HELLO! I am over the moon to be sharing a little more about this awesome room makeover winner, her amazing family and the room that is getting a TON of attention.
Demi’s mom, Jenn, entered her in a contest I did for a “Childhood Hero.” This was strictly based on a parent or friend submitting an essay about a child that was their hero. It could be bravery, excellence, over-coming something difficult and really anything else that touched their heart. My initial passion for this came from my own son. Alexander has a severe vision impairment. He was born with something so rare, that there are only 97 documented cases. It was such a shock…it was something Tyler and I knew nothing about and while they said it was genetic, we couldn’t find it in our family lines. He requires glasses with +18 vision correction and has 20/60 vision. Watching him grow, thrive and overcome this impairment like it doesn’t even exist, just amazes me. It made me want to see how other children thrive in less than perfect environments and be able to shower them with a great reward, their DREAM ROOM.
We had some incredible stories and I got to read each one. I could never have made a decision because they were all so sweet, special and tugged at my heart strings. A panel of judges read them and made the ultimate decision..Ms. Demi Benzel!! I loved her from the minute I met her. This is her on set playing with the tripod…she was having a ball.
Demi has cerebral palsy. Her momma went into early labor and in an effort to keep Demi in utero longer, they allowed the amniotic fluid to get too low. This caused some lung issues and after being on a respirator at such a small age, Demi developed a severe brain bleed. Learning more now, I have been better educated that brain bleeds in this situation are not completely uncommon and the results can be bad. The doctors told her mom she would likely never walk or talk, that it was too severe and her outcome was not good. This mom is amazing! She refused to listen, refused to believe and now this little girl is overcoming odds that were stacked against her.
Watching her play, interact and enjoy life filled my heart. Being able to do this makeover for her was a very rewarding experience and getting to know her mom was equally as rewarding. Their family unit is strong, her siblings support her and are no short of incredible to watch. Her big brother is a SUPERSTAR dirt bike racer and seeing his commitment over the those few days I was at their home was awesome! Her little sister, Piper, shares a room with Demi and so, luckily, I was able to spoil her too.
The room came out AMAZING! Here are some before pics after the flooring went in, but nothing else had been done yet. The room was in a little disarray because we had removed the old furniture and beds already.
Jenn needed storage for the girls. So that was my first priority. She wanted to have somewhere to put all their stuff. Josh Hagan Trim company swept in and helped me with my vision for a locker system and an awesome storage for all of their toys. They are hand built and custom for the girl’s room. I found these unicorn backpacks at Marshall’s and they ended up to be the girls favorite items. The baskets are from Target and the awesome brackets are from Anthropologie.
Next up was to find the absolute PERFECT beds. I searched and searched and wanted something so perfect. I was so close to buying a new set of metal beds when I decided to contact my favorite antique picker! She finds the coolest things! I have so many of her pieces in my home. She has painted several pieces for me and is so talented. Linda Guiterrez donated the most precious beds I’ve ever seen. They were solid white and another awesome talented artist, Nora Dowling, painted them perfectly for me.
Every little girl needs princess bedding. This bedding from Pottery Barn was too cute to pass up!! We were able to put a tea table and the fantastic canopy over it that matched the girls tulle bedskirts too. I was so lucky to find these flowers and mirrors at Hobby Lobby and LOVE THEM! Bringing in a little touch of black with the bed throw pillows from Target and the little silhouette was a perfect touch. My Mom actually gave me the silhouette and since I am not having a girl anytime soon, it seemed such a sweet thing to pass on to this precious little warrior. My Mom was a peaceful incredible soul and I think next to her bed, it will bring her luck and strength.
I spent so much time on the little details. I found sweet little flowers and a metal tray for their bedside and a little antique chandelier at one of my FAVORITE stores of all time, Summerhouse Marketplace in South Tampa. When I stood back and looked the room over, I had to come up with a window treatment, and not just the blinds. I pondered over this for sure. Once my vision was clear, Nora Dowling and I partnered and created the CUTEST wooden valances I’ve ever seen. So this surprise is one viewers and followers haven’t seen yet. Can you STAND it?
I am so thankful for every moment I was able to put into this project. Demi and her family have a permanent place in my heart. I have a new friend in Jennifer and hope that they enjoy this room for years to come.
I know you must all be wondering what a project like this would cost you (without the awesome donations of time and product from some amazing vendors). For starters, I want to mention that Jenn and her brother did the painting themselves and Jenn installed the floors. However, I wanted to give you a breakdown to take drab to FAB. Remember, you may not need every little piece, and Willows & Rust can work with any budget! But this room is custom and looks like a fairytale!
Built Ins with baskets- $800
Bedding and canopy with all new pillow- $700
Tea Table- $165
Throw pillows- $60
Wall and tabletop decor- $300
Room Total- $2865