When I was little, I had a perfectly organized room
Fast forward to college where I put navy blue carpet down over the old linoleum in my dorm room to make it feel more comfy and inviting, then added perfectly matched curtains and bedding to create a wonderful home-away-from-home. Design was fun, natural, and easy for me. I loved it, but I never actually took it seriously.
Making design my career never REALLY crossed my mind.
Because design wasn’t “serious.”
Instead I majored in Geology and also got a second Bachelor of Arts in Community and Environmental Planning. After graduation, I joined the Peace Corps, teaching environmental education to grade-schoolers in Nicaragua.
When I returned home I got married and settled down into adult life with my new husband and our two cats. Life was humming along and then, just a few years later, it threw me a curve ball. It turned out the marriage wasn’t as perfect as it appeared, and soon I found myself career-and-marriage-free. I got to keep the house, which was a blessing in an expensive real estate market, but I suddenly felt trapped within the walls of my old marriage.
I mean, literally, I spent every day staring at the colors we painted on the wall together, eating at the dining table we’d inherited from his folks, sleeping on the bed we’d shared. Living there took what already felt awful (getting divorced) and made it ten-thousand-times worse.
One day I decided to change it. I found a gallon of nearly-black paint in the garage and I painted it all over the vaulted ceilings. (For the record, this was a horrible design decision.) It was ugly, but it was MINE, and at least it didn’t feel like us. I sold all the old furniture on Craigslist and replaced it with “new” stuff that I loved. It wasn’t long before I’d changed the whole space, and it stopped reminding me of my “failure.” Now it whispered to me of joy, possibility, and hope. I could once again walk in the front door and feel that’d I’d come home.
That was it. I realized that design isn’t just fun, it’s powerful. It’s transformative. It’s essential.•
So I started my own design business, and began to help other people feel happy in their homes the same way I’d done for myself.
Over time, as I grew in my new career, I realized that very few people were talking about the human impact of *residential* design. It showed up in urban planning and even commercial and hospitality design to some degree. But home design was all “this trend” and “that color of the year” and “look what you can buy to be happy.” This was before the days of mindfulness and the Japanese art of keeping things clean, and I realized…
I needed to tell everyone.
Paint and pillows can change the world.
So I wrote my book “Happy Starts at Home,” and I speak in front of groups encouraging my audiences to take what they have and make it better. I want everyone to realize the power they have right at their fingertips, and really feel wonderful in their world.
It’s been a decade, and I’ve worked with hundreds of people, designing rooms that uniquely feel like HOME. Whether it’s working with furniture they already loved or starting completely from scratch, I help craft spaces that enliven the people living in them. And whether I get to help them myself, or they read my book and start the process on their own, I know that I am making life better for folks, one home at a time.
Are you ready to start loving the space you’re in? I mean, seriously, why are you living with stuff you hate? Life is too darn short.
My team and I work with people who know why they want to redesign. They’re ready to shift, to step into their new life, and to really love their space.
So, if you’ve got the why, we’ve got the how.