It takes more than furniture and accessories to make a pretty room. Special momentos like photographs are unique to each space.
Lee and Guy Downes of Port Monmouth lost all of their possessions on the first floor of their home, including photographs during Hurricane Sandy. Although they have come a long way in replacing some of the things that they lost, damaged and moldy photographs were not at the top of their list. Guy showed the team from RIOH a beautiful portrait of his wife Lee that was taken in Vietnam when they first met. It was evident that it meant a lot to him and they were sorry to see it ruined by the sooty water from the storm. Cindy Dugan, a full time kitchen designer with Merit Kitchens was hired by the Downes to replace their kitchen and is also a volunteer for Room In Our Hearts. She saw how Lee and Guy had lived in their upstairs bedrooms with minimal heating, no hot water and limited access to cooking for over a year before moving back into their remodeled first floor level. Cindy wanted to help them redecorate their dining room since she knew it would be the last room on their list to finish. Lee Downes told the design team that she liked light woods, nothing dark, natural lighting and the color blue. Since all of her possessions, accessories and photographs were lost, RIOH set out to make this room special.
With the purchase of a Craiglist's dining room set that needed a lot of TLC, four new coordinating chairs from Wayfair, a sisal-type area rug from Carpet Value Outlet in Middletown and an upcycled side table that was chalk painted cobalt blue, the big pieces for the room were in place. It was the small details that were needed to make it look unique and special. Fabric was special ordered from THIBAUT Wallpaper and Fabric of Newark to use to reupholster the seat covers on the two head chairs and custom drapes were made for the window. The perfect donation of a dining room chandelier was true to the blue color scheme.
There was only one thing missing - the beautiful portrait of Lee taken in Vietnam in 1971. Everyone from RIOH decided that this piece of family history had to be restored. Lots of small details go into making a room pretty, especially the portrait of this pretty lady. The end result of the room and the portrait was . . . picture perfect!