Starting Fresh The Right Way
The road to recover from cancer is rough. We as the caretakers walk the walk, and sometimes even talk the talk of the patient. Coping with different scenarios in life, where we just hope for the best outcome. But we realize that the patient’s life is ultimately not in our hands.
Maybe as a family member, spouse or close friend, you have traveled that journey that not always had a happy ending. You scream and cry demanding answers, pleading for one last smile or advice… or just a simple one last “I love you.”
After all the commotion, tears, and goodbyes, you have to press your own restart button in order to start fresh the right way.
Maybe you have inherited the house of the belated with all of the style and taste which needs to go through a total overhaul. Or you just need to revamp that room where your lovely other half used to share memories with you for so many years. You need to declutter it all, especially the bedroom. See… this is a very big personal emotional box of memorabilia that you have to handle with much needed care. You need a space to create happy memories again, with a different twist. My suggestion was something colorful, energetic, and bright.
Here on the island of Curacao, our houses are mostly built of brick. Since we are off the hurricane belt, which is beneficial since whatever we built, will last for years. Plus, our houses sparks and fill you with energy the way they are painted with absolute bright and vivid colors. Absolutely stunning! These vibrant multicolored houses with Dutch colonial architecture and the flawless blue waters around us, inspired me to go bold with colors with this design.
I always question my clients on their mood and taste. The mood is obviously not the best at that time, but still answer that they long for peace and happiness again. There I jump in with wild ideas of transforming their room into, in this case, a sophisticated tropical oasis where they can wander through memory lane and new future perspectives.
To bring a fresh tone in the room, I chose the color Apple Green, “appeltjes groen” as we call it in Dutch. (Mind you, here in Curacao we speak 4 different languages which are English, Dutch, Spanish and our native language Papiamentu).
This color is vibrant and combines perfectly with dark wood. The walls have been painted from the color lavender to light green. You need to keep it light and bright. Since this client has been through enough expenses for her taste, I still wanted her to invest in durability. The headboard had to be huge, dramatic, and elegant together with a durable mattress. Her style is very traditional, and I wanted to infuse some contemporary modern accents in the whole.
Therefore, I chose these big colorful abstract paintings which makes you dwell into nature and get energized. Explicitly what she needed. A new breath of life.
I did not want to use dark colors on the bed, since the headboard was already upholstered in a velvet dark brown textile. So, a comfortable off-white comforter set was a great pick. Contrasting cushions and a runner were introduced to coordinate with the total design and also to give the bed an inviting look and feel. I love different types of sizes and textures of pillows. It creates a distinct flow.
The curtains have been sewn to the client’s specifications since she wanted something traditional but was advised by me to break the tradition and go a little bit bold with colors and textile. A perfect combination of imprinted sheers and sun blocking curtains for privacy and ambiance as well as for keeping the bedroom at a pleasant temperature to have a peaceful night’s sleep. Remember as I mentioned in the previous post, a good night sleep keeps you in balance and energized to cope with the daily challenges.
Since this room had a good size, I managed to buy a matching canape and a console to match her existing traditional chairs that were later all painted a dark mahogany color. I have adorned around them with matching pillows, bold paintings, and some modern deep green decor with a touch of brown.
The lamps had to be substantial in size for clarity, but also for creating the ultimate ambiance in the room. The goal was to create that vibe of a luxurious look and feel similar as to a hotel suite. The last details like fresh flowers, books and a bowl of candies were the final touches to complete this design to welcome this lady back home, to start fresh the right way.
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…”