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By roomtodream

On 10, Apr 2012 | No Comments | In | By roomtodream

Ben’s Project

Designed by Corinha Designs & Hometown Woodworking & Shawmut Design and Construction

“It was an honor for me to participate in creating a dream room for Ben and his sisters, Lucy and Charlotte!”

The first task was working to effectively maximize the budget for this project by combining custom made products with ready made and store bought items. The inspiration for five – year old Ben’s design came from his love of airplanes and flying. It was critical that we create a space that stimulated Ben’s imagination but also allowed him to navigate more freely through his room.

We worked with a pale green wall color chosen by Ben and we were lucky enough to find bedding that launched our theme and inspired our mural. Custom made woven wood roman shades were combined with a unique biplane light fixture and strip lights above his new closet door. The closet door – mounted on a track so that it moved easily – is painted like an airplane hanger door.

The most amazing piece in Ben’s room is the unique cabinetry created by Gail O’Rourke of Hometown Woodworking. Gail took my initial design of open shelving with base cabinets below to hide Ben’s breathing machines. A wonderful wall system surrounds Ben’s hospital bed and blends seamlessly into his room and the blue wall behind his bed contrasts beautifully with the white wall cabinets.

Lucy’s room presented quite a design challenge. Lucy wanted to keep the luscious orange colored walls with lavender trim. After much searching, the right combination of fabrics was found to create a picture perfect room for Lucy which thoroughly compliments her personality. With a stage in the corner for concerts and plays, a new dresser and full sized bed, Lucy has a space that will suit her for years to come.

Sweet little two year old Charlotte was a perfect client. She was in need of a big girl bed and was outgrowing her crib. Mermaid glittered roman shades with a lavender checked window seat enhanced the white built-ins in her room. A metal toddler bed that grows with her to a twin size was placed against a pale lavender wall beside a hand made monogrammed pink bookcase/toy box made by Gail O’Rourke.

Thanks to Simon’s Furniture in Franklin and Curtain Call Workroom for reducing your rates, and all the volunteers who made the process so much fun. But most of all thank you to Ben and the Elwy’s, for creating on opportunity that has been so rewarding. We too, have benefited greatly.”

From Custom Woodworker Gail O’Rourke, Hometown Woodworking

“This was my second project with the Dream Team with Room to Dream. And what a wonderful experience!

“Ben’s room needs some cabinets” was the first message I received from Room to Dream. I visited with Ben, his wonderful family and together with Karen Corinha (the designer),we viewed the space and discussed their needs, brainstormed and dreamed. After much measuring, I headed home with the promise of a design for new cabinets. On my drive home, I had time to think more about Ben, and his cabinets…. then it came to me. Ben didn’t need cabinets; he needed a solution that would help him overcome obstacles – physical and emotional – and a solution that would meet his needs today, next week, next year and for years to come. I was delighted to be part of that solution.

Ben’s case presented several challenges. We needed to find materials and finishes that could withstand day to day use, be durable and clean easily. We needed a design that took into consideration space requirements for Ben’s medical equipment, fit seamlessly into his room, blending with his environment. And then, we had to make sure that the solution would grow with Ben.

The answer was a bedroom “surround” made from quality plywoods and hardwoods. The high quality finish was applied by hand, blending the colors and brightening his environment. The casework was designed with each piece of equipment and electrical requirement in mind. The angled shelving – all adjustable – was designed to embrace Ben’s bed and add function to each piece. Lighting under the shelves ensured its usefulness even on the darkest of nights. And the best part, should Ben’s family ever have to move to another home, Ben’s surround can move with him.

Every facet of Ben’s project was a true collaboration. Karen Corinha designed rooms for Ben and his siblings to reflect their individual needs. Dream Team Leader and Architect, Mike Collins designed a closet – complete with a hand-painted door – on runners to make it accessible to Ben. The Shawmut Team widened and pocketed doors, lowered light switches and removed and replaced thresholds to solve many of the obstacles for Ben. Droves of volunteers primed, painted, fixed, installed and offered support and encouragement.

Ben’s mother, Rani, exclaimed when seeing Ben’s new wall “surround” for the first time: “It looks like it was always there.” This is the greatest compliment you can give to a cabinetmaker.

In my experience with Ben and his family, we not only built cabinets and solutions, we built friendships.

To Room to Dream – Thank you.

To Ben Elwy – Dream BIG!”

Gail O’Rourke, Hometown Woodworking

Thank you to the amazing team that made this makeover possible:

Design Team:

Corinha Designs
Hometown Woodworking
Shawmut Design and Construction


Mike Collins
ALM Electric

The volunteers:

Mike Collins


Melissa Ostrow

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