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I will survive

I vividly remember a phone call from a client. His exact words where “I have Cancer!”

He was a professional sports player, constantly exercising, having a strict diet, and leading the perfect healthy lifestyle, yet Cancer had made an impromptu appearance and hit the ball called life, totally out of the park.

After months of exhausting and sometimes teeth wrenching fights, this gentleman successfully made it! And I got the call, now with a different tone… I survived!

Cancer turns your whole life around. And especially for men this can be sometimes harder. Some have to cope with their pride and “I am the man” mentality that puts a fictive protective wall around them since they do not want your pity or concern. They rather deal with the whole situation on their own, as a man. But little do they know that this approach can be so self-destructive and painful, for them but also for their loved ones.

By communicating your pain, thoughts and even your fears you create a more bearable journey that others are willing to go through together with you. Because let’s be honest, it is a very heavy load that sometimes is so unbearable, and you need a crying shoulder to express your moments with. It is imperative to have a close positive circle that you can rely on, especially during those difficult times. Someone to vent and be open with about your inner fears and to give a neutral insight on how to deal with the whole process.

Fortunately, this gentleman dealt with the whole situation with immense faith and positivism.

With great enthusiasm we planned for a brief and quick meeting in between the whole hustle and bustle of the month December, just right before the Holidays!

To start off with a fresh year, full of positive perspectives, he requested me to design his living room in neutral colors. You said neutral, I say black and white with a touch of red!

Me again coming up with my wild daring design ideas which he totally agreed with. “No reservations, go all the way girl, do whatever you want, I trust you”, was that phrase that fueled my creative engine. But hey, I just had 5 days before the Holidays, so I had to move super quick.

The walls were already painted off white, so I could easily work around it. I didn’t have much time to shop so I chose distinct furniture and decor stores where I knew I would find all what I needed. So was the case. After 2 days of shopping and delivery I started designing the area. I wanted to create an elegant masculine realm where he can celebrate life with his beloved ones. A second chance in life that was given to him.

As you know, not every gentleman is cautious with their furniture. So, it was my mission to find a stylish, durable, and comfortable seating. I went with this black and white full leather L-seating. Very sleek and modern. Combining it with 2 identical hard wood accent chairs which have a very peculiar and distinct look. The TV cabinet had to be wide enough to accommodate the big Smart TV. Hey… it had to be huge for watching the games, right? Also, at the entrance I have placed a console that would serve as a desk. Nothing too fuzzy. Open, clean and sophisticated elegance. Men usually do not like too much knick knacks but want a space where they can enjoy their very own happiness.

And surely some masculine items were added to the design like magazines, an exclusive Hennessy XO Limited Edition and of course the huge Smart TV. The layered durable cushions, throws and some red colored details to make the whole design pop, were cautiously chosen, with him and his buddies in mind, for when they are hanging around in the couch watching the games comfortably.

To light up the room and balancing the dark hues, the table lamps had to be modern and bright in design, together with light grey drapery which were hung wider and higher than normal, creating a roomy illusion. When designing a room, I take proper care in searching for the right decor pieces that mimics the personality of the client. Although he wanted neutral colors, I had to infuse some bold colors and also art pieces like the sculptures and paintings. The little details create the perfect balance and interest to the eyes.

The final design served in creating a leisurely and relaxed lifestyle, by adding warmth and comfort to the interior to bring hope for this male Cancer survivor to start a year fresh anew. Embracing the positivism and great perspectives that the upcoming year would bring, but also the grace that has been granted to him, to survive!

About Nadin

Nadin Benito is a well-known International Interior Designer at Welcome Home Designs, based on the beautiful island of Curacao where she has more than 20 years of design experience under her belt, as well as being a producer of her own TV series. During the illness and passing of both of her parents in less than 1 year apart, but also 3 of her close friends, Nadin founded Welcome Home Foundation - Curacao which is dedicated in designing Pro Bono for a good cause, namely for Cancer patients and Cancer survivors, who went through drastic life changes, by designing an area in their home/ location completely for free including all decorative items, to give them hope and help them gather much needed strength.

“As an Interior Designer, I had the opportunity to experience the importance of creating beautiful places at several Cancer patients’ and survivor’s homes, in order to give them hope and also to contribute to their prompt recovery after all the chemotherapy and exhaust. By experiencing the passing of my own parents, 3 close friends and other close family members due to Cancer, it gave me the ultimate push to continue with this noble work... Designing for a good cause… An area where the Cancer patients feel welcome and at peace. Cancer does not take a break. But with this noble cause, we can ensure that hope for these patients and survivors won't either…”

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