Interior Design

You know… I haven’t ever really done much to promote my passion – design – on here.  So while I am feeling the need to write a bit in my blog, I thought I would throw this question out to you:

  • What is your favorite color (or two)?
  • Why is that color your favorite or what does it evoke in you?
  • Lastly, do you have that/those color(s) somewhere in your home and where?

Color so often creates a mood…energy, tranquility, restfulness, cheerfulness…and so much more.  And the spectrum of color is nearly infinite!  If I were to identify my favorite color(s) at this moment, I’d have to say any form of gray, with daubs of blue and brown thrown in.  To me gray has so many possibilities and creates this incredible background for art, for enhancing pops of color elsewhere in the space whether in fabrics or accessories.  Many people think of it as a cold color but it’s all in the manner that you dress it up…add elements like wood, and carpet and gray become a very cozy restful color.

For me gray stimulates my mind on the infinite directions I can go with it to create an environment that suits my needs.  As for having the color of gray and the accents of blue and brown in my current space, that’s a negative.  When you rent a room, you don’t always have that luxury.  But I am working on it.  I did incorporate gray in my sister’s bathroom remodel, along with black whites, and minimal pops of gold and red…some through marble, porcelain tile, paint, and accessories.

So…take a look at those questions above again, and tell me your thoughts. Hugs!


I find myself asking, “Why am I bothering to even make this entry?”  The whole blogging element seems like a lifetime ago.  And some of the friends that I met here in Blogland and in person seem to be fading away.  Phone calls and emails go unanswered.  The occasional post on my blog seems to draw minimal readers, most likely because people have pulled my blog from their blogrolls.  I guess it’s understandable.  But to me, good friends stay in touch continually, and they remain loyal, even to the extent that they retain one on their roll.  Guess to me, it’s just common courtesy…not an issue of popularity or ‘having to clean house” on the blogroll.

In any event, I see my last posting was back in June of this summer.  Hard to believe that Summer 2009 is over and that I’ve managed to walk through the first day of Fall.  Time rages by faster these days.  It was an interesting summer indeed…probably one that I would classify as a major ROLLER COASTER RIDE.

First there has been that on-going downward plunge with the economy which has simply kept business flat for me.  My business partner and I find ourselves having to supplement our business income with our own personal income, but we are trying to weather the storm and slip into 2010 with hopes that signs will show improvement in the first quarter.  But I do find myself having to do a reassessment of the business come late November, early December.  I am praying that we don’t have to fold.  At this juncture, I have no idea where I will go next with respect to work should we have to close our interior design business.

In any event, I believe I mentioned the rollercoaster ride took a jolt back in June when I sprained my left ankle severely.  I ended up with some swelling complications that had me limited in activity for nearly 10 weeks. At one point I was even tested for blood clotting.  I was experiencing sudden pain and tenderness in my left calf about 4 weeks after the sprain.  Of course, all the flying mixed with the swelling, sent bells and whistles off for the doctors.  Fortunately, my test results were negative for any clotting.

I also think I mentioned that I had a Hawaiian vacation scheduled at that time.  All fun of course.  I came back from Hawaii, the ankle improving at that time.  About four weeks later my ride was on a fun upswing.  I was off to Rehoboth Beach to meet up with the boyfriend (mind you it’s dating but a bit more beyond that).  I couldn’t have asked for better weather…not a lick of humidity, just good ‘ol hot weather.  The only sad thing was that all the ‘bears’ were up in Provincetown for Bear Week.  Ah the things we give up for love.  LMAO!!  Let’s just say my time was WELL SPENT with the BF.  😉  We still had plenty of eye-candy to behold, bears included.  Evenings always started with at least drinks downtown at the Aqua or other nearby bars, even if dinner was at home.  You know…we had to get those flirtatious moments in!  While the rollercoaster kept chugging along, it did hit a slight dip again.  My left ankle started to swell again and bruise slightly, mind you some six weeks after the initial accident.  Of course that led me to see the orthopod when I got home and to the subsequent clotting test that I referenced earlier.

