The Nicholas House AFTERS!

First, major kudos to Erika and Dayka for pulling off the very first Room Service project!  Nicholas House is definitely a different place now after a band of designers, artists, and volunteers spent five days there last week.  Everyone did an amazing job, and I am just so grateful to be a part of the project.

My room, where currently resides a mother and her two children, is only 9 x 15′.  With bunk beds, a full-size bed, and two sets of windows, there isn’t much room left for storage pieces–which the room desperately needed.  I couldn’t repurpose furniture for the space and figured the most efficient use of storage would be in built-ins.  Here is the entrance to the room before:

And, after, I utilized the corner wall space with a corner IKEA Pax closet.  Floor-to-ceiling, the closet has shelves and two sets of clothing bars.  Chris built a plywood surround for the closet to make it a little more durable for daily use by a family.

The room is on the third floor and has beautiful views of the treetops–but the bunks hindered the view.

We moved the bunks to the opposite wall (that would be Renae and I pushing them with our bums) and then created a dual-purpose space under the windows–storage and a comfy 7.5′ window seat!  Again, Chris surrounded IKEA Stolmen drawers with a plywood bench.  I donated the tray that the residents can use as a desk top while sitting on the bench, and the legs flip up for flat storage under the bed when not in use.

I didn’t want the narrow space between the two windows to go to waste–so I was very excited to see that the pine IKEA Ivar shelving unit would fit perfectly there.  And the option of the doors meant that we could reduce more visual clutter!

There was no rest for the eyes before in the room.  Because of the lack of storage, the residents had the store their things on open shelves.

Now they have a place for everything–a medicine cabinet area for their toiletries, hooks and a magnetic board behind the door, bins and bins and more under the bed.  My goal was to provide them with as much storage in the room while also keeping it light and airy and durable for years of use.

I started with the faux bois fabric that Lewis & Sheron donated–perfect to hide wear and tear for the window seat cushion, and then I found the green and floral quilts at TJMaxx for a nice little mix.

This all couldn’t have been possible without these FINE people:

Thank you to Bill Cox for donating his time and materials to make the window seat cushion, two window valances, and four covers for the Dacron-donated pillow forms!  He is so good at what he does, busy, and so generous to help me and Nicholas House.  THANK YOU, Bill!


Thank you to Chris Lund for all the heavy lifting, all the constructing, all the anchoring, and all the extras!  It all works because of Chris.  THANK YOU!


Thank you to my two blondies!  Rhoda helped keep us on a track when we had crazy ideas (lifesaver!) and tackled the room with spray bleach and paint brush.  Renae sat in the trenches with me and stayed on task even if it meant I would change my mind two or three more times.  She also reminded me to eat and drink; and after working all day and all I could think about was collapsing, she was ready for a 30-mile bike ride.  Awesomeness.  THANK YOU, ladies!


My very special three Stooges, Chris, Alan, and Loverboy–thank you for a very hot day of IKEA assembly!  And thank you to my husband in particular for patience and encouragement.  And to my kids, too!  And to the very special women who kept the house and homeschool rolling in my absence.  And thank you to my mother for her monetary donation!  You all rock!!!  THANK YOU!


Thank you, Erika and Dayka, for inviting me to join the project.  It was fun and rewarding in so many ways.  I’ll link up to the other bloggers’ rooms as their posts go up–you won’t want to miss those!


  1. Wow my heart feels so proud that you accomplished such a great project. You did such an amazing job. Just look at all of the people that came to bat for this project too. IKEA stuff is not always all that fun to assemble ya know.

    Well I have missed you. I finally just got back from being away for 5 days. Over 800 posts in my Google Reader..I feel overwhelmed.

  2. Wonderful work and wonderful of y’all to do the work. Bravo.

  3. It look so much better and I am so amazed how you managed to create such an airy room while still maintaining all the sleeping places and even adding more storage. Well done!!

  4. Great work! I love the window seat bench especially, & it was clever to build those supportive surrounds! It will be a great nest–vast improvement and bound to lift the residents’ spirits!!

  5. Niki McNeill says:

    I was so amazed by the amount of storage you were able to create in your room! You did an amazing job and I know that many families will enjoy it because it’s built to last!!

  6. Peggy says:

    Stunning! The difference is amazing. With the windows unobstructed the room looks so fresh and inviting. Good job!

  7. FABULOUS job! It’s so light and bright. Im sure the space will make the occupants feel so at home! I loved participating and can’t wait to help out again!

  8. Oh Angela, you worked a miracle. And what a lovely gift you provided to beautify a family’s world. It’s just great looking and so beautiful!

  9. I knew it would be great. What a wonderful use of your talent! It’s bright, beautiful and a comfortable space. The storage is wonderful love the window seat.

  10. AH….mazing! Angela I am so impressed with your room and the amount of storage you provided. Function baby! You worked so hard and it really showed. Truly a lot of hard work.

  11. Wow! Love the window seat and all the storage. The window of opportunities are endless and you give hope to the family living there. A Job WELL DONE!

