This isn’t any ordinary bedroom makeover. The pictures will show you a beautiful space, but that is only half of the story. The story really begins with a little girl, Riley, who has been battling brain cancer. A sweet little 9 year-old girl who has been dreaming of her own room. I’ve seen it time and time again, the universe bringing things together in such a way that you just look to the sky with wonder. That feeling that something bigger than you is at work.
Her family was house hunting and it seemed she would finally get her own room. My dad was their realtor. At the home inspection, when he met sweet Riley and saw her excitement at a space to call her own, he offered to makeover the space for the family.
Of course, he called me after. He was up for the work, but I was in charge of the design and decorating. So I put together a mood board and emailed several companies hoping to get a little help along the way. Minted donated art (4, 5, 10, 11, 12). Land Of Nod donated the duvet cover, sheets and decorative pillow (6). Wayfair donated a bed and a mattress (3) (Riley and her sister had shared bunk beds in their old house). Rugs USA donated a rug (1) (which unfortunately hasn’t arrived yet.) And all the other pieces were filled in by my parents, sister and the donations of my parents’ co-workers.
Night after night my dad showed up, often with my mom, to paint the ceiling and walls, to replace trim, to paint trim, paint doors, etc. My sister and her husband showed up to replace outlets and light fixtures. My mom shopped and shopped to fill in all the gaps, to make the room perfect and to make sure that the little sister had something as well. My sister went out and bought bedding, drapes, a touch lamp and a few decorations for Riley’s little sister’s room. I was busy searching, emailing and trying to pull together a space. My husband hung drapes, and art, built beds and helped me put together the bedrooms. My little brother watched my children several times so that we could be at the house working on the room.
It was a lot of work, time and money that came from a village and it left us all feeling renewed, because blessing others and bringing joy into the world of a little girl who has faced the unthinkable is a gift not just to her, but to every single one of us who helped make it happen.
Riley had just celebrated a birthday before Christmas. When I met her and asked how old she was, she said, “I’m nine, but I was eight for a little bit”. Her answer made me chuckle, because she was eight for just as long as I was eight. But as I thought about it, her eight probably looked a lot different than my eight and perhaps, it felt like she only got to be eight for a little bit.
Our wish for Riley is a space that makes her feel loved, reminds her of the good that is out there in the world and brings her comfort on her hard days. We hope it is a space where she can go to be renewed and empowered. A space that will be tucked into the memories of her childhood, from playdates and sleepovers to late nights of girl-talk as she grows into a teen.
I cannot say enough about the companies who took the time to respond to my emails and jumped right on board. Without them, we would not have been able to create as special of a place for a brave little girl to call her own.
Please go follow them and show them some love on social media!
I hope today, you don’t just leave this post with decorating ideas. I hope you leave knowing there is good, celebrating the good and becoming the good.
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