitchen Design Trends to Take From PULTE'S Model Homes

5 Kitchen Design Trends to Take From Model Homes

The model homes of builders are known for showcasing the latest interior design trends in trying to appeal to home shoppers. So what’s trending when it comes to the kitchen?
PulteGroup’s Interior Designs Team is merchandising about 425 model homes in 2016. The kitchen is a big area that gets a lot of the design team’s focus too.
“Today’s home buyers are willing to spend more in the kitchen – from energy-efficient appliances to quartz countertops,” says Janice Jones, PulteGroup’s national vice president of interior design. “We continuously conduct consumer focus groups to best understand what they want in their kitchens and are constantly refining our kitchen designs and its elements to ensure it delivers on functionality, creative design and easy maintenance across all our buyer groups.”
Jones cites five kitchen trends in 2016 that they are reflecting in many PulteGroup model homes lately. These trends also can serve as inspiration for home owners planning renovation projects or wanting ideas for easy updates, Jones notes.
1. Contrasting materials
Materials are getting mixed in the kitchen. Contrasting colors and styles are combined to create a more unique space. For example, mixed marbles and metals in a space can help highlight gray wood tones.

2. Decorative lighting
Bold and oversized lighting choices are popular choices. “Decorative lighting is key in the kitchen and adds dramatic flair as well as functionality to the kitchen, especially over the kitchen island,” according to PulteGroup’s Interior Designs Team.
3. Transparency
Switch out some cabinet doors with glass doors. It can help you extend visual boundaries while also allowing home owners to display some of their favorite things and add more personalization to a space.

4. Storage
Home owners are always looking for more storage, especially in the kitchen. Double-stacked cabinets that extend to the ceiling can help maximize storage space.

5. More drawers, less doors
Having plenty of kitchen drawers can add more functionality in storage. Home owners are showing preferences toward more drawers over extra cabinets. Bold hardware can then added to the drawers to add more design appeal, PulteGroup says.

brought to you by MARILYN JACOBS, REALTOR

Saturday, June 18, 2016


A positive development is brewing in Palm Beach that will have appropriate eyes on re-development issues.  A decade ago the Testa family, restauranteurs, sought to change zoning restrictions, especially the town’s on-site parking requirements which the Testas said discouraged others from investing in the deteriorating buildings, including the restaurant they owned. The town has approved redevelopment by purchasers of the Testa property into a new restaurant, shops and luxury homes with underground parking. 

While these buildings are NOT on the waterfront, the ocean and intracoastal waterway are a few blocks east and west.  Residents can stroll over for a great lunch or dinner, shop in the stores, and browse interesting items.  Great location in Palm Beach.  Many condos in this area.
Adjacent properties have been purchased from a Saudi prince that encompass about 30,000 sq ft of rentable restaurant, retail and office space  and a 1400 sq ft apartment, all within about an eighth of an acre.  Included are Classic Collections (landmarked), Evelyn & Arthur (landmarked), Nick & Johnnies (façade is landmarked), and The Palm Beach Bookstore.  The properties were sold to generate funds the seller plans to reinvest in other capital projects, almost all of it planned to stay in the U.S.  According to news reports, the new owners have talked to other owners of adjacent properties, who don’t want to sell… YET!
This area is just north of “downtown Palm Beach” and The Breakers Hotel on a street with a pretty median, open views and royal palm trees, and some parking. The new owners of the properties are focused on re-energizing the street, improving its walkability, adding the needed underground parking, and stopping the inevitable deterioration and blight. Along with preserving the “small town appearance and character,” and adding upgraded or new businesses, the expected result will be new jobs, new residences and new patrons will come to the area.
The community has members who want to protect the street’s small-town character from over-development. The proposed new underground parking area will counter complaints about anticipated congestion and bring new people to the area.  As this development comes about, we will watch it grow and be proud. The Preservation Foundation (your editor is a member) recently played a large part in restoration in the Royal Poinciana Plaza area, caddy-corner and a bit down the block from the Testa property.  It would not be surprising to find the Foundation involved in this project.
The anticipated soon-to-be owners have engaged an architect who is a member of the Landmarks Preservation Commission “to work with us on the landmarked buildings… to properly restore and protect the site’s historically significant buildings.” This should counter objections about the appearance of the street when the area is redeveloped. 
Most (perhaps all) of the buildings they purchased are wood frame, dating to the early 1900’s, and are suffering decay from roof leaks and water damage, mold accumulations and wood rot, termite infestation and structural failures. Electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems require complete upgrades or replacements.  Estimates for costs may be equal to or exceed the $10.35mm cost of the properties.
In the US of A, you can’t stop progress, thank heavens. 