  12. OMG ANGELA!!! I am so proud of you and your workers with the outcome of this space!!! You truly mastered the storage issues within this room! It was great to see how your room went through a transformation process day in and day out!! I think you deserve an award and this room is truly the best!

    I was able to view your space one last time and honestly after you tackled the storage issue there was nothing out place and all of their storage had its own place. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! KUDOS TO YOU AND YOUR TEAM!!!

    By the way I will be mentioning your room on my blog this week as one of my favorites @!!!


  13. Great job Angela!! It looks fantastic! So clean and chic and a much happier space to come to. Thank You for doing this, I think this is the time when design is the most important, when you can change people’s lives!!! BTW Did you see I launched my site??? Finally….

  14. Absolutely amazing! Everything is lovely, great job!

  15. You knocked it out of the park! I’ve never seen so much storage fit into such a small space in all my life not to mention how pretty you made everything. Now let’s all take a week (or two) off and do nothing. Ha!

  16. I love this. I’m so bad about commenting lately (and by lately, I mean at least a year), but I love this. I’m not any good with design; however, I can totally appreciate the value of a beautiful space- especially as it influences someone’s well-being. And this is an amazing transformation. You can really just feel the “lift” that it provides- and that is invaluable in a spiritual sense!

    BTW- we are moving to GEORGIA! Savannah- in June. Just in time for our final baby to join us. I’m excited. It took a bit to get over the shock of not going back to Washington, but I’ve heard nothing but good (with the exception of words like “muggy” and “mosquitoes”) about it. 🙂

  17. Hey, Angela! It was so fun to work alongside you and Renae (I didn’t do that much, but glad I could help a little) and WOW, I just love your room. Awesome job, girlfriend! You really rocked it & that storage was phenomenal. Loved seeing all the rooms. I’ll be blogging this next week some time. Hope to see you again before too long!

  18. It is making me so happy to see everyone’s finished designs!! Volunteering on Monday, I literally cannot believe all the transformations that occurred. What a team! What an accomplishment!

  19. Renae says:

    Well Girlie Girl, you rocked it! What an amazing transformation…..your attention to detail and space awareness is outstanding….you did a great job! It was fun working along side you….let’s do it again sometime, eh?

  20. Great to see this fabulous transformation. It now looks like a happy place to come to under their curcumstances. Great job.
    Chic Modern Vintage

  21. Bonnie says:

    staggering…really beautiful, what you did with that space. wow!

  22. If anyone could tackle such a feat AND make it look airy, light and pretty, I knew you could. Truly, it is amazing and I know the mom and two kids that will live there had to be excstatic once they saw the transformation. What a wonderful thing you did for them! Way to go! Outstanding!!!

  23. Your room is amazing, not only your talent to recreate the space, but also your commitment to helping others. Well done!

  24. I’m a little late at getting to this, but WOW, Angela! The room looks fantastic and I’m sure the family staying here appreciate all of the thought and effort that went in to beautifying this space! What a blessing you are!

  25. it looks SO nice! the little yellow nightstand adds a wonderful touch, and i love the 50’s looking bed try. 🙂 great job, and once again, it was so great to finally meet you!!!

  26. La Monica says:

    Beautiful! I love all of the small touches, like the tray for the window seat and the decorative pillows for the bed. It’s the small things that add up to really make a home, and I’m sure your family feels like they moved into a brand new one.

    You and your team did an awesome job!

  27. They are going to ask you to do the whole building next time! Such great work. And so fun to see.

  28. Kathy says:

    Wow – you did a magnificent job of beautifying and organizing that small space. I’m amazed you worked in so much storage and it looks just right. You have such a good heart and crazy talent. Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂

  29. Allison Cunningham says:

    Wonderful! Everything turn out amazing- I am just sad that I was not able to help! Keep me posted on any future projects.

  30. Great job! Glad so many designers got involved :))))

  31. Simply gorgeous and for such a wonderful wonderful cause!

  32. angela | the painted house says:

    THANK YOU, sweet TPHers, for the kind comments and love! I had such a great time working on the project–thank you for sharing in the fun. 🙂

  33. Ashlei says:

    The room is amazing – amazing! I teared up while looking at the before and afters. You really should all be so proud of yourselves, for making a real difference. What a great gift, especially for the children.

  34. It’s beautiful, Ang! I love it so much.

  35. I just love it Angela!!!!!!! to bring peace and beauty into chaos is a ministry. Your time will BLESS all who grace this space.
    Thank you for offering yourself, your time and your possessions.
    standing ovation.
    – {dar}

  36. Wow! What a transformation. I’m sure this family is so thankful and appreciative of your hard work. I volunteered in NYC at a transitional home for families. Their rooms were about the same size and were all pepto bismal pink. Everyone I talked couldn’t wait to get out so they could have regular rooms again. You did a wondeful job!

  37. I’m so excited to get to read about all the wonderful redesigns at the Nicholas House. They all look fantastic. Your color palette is so soothing. I love it! The way you rearranged the room works so well and makes the room really flow. Great job!! I can’t wait to be a part of the next Room Service project! xoxo, c-

  38. Gorgeous! What a wonderful thing. You did a fantastic job!

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