Monday, August 6, 2012

Finishing Touches

I love this sign.  It's hanging in the entryway of the house of my precious friend Jackie who is a walking miracle. She was diagnosed almost three years ago with stage four colon cancer.  I've known of her and have known her extended family for quite a few years but it wasn't until I participated in a bible study with her and watched her journey through this trial that I really experienced who she is. She's now one of my heros.

I can't begin to explain the lessons I learned as I watched her fight this disease with quiet strength, faith and determination of Spirit...her own and her Savior's.  It'll never happen because I'm too stubborn, opinionated and selfish, but when I grow up, I want to be just like Jackie.  She reminds me of my Mom who always gives so selflessly to others around her expecting nothing in return. For someone like me, who is wired with defensiveness and a critical spirit, my admiration for those who aren't is immense.  The way she allowed God to carry her through this without resentment, anger or depression was amazing to me.  The tears that were cried (and there were many) were always about her family and what she would miss if she were shortchanged on time with them.  One of the milestones she grieved the possibility of missing, was the highschool graduation of her oldest son. Well....that was this June and she made it!  She lived to see it, experience it and celebrate it and she's doing fantastic with a great prognosis for future celebrations! 

That being said, she knew that she would have lots of friends and family over who would want to celebrate both events...her son and her restored health.  So she threw quite a party!
And Room for Change got to Change some Rooms!

She hired me on to help her finish some of the spaces in her newly remodeled home that she just hadn't gotten around to finishing after her diagnosis.
She originally worked with an incredible interior designer for overall interior and exterior selections but after I got to know her, she gave me a shot to do what I love best...accessorize it!
We had so much fun collaborating on adding the finishing touches. She has a modern, whimsical sense of style, which stepped me out of my comfort zone. No muted, soft, "french laundry" look here.  Think bright turquoise blue, lime greens, clean lined furniture and lots of family friendly touches.
Here's a brief snapshot of some of the rooms and accessories that we worked on.  We're not finished yet, but we definitely made the place feel a little warmer, a little more furnished and a little more lived in and loved on.

I talked her into keeping the blue sofas and ottoman, but we layered some fun pillows and bought the new round footstools (UBU).

This is the other half of that room. Her husband didn't want to part with his recliners (see "before" pic. below), so we replaced them with fresh, new swivel types. (Three Chairs-downtown Holland). We added swing arm lamps and a new brown loveseat.
Before of the great room:

We moved the couches in to form a "U" shape for better conversation flow.  The furniture used to line the perimeter of this enormous room, but now we staged the area into three different sections.  We still have a game table coming that will be placed behind the blue sofa to the right (in the pic.).

The game table will be behind the sofa on the left in the top photo.

It was fun to furnish the built- in cubbies in her main floor office.  The kids use this room a lot for home work and just hanging out so I knew she'd need some baskets to hide small electronics and other odds and ends.

I found these magnetic boards online at Ballard Design.  These are hanging in that same office on the wall that leads into her kitchen. She had fun purchasing some whimsical magnets.

This mirrored piece I also found at Ballard.  It is hanging in her front entry foyer and it literally became a beatiful reflection of movement in the busy hallway area there.
Her basement has a more rustic, masculine feel to it and we wanted it to still function as a 'man-cave' for her husband and two sons, but also wanted a fun place to hang out for her one daughter and her friends. We added this table and wall art:
And accessorized the ledges for functionality and charm!

I've used this candle sconce in another client's basement before and I knew it would look great in this space as well. (UBU)
In keeping with the rustic theme, I found this at UBU and thought it blended well with the wood tones in her cabinetry.

 We left no stone unturned. Everything must be staged!  Too bad there was another hallway that lead to another bathroom, as you turned the corner from this nook that I didn't even know was there...Oh well, we'll get that one next time. I don't think it was used for the party that night. :)
New coat rack I ordered somewhere (can't remember) online and a new print to coordinate with an existing one in her foyer.
This console table and print were already in place. I added the candle holders and candles and will be adding even more as we continue to walk through and collect things that give this home even more personality.

Her mudroom is awesome but I couldn't snap any pics of the other sides of it that day.  We were still in the process of sorting and staging but I'll try to take some more in the days ahead.  She's got it looking like a sports' themed locker room....perfect for her three sporty kids and very active family!
 I think I had the most fun prepping this area for the party.  This pass through off the mudroom is the back entry from their pool area.  Perfect spot to drop or pick up towels and lotions on your way out or in.

I found the galvanized bins and recycled totes online at Pottery Barn Teen. Of course that night, we were careful and choosy about what color towels were on display!
Don't be scared.  This is a sneek peak of the upstairs bonus room that will be our next transformation.  Funky, fun artwork that will tie together the new brown sectional, splashes of burnt orange and light lime green. Stay tuned.

 Jackie doesn't strike me as the type to read blogs. She is usually too busy blessing and serving others, but if you do happen to read this one Jackie....thanks for reminding all of us to live like we were dying. (Tim McGraw reference). Wink Wink.
I'll never forget this year with you, the girls and James. I love you.
Thanks for trusting me with this project. I had a blast!

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything".
James 1:3-4


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