Friday, January 9, 2009


I am so happy to be interviewed by Willow - but as we all know - it's because I raised my hand and said "Pick me Pick me" least I'm honest:

1. How in the world did you come about living in and restoring an old church?

I lived in Orange County, California for 30 years and most of those years were spent in a planned community. It was a lovely home and a great place to raise the kids, but as an Interior Designer, looking out my kitchen window and seeing a tract house exactly like mine was sad.....I could use so many words - but basically, it made me sad. And even though my last 5 years were spent in the quintessential beach cottage in Laguna, I vowed that when all darlings were finished high school I would search for a wonderful, unique place to live. I was raised in Wisconsin and that is where I set out to find a church, barn, schoolhouse, cheese factory, mill ..........ANYTHING that was not a tract house. So I happened upon the church - yes, it was a "drive by" and here I am !

2. Did you leave the sanctuary section of the church as is or did you section it into rooms?

Basically, I left the church sanctuary "as is". I added a loft at one end of the church which gave me a master bedroom upstairs and created a ceiling for the kitchen downstairs where I could have recessed lighting and a vent for the cook top. But in the loft, the walls are only as high as the incredible tin cornice. When you are on the main level there is no visual break because I wanted to be able to see the whole ceiling.

3. If you could have dinner with an historical figure who would it be and why...

I wish I were smart enough to impress everyone with some little known, eccentric genius - but I'm not. As a designer, I would have to look to someone who had great knowledge of ALL aspects of architecture, design and landscaping and that would Thomas Jefferson. I would sit at his knee and be the student. Well, for dinner I would sit at his table.

4. Other than your loved ones, what is your most treasured possession

Is this a fair answer - my imagination ? This is what allows me the vision for designs - and transports me. I basically live in a fantasy world. My clients tell me how they want to live and I am able to translate that into their realty.

5. Before blogging, what, if any, was your main mode of personal expression?

I am not really an accomplished blogger. I started my blog solely as a diary of my progress on the church for all my family and friends. Prior to this I have enjoyed all aspects of design . My degree is in Interior Design and I have worked in that field since '76......but I am also a third generation milliner, and enjoy everything having to do with the arts and design. I once had a Christmas card that said "If it doesn't move - decorate it".

Now - here is your chance to be interviewed:

1. Leave me a comment asking to be interviewed

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions ( my choice of questions)

3. You will update your blog with the answers to these questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post

5. When others comment and ask to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


  1. This was great! Thank you, Mary. It was fun to get to know you a little better. I added your blog link to my completed interview post.

  2. Mary, Great reading your interview! Living in and renovating a about a blest life!
    Love the garage!
    Mary Ann

  3. What a wonderful and exciting home! I look forward to seeing it develop.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  4. Mary, it's been such fun seeing the progress on your new home. Your ideas for it are wonderful. Now it's fun to know a little more about you! :-)

  5. Ooooooh NOW I get it! I REALLY thought you were renovating a church for a congregation! Duh, eh?

    HOW FUN!! I have always wanted to do that...or a school house. We did live in an old barn (with the beams and original floors) in NY.

    Ok...Now have to go check out your whols blog again....with brand new eyes.

    So glad you did that interview, you really striagtened me out!

    signed, Coconut Brains!!

  6. PS...Just found your Christmas tree with the stained glass. WOW...STUNNING!! And that room, it is absolutely gorgeous. The windows, the ceiling the heighth...the molding.SWOON!

  7. Willow, again, a million thanks....this is life at its best.
    Makes me want to break into Barbra singing "People...." but I won't

    Mary Ann and Ralph - wonderful to meet you

    Sandra - you have been a springboard for me - my new friend

    and Coconut Brains
    SOOO happy you finally read the small print...but know that you're not the first to think I'm a shepherd with her flock.

  8. Mary, your comment was so sweet. Your life is pretty amazing & inspirational, as well. Many good wishes to you and can't wait to see more pictures of your "holy" house.

  9. it was run reading your answers too. there's something about these little interviews...


This is a huge project - your interest in St. Marys keeps me energized and I love hearing from you