Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cathy and Mike's Blue Zone

I am so proud of my dear friends, Cathy and Mike Vidos, for their feature in Saturday's Inside Out section of the Times Picayune.  They are meticulous and innovative in decorating and caring for their beautiful home on the Northshore of New Orleans and, in my humble opinion, deserve all the design laudations in the world for their creative fearlessness! 

Their "Blue Zone" was featured in the article, although an entire spread could be written on their special home.  Until Miss Cathy explained to me what a Blue Zone was a while back,  I had never even heard of the concept, but was immediately fascinated.  Do you know about Blue Zones?

The Simon sign welcoming guests into Mike and Cathy's personal Blue Zone.

According to el wiki...

A Blue Zone is a region of the world where people commonly live active lives past the age of 100 years. Scientists and demographers have classified these longevity hot-spots by having common healthy traits and life practices that result in higher-than-normal longevity. The name Blue zone seems to be first employed in a scientific article by a team of demographers working on centenarians in Sardinia in 2004.

The five identified Blue Zones:

Sardinia, Italy: One team of demographers found a hot spot of longevity in mountain villages where men reach the age of 100 years at an amazing rate.

The islands of Okinawa, Japan: Another team examined a group that is among the longest lived on Earth.

Loma Linda, California: Researchers, studied a group of Seventh-day Adventists who rank among America's longevity all-stars. Residents of these three places produce a high rate of centenarians, suffer a fraction of the diseases that commonly kill people in other parts of the developed world, and enjoy more healthy years of life.

Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica: The Nicoya Peninsula was the subject of research on a Quest Network expedition which began on January 29th, 2007.

Icaria, Greece: The April '09 expedition to the island of Ikaria uncovered the location with the highest percentage of 90 year-olds on the planet - nearly 1 out of 3 people make it to their 90s. Furthermore, Ikarians "have about 20 percent lower rates of cancer, 50 percent lower rates of heart disease and almost no dementia." 
Fascinating, no?

The couple and their bevy of sweet dogs created a series of outdoor rooms, all with ceilings, but no walls.  They call the outdoor retreat their Blue Zone, modeling it after one of the five places in the world where people seem to live longer, healthier, more peaceful lives, connected to nature.

The series of outdoor rooms includes a dual barbeque kitchen, lounging area, living room, and dining room.  Mike and Cathy not only host parties and family gatherings in the Blue Zone, but also simply relax in the spaces, enjoying the fresh air, pine trees, and mini-bird sanctuary.  (Ahhhhh, sounds so delightful...if only it was Fall and not 108 heat index today!)

Twinkle lights line the roof eaves and the Blue Zone is filled with the signature special touches that Cathy includes in all of her design projects.

A little bejeweled gecko graces a wall and garlands of starfish from the couple's summer trip to Key West add another natural element to the Blue Zone. 

Cathy, her daughter (and my friend), Liz, and I have been planning a trip to the Southern Living design home in Terrabella, which is on the Northshore.  Included in this road trip for me?  My very own personal tour of the Blue Zone, of course! 

I hope you enjoyed this mini tour of this most fascinating couple's very unique space.  Oh, wanna know something else about Mike and Cathy that I love?  They have their own rehabbed airstream.  Yes, indeed.  Its name is Elvis.  Beau is still not budging....

Mike in front of Elvis, via Facebook. 

Cheers....and, if you are living in this heat, try to cool off!



  1. I am fascinated by the Blue Zone concept. Looked it up myself. Amazing how lifestyle but more importantly outlook affects our physical well-being. Family first - all about it.
    Great article in T/P and great review by Gimlet.

  2. Very cool, you will have to take and post more photos when you go to visit!