This was the second annual Holiday Home & Hearts makeover. Illustrious Interiors invited the community to nominate someone they believed deserved a room makeover. Similar to last year, Illustrious Interiors received nearly 30 nominations.
To say this year has been hard for so many has been an understatement, yet when Holiday Home & Hearts was introduced for a second year, the community didn’t even bat an eye to join in and help out a local young woman who survived a tragedy most of us would never have to experience in a lifetime.
Morgan is a 15-year-old girl who lives in Fort Saskatchewan who lost her father only last year. In September 2020, another traumatic event occurred where her life forever changed. Morgan, her best friend Alex and boyfriend Keithan were traveling on Highway 21 when they were struck by a careless drunk driver. Keithan and Alex lost their lives, and Morgan survived the collision. Not only is she is suffering from life-changing injuries, including countless broken bones, punctured lungs, and went through 4 strokes and a coma, she is also recovering mentally from the loss of the people she loved dearly.
Morgan is currently living and recovering in hospital, but is a strong and motivated young woman and is working with all her strength to be able to walk again.
There was no question that Morgan was deserving of this giveaway. When we told Morgan that she was selected for the Holiday Home & Hearts makeover, she was completely surprised and spent the night away dreaming about her new room and drawing inspiration from Pinterest. Morgan was asked to provide a wish list for her bedroom and all she requested was a marble feature wall, a makeup area, and a memory wall of her friends. I asked if there were any specific colours she wanted and she loved the idea of a monochromatic look with some purple highlights.
Her bedroom had recently been given to her by her mother as it was the master suite. Morgan’s bedroom was previously in the basement, however since Morgan would not be able to walk on stairs anytime soon, her bedroom was moved upstairs.
Shortly after announcing that Morgan was selected, we received an outpouring of support and donations for the project. From the day the project was announced up to the evening it finished, someone was wanting to help Morgan. The monetary donations were graciously given by Coventry Homes, Mark & Ashley Rosenow, Ramie Browatzke Re/Max Real Estate, Jennifer Fairhurst Re/Max Real Estate, Cory Ostashek, Fort Saskatchewan Eyecare, Savita Rosenow, The Blu Poppi, Steven Gubersky, Vintners Cellar Alberta, Lyndsay Patricia, Dyanna Retzlaff, Murals by Whitney, Modern Era Designs, Victoria Curran, Tanya Gosby, Alana Seymour, Katie Lee Tutecky, and Stephanie Pratch.
I would like to sit on the top of the rooftop and shout out these names! Without the help of each and every person on this list, we would never have been able to complete this project!
Not even a day after viewing the room, the planning began from organizing people to help with the project on hand, to all the behind-the-scenes work! We only had six days to be in the space to complete the project!
My first shoutout goes to Cory from Rimrock Renovations, my right-hand man! If you want to see a talented contractor, look no further! Cory was in that room nearly every single day making sure every piece of that room was perfect. Cory tore out and patched the closet and walls, sourced out and replaced the entire flooring, baseboards, and window trim. He replaced the door, donated materials, and saved the day on our last day when I was struggling to get all the last pieces finished! I will be forever grateful for his help on this project!
The first day the Quality Electric team came in. I asked if it was possible to move the light from the corner of the room to the center of the room or just add in a light to the center. We also needed a plug added into the closet where we planned to put the makeup table. Not only did they offer to add these features, they also replaced all of the plugs, added dimmers and separate switches, and placed in a pot light above the makeup station! I anticipated this to take the whole day, and they were in and out in a couple hours. I was not only surprised by how efficient they were, but also blown away by their generosity of donating their time and products for the makeover!
Day #2 was the day for sourcing and purchasing the remaining items for the room that weren’t already purchased online. I received a phone call from Coventry Homes who surprised me by donating $3,000 for the project. I was at a complete loss for words. I’m not sure how may times I said “Wow” and “Thank you” during our conversation, but I’m sure it was upwards of around 30 times in 10 minutes. All of the donations for this room allowed us to not only check off everything on the list for Morgan, but go above and beyond her expectations.
Day #3 my Instagram friend Shar Thomas (@wheremylovegrows) drove down from Calmar, Alberta (about an hour away) to paint the room! I was stressed that I hadn’t yet prepped the walls or finished painting the ceilings before she arrived, but I quickly realized that this talented lady could handle anything I asked! I was so thankful she came and was able to complete this massive task.
Although I could probably spend the day visiting with Shar, I was busy painting what felt like a million things at once! It began with a dresser I scored off Facebook Marketplace. The one thing I love about interior design is if I can’t find an exact piece I love, I can usually find something else and give it a good DIY to make sure it fits perfectly with the space.
