Better Homes & Gardens: The Full Scoop

BEFORE & AFTER Transformation of Naked City Lot to Urban Oasis

Our vision was to transform a cement slab of into a Mexican hacienda garden! To create a space filled with color, foliage, sunshine and cozy lounges. My goal for this desolate space was grand!

“Kelly turned my lifeless yard into a wonderland of color and comfort. I am overwhelmed with joy!” 

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I began by layering rustic colored stains on the naked cement to create a weathered look. Then we mocked up various layout for the space to determine placement of furniture and foliage.

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The second floor deck just off the kitchen felt like an extension of the living room. It exudes comfort, style, and functionality. To create shade and privacy, we installed lattice along the side and a beautiful bright yellow awning that retreats at night so you can look at the beautiful sky.

The space was also created to be an intimate morning coffee, gentle breeze reprieve for my busy client who owns her own business and is a growing success. Her space and her solitude is critical, as her business world is demanding and busy.

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We add stacked narrow flower beds of recycled wood along the perimeter and planted vibrant flowers and seasonal plants that would give us crawling vines, dramatic leaves, and exotic floral beauty of varying heights to drown out the city sounds.

Every step of the way, I shared my growing vision with my client to confirm that we were creating the feeling and the environment that would inspire her. Every conversation was about the color and feeling and functionality of the space.


There’s no honor greater than to have created out of nothing an environment that brings people together from all walks of life and allows the heart and soul to soar while listening to the artists create and homeowner finds peace and tranquility.

Within 4 months we created a welcoming oasis to rest and read and a place to invite friends over to relax, and dance and simply share to escape the urban surroundings and busy work schedules.

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The feeling of lushness and serenity was inescapable. The moment you walked into the backyard, you were enveloped by a lush garden that simply invited you to sit, be still, and breathe, which countered the surrounding busy street life and urban business just beyond its walls.

“She designed amazing bed of brightly colored flowers and plants to add to the intended hacienda look and feel. ” – Bjorg (client)

The handmade awning that we constructed with large hewn wood pillars not only added to the shade and Hacienda atmosphere, but it also created the space for the stage, so the musicians could lose their inhibitions under the stars as the music swept the visitors away.
We created a place to call home and a place to celebrate friendships — a place to escape the harsh realities of City dwelling and demanding business schedules — A space that brings nature back into our daily lives.

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Yet the space was also designed to cater for large night parties that included a live band, with friends gathering for food, libations, and laughter and plain old fun. we accomplished that by utilizing the garage and opening the inside door to the patio, painting the garage floor and hanging dramatic crushed velvet burnt orange drapery to get a feel of a nightclub with a stage.