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One of the most rewarding moments in being a designer is revealing the finished project to an owner and seeing the pleasure on their face over what you’ve done.  Another rewarding moment is to extend your talents to those who do not have the means to pay you…

Room Service Atlanta is a non-profit organization started by Dayka Robinson and Erika Ward in 2010 with the goal of pairing local designers with a local shelter each year to create inspiring, relaxing and functional interiors for homeless individuals or individuals (young and young at heart) in transition.

This year 17 designers from the Atlanta, GA area will lend their talented and helping hands to the United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH) Independent Living Program in Decatur, Georgia.  Six apartments will be renovated/updated and reworked to welcome the young adults into their space.

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“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

I was honored to be contacted by the founders of Room Service to ask if I would be interested in being one of their participating designers – I happily accepted.  I am now in the process of updating the smallest room in the apartment.  The space measures 8’x8′ with a 10′ ceiling.  You may not be able to tell from the image, but the floor and walls are 100% carpeted – and the space does not have a window.  The space is known as the “quiet room”.

Because the 6 apartments and ‘quiet room’ will be used by young adult males aged 17 and older, my concept is to enhance the intimate, physical space and create a reading room that contains books, adequate lighting and comfortable seating (color and texture will assist in the design).  I intend to design an optimistic and uplifting refuge that sits in contrast from the activity typically associated with living with energetic and busy teens.  I am hoping to build the framework for a library, that overtime, will grow to be full of books and ideas that further enhance the growth and development of these young men.  At a minimum, I would like to create a space where a person or two can sit with their thoughts.

In the past, most of the items used by the Room Service designers have been donated by local companies or gently used items from Goodwill or similar.  Because of this, each designer is asked to ‘hustle’ and go on designer ‘scavenger hunts’ to secure the functional and cool pieces to populate their chosen rooms.  Over time the organization has grown to secure sponsorship from local businesses, like Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Room and Board in Atlanta.  Move in day for the young men is November 2012.

“Before” image of the ‘quiet room’.  I will post updates as the design progresses…

This is an awesome service that allows designers to give back to the Atlanta community.  If you are interested in making a monetary contribution to UMCH (fully tax-deductible) please e-mail me at dt@thewhiteboxonline.com, and I will give you the appropriate information!

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