Luxury Property Specialist at Heath & Joseph Real Estate

Saturday, May 28, 2016

THINKING OF A MOVE? REALTOR.COM RATES LANTANA AS 4TH ON LIST OF "AMERICA'S BEST UNDER-THE-RADAR (AND AFFORDABLE) BEACH TOWNS." "Located 10 miles south of ritzy West Palm Beach, Lantana exudes a whole different vibe - the place retains the flavor of an old fising village in its dock, fishing pier and annual fishing tournament.

In addition to sun-drenched beaches, the area also offers shark diving, boating and other activities for adventurers.  Nature lovers can check out the Lantana Nature Preserve, a recreation of Florida's coastal environment intended to serve as a living classroom for ecological education."

Take a short hike with family and friends at the Lantana Nature Preserve.  It is located across the street from the Plaza del Mar shopping center in Manalapan, just west of the Carlisle retirement community. Serving as a living classroom for ecological education, the preserve recreates Florida’s coastal environment.  Admission at 400 East Ocean Avenue in Lantana is free.  Take the kids to the ice cream store in Plaza del Mar, across from Eau Spa, and treat them to Garbage Can ice cream, a mix of flavors favoring chocolate.

Areas with properties available today include Manalapan and Hypoluxo Island.  They range from $3,120,000 to $6,215,000.  Many more affordable properties are available as well.  Waterfront condos in Lanana range from just under $1,000,000 down to $175,000, list subject to change.  For more information call Marilyn at 561-513-6180.

Other towns cited by include Ocean Park in Washington, Cape Canavaral and Crescent City in California.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


In June 1983, I was at a crossroads. I was twenty-four years old and had spent a year working for Pizza Hut. And while I had a good time traveling the country and stuffing myself, the job was starting to get old. That summer I made a pros and cons list. I wrote down various career options — going to an established company, a startup, or a consulting firm — and ticked through the benefits and drawbacks of each possible move. 

First on my list were established tech companies such as Apple and Atari. Marketing positions at these companies would have provided the tech on-ramp I was seeking, but with big companies come internal politics and red tape. There were some pros to those jobs but also a whole lot of cons.
Co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of America Online (AOL)

When considering the possibility of joining a marketing consulting firm in San Francisco, I noted that while it would be fun to work in Silicon Valley, I had three concerns: “stuffy, tough sell, don’t like consulting.” So that was a pass, too. 
Finally, there was CVC, the startup I ended up choosing. I saw a lot upside to going there: an exciting idea, promising technology, a chance to make a big impact in a growing market — and, best of all, the opportunity to work alongside and learn from entrepreneur Bill von Meister. I listed only one downside: “future uncertain.” 
Everything about the CVC job was up in the air, from my future role in the company to the future of the company itself. Of course, you know how the story ends (the company became AOL), but at the time this was a big concern. In a way, though, that uncertainty was as much a pro as it was a con. Sure, an uncertain future meant I could be out on the streets looking for a job in a few months’ time. But it also meant a chance to make my own destiny. A chance, as it turned out, to play a role in making the Internet a part of everyday life.
I’m often reminded of the famous newspaper ad Ernest Shackleton is said to have placed before his 1914 attempt to explore Antarctica: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.” That’s the beauty of entrepreneurship, and that’s what drew me to CVC. 
The bottom line is that when I was twenty-four, I had no idea where my own “hazardous journey” would lead me. I didn’t know whether my stock options would even be worth the paper they were printed on. All I knew was that in the uncertainty lay immense challenges — and enormous opportunities. There was a boundless electronic frontier to explore, an online Antarctica filled with peril and possibility. And I knew that I needed to be a part of charting that uncertain future. 
When I think about what the world will look like thirty years from now and try to anticipate what problems we need to solve — to say nothing of the problems we face now — I see another uncertain future. But I also believe that, as in my case, this uncertainty isn’t a disadvantage. Once again, we’ve got a pro masquerading as a con. Once again, we have the opportunity — and, I believe, the obligation — to set a new course. Now we just have to think about what all of us — entrepreneurs, business leaders, government officials, everyday Americans with good ideas — can and must do to make sure we arrive there. 
Ride the wave
The Third Wave of the Internet is coming, the moment when the Internet transforms from something we interact with to something that interacts with everything around us. It will mean the rise of the Internet of Everything, where everything we do will be enabled by an Internet connection, much in the way it’s already enabled by electricity. 
This process will lead to the transformation of some of the industries that are vital to our daily lives, which will make the barriers to success higher, and the need to form partnerships much more central, as a way of building credibility, opening doors, and getting past industry gatekeepers. One such partner will likely be the government, which has an interest in regulating the industries most affected by the Third Wave.
Don’t confuse your views of government with the role of government, which can be either an impediment to progress or a driver of it, and which cannot be ignored. Much Third Wave innovation will come from impact entrepreneuring focused on building “profit plus purpose” companies that have a measurable impact on the world. And this innovation will be geographically dispersed, as the rest of the country (and the world) rises up to complement the innovation now occurring largely in a few places, such as Silicon Valley. The challenges in the Third Wave will be vexing, and as Thomas Edison reminds us, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” But if we rally together, and execute with precision, we can remain the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial nation.
So that’s my thesis, in a nutshell. Think of it as the CliffsNotes — or BuzzFeed — guide to the Third Wave. One more parting thought before I go. 

