Better Homes & Gardens and Midwest Living Design Project

BEFORE & AFTER Transformation of Naked City Lot to Urban Oasis

Our vision was to transform this cement slab into a Mexican hacienda garden! We wanted to create a space filled with color, foliage, sunshine, and cozy lounges.

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

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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. The deck exudes comfort, style, and functionality. To create shade and privacy, we installed lattice along the side and a beautiful bright yellow awning, which retreats at night, so you can look at the beautiful night sky. 

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The handmade awning that we constructed with large hewn wood pillars not only added to the shady Hacienda atmosphere, but they also created the space for the stage, so musicians could lose their inhibitions under the stars as the music swept the visitors away.

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

We 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.

The space was also designed to cater to large night parties that included a live band, friends gathering for food, libations, laughter, and plain old fun. We accomplished this 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.

I am grateful for the recognition that my painting and decorating projects have  received while achieving the objective to help clients create their homes, and live there dreams.


For decorating advice, please share your color dillema!
Color. Paint. Design. | 773-398-7551 | Email

We created a welcoming oasis to rest, read, and invite friends over to relax, dance, and simply share an escape from the urban surroundings and busy work schedules.

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

The feeling of lushness and serenity was inescapable. The moment you walk into the backyard, you are enveloped by a verdant garden that simply invites you to sit, be still, and breathe, which counters the surrounding busy street life and urban business just beyond its walls.

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

We created a place to call home and a place to celebrate friendships — A space that brings nature back into our daily lives.

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


    • Midwest Living Featured designer 2018
  • Better Homes & Gardens, Outdoor Living Featured designer 2017


    • Houzz Best of Service Award (2015-2018)
  • Angie’s List ‘Super Service’ Award (7 Years)