My Happi Place Life Architectural Firm

My Happi Place Life Architectural Firm

You’ve seen the signs, the facebook posts, the posters, and bummer stickers: “This is my happy place.” Whether it’s a cup of coffee, a lake house, a beach scene; for so many years the expression of “my happy place” has run as far and as wide as the word happy itself. While I too have described experiences or locations as being “my happy place”, it was in the early spring of 1996, when I first started conceiving of the principles of “My Happi Place.”

While HAPPI with an I was a long time coming, I can remember that day in ’96 like it was yesterday. Perhaps because I jumped over a fallen tree on the path and found myself with a sprained ankle three miles from home. The dogwoods were in early bloom, there were tulips dancing in the wind, and the yellow snow of spring was falling. This was a path I had walked at least a hundred times before, part greenway, part neighborhood, but something about this day, all the architecture around began to stand taller, prouder almost. I don’t know if it was all the spring fairy dust, or perhaps I had just seen the movie “The Lake House,” and my love for architecture had swelled up inside me again. Something about that crisp, beautiful, brightly hazy spring day, that I began conceiving of a unifying design structure for living my life. My mind was racing with dreams of building an architectural firm that built lives, as beautiful as the homes that adorned the side walks and greenways. The design would be built on mental, physical, spiritual, social and financial frameworks. All this dreaming and designing in my head, had me so high, I thought I could leap these homes in a single bound…at least the three foot fallen tree in my path. But despite how high I was soaring, this is when I fell to earth. While I continued my dreaming and designing such a build in my mind on my trip home, by the time I arrived, I had a black and blue ankle what seemed 50 times its original size, and my dreaming of being an architect of life washed away like the spring pollen on a rainy day.

big old brick and stone house

It wasn’t until a sat in one of my happy places-a small local coffee shop almost 5 years ago, that I wrote the words, “life by design” on the outside of a notebook. Inside that notebook, I constructed how I was going to move myself from point A to point B, because I was needing to make some moves. At the time I hadn’t conceived of “My Happi Place,” but what I did have was a mantra that I lay as my foundation and erected from its words a framework for living this life by design. I had expounded upon the original frameworks of mental, physical, spiritual, social and financial; and I had added frameworks for emotional, environmental, entrepreneurial, experiential and influential structures to my plan. I realized that this plan I was creating for myself, to help me get unstuck, to help me move from point A to point B, was going to, if nothing else, help me get living instead of all this waiting I had been doing. The day in the coffee shop, dreaming and designing was going to help me live my dolce vita-back then my sweet life was my definition of HAPPI.

large Italian style home with clay tile roof

Architecture, according to Merriam-Webster: “The art or science of building, specifically the art or practice of designing and building structures and especially habitable ones from conscious acts, with a unifying or coherent form or structure.” I was a life architect, because this is exactly what I was doing for my life-making conscious acts to dream, design, build and live. This day in the coffee shop is the very dreaming and designing that brought me and my partner the Happi Manor and My HAPPI PLACE. I’ve had a couple of iterations of my architectural plan for living throughout the years, beginning that early spring day in 1996. While my favorite client through most of these years has been me, as I’ve shared little snips of my own life architectural plan, many amazing clients have begun to join me in My Happi Place, which is their My Happi Place. With the “unifying coherent form”: HAPPI as the foundation for My Happi Place, and by conscious acts of dreaming, designing, building and living, we can live My Happi Place inside and out. You can live your My Happi Place too, inside and out! Dream, Design, Build and Live HAPPI with us!


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P.O. Box 3359

Henderson, NC 27536


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