Matlow: Suite Dreams Project creates happy rooms for ill children
A soothing space can lift the spirits of a young one who is ill. “A child who is sick spends a lot of time confined to the house and to their room,” says Donna Brown, owner of Dazzling Designs in Northville.
The designer created a delightful child’s room in Dearborn for a 9-year-old girl with leukemia through the Suite Dreams Project, a nonprofit organization that provides healing environments for low and moderate income families with sick children.
“This gives them a special place to play and have friends over. It becomes a happy place,” Brown says.
Her inspiration came from an Apple White doll that sports some of the girl’s favorite shades of red, white and metallic gold. The end result comes from a distinct blend of textures, metals and colors.
“We started with the bedding,” says Brown, who turned to Target for budget-friendly finds. “I mixed the collections with a little bit of shabby chic and reds, pinks, greens and navy blue.”
The girl’s fondness for red roses is reflected in the artwork and the real blooms scattered about the room.
Generous proportions (18 feet by 24 feet) allowed for separate sections or zones, but the space still came with its share of challenges, like angled walls that dictated the placement of the existing bed. New furniture and some accessories were donated by Art Van, including a side table, a dresser and mirror, and a vanity.
Brown was asked to add gold, silver and black accents, which she spread around the room. “Black was a fun accent and gray is the new beige,” she says.
The mirrored vanity was paired with a reclaimed chair that was spray-painted with silver metallic and topped with a gold-and-red velvet animal print seat cover.
A white chandelier from the Home Depot joins two existing light fixtures that were spray painted in a bronze metallic. “It’s amazing what a little bit of spray paint can do,” says Brown.
Walls were painted in shades of red, yellow and gray paint from Sherwin-Williams. One wall features a thick painted stripe, while another is adorned with a $20 wall decal that lets you create your own leaf and twig design. “It was very affordable and it made such an impact,” Brown says.
The designer did not limit herself in her quest for fun finds. “I shopped in the infant, adult and kids departments,” she says. “I used the cool stuff from all of them.” Art Van scores include chair-shaped beanbags that form a charming seating area and a gray faux-fur chaise that adds a sophisticated touch.
A much-needed closet was constructed for the space. “We set up the room so that she could grow into it,” Brown says.
When it was time for the big reveal, the recipient was thrilled. “She was just really excited and overwhelmed,” says Brown. “There was so much for her to look at; she didn’t know where to look first.”
“It was a really fun project,” adds Brown. “It’s a happy room.”
For information about the organization, go to suitedreamsproject.org. To reach Donna Brown at Dazzling Designs, call (248) 380-5043.
Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at email@example.com.