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By roomtodream

On 08, Jul 2014 | No Comments | In | By roomtodream

Sydni’s Project

Designed by:  Christina Borella, Maugel Architects

Managed by:  Gail O’Rourke, Room to Dream Board Member, White Wood Kitchens

The moment I met Sydni I was pulled in by the big smile and loving face.  I knew that this little girl had a sparkle that would not be dimmed by the physical challenges that she faced.  Her mother, Cathy, an inspiration to all parents, with a fresh outlook and endless energy, was thrilled to have us begin Sydni’s project.  With townhouse living there wasn’t much room in this home for the busy family of 4, so we set out to make their space as functional as possible while making their dreams come true.  I contacted Maugel Architects who jumped at the opportunity to get involved with Room to Dream and help this wonderful family. Christina Borella, of Maugel Architects took lead of her team and away we went! Read more…

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By roomtodream

On 19, Jun 2014 | One Comment | In | By roomtodream

Gavin’s Project

Designed by: Stephanie Sabbe of Sabbe Interior Design

Managed by: James Richardson, Room to Dream Board Member

Sponsored by: The Boston Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators

Gavin is such a fun-loving, outgoing, hilarious kid that unless you asked, you might miss the fact that he is struggling with a life threatening illness. During our first meeting, he excitedly showed me his collection of sports memorabilia, his autographed picture of Adam Sandler and told me his favorite colors were orange and blue- “Walpole colors”. During a follow up meeting he introduced me to all of his neighborhood friends as his interior designer:) As a shared room, we wanted the space to be very high functioning. Read more…

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By roomtodream

On 14, Mar 2014 | One Comment | In | By roomtodream

Sean’s Project

Designed By: Leah Cantor and Shalini Sookar

Managed By: JR Richardson | Room to Dream Board Member


It was an honor and a thrill to work with the Room to Dream Foundation in creating a new bedroom for Sean.  Meeting Sean and his family was nothing less than inspiring.  The Bennetts are an extraordinary family whose incredible strength has seen them through the roughest of times.  Sean’s chronic illness challenged him both mentally and physically and he had courageously endured over two years of treatment.   Finally feeling well, he was beginning his non-treatment life and was excited about starting his freshman year of high school.   Sean explained that he wanted a fresh new space to help him stay focused on his studies as well as a place to relax and feel calm.  Read more…

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By roomtodream

On 26, Nov 2013 | No Comments | In | By roomtodream

Sabreena’s Project

Designed by Rachel Reider Interiors

Managed by Kevin Sullivan of Shawmut Design and Construction

It was an honor to work with Room to Dream in creating new bedrooms for Sabreena and Shakeena. I was so moved by our initial meeting and hearing Sabreena’s story both by her hardships and battles brought on by her illness and also her families sacrifices as they have struggled with her illness. They have overcome unbelievable obstacles and it has only made them stronger as a family. It meant a lot to do something special for them.

Sabreena’s Room

With Sabreena’s illness came bouts of depression and she really wanted her new room to be a special place she could escape to and relax. She requested purple walls, her favorite color and asked that the room feel light, bright and cheery. Our vision was to create a feminine, sophisticated and welcoming space for Sabreena. She gains strength through inspirational quotes and asked that some of her favorites be used in the room. We had these quotes made into custom vinyl stickers to adhere to the walls. Sabreena also loves to take pictures and we wanted there to be plenty of space for displaying photos in the room. Our drapery workroom Details Matters created custom pin boards for the closet door inserts as well as hanging magnetic strips for picture display that can easily be interchanged.

Sabreena just entered her freshman year at college which was a huge accomplishment for both her and her family. When asked if she could have anything what would it be she said a lap top. Shawmut Design and Construction was able to secure a generous donation for a new Mac laptop and the look on Sabreena’s face when she saw it was priceless.


Shakeena’s Room

Shakeena spent several of her childhood years nightly at the hospital with her older sister and it was important to us to do something special for her as well. She requested a turquoise ceiling mixed in with accents of pink and dark wood furnishings. We wanted the room to be fun and youthful as she is, but also timeless enough to grow with her throughout high school and beyond. Bold geometric prints mixed with fun shades of turquoise, pink and lime green help create a happy and energetic space.

In each girl’s room we started with a clean slate – all new paint, furnishings, lighting, drapery and rugs as well as accessories and custom wall decor.


Making our Vision a Reality

A lot of people came together to make Sabreena and Shakeena’s dream a reality. We could have never done it without a rotating crew from Shawmut Construction set up in the driveway, the back deck and inside the house tirelessly painting, building and assembling the rooms. It was a great experience to come together with individuals previously unknown and all team together for a common goal.

The Reveal

All of our hard work was rewarded in seeing the girls’ faces as they viewed their new rooms. They were so grateful, appreciative and amazed at the transformation. There were many hugs, screams and tears exchanged. We were later told that they didn’t sleep in their new rooms the first night as they didn’t want to mess anything up. After enduring several very difficult years it felt great to do something special for this loving family.