Two weeks out, about the first week of August by this time, the rollercoaster ride is back on the upswing.  I headed off to Lake Tahoe for a week with family, our annual family get-together that I have written about here in my blog on occasion.  It started out being a blast.  I was taking in little nieces and nephews that I hadn’t seen in months!!!  Just the thought of all their smiles and the “Uncle Tony” ‘s that they laid on me.  They sent my spirits soaring.  And of course, we hit an all-time record with the number of family, cousins, second cousins, etc., that were present on the vacation and at joint dinners…seventy-five (75)!!!!!  You should have seen the beach.  We literally took up one third of the beach with seven cabana tents, beach chairs, floaties, bodies, etc.  People didn’t know what to make of us.  However, with summer starting to wrap up, there was another downhill run on the rollercoaster ride.  Yes, another injury.  About Thursday of my Tahoe-week trip, I was simply sitting in bed, went to stand, and instantly dropped to the floor with stabbing back pain.  I tried to stand.  No luck…dropped to the floor again.  Tried to sit, and had to collapse into a reclining position.  Even laying on my back was painful.  I ended up spending two days on the floor, literally.  Couldn’t get up into the bed and any attempt to lift me, sent me into excruciating pain.  I even had to crawl to the restroom. I won’t elaborate here anymore.  Don’t know how I did it but managed to pull myself together by Sunday to make the 9 hour drive home to Southern California (by the way, the Ibuprofen and the Vicodin that I managed to get – did nothing to alleviate the pain).  I did ok with the drive but paid for it the next morning in major stiffness and mild pain.  It kept me away from returning to work for two more days.

My back improved by the following weekend…just in time for moving my major pieces to my new living quarters.  I somehow managed to pack everything that needed it, and then on that Sunday, went to move.  Guess what happened…I reinjured my back.  And it was really hurting.  I had to be out of the apartment on Thursday, 8/20. I was completing my move on Wednesday…let’s say I don’t know how I pulled it off.  PAIN, PAIN, PAIN, PAIN!!!

So as I finish my summer I am no longer in south Orange County  but rather in north Orange County out in the eastern quadrant, and oh, about 10-15 minutes from that magical place called Disneyland!  LOL  I am now renting a room from a gay couple.  The room is bigger than my “cell” at the apartment and I have 3800 square feet of house to roam rather than 700 square feet of a 900 square foot apartment.  I have access to a private pool rather than an apartment complex’s pool.  SCORE!!  And lastly, with the owners being gay, I have a bit more freedom to have guests over without feeling awkward like I was in my former ‘straight’ apartment environment.  For those that didn’t know, my former room mates were a straight married couple.  I have to say though, I miss them terribly.  They were easy to get along with, even thought they had no clue I was gay (or at least they never asked…LOL).

Phewwwww!  Now you are all caught up.  I sure hope Fall is better.  And I hope those of you who read this, friends included, are all doing well. Hugs!

Well everyone…

Since technically I am an interior designer, I thought that perhaps it was about time to TALK DESIGN!

Have you ever experienced your taste in style change and evolve? I have. Funny. I used to be so ultra traditional in my design tastes but I’ve crossed the threshold. And I don’t think I am turning back. I find myself developing a tremendous love for transitional and refined contemporary styles. I love linear and curvilinear elements, but simplified and casually sophisticated. I feel more comfortable with furniture pieces that have lower profiles to create visual openness. But I also look for pieces that show ingenious functionality…a sofa with a low back profile that can be converted to a high back for TV viewing through a simple pull-up mechanism, a sliding storage door constructed to be a piece of art. I could go on.

Mind you, as a designer I will always relish the old. Traditional styles and styles of the past (period trends) are the platforms from which new design evolves. And what is even better in a space is causing a bit of angst, a bit of juxtaposition. Splashing a bit of ultra traditional with contemporary styling and vice verse.

Color is yet another element of design that speaks of an individual’s character and personality. I know I used to think that to be contemporary one had to use bold color. However, that’s not true. Contemporary is often finding a saturated color (the truest and most intense form of a color ) and then finding a grayed down version of it. This often is enough to satisfy the most traditional of people when a designer is pushing a client in a new and uncharted direction that they are uncomfortable with.