A message to corporate America 
To corporate leaders, it’s time to develop a perpetual sense of paranoia and curiosity. It’s time to both fear the future and seize its promise, to restlessly drive to master it, no matter what it holds. Regardless of where you and your company stand at the end of today, you can always wake up tomorrow to find that things have changed drastically. You jeopardize your position if you don’t strive to anticipate how it will change. 

Keep your finger on the pulse of technology, and consider what its beat might mean for your business. Take stock of trends. Resist the temptation to dismiss up-and-coming technologies. 
Empower your team to ask questions and, where no answers exist, to create new ones. Give them the space to innovate and experiment. Take more “shots on goal.” Allow more crazy ideas to bubble up, because the very best ideas often sound ridiculous when first proposed. Surely, executives at Marriott and Hilton would have thought that the idea of renting an air mattress or a room in an apartment was insane. But in 2015, seven years after starting, Airbnb was valued at $25 billion, making it worth more than either of the hospitality powerhouses, both of which have been around for more than half a century. And it’s not just about relative valuations: it’s also about sudden shifts in market dynamics. As Senator Marco Rubio has pointed out, Airbnb is now the largest hospitality provider, yet they don’t own a single hotel. Similarly, Uber is the largest transportation company, though they don’t own a single vehicle. And neither company existed a decade ago. 
Remember that disruption has broadened. Your competitors won’t just emerge from the low end of your industry. Increasingly, they’ll come from other industries, too. Apple wasn’t in the music business, nor was Google in the mobile phone business — until suddenly they were. So build a network in and around your company — and look for the opportunity in every direction.
The future belongs to those who endeavor to create it. That’s why we go into business — because we have a vision for the future that we want to see through. So don’t let temporary successes permanently blind your future ambitions.
You have the resources — human, capital, otherwise — to take on ambitious projects. And so you must decide — is it better to use those recourse to resist change or to drive it? 
And remember this: In the Third Wave, partnerships will become more important. You’ll have more opportunities in the next decade than you did in the past decade. So don’t just play defense, play offense. Don’t just defend, attack. But don’t go it alone. As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” 

This post has been adapted and excerpted from Steve Case’s new book, “The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future,” on sale now from Simon & Schuster. This article is from LINKED IN.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

SO… how does your garden grow? Come on Mounts’ annual tour of gardens for some ideas and visual beauty

Self-paced tours will take place Saturday and Sunday

Eight garden tours are featured and one ticket will let you in both on Saturday and Sunday for the 12th Annual Connoisseurs Garden Tour, sponsored by Mounts Botanical Garden.

A private garden on Chilean Avenue, filled with orchids and other colorful plants, and the public Pan’s Garden at 386 Hibiscus Avenue in Palm Beach are among the eight featured gardens.  Pan’s garden features over 300 native Florida plant species.  Pan’s Garden was founded in 1994 by the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach.

Tickets are $25 and include a brochure with descriptions of each garden. Tours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.  Purchase tickets in advance at several locations including the Mounts gift shop and office, 531 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach; Uncle Bim’s Garden Center, 926 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach; and Amelia’s Smarty Plants, 1515 N. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth.