Many Thanks to the Donors that Made this Project Possible:

Makkas Drapery Workroom
Computer-CSL Foundation
Electrical-Shawmut Design and Construction
Painters- Bill Best Painting
Michael J Lee Photography
Rachel Reider Interiors
Kevin Sullivan, Shawmut Design and Construction
A special thank you to our friends and family who helped make this possible both in volunteering their time and their support.

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By roomtodream

On 14, May 2013 | No Comments | In | By roomtodream

Stephen’s Project

Designed by Stephanie Rossi of Spazio Rosso Interior Design

Managed by Michael Collins of D. Michael Collins Architects

Stephen’s Bedroom:

During my initial meeting with Stephen and his family, I was incredibly impressed by their enthusiasm, uplifting spirit, and positive attitude. Stephen was diagnosed at birth with a chronic, rare disease called Incontinentia Pigmenti which is a disorder that affects the skin, teeth, hair, nails, eyes and central nervous system resulting in numerous physical and cognitive limitations.  It was clear to the design team that despite Stephen’s disability, the family has surrounded him with love, encouragement and determination, and to quote his Mom, “Enjoy the littlest of accomplishments while striving for the great ones”. Stephen lit up the room with his excitement as we learned about his interests in maps, clocks and bright colors.

Stephen had a clear vision for what he wanted in his room: his favorite color (orange!), his own desk and whiteboard, and most importantly…maps! Additionally, he needed storage and his mom felt that it was important to have an uncluttered space for his own safety.

I did not want Stephens’ room to look like a typical little boy’s room but rather a space he could grow into. The team I worked with was careful to implement safety solutions throughout the room. We utilized solutions such as appropriate dresser handles, simple on/off light switches, and additional lighting.  A custom platform bed was designed with his comfort and safety in mind and we added clutter free storage cubbies within the bed unit and finished with a bright orange cushion alongside the bed.

Orange striated FLOR tiles were placed in the room, which worked beautifully as an area rug, creating a soft play surface.

In tackling the map concept I had a close friend design ‘The Ultimate World Map’, labeling as many countries as could be squeezed in. Eddie Collins of E. Collins Graphic & Industrial Design Studio did the honors. Our apologies to the Hawaiian islands, as they were simply far too small to accommodate proper titles! The map was then printed on vinyl whiteboard paper so Stephen could use a dry-erase marker to interact and self-explore the world, ‘his world’.

Seeing Stephen’s face when he first walked into his new bedroom was the icing on the cake. He quietly took everything in, contemplating methodically all of the changes and improvements. We learned later that he couldn’t wait to go sit at his desk and do his homework. This was a first for Stephen and a sign that we accomplished our mission: to make one adorable, smart little boy happy and comfortable in his new environment!

Bridget & Fiona’s Bedroom:

What little girl wouldn’t love a room filled with millions of butterflies?! For two little girls who would be sharing a room, we had to comfortably fit them into a space with room to play, sleep, & grow. Fortunately the girls’ bedroom was large enough to fit a new bunk bed, large dresser, two nightstands and a bookcase; not to mention all new draperies trimmed with red grosgrain ribbon, lighting, and again FLOR tiles. C & R Flooring was so kind and generous to donate new hardwood floors for each bedroom. This initial step not only gave us a clean slate to work from, but set forth a mentality that donating both time and resources were the least we all could do to provide this amazing family with subtle upgrades and inspiration.

Despite the fluttering of multi-colored butterflies, the girls were most enamored with the fact that they had a bunk bed! It brought back memories of childhood play dates and sleepovers, which we could all tell would increase significantly now that all 3 siblings had room make-overs to show off!


Many Thanks to the Donors that made this Project Possible:

C &R Flooring

FLOR Carpet Design Squares

Catchlight Painting

Sherwin Williams

E.Collins Graphic & Industrial Design Studio


Dellorfon Electric

J Benjamin Smith Wallpaper Installations

Ken Soderholm, Soderhom Builders

Marcoux Upholstery

Michael J Lee Photography

D. Michael Collins Architects

Stephanie Rossi of Spazio Rosso Interior Design





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By roomtodream

On 28, Mar 2013 | No Comments | In | By roomtodream

Ethan’s Project

Designed and Managed by Room to Dream Board Member Gail O’Rourke of Cape & Island Kitchens

The challenges that face a family when they receive news that their child has a life threatening diagnosis can be insurmountable.  Ethan’s family stared into the face of his diagnosis and refused to be defeated.  Understanding the challenges that other families like theirs face, Debbie and Manny (Ethan’s parents), started a foundation for families with children who have cancer to support them while they are caring for their children.  Two years after his diagnosis they continue their battle, but with the comfort that they are helping others along the way.

When Ethan’s application was received by Room to Dream Foundation President Stefan Nathanson and the Application Committee, they didn’t hesitate to award Ethan and his sister Maddie a Dream Makeover.

