A number of months ago, I was contacted by Angela from Make-A-Wish Canada (formerly The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada), to see if I would be willing to help them with a room makeover for one of their wish friends, Lauren*, who is a teenage girl living with Hodgkins lymphoma. Before even considering all the logistics, my answer was a resounding “YES!”, to which Angela responded with an equal “YES!” in excitement! While Angela is the Wish Master, I guess designing a room for a 14 year old girl who had very specific (and somewhat expensive) taste was a little out of her wheelhouse.
The truth is, Angela’s call came at such a perfect time for me. I was struggling with this deep desire to feel like I wanted to help others but just didn’t know how and where. So when Angela called and asked if I’d be willing to donate my design services to help make this girls wish come true, it was honestly a bit of a dream come true for ME!
After making sure all our Covid protocols were in place, Angela and I were able to visit Lauren’s home to see her space and get to know her a bit better. Her room was fairly basic but she had BIG dreams for this space! I asked her some questions to help get the design juices flowing including what her favourite colours were, hobbies she had and what she was into. It didn’t take me long to realize she has an eye for designer items as I saw her drawings of the Louis Vuitton logo on her closet doors! She ended up sending us a list of her wish items and it was time to get to work!
As always with any room design, I always love to create a mood or inspiration board when I start a project. This was especially important for Lauren’s room because I didn’t know her that well and it was just really important for me to make sure we knocked this design out of the park! If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE colour but I quickly learned that Lauren really didn’t want much colour in her space. She wanted it really sleek and clean with mostly whites and greys. I knew purple was one of her favourite colours, so thought adding some splashes of it would work in the room. While she was open to adding some purple and pinks, she let me know that she really only wanted small doses of them. So the purple drapes that I tried to sneak in on the moodboard was a no-go! And you know what, I love that about working with clients when they know exactly what they want and don’t want!
Once I got approval from our friend on the moodboard, it was time to get to work sourcing all the items Lauren wanted. This was quite the challenge as our budget for this space was only $5,000 – which might sound like a lot, but when you need everything from a new bed frame and mattress to dresser and desk to paint and so on, it goes fast! I think how it typically works with item wishes for Make-A-Wish Canada, is that the wish friends will send in the items that they’d like and that is typically what is purchased (should it fit within the budget). But again, a room redesign is a bit of a different beast to deal with. So I knew I had my work cut out for me to make sure I could source EVERYTHING that Lauren wanted/needed with the most glam items I could find, all while keeping it within budget!
Here is a list of the items Lauren wanted/needed for her space:
- White tufted bed frame
- White dresser
- Vanity with vanity light-up mirror
- Wall-mount for TV
- LED string lights
- Pendant light
- Blackout curtains
- Clear, acrylic bins for organizing (she wanted A LOT of these)
- Side table
- Desk chair
- Bed linens
- Designer books for display
- Non-slip hangers
- Full length mirror
- Area rug
- Faux plant/greenery
I am SO pleased that I was able to find almost everything she asked for and I still came in $200 under budget! I will include a source list below for some of the items, but everything I found I got from the following places: Wayfair, HomeSense, Costco, Amazon and Bouclair. The mattress came from The Brick and is SO comfy, which was an important part of the wish.
So without further adieu, here is the what the room looked like BEFORE…
And here is what it looked like AFTER!
Being that I’m somewhat of a crafty person as well as knowing she didn’t want much colour in the room, I knew I wanted to do something a little fun and unexpected inside her closet. I knew she obviously loved the Louis Vuitton logo, so I decided to make decals using my Cricut machine and made a custom Louis Vuitton feature wall in her closet. I also added a little bit of colour, with her approval, in the closet.
When it comes to paint, I used all Valspar colours and we painted every inch of that room, top to bottom!
- Walls: “Tempered Grey”
- Closet: “Pretty Orchid”
- Ceiling, Door, Trim: “Ultra White”
One of the other DIY’s we were able to do was to customize two IKEA dressers in order to make them look much more high end, while still fitting within our budget. The first was the six-drawer MALM dresser. On it’s own, it’s quite plain and wouldn’t have fit into this “designer glam” theme, but I was able to add these beautiful polished chrome acrylic pulls as well as chrome feet to the bottom of the dresser for a totally customized and glam look!
We worked out tails off for two days straight painting, building and setting up this space and we couldn’t be more happy with how it turned out. But the most rewarding part was when our wish friend Lauren walked into the room, gasped, placed her hands over her mouth in disbelief and said to me, “This is exactly what I wanted! Thank you for making my wish come true!” CUE THE TEARS!!!
I wanted to thank Make-A-Wish Canada for the opportunity to work with them and trusting us with this precious wish! I honestly hope we can do many more of these together!
Bed Frame: Wayfair / Similar
Mattress: The Brick
Bedding: HomeSense & Walmart / Similar
Duvet: Costco / Similar
Throw Pillows: HomeSense / Similar
Blankets: HomeSense / Similar
Bedside Stool: Amazon
Dresser: IKEA / Dresser
Vanity Mirror: Amazon
Full Length Mirror: Costco
Desk Chair: HomeSense / Similar
Drawer Pulls: Wayfair / Similar
Dresser Feet: Amazon
Area Rug: Wayfair
Curtain Hooks: Amazon
Curtain Rod: HomeSense / Similar
TV Wall Mount: Amazon
Permanent Wall Vinyl: Amazon
Acrylic Shoe Storage Bins: Amazon
LED Strip Lights: Costco / Similar
Love & Blessings,
* Note: I have changed our wish friends name for her privacy