Along with the refinished dresser, I painted the legs on the purple accent chair, painted a canvas, painted a vase, painted the light fixture, and made some DIY textured and painted pieces for the collage wall. As if that wasn’t enough painting, I went back to the Holiday Home that evening to finish painting the marble mural! Now that you hear how much was painted, can you even believe that The Home Depot donated ALL THE PAINT!? Sometimes I feel like The Home Depot staff are my second family (I am there multiple times a week) and they were so generous to donate for this massive job!
Day #4 was left to Rimrock Renovations to install new vinyl flooring and baseboards. The final touches and pieces were also being gathered for the room including a brand-new bedroom door and gathering photos for the collage wall!
Day # 5 was our last day in the room. Something about the last day is always wild. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a TLC show where they only get one or two days to finish a project and it ends up being a day of exciting chaos. I recruited my Mom, Tami Gubersky to help with the day. We had to finish painting the baseboards, had to paint the door, paint and install the board and batten before the decorating could begin!
During this day, Amber from Elk Island Rustics delivered her handmade headboard for the bedroom. This is the second year she made a headboard for the Holiday Home & Hearts. My gosh, this woman is probably one of the most talented woodworkers out there! I gave her an idea of the room design and asked her to create a piece for the room using her creative freedom. She always goes above and beyond and exceeds my expectations. The headboard was perfect and magazine worthy for the room!
My Sister-in-Law Amber came in to work her magic on some Christmas décor. Amber decorated the tree last year and I knew she would be perfect for the task again, she is a Christmas Elf after all. Again, just telling her we have a modern, glam, bedroom with purple accents, she was able to decorate a tree that felt like it belonged to the room!
If you are new to the Holiday Home & Hearts, my goal was to add in a Christmas tree to each makeover to allow anyone to donate gifts! This year Morgan was gifted a gift card from Flawless Lash & Skin Studio, a personalized bottle from Name it by Toni, a heat pad from Tammy Lewyk, and a gift card from Heier Massage Therapy!
Lastly it was down to the decorating. This always ends up being my favorite part when you can see everything come together! One of my favorite parts of the room was the memory wall from Morgan. I knew this space would be the most meaningful for her. Danelle from The Humbled Nest made three handmade signs to represent Keithan, Alex, and her father. No one can ever understand the hurt Morgan will ever experience, but now she will always have them in her heart.
The final details were in the staging of the room. Alanna Marklund made a marble makeup-brush holder with some brushes, and Terra Currie Designs donated her beautiful matches and plant holder for the mirrored tray on the bed! Near the end of the night, Gray & B Designs delivered two custom made wreaths. She made one for Morgan and another for her mother, Cheryl that included three angel wings on the back to represent the three losses in their family. When we say this room is made and filled with love, we really mean it!
After 5 long, hard days (on average 14 hours for me, not including everyone else helping with the project), the room was ready for Morgan! Prior to the reveal, Heier Massage Therapy conducted a Reiki to the room, freeing the home from any worries, fears, and anxiety and welcoming light, love, and healing into the home.
For the second year in a row, Amanda from A.Keen Photography volunteered to photograph the event! She arrived early to photograph the room and capture the reveal. Her photos always bring me to tears as she has the ability to highlight emotion and capture the genuine feeling of the room! I mean, these photos speak for themselves! Amanda is so genuine and caring and also gifted Morgan a photography session of her choice!
This was my second time meeting Morgan. I must say, she is so mature and well spoken for her age! She was beyond excited to see her new bedroom and still in awe that so many people had come together to give a room makeover to her! She was anxious every day while staying at the hospital wondering what her bedroom would look like.
Because of the pandemic, I chose not to enter the room this year. Although I would have loved to see their reactions up close, I was able to observe from the hallway. Morgan and her Mother entered the room with their eyes closed. They were asked to open their eyes once they were in the space! Let’s just say, there was not a dry eye in that house. Morgan and her mother gasped in awe when they first opened their eyes and the tears started flowing. Morgan’s first words were “this is amazing, this is beautiful, this is everything I wanted!” They couldn’t believe it was the same room! The only thing that stayed in the room was the desk. Everything else was brand-new! Morgan said her favorite part of the room was her memory wall to have Keithan and Alex with her.
I am beyond proud of our community to be able to bring some light into Morgan’s life after she has experienced a world of hurt. Just when Morgan thought the reveal was finished, there was another big surprise! A little fact about Morgan, she is a makeup junkie! She has a passion for all things glam! During the reveal, Lisa from Simply Stunning Hair & Makeup video called Morgan. Before the Pandemic shutdown, Lisa had planned to give Morgan a full Hair & Makeup transformation prior to the reveal. Lisa gave the announcement to Morgan that once they are reopened, they will give her the transformation plus some lessons!
A big thank you to Amanda from Edmonton CTV for capturing the reveal which you can watch here. Another big thank you to Leanne from Three Sixty Alberta for putting together this video for yet a second year in a row! We are so lucky to live in a time where we can relive such an amazing moment.