For details, call 561-233-1757 or visit  For information about the Preservation Foundation go to

Monday, May 02, 2016


A Circuit Court Judge ruled that Palm Beach County's development orders did NOT violate comprehensive plan policies on future land use and transportation in rural areas because those rules don't govern agricultural enclaves such as Westlake.  Recently the District Court of Appeals rejected arguments that the project would illegally create urban sprawl.

The forthcoming Westlake development, located northwest of West Palm Beach, will include:
  • 4500 homes
  • 500,000 sq ft of retail space
  • 1.5 mm sq ft of employment-center space ( traditional office space, light/clan manufacturing, medical office space)
  • 200,000 sq ft of civid space (with fire station, sheriffs station and school)
  • MAYBE: a 3,000-student college and 150-room hotel
Marketing for the property has begun.  There is a large skilled labor force in the area who may want to work closer to home when this project is move-in ready.

Saturday, April 30, 2016


Designs for the construction of a “timeless” 9,000 sq ft one-story contemporary house passed the approval of the Palm Beach Architectural Commission.  The ¾ acre lot at 430 N. Lake Way has 115’ of ICW waterfront.  The forthcoming long lean house with a flat roof will cover 2/3 of the lot at 430 North Lake Way.  A straight-lined entablature with horizontal quartzite panels from Spain will define the roof line.  The façade will feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows with rear windows and doors positioned to maximize the water views.

Before approval was issued, there was much discussion about the planned for 12’ privacy hedge, typical of Palm Beach landscaping.  The landscape architect said the hedge would only be broken in two places to accommodate the 12’ driveway.  Some Commissioners felt that would block views of the architecture and the landscape architect said it would mimic similar neighborhood landscaping.  He was asked to revise the hedge design so passersby could see the architecture.  Only one Commissioner objected to the architecture, the rest were in favor of the design.

In past years there has been much controversy over building contemporary-style houses with some feeling these homes will change the architectural fabric of the area.
A local architect told the board that “Palm Beach “has a long history of really great but limited modern architecture.”  Most commissioners heartily embraced the design, one Commissioner, an architect, said that, “This is truly another gem that we will have here…I am happy to support you.”

One next door property is Mediterranean, the other is Key West and one Commissioner objected to the house being “too dissimilar” from the others.  None of the neighbors objected to the design and one actively supported it.  One Commissioner said that she did not see “any continuity” in the immediate area anyway.”  The new owner is a former Goldman Sachs executive who retired recently as co-head of global mergers and acquisitions, and is now a partner in another investment bank, Centerview Partners.  The couple paid $15.66mm for the property a few months after he resigned.

Friday, April 29, 2016



In response to Rabbi Mortimer J. Cohen’s letter describing his vision for a simple, modern synagogue that could hold up to 1500 people, Frank Lloyd Write responded, “Dear Rabbi Cohen, I would like to talk to you concerning your project.”  Thus began a six year collaboration between the Rabbi and the world famous Architect that led to the beautiful sanctuary above in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.

Rabbi Cohen said in his request, cost would be $500,000, there would be no windows but the glass roof and rotunda would let in light.  Walls would have acoustic treatment.  Included would be classrooms, meeting rooms and storage rooms, all to be air-conditioned.  Sketches of his ideas were included.  Wright’s goal was to have congregants walk in and feel “as if they were resting in the hands of God.” The gentle slope of the horseshoe formation achieved the goal of seeing others around you no matter where you were seated rather than the backs of heads and profiles. On bright sunny days when a cloud passes overhead, the room darkens, at sunset the room turns gold, and when the sky is blue, you see blue.

This is the only synagogue that Wright ever designed.  Many of his textures, colors and geometric motifs such as triangles and hexagons are repeated thruout the structure, creating a powerful design unity.  Modern materials were used including concrete, steel and glass, finished with gold tones of bronze and desert sand, using Wrights signature red, and matte silver aluminum.

The building was dedicated on September 20, 1959, five months after Wright’s death.  Shortly thereafter both the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation singled out Beth Sholom Synagogue as one of the seventeen Wright buildings most worthy of preservation. Later an elevator was added, restrooms were upgraded and sidewalks were widened.  Visitors can watch a 20-minute documentary narrated by Leonard Nimoy and study exhibits.  Tours are suspended when events are held such as weddings, bar mitzvahs and funerals.  No tours are given on Saturdays or Jewish holidays.  School continues thruout the year.  The vegetable garden grows food for the food pantry.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016



Rich source of fibre
Low in calories and fat
Excellent source of folic acid
Moderate source of Vitamins C and K
#7 on USDA's Top 20 Antioxidant-rich foods

Sunday, April 24, 2016


The usual custom is for the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate an entire structure for preservation and protection from demolition by current or future owners of a property, but some partial designations have been chosen in the past in Palm Beach.  

