Design DNA

Good morning! Happy Monday!

Thank you once again for all of the encouraging comments and feedback on my last post.   That is the fire I need to keep this train moving.   On my last post I touched on the process of “cultivating” your style.   A style that will translate into your home and rise up to meet  you when you are done with your day.  Isn’t that what we all are striving for?  A place of our own?  I believe so. Last time I talked about the process I am going  through with myself  and my family in order to achieve that.  Today, I want to share a very detailed look into my own journey.

I am really excited about all of this because it is a moment in my life where I am seeing things full picture.  If anyone of you has spoken to me for more than 20 minutes you know I have a love of design in all aspects, and genealogy.   Well as I was brainstorming and circling around what exactly this blog will be used for, it hit me and I could not be happier about it.  So, what is “it”?

Over the next, however long it takes (maybe forever?), will explore genealogy as a tool for honing your personal style. Really digging deep(way deep) to find out why certain colors, smells, textures, and even tastes really speak to us and draw us to the mindset of “home”.

This will bring forth a rhythm and a schedule to what you are reading. Of course, I will be updating you on all of our home reno excitement,  As well as exploring the homes of some other local legends and local business owners.  (Which by the way, if you have any suggestions on these please feel free to email them my way).

SO without further ado….This weeks Design DNA Destination is none other than the Canary Islands:


The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago off the coast of Africa.  The islands were used as a Spanish base for ships to refuel and replenish. Christopher Columbus was said to have stopped her on his voyages west. Prior to the Spanish conquest, the Canary Islands were inhabited by the Berber people.   It is my understanding that after the Arabic people began moving into North Africa they renamed the Berber people Barbars, also Barbarians. These people are said to descend from Noah.  (Fun history facts never hurt anyone).

I knew my father’s family was from Cuba, but I never thought past the Cuban culture.  I have always been drawn to the island lifestyle and assumed it was a part of me.  Man was I right. When my father told me our ancestors came to Cuba from the Canary Islands, everything clicked for me.  The more I began to explore the Canarian culture the more I connected with it.



Maria Felicia Jimenez
Maria Felicia Jimenez Borges (1866-1950) Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canarias, Span- Havana Cuba

This lady above is my second great-grandmother.  I know she is the “immigrant” as we say while tracing our roots.  In order to understand her, I have explored her land, our land. The Canary Islands.I look at her and want to know more.  What brought her to Cuba? What sites did she see regularly, what wood, and stone, water or market places did she know as her neighborhood?

I know she immigrated from Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Tenerife is a beautiful island. The largest of the Canary Islands.




The architecure in Tenerife is a lot of stone and a lot of wood. Tea (tay-a) Wood to be exact.  It is considered the heart of the Canary Pine and is found throughout the islands. The wood on the balcony of the infamous Casa de los Balcones La Orotava are constructed with this native material. What blows my mind is that the wood that is on the balconies today is the original wood. It was never painted, stained or sealed.

tea wood balcony


For me, discovering Casa de los Balcones, was validating to a part of my aesthetic in my own home. It is very reminiscent of the exterior of our home as it is now, and where we plan to take it in the coming years. Plus my dining room resembles this image below and confirms that I am speaking to a part of me through design.



Tenerife chairs

I love these chairs on the veranda.  They are close to the chairs I have in my own dining room.  Another thing I am noticing a lot of throughout the Canary Islands, is white.




I have a love love relationship with white. Always have. I was very excited when it began its trend over the last five years, making the visions in my head easier to obtain!

concrete threshold

I love concrete used in unexpected ways. This threshold to beam design is gorgeous.  Married with the wood and white stone walls = perfection!  This is timeless and modern.


These spanish tiles on the roofline are what come to mind when I think of traditional spanish architecture.


I hope to travel to the Canary Islands with my crew one of these days. It seems to me that the people of Tenerife love their surroundings and have included it in every aspect of their designs.

I hope you have enjoyed this part of the world as much as I have.

Below is a vision board for an entirely Canarian infused living room.

OB-Canary Islands for Design DNA

Where do you relate to? Is there one place you would love to see a vision board  inspired by?





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s