By Castro Design Studio

Category Archives: Inspiration


I am working like crazy to catch up from a recent trip to Savannah, GA.  We went there to celebrate my tenth annual 29th. birthday (yes, I am in total denial that next year I will be the BIG 4-0)…


Lunch Celebration with my two ladies

Birthday lunch with my two ladies!


I will spare you all the “archi-speak” that could accompany  this post, but I wanted to share some images of details I found interesting this time around.


Love this lantern, and brackets

Dolphin downspouts

Don’t be afraid to look up!

Pretty amazing fence

Lantern, copper bay window, terracotta scrolls, window boxes…


Not too bad for a fountain out of a catalog…

Live oaks, Spanish moss, cobblestone streets, pretty houses…

Finally, if you are going to build a six story parking garage, put it under ground and build a park on top of it… preferably with a fountain!

Thanks For Visiting!

German Inspiration: The Weyberhofe

Years ago, when I was in college, I had the chance to live and work in Aschaffenburg, Germany for a few months. The firm for which I worked had only one client, who would purchase and rehabilitate old properties throughout Germany.  They would turn old hunting lodges into hotels, and old stores into restaurants.


The original lodge, or “schloss” was built by the archbishop of Mainz, Werner von Eppstein in 1265.  He lived in the “castle” until his death in 1284.  The castle then burnt down, and was rebuilt in 1557 by archbishop Daniel Brendel of Homburg.  In 1907 the  von Cancrin family acquired the property and began to reconstruct some of the areas that had been damaged by time and neglect.  In 1991 the property was sold and following strict historical guidelines it was turned into a hotel, The Weyberhofe.  The offices of the firm in which I worked were located in a converted barn in the property.


I was fortunate enough to stay in The Weyberhofe while I worked in Germany.  I lost a lot of my photos from that trip to a flooded basement a few years back, but I want to share with you some images from this lovely place, which still inspires me to this day.


Photo from the Weyberhofe website, by Thomas Haltner

You enter into a courtyard formed by the lodge, or schloss on the far end and two old barns on either side.

Photo from the Weyberhofe website

One of the barn structures has been turned into an event facility, and a spa.

Photo from the Weyberhofe website


This is the interior of one of the barns, set up for a wedding.

Photo from the Weyberhofe website

The old pig barn was turned into a restaurant.

From the Weyberhofe website

The oldest part of the complex, the lodge, is used for the guest rooms.

Photo from the Weyberhofe website

You can see the original stone walls in this room.

Photo from the Weyberhofe website

This is one of the rooms on the third floor, which happens to look just like the room I called home…

Photo from the Weyberhofe website

The old cellar was recently converted into a wine bar.

Photo from the Weyberhofe website

This is the lodge complex as seen from its private park.

Photo from the Weyberhofe website

This is a photo of the private park located behind the hotel.

Photo from the Weyberhofe website

This is the oldest part of the complex, the original “hunting castle”.

Photo from the Weyberhofe website


A funky fish eye shot of the old barn that used to be my office.

Poto from the Weyberhofe website

A detail of the same space.

Photo from the Weyberhofe website


I remember as if it was yesterday, when the taxi driver pulled up to the Weyberhofe and told me that was the address I had given him.  “Surely there has been a mistake”, I thought to myself… I am so thankful to my hosts for letting me work and live in such an amazing place.  I still can not believe that I got to live in an actual castle!  A big birthday is fast approaching, and we are hoping to be able to go on a bit of a ” grand tour”… The owners are not the same as when I lived there, and the firm for which I worked has closed its doors, but I can’t wait to share this very special place with my family.

Thanks for visiting!


30-A Vacation Part 1: Seaside

If I had to choose one of the many beautiful neighborhoods on Florida’s 30-A highway in which to live, it would be Seaside.  Seaside may not be the newest or biggest development in the area, and it may not have the most impressive architecture, but it feels like home to me.  I would like to share with you some images from our most recent vacation to the Beaches of South Walton.


The master plan for the town of Seaside Florida was designed in 1978 by the architectural firm Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company.  It is modeled after an old southern town, and helped launch the New Urbanist movement.  You may recognize Seaside as the set for the movie “The Truman Show”.


It is pretty hard to go wrong when you start with a beach that looks like this…  The gulf waters are crystal clear, and the sand is sugar white…

One of the first things you notice when you get to Seaside is the very charming post office.  Behind the post office is an open central lawn with a stage.  The lawn acts as an amphitheater.

The central lawn is surrounded by high density commercial and mixed use buildings.  You can find great restaurants and shops here.

As you walk away from the “central square” you see smaller buildings, like the “townhomes” at the Shops at Ruskin.

This is an architect’s office in “The Shops at Ruskin”.  Am I jealous he gets to come here every day to work?… Yes…

Further back into town you see the Seaside Chapel,

and the Seaside School.

The houses at Seaside all have to adhere to a very strict set of design guidelines, and while at first look they may seem very similar, each one is very unique.  Notice the very comfortable scale of the houses, and how they are placed close to the street to encourage a sense of community.

A lot of the houses at Seaside have observation towers, that peek out through the trees, and act as landmarks for the confused visitor.

The public beach access points are marked by different pavilions.

It would be very hard to find a better setting for lunch or afternoon  “umbrella drinks”…

I am so very fortunate  to visit this area every year for a family vacation.  This year we took our daughter for the first time (last year she went in Mommy’s tummy), and I am so happy that the first time she went in the ocean it was here.

Thanks for visiting!