Monday 17th December 2018,
Room In Our Hearts

Space Without Walls

Cozy dining area

A recent room that we did presented  a challenge. When we first opened the front door it was just a rectangular room. Vertical blinds were hung on both sets of window that provided the only natural lighting and gorgeous view of the bay. The blinds were drawn shut because the sun heated the room like an oven and made TV watching almost impossible because of the glare. The blinds also voided the only access to a pleasant deck with water views on the triple sliding glass door. It was dark and depressing. Another obstacle was at the far end of the room where there was  a staircase to the upper level that cut into the limited usable space. The lack of a functioning place to eat meals was a problem. The homeowner needed a lot out of this dark small space such as a foyer, living room, dining area, office area, and easy access to outside.  What the space did not  have were walls. The tricky part was the length of the room was a bit over 17 feet and and the width rough 10'. That was a lot to fit in comfortably in a small dark space.

Small chair and pretty matching drapes.

The small chair and drapes were the perfect match. Room darkening panels were both functional and attractive.

Chair from Value City Outlet

This small chair from #ValueCityOutlet was perfectly placed near the front entrance.

Alas, there is nothing that RIOH loves better than a challenge and the chance to brighten someone's life.  First step was replacing the dated vertical blinds with insulated room darkening drapes. They helped prevent the sun's heat, eliminated the TV glare but still provided enough natural light to make the room come alive. Next was placing the furniture to create different areas of use. The space under the stairs was turned into a functioning office. Since there were walls to work with to separate each space, the living room furniture was floated (or not placed against a wall.) The smaller scale couch and chair were from #ValueCityOutlet  and the sisal-look rug was donated from #CarpetValueOutlet. Placing the living room furniture more toward the center of the room, afforded us the ability to create a  foyer area and walkway. Behind the couch was a small drop leaf table and two chairs for eating. The table could be expanded for guests.

Comfortable couch

The couch had simple lines but was ultra comfortable.

Cozy dining area

The dining area behind the couch was functional and cozy.

Personal office area

Even the space under the stairs was used to create a personal office area.

The TV was tucked into the corner on a small piece of furniture with extra storage. The drapes on the triple window were hung with easy access to the deck with the view. RIOH also provided an outside rocker, potted plants and beachy decor  for the deck so sunsets could be enjoyed.

Special design element

Arrangement of specialty pieces at the bottom of the stairs added a special design element.

Beachy Outdoor Space

Plants, beachy decor and furniture were used on the deck with a bay view.

Deck with a bay view

The deck had a awesome view so a rocker and other design elements were added to it.

To some people this room would be an impossible challenge but to RIOH is was just another day at the o


It takes the expertise of many RIOH volunteers Allison van Riemsdyk, Katharine Koehler and Alyson Santoro to create the perfect room.


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