The Perfect Excursions For Design Fans Looking To Hit The Road


Pond with a fountain enclosed within a garden by decorative walls with statues and colored tiles

Photo: Courtesy Candelaria Design Associates

When Candelaria Design Associates released Mark Candelaria Homes: Designs for Inspired Living last March, it inspired a hunger both metaphorical and literal (recipes are included!) for the lavish lifestyle embodied by Candelaria’s projects. A new book is in the works, but until then, aficionados can satisfy their appetite for the Candelaria lifestyle by joining one of the firm’s six annual tours. “I have learned so many lessons from these trips,” Candelaria says. “Mainly the fact that nothing ever goes as planned. It’s all about how you adapt and pivot.”

The tours started in 2000 when a client wanted a Tuscan-style home but had yet to actually go to Italy. Since then, the excursions have multiplied to include visiting ancient sites in Oaxaca, Mexico, vineyards in Oregon, art galleries in New Mexico, Moorish architecture in Spain and the vineyards of Burgundy in France. Groups generally consist of about 14 people, and upcoming adventures include visiting artisans in Oaxaca in early May, mastering the perfect Insta-worthy shot with a photographer in New Mexico in late summer and returning to where it all started—Italy—in September. “My personal best memory is our 12th tour in Italy where my wife, Isabel, and I said our vows with our travelers as our wedding party on Lake Como,” Candelaria recalls. “Best trip ever.”