Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Debbi DiMaggio

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If I must be honest, I definitely look for the best spot to eat lunch, take a break, meet up at the end of the day to Apres ski, and of course, where to dine.

Pictured here, Chase and Katja enjoying Apres ski in Aspen Snowmass. What you don’t see is the band playing just beneath the ski slopes, people dancing and the outfits. One South American financier flew in a few (50+) of his best friends for a party. We were the lucky benefactors — music, outfits, entertainment.

I was inspired to write this blog after receiving Gray Malin’s email yesterday. Gray Malin is one of my favorite photographers discovered during my journey of the Empty Nest while producing my book, Contained Beauty, Photographs, Reflections and Swimming Pools to which he featured on Pages 74 and 122 … Click To Preview  The Making of Gray Malin in Aspen.

Here are my top five places I have discovered over the years, and enjoy–  from Aspen to Park City/Deer Valley and Vail to Telluride and Lake Tahoe.

  • The 10th @ Vail, Colorado. My daughter and her friends turned me on to this beautiful restaurant set on the top of Vail Mountain. Make a reservation, it is a sit down restaurant. Highlight: Remove your ski boots and jackets and slide into a pair of cozy slippers to borrow during your long leisurely lunch. The 10th
  • Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, Aspen, Colorado. Adam and I discovered this little jewel while skiing Aspen Highlands at the top of Cloud Nine Lift. Highlight: Perched beneath the chair lift you are right in the center of it all. Ski in, ski out or book a dinner reservation and arrive by snowcat. Lunch, Apres ski and Dinner. Charming, quaint and reminiscent of a resort in the European Alps. Cloud 9
  • Alpino Vino @ Telluride, Colorado. We discovered Alpino Vino while skiing Telluride’s tallest mountains one Christmas vacation. Alpino Vino sits at 11,966 vertical feet and is the highest fine dining restaurant in North America. Got Oxygen! I highly recommend drinking a lot of water and keep a bottle of O2 on hand. They sell cans of O2 at almost every store, including clothing boutiques. Highlight: The views, the stunning location, the beautiful plates of charcuterie and cheese exiting the kitchen or the effervescent glasses of crisp white and sparkling prosecco. Grab a cozy, luxurious throw and wrap it around you while you linger at Alpino Vino. Cheers!

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  • Fireside Dining @ Deer Valley adjacent to Park City, Utah. Chase, Katja, Adam and I drove from California to Colorado skiing our way back at the end of Winter Break from home to CU Boulder — back to college. We started in Lake Tahoe at the Ritz Carlton, NorthStar, to Park City, Utah and through Vail, Co and back. While in Park City — it was a chilly, snowy, winter wonderland — cold yet gorgeous, but we made the best of it. Of course! One evening we dined at Fireside Dining located in the Empire Canyon Lodge. Check days and hours of operation, it’s not always open. It is European dining at its finest. Enjoy 4 courses served from stone fireplaces. It was the first I had ever heard the term raclette. The raclette fireplace serves warm, melted cheese accompanied by cured meats, potatoes, baguettes and more. It’s delicious! And a first for me. A little like fondue, perhaps. Fireside Dining, Deer Valley — add this one to your list of places to experience.
  • Manzanita, Northstar, Lake Tahoe. Anytime of day. As you approach the Ritz from below the gigantic structure situated high on the mountain reminds me of Hogwarts, Harry Potter’s boarding school. Relax, work or read in the expansive lobby with dramatic wall of windows, or dine at Manzanita, an ideal spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drinks after a long day of skiing or spa–ing. Sit indoors or out, and experience fine dining overlooking the snowy peaks.

Happy Skiing and of course, enjoy your Apres Ski experience whether you ski or not!

XOXO

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Monday, February 3, 2020
Debbi DiMaggio

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Selling homes is what I do, love to do, and have done for over 30 years, and what has transpired by default, if you will, is become pretty good at design.  Each year we bring about 20 homes to market, and in doing so I provide a complimentary service to each of our clients, I call them mini makeovers, some, not so mini, they can be fairly significant.

Renovating a home is one of the many aspects of the home selling process I love most.  I am now offering my clients and you, my newest service, Designed To Stay, rather than Designed To Sell.  Here is what my team and I can do for future clients interested in maximizing the enjoyment of their home.

Below this home had carpet, black painted wood hand railings, carpet, a granite fireplace and green walls. The BEFORE photo shows Phase 1. carpet, white railings and neutral walls, and the granite removed. AFTER: In order to create a more open loft like environment the railings were removed to open up the room, the room painted bright white and bleached white hardwood floors installed. What you can’t see is that the walls were not flat, they had that ugly sprayed on texture representative of a bad apartment. It took two crews, the first crew did not do a great job of removing the texture, so crew two had to come in and continue the sanding until the walls were truly flat. I must say it makes a huge difference.

