A couple of years ago, I went into a large home renovation box store to buy the rest of the electrical supplies so I could wire up my shop. The woman working in the electrical department, ended our conversation by shaking my hand firmly and thanking me for doing “women’s work”.

Lora Frost during her own shop build. Please ignore the pink safety glasses, they were the only ones that fit.


Wow, I thought, this is the best experience I’ve ever had at this big box store.

I continued on my supply run, walking through the aisles while balancing the long conduit pieces sticking out of the cart on my shoulder. I navigated to the check out line and the woman running the checkout said, “you sure are magical balancing all of that.”
Unbelievable, I thought; two women cheering me on instead of the usual quips stating “Do you know what you are doing with all of that?”.
It was so out of my ordinary experience that I made a facebook post about it, letting people know that they could now call me Magical Sparky! Several years later, it’s still such an extraordinary experience that I had to share it with you!



Hello! My name is Lora Frost and I’m the Principal Designer and Chief Construction Manager here at Dahlias & Granite.




I love construction and renovation work and I’ve worked in male dominated industries for over 20 years.


The following questions and comments are why I am so passionate about providing women, specifically, with real world advice, construction and design services.


I’ve fielded questions like

“Is there a man I can ask about this?” – no, everyone who works here is female.
“Are these your husbands tools?” No. I bought and use 95% of them exclusively. 
“Are you sure you know how to use that tool?” As I’m buying one. Really, what kind of question is that?
“Can you carry that?” As I am literally carrying a 60 lb bag of mortar, walking past them, carrying the mortar just fine.
“Is this saw for your husband?”  It’s my new mitre saw, thanks.


And from contractors I worked with on my own 203K renovation I’ve been told:

“The tub will fit, I’ve measured it” the plumber said. I too measured it and determined it won’t fit where the plumber put the water and drain lines. The plumber then re-measured in front of 6 people. The plumber moved the drain and water lines to match my measurements.

“We had no idea where the septic lines were.” As they drove a too large machine over it and then dug up the line accidentally.” I stated, the septic lines are clearly seen in the basement. A measurement should and could have been taken to avoid the damage done. They replaced the line they broke.

The properly installed riser lines, perfectly plumb.

“You expect too much.” I hardly think having two 24″ exposed chrome risers from the floor to the clawfoot tub being plumb (straight up and down) is a tall order. It’s a pretty basic plumbing skill. 
“The estimate says closest match”. In reference to historic millwork in my kitchen. “So you are putting basic builder grade moldings in my historic kitchen, when we specifically spoke about this?”    “Yes.”  “Here is where you can get the “closest match”, this millwork company will make new ones for you.” I received the proper replacement moldings for my historic kitchen.
I came home to this disaster at the end of the day towards the start of the project.  One of the subcontractors left this atrocious mess for the next contractors to work around. And me, since I was living and working there!
The GC asked me, “What will make you happy?” For you to fulfill the contract as agreed upon. Plain and simple.

I wasn’t happy. And I decided that I never wanted any of my clients to go through a similar experience.

In contrast, this is what the end of day looks like on job sites I manage. I love working with contractors who have pride in their work, which includes cleaning at the end of each and every single day.
Renovation is already a stressful experience, when you work with me you can expect a tidy worksite, clear communication and the details attended to.

Perhaps you too have been told things like this, had a similar experience or felt like you didn’t have enough knowledge to advocate for your renovation, even though you were pretty certain they were yanking your chain.

I’ve often found renovation work much like walking into an unethical auto mechanic shop where they tell you that you need “this and this and this” replaced without showing you the parts they are wanting to replace.

I’m extremely passionate about women having an advocate during the renovation process. 

While I’ve had the displeasure of hiring the wrong contractors (that you can’t fire without extreme delays on a 203K renovation) and I’ve also developed the knack to find great contractors to work with and build a great cohesive team.
This is what two of my fabulous contractors have said about working with me during a full kitchen build where we moved a kitchen to another room of the historic home, during the beginning and subsequent months of covid-19.
Lora always made sure everyone was on the same page, from delays in permit approvals to making sure front doors were built with historical accuracy. She always made sure that everyone was part of a team, the clients, her handyman, Steve, us at Crux Scenica, and all the other contractors even though a construction project during COVID-19 was an insane whirlwind.
The tenacity that was needed for this project, during this difficult time, could not have been done if it wasn’t for her attention to detail, excellent managerial communication skills, coordination and for the kindness with which she leads.”  – Christina Delli Santi
“Indeed the kitchen project’s success and the continuing improvements that are ongoing at the house, have been solely possible because of Lora’s hard work, leadership and skill as a project manager. The extreme delays in material acquisition and permitting, the changing scope of work from her clients, all mixed with the regular day-to-day challenges of COVID that we all experienced, would have been enough to put anyone off their best performance, but during that entire project Lora didn’t waiver. When the project would encounter another set-back, Lora would just laugh and try to find a workaround, where a less capable person might have balked.”    – Joshua Bennett
Renovation is a team sport, with the best teams collaborating on the best path forward when finding something unexpected. And with renovations, there is always something unexpected.

