A ROOM WITH A VIEW!
It’s freeeezzzzing outside, so come on inside and stay awhile where it’s warm and cozy! The kettle is whistling and I’m just about to brew a pot of comfort tea…
Today I thought I would share with you a video that I made of my Mom’s room when she moved into a ‘Seniors’ Home’ last May. Would you like to see it?
The room ‘BEFORE’ was institutional, bleak, impersonal and, admittedly, depressing…While Mom had decided that she would like to move into a ‘Home’, I think when she first saw her room empty (except for the standard furnishings provided and that were adopted by the former occupant), the prospect may have seemed somewhat daunting to her. I was on medical leave from my work at the time recovering from breast cancer treatments, and I felt sad about it all. But I knew in my heart that it was the best for everyone concerned. The staff at the ‘Home’ are all such beautiful, supportive people; and I knew instantly,too, that she would be given the best care possible there.
I set to work straight away dreaming about improvements I could make to the space and how to turn it into a REAL ‘home’ for Mom. The following few weeks were spent planning, choosing paint colours (I had convinced the wonderful owners of the Home to allow me to paint over the existing ‘cold stone’ shade), shopping for furniture and accessories, scheduling deliveries and pulling it all together. Mom hadn’t seen any of the things I had purchased for her new room (her own furniture was way too oversized to fit); and although she knew that I was working on the space, she never saw it until it was entirely finished. When she walked into the room for the first time, it was a total surprise to her! My mom loved the transformation, as did the owners of the Home – a relief on both counts. The ‘AFTER’ was warm, inviting, personal, charming and uplifting!
The paint colours are Martha Stewart’s muslin and sugar white. I kept the backdrop neutral to accommodate the cheery mix of pattern, hues and textures that were introduced into the room. The industrial-style blinds were camouflauged, layering gold silk panels (Pier 1) over floral-embroidered ivory sheers (Madison Mackenzie) hung on a brass rod with glass finials (Wal-mart) that extended well beyond the window molding giving the illusion of a larger space.
I had trouble finding a table small enough to fit in the room. Given it functions as a TV room, study, dinette, parlour and bedroom, it is, indeed, a tiny ‘multi-tasker’ of a space! Fitting numerous, much-needed furnishings in the room while maximizing storage and ensuring safety and ease of movement posed a real challenge.
A glorious ceramic rooster (HomeSense) sits atop the table. His base fits nicely over where the umbrella is normally inserted in the table. My mom dearly loves the rooster and laments often that it doesn’t cocka-doodle-doo! Pity! Although, I don’t think her ‘Home mates’ in neighbouring rooms would appreciate a rooster crowing at the crack of dawn!
The pretty blue transferware plates that hang on the wall came from my own cupboard! The wall sconce was a purchase from Bombay Company (the candle inside the hurricane is battery-operated). The beautiful yellow-and-red ceramic lamp with silk shade, petite black-and-floral camel-back settee (my favourite piece) and gold armchair are from Hayward Interiors, a favourite design store. The custom headboard (it had to fit below the thermostat and fan control on the wall) was constructed from fabric found in the bargain bin at a local upholstery shop. The cheery rooster bed linens were ordered on-line from Garnet Hill, and the buttery matelasse bedspread and sham were also ordered on-line from J.C. Penney.
The larger dresser with a stencilled pattern was a real find, just $295 from HomeSense! It is charming and lends less-bedroom and more-dining-room feel, and doubles as a TV/lamp stand. The pair of smaller crystal lamps, coordinating mirrors, framed prints and floor rugs, were good buys at Winners. The rugs really warmed up the hardwood floors and seemed to complete the room, making it snug and appealing.
The scrolly iron plant stand (Winner’s) hosts a fountain with a lifelike frog (Alderberry Blum). Water bubbles up through a bamboo shoot; the sound is soothing. Realistic silken flowers and leafy ferns surround it and contribute a breath of spring to the room. The framed prints of birds, butterflies, and dragon flies, as well as the colourful florals on the settee, and winged faeries that alight around the room in unexpected places all help to carry the enchanting garden inspired theme.
When I first toured the ‘Seniors’ Home’, I immediately noted the doors that opened into most rooms, first revealed the person’s bed. I purposely arranged the furniture in Mom’s room so that the bed is the last thing to be seen. Rather, a beautiful patterned rug, the pleasant music of a water fountain, life-like gorgeous blooms and an illuminated garden lamp with a tin shade (O’Neill’s Gardenland) reflected in a large mirror, that seemingly expands the space, greet visitors upon first entering the room. A marvelous chair and brightly coloured divan (I love how the yellow, melon, red, and lilac floral pattern wakes up the black fabric) accented with a wooden screen draped with ferns beckons in the background.
I wanted the space to feel less like a hospital room, or a bedroom, and more like ‘home’ where family and friends are comfortable. I easily change up the accessories just a bit with the celebrations of the seasons, and that keeps it fun and interesting for Mom and her friends at the ‘Home’.
And, well, let’s just say that since the room has taken on a new personality (thank you to Judy and Lolly at the ‘Home’ for letting my family do this for our Mom), our outlook has changed regarding what it means to live in a Seniors’ Home.
I tried my darndest to keep the room bright, light and joyous, a space where Mom would be content and love coming ‘home’ to. I want her to feel good about her room and look forward to it whenever she opens the door to it. And, when family visit, I want them to feel encouraged to stay longer and enjoy their visit with her. With a little imagination, Mom’s room is now an inviting, cheery space that offers a sense of relaxing comfort and hospitality that says, “Welcome Home!”
Click here for the video of Mom’s Room With A View
Thanks so much for stopping by today. I love seeing you! And, I’d love to hear your ideas about decorating a small space for a senior…Join in the conversation!
Wishing you a beautiful day every day,
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, But beautiful old people are works of art.
More photos…I’ll be adding some over the next day or two, so be sure to come back!
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