This past week the Commission has nominated only part of the front structures, the facades of two homes, for landmark protection, a “compromise,” so that any future changes and additions are compatible with the most noteworthy features of the property. 

The Commissioners recommended that the Town Council designate the front entrance at Pelican Manor  at 125 Seagrape Circle and the majority approved, but two of the Commissioners voted against the recommendation, “not impressed by its design.”  The front entrance features wood-paneled double doors with a substantial stone surround, a full-height portico and balanced use of windows and doors. This home is a Neoclassical style designed by Wyeth, Kind and Johnson.  

The front façade of 200 El Brillo Way was unanimously recommended by the Commission.  The 1929 Mediterranean Revival style home is house is built in a U-shaped design by architect Marion Sims Wyeth. 

Past partial designations include the gate and perimeter wall south of the gate in front of the former Kennedy estate at 1095 North Ocean Boulevard where many recent renovations and restorations have been made by the current owners.  The home is a 1923 Mediterranean Revival design by Addison Mizner and renovated in 1933 by  Maurice Fatio.  Market value is $59.55mm according to list of most taxed estates in the Palm Beach Post) built in 1975.

The west side of the Breakers Hotel, is another partial designations.  These valuable features are hereby protected from demolition.  Actions like these keep Palm Beach Island “true-to-form” and preserve and protect the historical vision that Palm Beach is, honoring the talented architects and landscapers of the past and of today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


“Giving back” is well represented by the late billionaire John Kluge’s generosity.  Four acres with two houses and three other buildings held a lot of “goodies” including  furniture, decorative accessories and other objects symbolic of “the good life.”  The property has been on the market for five years with all the furniture remaining inside. 150’ of oceanfront land is included.

Kluge Estate Guest House by Addison Mizner

Palm  Beach’s 89 Middle Road just sold for $39MM, with receipts for property, furniture et al slated for scholarships at Columbia University, Kluge’s alma mater.  In time to come the buyer will decide what to do with this outstanding property.

Leslie Hindman received about 400 items to appraise, catalog and put up for sale, June 9-13, allowing remote bidding.

Christie’s will auction some of the furnishings, silver and porcelain in New York City December 2nd and 3rd, about 100 lots of treasures.  Kluge’s extensive fine art collection generated about $12MM at a Christie’s auction a few years ago. Periods represented include “newer and still chic items” alongside the antiques. 

Models of sailing ships and a billiards table are included.  Kluge loved lavishly landscaped gardens and outdoor furniture and decorative items used on the grounds will be included, some of it bamboo furniture.  Other fabulous auctions handled by Hindman’s company included items from the Kennedy and Lilly Pulitzer estates, the historic Manalapan home, Casa Alva and similar expansive and well-decorated estates.

Monday, April 18, 2016


GREEN COVE SPRINGS is northwest of St Augustine, Clay County, in Florida known for its natural Sulphur springs.  It is located on the St. Johns River, south of Jacksonville. 

Kudos to the Clay County Animal Care and Control shelter for developing a new Business Cat Program which helps business owners and shelter animals.  Shelter cats are placed at pet-friendly businesses until they find forever homes. The cats get exposure to the public which can increase their chances of being adopted.  The benefit to employers is to see increased productivity and decreased stress among its employees.
Clay County Old Courthouse
Animals first get complete veterinary care, being spayed or neutered and vaccinated prior to a business placement.  Supplies come with the kitty such as food and litter.  Businesses provide a safe enclosed environment, and love and affection from office staff.  Cats are carefully chosen according to the environment with few or lots of people around the business.  A large crate is provided for night time for the cats.
18-hole Eagles Landing golf course
Result: 25 shelter cats recently found new homes during a Super Adoption Weekend.   All potential business cats were adopted.  There is no fee and the cats are considered “borrowed.”
Nature Trail

Tree House for Overnight Camping

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


About a talented baseball player, all-around nice guy, the price of fame and reporters who make up false stories to sell their books and articles. 

Ring a bell today?