art and illustration |the piano playing hippo


Another illustration from my picture book story, “I Think Maybe I Swallowed A Baby”, the piano playing hippo is part of a crew of circus characters that end up in the belly of a whale. Everyone is having a fine time with the circus… except for the whale. All of this rumbling and tumbling… music and dancing… is keeping the whale in knots day and night!

He only wanted a peaceful breakfast of fish…


But what he accidentally swallowed was a circus…


… and a baby.

What an interruption. What a headache! He couldn’t feel worse.

Until… the sneeze.

designing spaces | a modern farmhouse bath


This bathroom is one for the books in transformation. I was excited to see the turquoise and pink fixtures go to the dump trailer… and especially the carpet. Yes, I said carpet!

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By moving the new vanity to the former entry wall, we were able to create a new entry from the master bedroom, giving the homeowner her desired ensuite.

The HVAC trunkline had to stay so we disguised it with purposeful shelving!

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Classic subway tile for the shower, beautiful mosaic tile for the floor, shiplap for the walls…

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… and the old bathroom is a faint memory.


V7wyUqnIR3e8hGDy0SHKqg   Another great job by PARRISH CONSTRUCTION!

designing spaces | my favorite to date

The first order of business for this client was to obliterate the tiny pea green bathroom.


The second task was to gut the hall bath on the other side of the wall and combine the two spaces into one.


The entire subfloor came up while the plumbing and electrical footprint completely shifted around.


Some large, modern tiles, an oversized soaking tub, a pinch of Scandinavian decor and this bathroom becomes my favorite to date.

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… and it’s all mine! 🙂


m5r9w0YpTTCwq4acfMxlag  Thank you, PARRISH Construction!



designing spaces | uglier by the minute


This old farmhouse got uglier by the minute. The more we tore out, the more ugly we uncovered.


The home had been unattended for some time so it was in need of, well… everything! The budget was tight because the house needed attention in every way and area.


Surprisingly, the flooring is a high-grade linoleum rug instead of true wood planks and the counters and backsplash are laminate instead of granite and tile… but they look great!


It took more than a month of hard, filthy work to do the entire house. Spiders, ticks, rat’s nests, bugs… you name it, it happened.

Being linked to the property since childhood.. and seeing the devastating condition it was in before, the homeowners were pleased with the transformation. And the look on their faces when they saw the finished project was a moment worth waiting for.



designing spaces | ugly duckling


I’m especially proud of this custom built-in installed in a recent den extension. The homeowners wanted their den extended into the garage which would double this heavily used living space. The renovation was going great until issues with relocation of the HVAC was going to leave a very ugly duckling of a box protruding out into the new room.

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Uh, NO! I actually lost sleep over this. Did you look at those pictures? Yuck. Then it hit me.. a built-in! The perfect way to make the box look like a planned soffit. So I show up bright and early the next day to talk to my contractor about the last minute change.. partially proud of my great idea and partially fearing he was going to cream me for the added work.

I barely got the words out before he was sketching my thoughts right onto the wall. It was as if he had already thought of it. What? Was this my idea or his idea? I didn’t even know. I didn’t even care. It was happening and he seemed as pleased as I was about it. Happy designer. Happy contractor. Happy client. That is a very good day in my world. Bye bye, ugly duck.

*** Another great job by Parrish Construction***

designing spaces | cute kitchen


Even the puppy approved this cute kitchen makeover! The space was completely gutted before being transformed into an adorable farmhouse inspired space.

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The kitchen wasn’t actually enlarged, but feels larger with the wall dividing kitchen and dining room removed. Our contractor made and installed beautiful floating shelves stained to match the header beam. Using open shelving in a small kitchen eliminates the heaviness using all cabinetry can create.

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The laundry area was reconfigured for a stackable W/D and enclosed to hide away clutter.

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I love that one of the first things the homeowners put out once the renovation was complete was their “thankful” sign.


They showed such gratefulness throughout the entire process… and we were thankful to work with them and make their home a great place to build sweet memories.



designing spaces | clean cut


Let’s face it, no matter how much sweeping or cleaning that’s done, floors like these take a beating with traffic, product, and hair clippings. Changing them from “show everything” white to a textured design charcoal tile was first on the list. Setting the tiles on the diagonal elongates the room and adds interest. The main walls stayed light with SW 7014 Eider White and the accent wall went from a 90’s hunter green to SW 6271 Expressive Plum. The wood-look floating floor tile on the short ledge wall is an interesting focal point and will hold up to years of water splashes and other spills better than drywall.


A solid piece of glass covers a brand new wooden ledge for easier clean up. New cabinets, new sink, new baseboard, new mirror, new clock, new hamper, new no-touch trash can. We don’t mess around!

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Refinishing the solid wood work station table and storage unit gave them a fresh look and a new leash on life.


Finally, a collage of jofa12 art …and we’re done. The idea is for the client to enjoy this brand new space until she’s ready for a change. Then, all she has to do is paint the accent wall and change out her art for an entirely new feel. Easy, right? Or she can just call me.. and I hope she will. 🙂


designing spaces | simply modern


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This bathroom took on quite a transformation from its original 1980’s form and function. The space was literally gutted and refitted with sleek and modern finishes that give it an ultra clean and relaxing feel.

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The most amazing fact behind the magic is that the footprint didn’t change. The shower, tub, vanity, etc. remained in their initial positions. No walls were removed, save a linen closet. Yet, the space appears twice the size!

Little (big) tricks: Running the floor tile horizontally instead of vertically widens the space visually. Using a floating vanity opens up a space to the eye. Running the wall tiles into the shower instead of using different tiles in the shower also widens the space. A clear shower enclosure with minimal hardware elongates the room by taking your eye all the way to the back wall.

I kinda want to take a bubble bath. Don’t you?





designing spaces |casual dining



Renovating your home is an emotional journey. It’s timely, costly, messy.. Above all, it’s change, which in itself is difficult. But making a good space great is more than just something pretty to look at. It can change the way you enjoy big events or even the way you live your day to day. Like many cut off from the kitchen, this dining room was rarely used and kind of forgotten. Just a place to toss the coats and mail. The wall dividing the kitchen and dining was removed during renovation. The entry to dining was enlarged. Walls and furnishings lightened. Now this bright space draws you in the moment you walk through either the front entry or the garage door. When I think about this terrific family gathering here to celebrate holiday dinners, birthdays.. or even just the daily routine of tossing the coat and sifting the mail, I feel really happy. ..So I guess it’s an emotional journey for me too. 🙂

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Before                                                               After

art and illustration | wonky windows


It seems that every church I illustrate on canvas or for a story is some whimsical version of a little white country church. This one, painted recently for a client’s kitchen, is the epitome of whimsical.. as in completely out of proportion. Extremely narrow. Oddly tall. Wonky windows. The fact that it’s a church lends to inspirational. But its out of sorts design keeps it winsome.. like a church where you might find Squirrel Nutkin or Morris the Moose.. because everyone needs a church to call home, right?