Palmerino and Margaret D’Ascanio were born in Italy in 1932. Twenty-three years later they married. Rino worked on the family farm and Margaret was a seamstress. In 1958 they discovered the opportunity in a prosperous new land, the United States.
After arriving in America, Rino worked maintaining the estates of several prominent residents in Grassy Key. Those property owners recognized Rino’s talents, so maintenance projects soon became light construction projects. One owner requested a concrete decorative wall for privacy around his estate; Rino developed his own wooden molds to produce ornamental concrete blocks. Hence, Ornamental Cement Products was born! From these humble beginnings, Rino and Margaret diversified into other cement products, such as patio tables, garden ornaments, benches, fountains and the popular tourist souvenir – concrete pelicans. One of their most successful products was the butterfly step tread used on many Florida Keys homes. Over 300,000 hand-made pieces have been produced since Ornamental Cement Products moved from Grassy Key to Marathon in 1968. The D’Asign Source company motto, Dream. Design. Build., evolved from Ornamental Cement Products original motto, We Make, We Sell, We Install.
In 1959 Rino and Margaret started their own family. They had three sons, Tony, followed by Franco and then Amedeo. Over the years the sons worked in the business and later played a much greater role in managing, as Rico had several medical conditions that caused him to be away for lengthy periods.
In 1975 Ornamental Cement Products began importing and installing Italian tile, marble, and granite, while continuing to expand the business. In 1980 Tony branched out to D’Ascanio Development while Franco started Sound Source, the custom audio/video division and Amedeo expanded Ornamental Tile’s services to include cabinetry, lighting, wall coverings and other finishes thus be¬coming the Ornamental Design Collection. In 1991 D’Ascanio Development, Sound Source and Ornamental Design Collection were merged to create D’Asign Source. Led by creative architectural design and craftsmanship, D’Asign Source quickly became the pre¬mier design and building firm in the Florida Keys. In 2001 D’Asign Source was recognized by Qualified Remodeler Magazine in a national competition with a Best of Show Award and First Place for Outdoor Living.
In memory of the passing of Palmerino D’Ascanio, the family patriarch and inspiration, Palmerino Palms, a nursery for growing rare and exotic palms was founded in 1996. Today the nursery, D’Asign Source Botanicals, covers 20 acres in Loxahatchee, Florida and grows 30,000 species of rare and exotic palms, cycads and other tropicals. D’Asign Source Botanicals is proud to offer specimens that would be difficult to find anywhere in the world.
The new millennium brought the greatest expansion to date, the opportunity to purchase and consolidate all divisions into a new Design Center, conveniently located next to the existing Ornamental Design Collection facility. Inspiration for the acquisition was Rino’s desire to purchase the site so long ago. This purchase acquired the additional 40 feet of property Rino could not afford in 1968. This purchase allows the three brothers to work together in the same location once again.
Today you will still find the D’Ascanios hard at work in the Florida Keys. Work now takes the boys out of the area as the reputation for D’Asign Source and their specialty building style is the perfect compliment to any coastal location. D’Asign Source is now one of the largest employers in the Florida Keys. The team at D’Asign Source has been recognized on the state level, nationally, even inter-nationally for their contributions to the design and build industry.
“Our mission is to continue as a leading world-class design and build organization specializing in creating unique residential and resort environments in coastal and tropical locales, while providing our clients unparalleled creativity, quality, and value,” Tony D’Ascanio, General Contractor and D’Asign Source C.E.0..
Next time you are in the area, stop by the design center located 11500 Overseas Highway (MM 53); catch up on the latest and greatest in the design world, chat with one of the professionals about making your dream home a reality or just catch up on local events and hot fishing spots! We’re always happy to hear and share ideas about the wonderful lifestyle we have thanks to this unique location.