I like to do projects that allow me to help the greater good, so when the opportunity arose for me to donate my time to support a local women’s shelter, I eagerly agreed.
The women who come here—frequently with children—are stressed by the situations in their personal lives. They may be homeless, fleeing domestic violence, or in crisis in some other way. Therefore, it was important to create a room that was calm and restful, but also that inspired hope. Because some of these women had also dealt with addiction, the rooms could not have spaces where items could be concealed—so no closets, drawers or other closed storage.
I went with a soothing palette of sea green walls, white trim, soft gray and white duvets on the bed, and a rug of blended pastels. I brought in texture with baskets for storage, velvety throw pillows, and a lovely granite desktop. Because the ceilings were low, the use of lots of white helped make the room feel brighter. One bed was made into a trundle bed to maximize space and allow for a third sleeping space.
To maximize the living area of this modest-sized room, we took advantage of the third floor kneewall by recessing open shelving so it could serve as a built-in nightstand for guests; we also added individually-switched dimming wall sconces for bedside lighting.
For a number of reasons, the rooms are not numbered, but we were allowed to name them for the animal of our choice. I called mine the “Hummingbird Room,” and you will notice hummingbird symbols here and there. I also loved the desk plaque, which says, “With Brave Wings She Flies.” I hoped it would inspire these women and let them know that they are brave, and that their dreams can still take wing. (The plaque was also changeable, so survivors could personalize the room with their favorite affirmation or saying if they wished.)