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Today I’m sharing some of my design assistant’s best home improvement projects… and saying goodbye. That means we are hiring! Keep reading to find out more.

Friday, we received the news that my rock star, design assistant Kelly (below), who you’ve seen mentioned many times on this blog in the last four years is NOT coming back from maternity leave. She’s been with her sweet, baby boy for a year and wants to stay home with him.

While we obviously completely understand and support that decision, Terreeia and I were really sad to receive this news. Kelly arrived as my personal assistant and after 4 years. She was our office manager -AND- all things organized and amazing! When Kelly learned our CRM system, we no longer went through harrowing launch campaigns. Things were smooth as silk. 

Terreeia and I went straight into grieving mode last weekend and we’re not over it.

So that, along with that it’s been almost a year of no travel, no friends, along with mask wearing isolation… I have to say that I hit a wall this week that I’ve had a hard time shaking off.

It’s sad to go out and watch people take a wide berth, apologize if they get too close, and overall this new mask-wearing-world is not fun to be in. So even though I’m dying to go SOMEWHERE (OMG ANYWHERE) that part makes me NOT DO IT.

I’m clear in my generation, I will never again go out and NOT see SOMEONE wearing a mask.  And what’s even sadder, is that I suspect the younger generation will grow up to be germaphobes. 

Anyway back to Kelly as I reminisce.

A trip down memory lane – home improvement style

Shortly after she first started working for us, Kelly and her husband bought this house:

See all the before & after’s here

Kelly renovated the powder room, and simply painted and decorated the other two bathrooms, here and here.

They never got to painting the outside before they sold it. But in the meantime, armed with what Kelly learned from me about classic and timeless design, they replaced the flooring, the 80s kitchen and fireplace. And, approximately two years later, sold it for a good price and went on to buy their next home which look a lot more vision!

A Timeless Ranch Renovation

Then, they found the real challenge. The garden was so overgrown, you could barely see the house from the road. 

From Grey Gardens Disaster to a Timeless Blue Exterior

But the floor plan was magical. It’s a U-shaped rancher which means that you get windows on two sides in the family room/kitchen, living room & master bedroom. I talk about the importance of this design element plus two more, in my Exterior Masterclass here. 

Kelly’s new home is so fabulous, when I’m there, I wish I could plunk her house on top of my bungalow. We love our rancher too but if the kitchen and family room were bigger it would be a better candidate to be a ‘forever house’.

Here’s the after of the exterior 

Here’s Kelly in her classic and timeless white kitchen (above). See all the before & after’s here.

Pretty Yellow Bathroom

See the before & after’s of Kelly’s Powder room here

Kelly’s Main Bathroom; Before & After

Kelly’s master bedroom (above) & ensuite (below)

And last but not least, the reason I’m writing this post is because of this little cherub in his sweet little nursery:

See Kelly’s Woodland Nursery Here.

Luke just celebrated his first birthday! 

Kelly sent me this note last night because we’re all sad:

“You and T have been my mentor and given me so much opportunity. I have blossomed into someone I’m so very proud of. For that I’m forever grateful. I can’t thank you guys enough. I hope we can continue our relationship.”

We love you Kelly and wish you the very best of everything!

So back to the point of this post. We are hiring a new personal/administrative assistant who lives within driving distance from Yarrow (Chilliwack). This position will be approximately half virtual and half in-person. 

Personal / Administrative Assistant Position:

The primary role of the Personal Administrative Assistant is to maximize the productivity and efficiency of the Founder. Your responsibilities will include:

  • Providing efficient experienced administrative support 
  • Manage calendars
  • CRM management, 
  • Social media postings
  • Manage emails
  • Personal errands
  • Project Manage and coordinate live and online events. 
  • Travel arrangements 
  • Scheduling
  • Answer telephones
  • Organize office and all work space and storage areas
  • Maintain inventory
  • Assist in photo and video shoots
  • Attend off-site design consultations

Go here to see the skills you need to have and find out how to apply.

Related posts:

Is your Flooring Bossing you Around?

The Enchanting World of Atmosphere

A Bad Day in the Life of a Colour Designer

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  • Lorri says:

    I love Kelly’s house!

  • Christina Nickerson says:

    Yay!!!! I applaud Kelly and her decision. Motherhood is the most important job. People say it is the hardest job and I say no it’s the most important job. With 3 babies in 5 years, all grown now, I would say I’d rather be home with my own routine than out in the elements doing my husband’s job!

    • Char says:

      Congratulations to Kelly! I support her decision to be home with Luke and what a beautiful home it is! Very serene and calming.

  • Stephanie says:

    I’m in the same dumpy blues as you with the state of the world. I’m sorry you’re losing someone fabulous on your team 🙁 Things will turn around, we have to believe! 🙂

  • Whitney says:

    Beautiful before and afters, congrats to Kelly and sweet Luke. If it were possible to be your assistant from ND USA, I’d apply in a heartbeat. Good luck on your search!

  • Brandy says:

    Way to go, Kelly! You’ll never regret the decision to stay home with that beautiful boy, and he’s blessed by you. Enjoy him!

  • Sharon G Rubin says:

    Can you tell us where to get the wonderful horse photo behind the adorable baby sitting on the comfy chair?

  • Jones says:

    Good luck and all the best to Kelly!
    I’ve hit that brick wall too. But personally I’ve never had anyone, not one ever in a year, apologize for getting to close to me down here in the lower 48. I have to do the acrobatics to keep the distance…so many people are oblivious to it.

  • sandi davis says:

    Awww…I’m sad to 🙁 But so glad she gets to stay home with her baby.

