About Stephanie

Founder, Practical Sanctuary, sensory interior design. Massage therapist. Artist emeritus. Pretty Lady, bane of the troglydites.

How to Grow Big Houseplants

The light and humidity in the corner of your living room bear no resemblance to that of a West African rain forest, and you cannot fool the fiddle leaf fig tree into thinking so.

Sticker and the Giant Aloe

Magical Fairyland Patio, With Cat

From Grunge to Gorgeous

March of 2020: lockdown.

What I crave more than anything: a garden.

What I’ve got: 100 square feet of broken concrete, surrounded by a broken fence, looking onto a vacant lot which the guy down the block insists is his. (It’s not.) I’ve gotten into a guerrilla gardening war over this lot, and lost.

Why Get Political? A Love Letter.

“Don’t mix business with politics.” If you follow Practical Sanctuary on social media, you know I break that rule. This is why. One of my core values, in life and in business, is inclusiveness. It’s been that way since preschool. My rule, “be kind to the awkward kid,” means […]


Simple, sunny office with white walls, view of trees, plants

7 Simple Fixes for the Highly Sensitive Person’s Home Office

If you’re like me, you’re secretly LOVING quarantine. Like a lot of highly sensitive people, I get overwhelmed in crowds, emotionally exhausted at networking events, and come down with a case of decision fatigue when I have too many options for how to spend my time.  Having no choice […]

Sensory Integration: How To Decode What Your Child Is Telling You

So often, children with sensory issues are treated for behavioral problems, with or without acknowledging what sensory needs might be driving the behavior. When therapists focus on addressing unwanted behaviors without digging deeper, we can miss an opportunity to help a struggling child.

Child with glasses holding a model of an atom

The ONE Biggest Mistake

For sensitive people, EVERYTHING feels like a huge issue. And for those with ADD-type brains, struggles with executive function can derail your ability to prioritize, and weigh cost-benefit analysis when deciding what projects to take on.

The Eccentric Genius: Sustainable Business Network Interview

Interview with Bradford Bucknum, Sustainable Business Network, Philadelphia What is your “elevator” definition of neurodiversity? Neurodiverse people have brains that differ from the majority, in the ways they organize and process information. This can include people on the autism spectrum, people with sensory sensitivities, and people with ADHD. There […]

Feral Artists and Eccentric Habitats

“…the two things that stood out about SFAI was that it provided no formal education and no practical support, either during your tenure there or upon graduation. Students were simply thrown into a mud pit and encouraged to rend one another.”

Climbing the Mountain

THIS WEEK I DID SOMETHING HARD. I asked for help. Help for a problem that made me feel ashamed and terrified. A miracle occurred. I got WAY more help than I asked for, in more areas than I thought possible. When we are highly sensitive, that can encompass both […]

Image: Looking up a tall escalator toward a tiny figure at the top

Top row of windows on Dwight Eisenhower Office Building near the White House.

Space, Power and Sexism

When we talk about space, we inevitably talk about power. Those who have power, control the space.This photo was taken on National Association for Women Business Owners Advocacy Day, outside the Dwight Eisenhower Building, after we visited the White House. We advocated for increased access to capital for women […]