So with all this said, I find myself again moving in a contemporary-style direction. I have found that a palette of saturated blues, blue-greens, mixed with earthy browns, tans, and grays is what I aspire to have in my own space when I finally have my own living quarters again. Blend in the coolness of metallic and glass-like finishes with the warmth of natural wood elements and plants. Well that is what I will call HOME!

Now I have to know…what do you all think? What colors and style do you call ‘your own?’ Do share.

I thought I’d not touch this blog ever again but somehow I felt compelled to open it up tonight and that was just enough. I couldn’t resist making an entry.

I couldn’t even imagine where to begin. So much has evolved since summer 2008 passed. Of course you all knew about my breakup with Mr. Chicago. I hurt and ached for a couple of months but I learned and grew from that experience. I compromised on so many elements. Mr. Chicago and I are still good friends and communicate once a week. He’ll always be a part of what was special in my life. I was able to tell him that some three weeks after broke things off with me. Sometimes TIMING, amongst other issues, simply doesn’t img_00711cooperate in two individual’s lives as was the case for us. In any event, Bear411 has been a good matchmaker for me for meeting and making new friends. And some have turned out to be dates, and two in particular, boyfriends. The latest is Mr. Maryland. He makes me melt in so many ways. He’s a gentle soul, a gentleman, full of faith as I am (that’s Catholic faith boys!!), handsome as all hell, a wicked sense of humor and makes me laugh. And boy does his know how to talk “PIGGY” just at the right time! GRRRR! The distance never helps but we are taking it slowly and seeing how things play out. I was out to see him at the New Year and am going back out to catch up with him at Rehoboth Beach in July.

Funny how life throws us unique curveballs. See, if any of you started reading me back in 2006, you know one of my first articles talked about a guy online that hurt me incredibly when all I was looking for a means of making a gay friend. Well turns out that guy is the best friend of Mr. Maryland! Have I shared that with Mr. Maryland? Hell yes…I have nothing to hide. They happen to still be friends but as with all friendships where people move further away geographically, that relationship seems to be strained. Again, funny how things can come full circle.

As for the gay me…my journey continues. But oh how far I have come. About two months ago I said ‘f*ck it’ and told my business partner that I was gay. What response did I in essence get from her? “Tony, I already knew…in fact Tony, several people already know. We were all waiting for your to say something.” LOL Go figure. So know I am out to most people here in southern California where I live. As for family, that remains the one touchy area for me but I am close, close to wanting to say something to my mother (who already asked me two years ago if I thought I was gay – I just wasn’t ready to say yes but responded with a “I wonder sometimes.”) and to one of my sisters who I am really close with. We’ll see. I’d like to have accomplished that well in advance of my 5oth which is in April 2010. I want to be able to celebrate it with both family and FRIENDS, regardless of gay or straight.

While I have mentioned friends, I just want to say I am still very much in touch with SPIDER! Sure my old readers remember him. He has had a rough road these past two years…many ups and downs, emotionally and physically. But he is doing fine and hanging in there. We talk almost daily, sometimes twice. He is and will always be my dearest of friends. How can one let go of someone that was part of me for so long.

And really the last thing which many of my earliest readers may be wondering about…work. I started that business with my school mate finally back in June 2008. Obviously our year anniversary is fast approaching. We have experienced some pains, economically, professionally, etc. but we are moving along with the excitement that was there a year ago. We are in the midst of a design house and our space turned out exceptional I believe. We’ve gotten great feedback from previews and vendors. Now we just need to hope the public reacts and maybe comes to see us for business. I wish I could share my website with you but I am not ready for there to be a connection with this site. This one has been a very personal site and my work will remain professional. Perhaps one day I will simply shut off portions of this blog and maybe pick up writing about my work…one never knows.


I wonder how many people will even see this post that were from my original readership. The blogging world can be a fickle one when someone doesn’t post or manage to bring readership to other linked blogs!