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What I do:

Planning I begin with a walk through, assessing the property and home with a keen eye. What I scrutinize: curb appeal, gardens, walkways, light fixtures, paint, floors, carpet, appliances, hardware, rooms and bathrooms, fireplace, electrical, furnace, the basement and, finally, the foundation. I inquire about systems you cannot easily see like the roof and the sewer. I take it all in, commit to memory, and visualize a plan. Window washing, a detailed cleaning and staging are the finishing touches after we complete the mini, or not so mini, makeover.

Paint, I can’t say enough about paint.

Debbi DiMaggio - Piedmont CA Homes - 04Estates Editorial Spreads - 16Estates Editorial Spreads - 08From drab to fab!

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Removing window coverings is usually one of the first things we do. And paint, wow, paint goes a long way to beautifying an indoor space as it does the exterior.

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Choosing fabulous light fixtures is another inexpensive touch. Of course it can me expensive, depending on your pocket book.

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Preparation Whether we are working on the transformation together, or should you decide to do it on your own, obtaining bids is the next step. I have a team of amazing service providers who will meet with me at a moment’s notice, so I am able to line up everyone over a one or two-day period in order to obtain our estimates. Upon receiving the bids, I then sit down with my client and review … We discuss budget and how much, if all, of the recommendations we implement. Then we prioritize, together.

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Transformation A commitment from the homeowner and attention to detail is critical as there is much work involved. The client must be available to approve or disapprove of choices. I will project manage and offer choices. Ideally I do that up front so we can make the transition quick and seamless since most often our re design clients will be living in their homes. ( A timely vacation is always an ideal option during this time. ) I have many wonderful service provider partners who will work with me to create an environment you will want to say, “instead of going out for drinks, come over to my house.”
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I love the process and even more so the results. From “Lived In” to “Staged to Stay”, the transformation is exciting each and every time.

So, from LIVED IN to Staged To Stay, or Lived In to Staged to Sell, give me a call. I look forward to creating an environment so wonderful you’ll fall in love with your home all over again.

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XOXO Debbi

PS. So where will you vacation?

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Friday, January 3, 2020
Debbi DiMaggio
Styled Stock Photos for Instagram and Social Media, Flatlays, Social Squares from the SC Stockshop

I can’t watch a movie, read a book or flip through a magazine without focusing on the words, the images and the design. I am always seeing something deeper, my mind begins to wander, just like it did this afternoon as I was flipping through the pages of Elle Decor. Within the first few pages I was inspired once again to pick up my laptop, begin to dream, Blog, and share. While watching a movie I can become distressed just trying to fathom how an actor can memorize lines while feeling the passion of what they are saying. How do they do that? Sifting through a magazine I am mesmerized by the beauty and simplicity of a well placed objects on a coffee table, the layout of a room or if I love or dislike a light fixture. And when reading a book I oftentimes re read as my mind wanders I have to pull myself back… did it really say that? did I misread it, or wow, that was an amazing passage. How did the author weave those words together so brilliantly? Or if let’s say they are writing about a place I love, like Nantucket or the Hamptons, the book will transcend me back. Who knows, maybe your mind wanders too. Sometimes I wish I could just turn it off, my mind that is, and simply watch to experience what’s in front of me. Then again, if it’s truly a great piece, it will, and it has. Any great books, TV shows or movies I should read or watch please share. I would love and appreciate your recommendations. The last time I truly recall being immersed into a show was one holiday season between Christmas and New Year’s my husband and I binged Breaking Bad. I recall becoming so immersed I felt I looked as disheveled and drugged out as the characters on the show. I wasn’t, mind you, I was just really into it. While flipping through my recent copy of Elle Decor a few of my Top 5’s came to mind. So I grabbed a Sharpie and began taking notes on the glossy pages. So here goes.

Top 5 Places I Enjoy Stopping into while visiting New York ( oftentimes, every time! )

IMG_10621. RH Home Flagship Store in the Meatpacking District – RH Home is filled with more than just furnishings. RHNY Flagship has a barista bar on one level and a beautiful restaurant on the top floor. It’s a visual journey. Preview Video Below.

2. ABC Carpet and Home – Multiple levels of beautiful accessories and things for the home, small and large. IMG_36753. Eataly in the Flatiron District – Yes, it’s chaotic, hectic and you’ll be on sensory overload, but it’s a feast for the eyes and the palate. IMG_70444. Chelsea Market – What can I say but, come hungry. One can find anything from lobster rolls at the Lobster Place and sushi, to unique food stands like Takumi Taco a delicious combination of Japanese and Mexican. The list goes on. Chelsea Market also has great shopping, artisans, music and events. I can never get enough. IMG_33565. International Spy Museum – My latest find. It’s a hands on experience with a plethora of interesting historical facts. Spy movies just so happen to be my favorite genre.