  • Adelaide says:

    You have been so lucky to have Kelly, and she, you. I’m sure you’d like to clone her. You will find another person to do her job, but the new applicant may do it differently (within your parameters, of-course.) I applaud you Kelly, for choosing to be home with your son. Mothering, indeed parenting, is a much under-rated job. I see Luke is a lucky little boy, so loved. Your renovations and decorating have created a calm backdrop for family living in your home. It’s very pretty. Best wishes to your family.
    Maria, where I live we have had a very low impact with Covid as in my state of South Australia, early, sensible calls have limited visitors from interstate, testing stations are easily accessible and the uptake by citizens has been largely responsible. I was limited in my social interactions, and masked when out shopping. My son and his family however, in their state, was in lock-down for eight months. Both he and his wife worked from home, the kids schooled on-line at home, and masks were compulsory. People were able to leave home to shop, and for an hour’s exercise each day. It was really tough for them.
    I know it is extremely tough for you too, but my wish is for you to stay strong and know you’ll get to the end in good shape. From your stories shared you have shown resilience in your life journey, so I am confident you will win through. I am sorry that you’re feeling sad, you’ve certainly had a couple of really body-blow events. Hold tight, the clouds will pass, you’ll stand in the warmth of sunshine again. Thank you for sharing with us, you are a beacon to so many.

  • Fran W. says:

    Wishing Kelly all the best! That baby boy is precious!

  • Becky says:

    You’re making a GREAT choice, Kelly! The days are long but the years are really short. …and you have a really gorgeous house to spend them in!
    I feel for you, Maria! Amen on the isolation, masks, germophobic future, and nowhere to go! Then to lose your figurative right arm… Hang in there!
    P.S. Thanks for awesome hardwood floor posts! I’m shopping, and I feel so well armed with info! I shot my husband’s suggestion of a really wild high contrast wood down with one shot. 😁 He got it, no arguing. Hallelujah!

  • Julie W. says:

    Kelly: You will be sorely missed! I have definitely enjoyed your posts and collaborations with Maria. Your home and yard are absolutely divine. Baby Luke is the icing on those posts, LOL!! I wish you the very best and am glad you can stay with Luke. Please stop in and see us one in a while – maybe an Easter /Spring post in your lovely yard with an adorable baby hint hint:-) Maria: I’m so sorry you are hurting right now. Ugh to crappy February weather and ugh to all things pandemic. Yep, its been a long year, but I swear the warmth, sun and better times without masks are on the way. When anxiety, sadness or feelings of overwhelm threaten to send me down a dark hole, I give myself 10-15 minutes to truly feel it. Don’t stuff the feelings. Go ahead and cry and vent. Then I start thinking of all my blessings and the “evidence” I have that things turn around. Because they usually do. Every move to a new duty station was so painful, but over time, I knew the blessings in it with new friends to add to my circle would arrive. Love to both you and Kelly on you journey.

  • Joanne Michael says:


    I’ll always remember how I encouraged you to attend the Landmark Forum and how much you would get out of it. I was thrilled to hear from you afterward that it did in fact change your life.
    Thank you for all you did for Maria, T and ALL OF US. You always gave it 100%.
    Enjoy this next chapter of your life. We only go around once. So happy for you and your family.

  • Sunshine says:

    Kelli – It’s been wonderful seeing your work. That of design assistant and now mother. My motto is “We women can have it all, we just can’t have it ALL AT ONCE.” Very few women can have a 40+ hour a week job and an infant without some sizeable investment in help, whether that be hiring a nanny, enlisting an agreeable house husband, paying for daycare, spouses working different shifts taking turns caring for the infant, or having a family member like a mom or sister step up and move in for a while. So you spend time with dear Luke now and put the career on hold, or work part time from home with him in your lap. That gets interesting real fast! Many women have a plan to achieve everything on their list, they proceed like you are, with different chapters completing different goals. You may find yourself shifting responsibilities back and forth, in many phases of your life going forward. It’s just the way healthy humans operate. I gave up a rather large pension plan and an intense hospital job to be a full-time mom and part-time home-care nurse. This allowed me to be the primary care giver to my children. It also allowed my spouse to flourish in his career, having the time and energy to pursue his goals, have more job security, take on more responsibility at work, and double his retirement investments, thus taking the place of my pension. Once the kids left the nest, I worked, and am still working more hours in the same field. Life has a way of working out. Luckily I still love the guy, and he me! Even if we didn’t, we still had a contingency plan, and so forth.

    Maria – I’m guessing you are feeling the pain of being an extrovert in this current upside-down, introverted world. You are also an Artist. Artists tend to ‘feel’ the world differently. Anybody who has an innate sense of color the way you do, and knows how to share it with the world, is truly a gift to us! I’m also guessing that you’re more in tune to the feelings of people around you than the average Joe. You seem like an extrovert, but maybe you’re an introvert like me, who recharges in solitude but shows some extrovert traits when it comes to sharing our knowledge with others. I’m good at writing, but speaking in front of large crowds is very draining to me. Not sure which Myers-Briggs personality type you are, but I’m guessing you’re one of the four “Creator” types. This is a particularly dreadful time to be a creative person, when one’s livelihood depends on finding/keeping an audience. So many things that are better shared with an in-person audience are relegated to electronic correspondence. You have a great online presence, business, and skills. You’ve translated that expertise into live seminars and loyal attendees. NOW, you’ve adapted to the current restrictions with virtual training and more postings, which we ALL appreciate. You’re so fortunate to have a supportive family in your personal life, and you’ve shared many glimpses into that wealth of love. Draw on those relationships to get you through the rough patches, and know your readers are out here with encouragement also. You’ve got this!

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