Hi everyone or at least hi to those of of you still passing through what surely must have looked like an abandoned blog.  I am doing fine. My commercial interior design job continues to roll along thankfully.  I thought there might be a chance it would be over this month since my status has always been “phase out” since turning down the full-time salaried position to purse working a day a week on my own business.  The intern we had finished up last week and the boss wanted her real bad.  But the intern turned down work for now to explore other options with larger firms.  They plan on following up with her in a month.  So thus the reprieve.

The new business venture (residential design firm) is moving along slowly but we are picking up some good high-end residential projects.  Hopefully they will lead to other referral high-ends or comebacks.

Outside that, I have been busy attempting to make more friends, but this time with an emphasis on local.  I miss all my new-found friends and the places I have seen but with funds a bit tighter now, I can’t get out on as many trips.  And if you have met me, you know that I am a bit of a social person.  I have found that just sitting back and hoping to run into local people doesn’t work.  So I am stepping out.  Joined Bear411 and boy am I getting bombarded with messages.  Meeting the gamet of guys but damn, some of them are hunks.  *drool, slobber, growl, slurp*  LOL!  And I am off to the races meeting them.  I had a delectable massage two weeks ago by one hunky bear.  I will see him and a few other Bear411 acquaintances in San Diego this Saturday for a LLBear Dance at Rich’s.  I think there is a Mr. Leather SD that night at Rich’s too.  Hold me down.  LOL  Sunday I am off to meet my friend Mark in North Hollywood.   He is the author/teacher/ex-priest that I wrote about a couple of articles back.  And I may still be meeting another Bear411 acquaintance Sunday afternoon who lives in the L.A. area as well.

So all is reasonably well.  Spider is doing fine.  He’s attempting to pick up his life after the year from hell.  He’s actively searching for part-time consulting work, part-time because he’s still nursing the heart along.  We won’t know about a clean bill of health on the cancer front until sometime in late April.  But for now he is done with Chemo.  He so needs the break.

Anyhow, again hope all is well with you.  Leave word here on how each of you have been doing.  I apologize for not being able to visit blogs as frequently, if at all.  Hugs to all.

Well people…I am ALIVE!! I know some of you were beginning to wonder if I had left blogging all together. No. I merely have been traveling for the past two weeks between Chicago,Illinois, and the state of Florida. Pleasure of course. I chose to not take a laptop with me and I had limited access in the locations I stayed for various reasons.

So where do I begin with all the travel memories I have? I think it’s best to simply discuss the two vacation locations over several posts. Today I am going to start with my visit to Chicago (6/13-6/18). I went for two reasons…1) to see the city of Chicago which I had never seen, a designer’s paradise from and architectural and creative standpoint; and foremost, 2) to meet a new friend, “J.” Let’s just say they both lived up to expectations, so much so, I plan on going back sometime in the not-to-distant future. I think I hit nearly every ethnic food that Chicago has to offer…Cuban, Mexican, Brazilian, Italian, Greek, Swedish amidst a few. I toured most of the City Thursday and Friday while “J” worked. On those days I took the architectural/city cruise, hopped to the top of the John Hancock building, went to visit Doug of Gossamer Tapestry at the Museum of Natural Science, strolled Millenium Park, perused the Art Institute, gawked at all the incredible design materials at the Merchandise (Designer) Mart of Chicago, and so much more. Then Friday evening, Saturday day, and Sunday evening, “J” showed me many of the charming district neighborhoods of Chicago, along with a few off-beat sights. In between, he and I chilled, merely taking time to get to know each other as friends. “J” is quite the guy!! Sunday afternoon, I took “J” to see WICKED as a means of thanking him for his hospitality. His two best friends accompanied us…appears everyone enjoyed the musical. Monday I finished my visit to the Windy City by strolling Michigan Avenue and taking in the shops.

Thought I would finish this post off by sharing a few of the photographic highlights of my trip to Chicago. If you have never been to this city, it’s a must. ENJOY!!!








“J” and Me!




What I don’t miss about Chicago…the hot, humid weather!

What I miss about Chicago…I couldn’t get enough of it, much like New York City last year.