And 5 Historical Favorites Not to Be Missed — The Whitney, The Met, Museum of Modern Art, Central Park and Rockefeller Plaza.

 

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And New York would not be NY without exploring the city with my beautiful daughter Bianca who is a current resident working and living the dream in Manhattan.

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Thursday, January 2, 2020
Debbi DiMaggio

Here’s to getting to the top and achieving our goals in 2020!

Debbi's Favorite Things! Shop Now!

Activate your Passion •

Clearly define your Purpose then Pursue & Persist until you Prevail.

It all begins with a Plan.

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Saturday, September 14, 2019
Debbi DiMaggio

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A different journey, the same destination.

Viva la Vida!

Live, Love ❤️Embrace Life!

Living Life, that’s  what my new friend and I are doing.

I had just finished my sweat at Shape House and was driving through West Hollywood in search of a salad and a glass of Chardonnay.

At first I thought Sur, Pump or Cecconi’s or Tortilla Republic, all within walking distance of Shape House, but I was still reaping the benefits of my treatment… the sweating continued, sans make up, and crazy hair. As I drove up N Robertson and turned right onto the lively and beat pumping Santa Monica Blvd, Trader Joe’s sounded like a good idea but I turned prematurely, one block too soon.

Tender Greens was on the corner, I’ll park there, I thought. No parking to be found. Heading towards Sunset I figured I’d hit up Tender Greens next to the Hills Penthouse, my former Members Only Club, and SoulCycle. It was a busy LA summer night… still no parking ‍♀️.

Sunset Plaza! Voila! Free, available and easy, so I parked.

Chin Chin’s Chinese Chicken Salad and a glass of Chardonnay, perfect. I’ll sit outside and watch the people and cars go by. But something propelled me to continue on to another favorite little spot. Whether it’s the perfect location, the energy, or the cheerful yellow awning, my legs propelled me further.

I arrived at the hostess stand that sits on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. Briefly I waited and thought.

Experiencing the same elation just as I do when strolling the quaint cafes along Nice’s Promenade or the narrow cobblestone streets of Saint Tropez.

Le Petit Four has that ability. It transports me right back to the South of France each and every time. It’s no wonder I’m always drawn back.

But for a split second I almost change my mind. The restaurant was packed, bustling with people and lively conversation. Where will I be seated? I can’t sit under a heat lamp I’ll die! I thought to myself panicking, slightly. But before I could change my mind a beautiful girl with a big smile donning a white Afro invited me to follow her; still nervous about the table that would be mine for the evening.

There were 4 tables nestled close together, side by side. She didn’t just seat me at the easiest table in the corner or off to the side, alone. No. She sat me one in from the end with a perfect view of the entire outdoor patio. It was perfect. Even better, within 3 minutes of taking my seat, adjusting myself and locating a place for my handbag. Note: One must never place a handbag on the floor or the ground. It was at the Wynn Las Vegas when I learned of this superstition. I asked the waitress why the woman at the other table was given a foot stool and not I. She explained I was sitting at a booth and had a place to put my handbag. She did not. She went on to explain how it is an Asian belief that one must never place their handbag on the floor as it is bad luck. I’ve never placed my handbag on the floor since, and share this with everyone I dine out with. Who wants to be bestowed with bad luck?! Not I.

As I was saying, within 3 minutes this lovely lady was seated next to me by the owner and the hostess, everyone knew her, they all exchanged pleasantries in French. It was at that very moment I knew why my journey transpired the way it had that evening.

Coincidences don’t exist. Perhaps divine intervention or accidentally with purpose. Or just meant to be. I know one thing for sure, you’ve got to get out and see what life has in store for you, it’s not going to come to you.

We exchanged names and a hello and each went on to order a dry white wine, Sancerre. As it would happen we were on the same page. Open to conversation we told the owner to cancel our individual orders and that we would be sharing a bottle.

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In the end I wasn’t alone. I was graced with the most wonderful, kind, friendly, inspirational woman who embraced a similar outlook on life. Also a loving Mom who believe kids are everything as is Family.

Cathy came here 18 months ago from Paris with her 93 year old mother, her sister, her 9 year old nephew and 26 year old son. She always had this idea, a dream, and is now living it. Within 2 months she received a Visa and is now living and enjoying her American Dream.

Professionally trained in France at the Culinary Institute, and now in LA, together Cathy and her son opened a tea shop with delicious pastries and more, right here in the heart of West Hollywood on Sunset Blvd. She is living her next chapter as am I. Dreams do come true. And life is extraordinary when you go out and live it.

To visit Cathy and her son Anthony go to Le Salon de The

Photos: Le Salon de The

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