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Design Inspirations








Cashmere Cottage

I designed this 500 sf cottage that for my client Tara to build on her daughter’s property in Cashmere Washington.  Nestled in the mountains, this DADU (detached accessory dwelling unit) (i.e., extra home on the property,) is small enough to be affordable but large enough to feel like home.  The tall ceiling created by the steep shed roof allow an abundance of light to flood in on three sides of the home, allowing Tara to witness the beauty of the surrounding land throughout the day.

Although compact, this home sports a shower AND a tub as well as a full kitchen and separate bedroom.  Designing small homes has been my passion in the last few years as I look for ways to simplify our lives, transition into one level housing, while keeping the quality of life that we have worked so hard to obtain.  As more and more people want to live off the grid, we are researching and specifying more solar panels, heating systems with reduced costs such as infrared heated ceiling panels, and rain water harvesting.

Adjustments to the design have been made at the suggestion of her fantastic builder Reid of R Squared Construction LLC, that further customize this special place for Tara.


Room with a View

This is my source of peace.  Being able to view the beauty of nature right outside my window.  Seeing the beauty of the plants, the sun flickering through the leaves.

Stepping outside to the pond (s) and listening to the peaceful sound of water moving through the water plants.

Being able to open a window or door from your bedroom to see small ponds and hear the peaceful trickle of water moving through the rocks.  Being able to have this very spiritual experience every day without leaving the privacy of your home.  This is luxury.


Small Luxuries Large Impact

A small bathroom can have the same luxuries found in large mansions.  Given a small footprint for remodeling a master bathroom condo, one of the challenges we overcame was making the room feel more spacious than the actual square footage.  Removing a wall between the sink and the toilet, floating the vanity cabinet and adding floor to ceiling marble tiles that continued to the end of the bathroom accomplished that goal.  

Floor heat on a programmable thermostat always keeps your feet cozy, while a washlet feature on the wall hung toilet provides the features of a bidet.  (Anyone that has traveled to Japan can attest to the wonderful features of the Toto toilet.)

A wave of your hand turns on the lights on the mirror while the built-in clock keeps you running on time.   There is a closeup mirror set into the mirror so you can keep the counter clutter free.

Want the luxury hand shower but don’t want the clutter of multiple handles and shower bars?  Check out Delta’s In2ition shower/hand shower fixture.  Available in multiple designs to accommodate many styles, this hand shower snaps into the center of the shower head and provides multiple showering options.  

Make sure that your shower remodel includes a ‘niche’ that is large enough to store your shampoo, conditioner and body wash containers.  These ‘niches’ are built into the wall so they do not take up space used for showering.    

Finally, don’t be afraid to use luxury materials such as marble or glass.  A SMALL amount of luxury materials will not cost much, but the impact can be LARGE. 




Story Behind the Scarves

I bought a beautiful unique scarf made of recycled saris from a friends' annual 'Christmas Store' at her home.  Recently, I called her to ask where she purchased these scarves.  I wanted to feature them in my store in Kenmore, Healthy Homes & Lifestyles, where I sell items made of recycled materials, plant based/natural supplements and products from locally owned businesses. 

What I found was an organization created by clothing designer Kali Basi from Yelm Washington.  I met with Kali and learned the tragic story behind the scarves.  Kali created this company for the sole purpose of helping young women and children that are the victims of human trafficking.  She personally funded a factory in Nepal that hires, trains and educates rescued survivors.  They create these beautiful recycled sari/felted scarves that Kali sells in the United States.  100% of the proceeds go back to the women/girl survivors. 

Each scarf is tagged and signed by the survivor that made it saying, 'Your purchase helps ensure the new livelihood of a sex trafficking survivor.  Thank you for making a difference!'

*Nearly 80% of all human trafficking involves sexual exploitation. *Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise;  it holds low risk with high profits. *Human slaves are cheaper today than they have ever historically been.  This is due to the increase in global population and impoverished areas. *Humans can be bought and sold repeatedly, unlike drugs.  *Once rescued, slavery victims are often considered pariahs in society.



Sewage in Seattle

Seattle has always been know for its' abundance of water, but if we do no do anything quickly we will soon be known for our BROWN TOXIC Water -  as in 30 million gallons of raw sewage that has been dumped into Puget Sound.   Yes, our clean, green, pristine city is participating in one of the worst environmental contaminations in recent history.  WHY?  King County has not been able to fix the equipment failure of February 9th.   Apparently though, crews are 'working' on it and county officials hope to have the problem fixed by the end of April, almost 3 months from the spill. REALLY?


This is a public health disaster, it is harming to marine life, harmful to people who eat contaminated seafood, it is harmful to people who enter the water because of the exposure to disease causing germs.  Currently, King County's treatment plant is in violation of the Federal clean-water laws and is in violation of its clean-water permit and will most likely face fines.  As a King County tax payer I have experienced a huge increase in my property taxes. If my tax dollars are not keeping important infrastructures such as the treatment plant in working order, where have they been going?

What caused this disaster that has no name?  It started with an electrical failure that set in motion other problems.  No mention as to what caused the electrical failure or if the plant had passed inspections. (I assume they have inspections, right?)  However, a plant manager said that the real problem was that the electrical failure was 'exacerbated' by the peak capacity the plant was working at 'because of heavy rain.'  REALLY?  Seattle has heavy rain?   

 Sounding like a trailer for a bad movie, officials said 'a wall of water hit the treatment plant at the very same moment the massive pumps failed.'   REALLY?