“When I read their story, I was awed by their commitment to others during a time that can be so difficult.  We were pleased to start the process and were thrilled to welcome them into the Room to Dream Family”, said Nathanson.

Room to Dream Project Manager and Board Member Gail O’Rourke took on the challenge for Ethan and Maddie’s rooms.

 “I remember the first day that I met them, Ethan had just come from treatment and he was resting at home.  While I talked to the family I was able to envision, at that very moment, Ethan recovering in his new room,” says O’Rourke with a smile on her face.  “I couldn’t wait to get started.”

Plans were made and designs were drawn.  O’Rourke was ready to take this makeover to the next level, bringing in the best of the best.  Kitchen Designer, Jessica Posmoga, DIY expert Sue Homan and Creative Graphic Artist Kate McDermott joined the design team and with O’Rourke they designed rooms that pushed the envelope and raised the bar.

“When Gail told me we had to complete this entire makeover in less than 48 hours I was skeptical.  We knew we had to get it done, so that’s what we did,” says McDermott.

A record number of volunteers came out for this project.  The group consisted of talented painters, cabinetmakers, children ranging from 6 to 18, past and present board members, veteran volunteers and new volunteers alongside HGTV designer Taniya Nyack to make up the most dynamic Dream Team ever.

Sponsors for this project consisted of Sherwin Williams Paint, Cape & Island Kitchens, Bill Best Painting, Brian Harrington Painters, Big Picture Framing and an anonymous local builder and cabinet manufacturer. As the Dream Team literally raced the clock to the Reveal, everyone banded together to get the job done.

The result was a fun and sunny Garden Room for Maddie and her American Girl Doll collection.  A hand made picket fence lined the Waterscape walls. A personalized closet door made by a special friend.  The lofted bed with flowery curtains provided the perfect place for a little girl hide away.  Custom cabinetry completed the room and reminded everyone that spring is around the corner.

Ethan, an avid sports fan, wanted a hockey room. “I love the Bruins, they’re awesome!” exclaimed Ethan.  The recipient of autographed hockey memorabilia, Room to Dream sent the many items over to Big Picture Framing for framing and presentation.  A padded wall, made to resemble the side of a hockey rink, was installed as well as highlights from the Bruins signature colors.  When it was completed, there was NO mistaking who Ethan’s favorite team is.  A room for all ages, custom cabinetry, a special painted closet door and other treatments completed the effect.

“WOW, it came out better than I could’ve even imagined!”, exclaimed Ethan.  The look of surprise and delight on his face said it all.  Ethan gave O’Rourke a big hug and whispered a warm ‘thank you so much’ into her ear.  O’Rourke replied “You’re welcome, Ethan- Dream BIG!”

Many thanks to the donors who made this makeover such a success:

Bill Best Painting

Brian Harrington Painting

And a special thanks to the many friends and family members who volunteered their time during project weekend! You are all invaluable.

To learn about Ethan’s foundation, please visit


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By roomtodream

On 24, Jul 2012 | No Comments | In | By roomtodream

Brendan’s Project – A Funky Zen Room

Designed by Ana Donohue of Ana Donohue Interiors

Build Out by Disipio Design and Construction

I was so fortunate to be given an opportunity to create two rooms for Room to Dream: A LEGO room for Brendan’s unbelievable collection and his bedroom, which he had not slept in for several years. Read more…

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By roomtodream

On 27, Jun 2012 | No Comments | In | By roomtodream

Jayna’s Project

Designed by Amy McFadden of Amy McFadden Design

I was honored to be asked to design not only one, but two kids rooms for the Room To Dream Foundation: Jayna, age 7 and her little brother Tyler, age 4.  Despite Jayna’s chronic illness, both her and her brother each proved to be just like any other child with what they wanted their rooms to look like — fun, comfortable, surprising, a place to spend time with friends — and it was so fun to respond to their requests.

Read more…

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By roomtodream

On 02, May 2012 | No Comments | In | By roomtodream

Maeve’s Project

Butterflies for Princess Maeve and Dragonflies for the adventure sisters Meghan & Erin

A while back, my friend Joanne DiFrancesco asked me to help out on a charitable project in the name of her mother. Not only was I so honored to do so, but this was also an ideal opportunity to give something back to the community.

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By roomtodream

On 12, Apr 2012 | No Comments | In | By roomtodream

Paula’s Project

Designed by Gail O’Rourke

The Room to Dream Foundation went to work for a fun loving family in Randolph, MA. Paula, Adrianna, Hector and Andrea received a makeover courtesy of a group of special volunteers.

Greg Hughes, Scott Wright and Pat DePriest gathered their friends and family for a fundraising event at the Boston Sail Loft. They invited everyone they knew to watch a Patriot’s game, celebrate football and raise money for Room to Dream. Through their efforts and enthusiasm they were able to raise enough funds to make over the rooms for this great family. In addition to their fundraising efforts they made a volunteer commitment to work on makeover weekend.

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