Hi I'm MARY, a graphic designer and floral stylist based in Winter Park, Florida. My husband Tim (the city's Sustainability Officer) and I are currently working on our first major home renovation to our 1970's cottage in the heart of Winter Park. Sustainable living and simplicity are the driving forces behind our passions and design philosophies.

You can see my flower work at and follow my renovation and gardening adventures on instagram, @marystonecypher.


Slow Fashion Favorites

Have you seen the ad that Zady took out in the Wall Street Journal recently? I was so impressed when I saw it. I've always had a love-hate relationship with the fashion industry. On one hand, I really believe that owning and wearing well-designed, thoughtfully crafted pieces can make such a difference in the way a person feels and functions, so, to me having a fashion industry made up of very talented designers and seamstresses is vital. But on the other hand, I can't stand the constant creation, marketing and over production of cheap clothing for the sole purpose of profit, profit, profit. Bringing "classic" clothing to the masses is really no good if it only lasts for a few wears.

Because of this, I'm always on the hunt for sustainable clothing companies that produce and create well designed, timeless, long-lasting and semi-affordable pieces without compromising on ethics. After stumbling across a very neat brand this morning, called the IOU Project, I thought I'd round up a few of my favorite slow fashion pieces that are available right now.

1. Sustainable Sunglasses / 2. Chambray Pull-Over / 3. Madras Espadrille Wedge  / 4.Vegetable Wash Jeans / 5. Colorful Short Shorts / 6. Not a piece of clothing, but classic braids fit perfectly with classic clothes! Not sure of the photo source...


Back to School, Vision-ing and New Projects

What do you see when you look at this duplex? Probably a soul-less dump, because basically, that's what it is. I see, on the other hand, a blank, concrete-rectangle, slate! An opportunity for place-making, neighborhood revitalization and to turn the corner on a long-standing tradition of crappy housing for the middle class. What I see is the potential for something functional, vernacular and efficient, with architectural integrity. (...My rendering below.)


I do this all the time. In fact, one of my absolute favorite things in life is to look at old properties or lifeless buildings and imagine or draft up what they could be. Sometimes it drives me crazy, because I wish I could scoop them all up and make them better! But I've learned it's much easier to infect change one structure, one plot of land at a time (unless, of course, you're a millionaire).

I've also come to realize that being able to envision and design quality places is a gift. My small chance to make thoughtful contributions the world, by creating better places for humans to exist and thrive. That's why, two weeks ago, I quit my graphic design gig at Bonnier Corp. to pursue a different sort of creative career in Interior Architecture and Design. I'm still booking flower jobs, because I love that too, especially the aspect of working with my hands and harvesting from local farms and gardens. So, I'll be mixing those projects in with light interior design jobs, while I take courses to perfect the art and technicalities of interior design, and travel along the path to certification.

Making a career change is such a huge decision. It feels drastic and impractical, but completely inevitable all at the same time. I know, without a doubt this is what I want to do in life. So, it's now simply a matter of making it happen.

I put together these renderings yesterday morning after finding this run down duplex for sale online. It's a project I would absolutely love to do, and who knows, maybe by throwing it out in the universe, it might actually happen. What do you think?

PS. I still owe you before and afters of Mayfield. Basically a year late! Can't wait to share those when I have time to put them all together.

Image Sources: Existing Facade Photos from Google Street View; Facade Renderings Drafted by Me. Interior Inspiration, clockwise from top left: Hexagonal Clay Saltillo Tile; Mediterranean Kitchen by JHID, Roof and Exterior Facade of the Barbour House Apartments in Winter Park; Living Room by Sawyer Berson; Bricked Hallway, Laundry Closet both at the Barbour House Apartments in Winter Park; Yoga Studio Bathroom by JHID; One Wall Kitchen with Island originally from Cottage Living, photo by: Robbie Caponetto; Door Rendering from Andersen Windows & Doors; Cottage Bathroom by JHIDMediterranean Kitchen by Chris Barrett; Center Photo, Mediterranean Hall by Chris Barrett


Boutique Textiles by Lauren Rossi | Made in the USA

I am absolutely loving all the colorful pieces in Lauren Rossi's Boutique Textiles shop. Basically anything from her website would add the perfect touch of brightness to my apartment on these dark, dreary winter days. So far, this colorful hand painted striped table runner is my favorite. The colors are perfect and the price is actually really great, considering it doubles as a piece of art!

I also love that all her goods are handmade here in the USA. In fact, I don't think I will ever tire of finding well designed goods that are made in the USA. I much prefer them over cheap, mass produced goods!


Non-Toxic Tabletop Essentials | Made in the USA

1. Lead-Free Dinnerware: HF Coors | Fiesta 2. Wood Salad Bowls 3. Classic Bistro Tumblers 4. Modern Flatware 5. Glass Carafe 6. Wood Utensils: Canvas Home | Loon Hardwoods 7. Handmade Cutting Boards 8. Organic Dish Towels

A few recent health issues prompted me to examine the toxicity of many items we use in our home on a daily basis. After doing some research, I was quite surprised to learn just how toxic the things we use everyday can be, especially in the kitchen. For example, did you know many dishes (mainly cheap imported ones found at stores like Target and Ikea) can contain lead? Over time and excessive use, the lead in those dishes can leach into our food and drinks, and ultimately our bodies, causing a myriad of health issues. And, once we’re finished with the toxic dishes, they’ll continue to leave a legacy of harshness on the earth as they slowly biodegrade. After learning this, I naturally began searching for alternatives for items we currently use, that are most toxic.

Without comprising on design, I developed a list of non-toxic kitchen essentials that I am beginning to phase in and replace my old (mostly Ikea) items with. Starting with the tabletop!

Please share if you have any go-to items that I missed!

Note: ALL of these items are also made in the USA.


hedgehouse throw beds | made in the usa

How sweet are these throw beds from Hedgehouse? Roughly the same size as a twin bed, each one comes in a removable/washable cover, rolled up in a little matching bag. Such a cute, stylish alternative to cots or even daybeds!

Photos from the Hedgehouse website.


Mayfield House Renovation Update

Friends! Things at the Mayfield house are moving right along! In fact, we are completely done. Yep, that's right we are done with the renovation. So hard to believe! A couple of weekends ago I spent two solid days cleaning, organizing and rearranging the place so we could take photos. We had ZERO money for any sort of furniture or decorating since we spent every single penny, and then some on the renovations. It took some major creativity (and several painting sessions) to clean up old hand-me-down furniture pieces and figure out how to place things together to give the space a sense of completeness. We still haven't hung much of anything on the walls, in fact I think we only have one picture up... But it finally feels like a real, liveable home! I can't wait to put together the before and after posts and share them with you!

See a round up of our "Before" photos right here. And, follow me on instagram to peek further into our updated space!


Horse Feathers - Cynic's New Year

Have you heard of the Portland band Horsefeathers? I've been listening to their most recent album, Cynic's New Year on loop for the past few months. I just can't turn it off! Their melodies and stunning, poetic lyrics, are just perfect all the way through. 

If you haven't listened to any of their music yet, I highly recommend. You can also check out their performance on NPR's 'Tiny Desk Concert' series, here.

Photo from Horse Feathers' official flickr page.