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Be Builtfully Blog

How Builtfully Got Started

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

After a decade of dreaming up the Builtfully business, it has launched! With butterflies in my stomach, excitement in my heart, and visual stunners before me, I said, "let's do this!" Through my explorations, photography, and written ideas from my professional and personal experiences, I developed Builtfully.

Builtfully represents a word I came up with while traveling in Door County, Wisconsin, in the summer of 2020. After living in London, graduating from University College London with a Masters in Urban Design and City Planning, and moving back to the U.S., I began figuring out my next steps.

Over the past five years, I had done consulting and placemaking projects through my Katherine O Creative Community, LLC. I was ready to dive deeply into my passion project, Builtfully.

After tapping into a creative headspace, I realized an appreciation for the vast amount of beauty I experience through my wanderings in the world. The beauty of buildings and the "built environment" has comforted me during challenging times.

Builtfully (TM pending) is a combination of two words... "beautifully" and "built." Builtfully has a range of meanings: it is well built literally or figuratively in a holistic way; it is well-thought-out, meaningful, and pleasing to the senses. Architecture, city planning, design, and nature inspire Builtfully.

I wanted to practice what I preached and share the beauty around me to inspire others to make places better. Be Builtfully!

Builtfully's business purpose is to create enjoyment from art and aesthetics, inspire creative ideas, and share knowledge through experience and expertise with holistic and universal design recommendations on making better places for all.

My first trip alone was about fifteen years ago when I boarded a plane to visit a friend in Paris. Now I have visited 30 countries and have lived/studied in three countries (Australia, Sweden, and England) other than my home country--the U.S. The trip to Paris created much wanderlust (see graphic for definition) in me. It opened up my eyes to all the beauty in the world.

"With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on." ~ William Morris

As camera and phone technologies have advanced, so has my photographic quality. This is evident in my decade-plus global pictures in the photo album showcased here. Notice the advancement of the image quality. The place's true impact and memory do not change as it stays etched forever in my mind and heart.

As people travel and have more access to different places and cultures, this can transform how we see others and ourselves. Just like the image quality that improves over time, so do we when we experience travel and other cultures.

Human connection and how we come together in our "built environments" are more important than ever. It can break down barriers, reveal what is essential, and show how people have more similarities than differences. It is how we celebrate these differences and learn from each other that is of vital importance.

After much reflection and solitude this year, investing in my business became more important. My perspective on lifestyle and work style has evolved and transformed. This transformation, with creative thinking, was with me through the passage of time.

The people I have met from around the world, the beautiful places I have visited, memories from my hometown, events I have planned, and spaces I transformed led me to create Builtfully's passion project.

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

What inspired Builtfully?

The mood board below represents my passion for places, photography, and people. The quatrefoil symbol in the logo represents the four-leaf clover for good luck; it is featured in many architectural and design objects worldwide.

Next time you see a church, a rug pattern, or jewelry, look for a quatrefoil design symbol. Builtfully's mission and business slogan explore the benefits of beautifully built environments. The template is one of peaceful and neutral colors used as a background for my photography.

The animated character is me wandering around the world with my little green backpack and camera in hand. My passion project motif is the human and natural constructs that inspire beautiful places.

What is Builtfully?

Beauty transforms us; it is aesthetically pleasing to the senses. It focuses the mind, opens the heart, and connects the soul to a larger sense of belonging. Through place (or home), we can find or know our place in the world. Place either surprise us, helps us see what we are looking for, or drives us to keep searching. Placemaking can be described by Project for Public Spaces as "strengthening the connection between people and the places they share."

Beautiful built places are more profound than their aesthetic nature of them. These places were built and crafted, what stories were and are being told in the spaces, how they make us feel when we are there, and what needs to be transformed to make them beneficial for all.

Builtfully is about recognizing and inspiring beautifully built places that stop us in our tracks, make us gaze up in awe, take a photograph, perhaps do a sketch, and then move us to bring it back to our place.

What does place mean to you? Do you have a favorite place?

The world has so much beauty in it. The best therapy can be the place that gets us out of ourselves. It can sometimes be uncomfortable, but getting to know that place, can transform us. It can teach us about other cultures and communities. Often, through food, public space, and transit, people become connected.

These connections open up possibilities of bringing people together through the place. Placemaking can enhance our lives by attracting people with a welcoming sense of belonging to become their whole selves in a thoroughly holistic "built environment." Through the Be Builtfully way, the benefits of beautifully built environments can transform the world one place, one person at a time.

I hope to share the beauty that is all around us and inspire you to create beauty in your own life.

Be Builtfully!

If you are interested in connecting, book an initial FREE consultation below to see how we can work together!


Love this concept! Our world could use more positivity and beauty. Thanks for your contribution.

Kellie A

Katherine O'Neil
Katherine O'Neil
Feb 01, 2022
Replying to

Thank you! I hope to show more beauty and inspire others to create beauty in their own lives.

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