Design as Therapy

Last week I posted the reveal of the often mentioned but never shared Media Room transformation.  I really do apologize for taking so long to share the room. Why it took so long I can’t explain.  Maybe the room just was too close to my heart to share?

It’s been completely done since December 19th.  How do I know this date? Coming from me, the one who can’t remember what I wore to church last week? iPhoto.

I organize my photos in iPhoto and often reference my life by the dates on my photos. 😉

And why is that date so special you ask?

That is the date a local home magazine came to photograph our media room.  We were extremely excited to be published, especially Emily and I.

My friend and amazing portrait photographer, Angelique, came on December 19th to shoot the room for the magazine. In addition, she took photos of Emily and I to be used in the feature.

I couldn’t have been happier that Angelique did a mini photo shoot with Emily in the room.

Emily was a big help to me in designing the room and it turns out we needed to redesign the room for more reasons than we could have ever imagined. 

She was home from school during the months I was working on the room because she suffered two concussions while playing soccer.

As part of her recovery, from what turned out to be concussion syndrome, she was put on cognitive rest.  No school,  no TV, no phone, no texting (yikes for a teenager!), basically all she could was just exist.

Boredom was a big issue obviously. At first, she handled the boredom okay.  Her headaches were so intense she didn’t want to do anything.  Once she was feeling mildly better, she was looking for things to do that weren’t going to cause her headaches to worsen.

Her big “outing” on many days was tagging along with me as we hit the local thrift stores.

I affectionately called her my “teenaged toddler”. We would make the thrift shop rounds or go grocery shopping and she would come home and take a nap, just like when she was a toddler. 🙂

Designing the room was a blessing for both of us.  We had something else to focus our attention on instead of her illness. The room planning and shopping gave us a project and we became mildly obsessed with it. 🙂 The room gave us something to look forward to and I know her ultimate goal was to have a cool place to hang out with her friends, to have sleep overs, watch movies, etc.

We had plenty of time to discuss options for decorating the room.  I can tell you with out a doubt, she left her mark on the design.  See this small table/piano stool here between these chairs?

It was one of the last little pieces we needed to find. We were out on the hunt that day, and I totally missed it at the thrift store. She pointed it out to me and I totally dismissed it, even after she showed it to me the first time.  She eventually convinced me it was perfect.

She can be tenacious. 

She knew with a little paint it could be fabulous.  She even painted this piece herself, I think just to prove her point. 😉 And you know what? She was right. It is perfect.

We also built this shelf together. I bought it off Craig’s List. The lady said in the description, “it comes apart and the pieces can be screwed together for easy transporting.” Ha!

It transported easily all right.

Once I got it home, I decided to paint the pieces and then put it all together.

There is no way I could have built it all by myself.  Thankfully, Emily is a patient helper. And boy did we need patience. For a shelf that was supposed to just screw together with dowels, we used some screws, a hammer and lots of wood glue.  Needless to say it can’t be “easily transported” anymore. 😉

So, I guess my point is this, never underestimate what God might use to help you heal.  This room  became much more than a makeover. It became our therapy, a little gift we didn’t know we needed in the way we needed it.

While Emily still has issues related to the concussion, she doing much better, she’s even back at school full time now.

And she’s had more than a few sleepover party’s in the room as well.  Which makes us both very happy.  Thank you God for always knowing what we need, when we need it.

My Public Service Announcement: Emily’s concussions occurred while playing soccer.  If your child participates in any sport, I would highly recommend encouraging a baseline testing system to be administered, like the one sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Drew Brees.  If this was in place, we might have known the severity of her first concussion and could have avoided the opportunity for the second.

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  • Debbie @ MeandMyDIY
    April 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    What a great post Leslie! I didn't realize Emily had helped out so much with your media room. She obviously inherited her mother's talent. The picture of her is just beautiful. And I know one girl that's extremely happy that Emily is back at school full time. 🙂 And congrats on being featured in the magazine! Somehow I missed it (can't believe L didn't tell me) but I'll

  • Dana
    April 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Great teamwork! Good therapy for everyone. Beautiful girl and a beautiful room!

  • caz hancock
    April 24, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    what a STUNNING room, i want to live their. So glad your daughter is doing better and back at school

  • Carrie - Worth Pinning
    April 30, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    What a great photo of your daughter. I suffered back-to-back concussions a couple of summers ago and the recovery is terribly difficult. I feel for her. No stimuli is definitely a challenge. She had a great space for recovery.


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