I excel at getting everyone on the same page, while making sure everyone feels heard and keeping the project moving forward.

And this is a short excerpt from a client’s perspective.

“This is definitely one of my top 3 reasons for hiring a Project Manager. I’ve managed 2 major renovations myself, and will NEVER do that again. Hire Lora, unequivocally.” – Jennifer Wright


The majority of work that we will do together starts with the design process, creating a new vision that fits how you desire to feel and live in your space.

Have you ever thought you’d found the perfect home, but then discovered it wasn’t as ideal as you first imagined?

My ex-husband and I once lived in a beautiful historic home, it had twelve foot ceilings, huge beautiful windows and a master bath that was literally jaw dropping.
After living there for a few months we found that the house didn’t actually fit our personalities. The open plan living space didn’t have any doors so we had zero ways of controlling noise or light from one room to the next. There was no door from the master bedroom to the bathroom, so you couldn’t use the soaking tub if your partner was trying to sleep.
Because of the openness, sound carried from one far end to the other. The biggest lesson we learned was how important sound control and having ways of closing off areas was to us.

Your surroundings affect not only how you feel mentally, but also your physiological state and everything from your productivity and sleep is affected for better or worse.


Lora Frost hugging a Douglas Fir tree.

Sometimes the subtleties and the nuances aren’t always apparent. One of my clients was nearly in tears explaining that they had moved into their new house and she couldn’t figure out why she was so uncomfortable in such a beautiful space and she was upset that she couldn’t figure it out on her own. Design on your own home is difficult even for professional designers.


I identified that the previous owners used multiple whites that had different undertones creating dissonance and clashing colours — even though they were all white. White is one of the trickiest colours to work with. Cohesive undertones in all colours make an enormous difference in creating a comfortable home. We chose a colour palette that was still neutral, but one that made her feel relaxed and at home.

That’s my super power – listening to you and figuring out why a the area or space isn’t working for you specifically and coming up with a solution that fits your life to a tee.



Through the design process, we will talk about your priorities, needs and wishes so we can create a plan that incorporates how you want to use your home or work space.
When working with me, you’ll find that I always place function first. If the design doesn’t actually work in your daily life, it truly doesn’t matter how beautiful it is. Beauty, while extremely important, is added after all the nuts and bolts of your user experience has been decided.
It is a little unusual to be both an interior and a landscape designer, but I am also equally right and left brained! Even my formal training is balanced with a degree in Graphic and Media Design and certification as an Organic Master Gardener, Irrigation Installation and Residential Design/Build.
I worked in a photo lab for many years, while also taking fine arts as part of my undergrad before transitioning into design.
Colour, pattern and bold statement areas bring me a lot of joy and peaceful zen spaces (with, or without a pop of colour) give me the tranquillity that I crave.

We need both types of environments in our homes, bringing us balance.



To find my own balance in In my personal life, I’ve taken up wildlife photography as my calming and meditative practice, and as my yang practice to find an energetic release, I love cutting down trees and chopping firewood. And more recently, rock climbing.

I adore traveling and exploring and I mostly try to avoid the tourist traps in order to experience new places as a local does. Boutique hotels make me insanely happy when they have gone the extra mile to attend to every detail. My passion for detail, colour, pattern and feeling at home influences all of the design work that I create for you, my clients.
I’ve stayed at over 46 AirBnb’s  plus other short term rentals all over the US and Canada. I love the personal touch, the individualism of each location and the feeling of living like a local. The best locations create an experience where you can breathe and relax and not think of a single detail.


I blend systems thinking, my intuition and my insatiable curiosity about YOU to design a space that creates exactly the feeling and experience you need from your interior or exterior surroundings.
I delight in working with women and if you’ve gone through divorce, loss or trauma, you’ll find a kindred spirit within me.
I’d love to meet and work with you to create an environment that supports your energy, allowing you to live your best life.
Lora Frost

# of Fleuvogs I own

# of states I've visited

#of Countries I've Lived In

# of Canine Family Members


of time I need MUD in the morning

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