Stephen’s Project

During my initial meeting with Stephen and his family, I was incredibly impressed by their enthusiasm, uplifting spirit, and positive attitude. Stephen was diagnosed at birth with a chronic, rare disease called Incontinentia Pigmenti which is a disorder that affects the skin, teeth, hair, nails, eyes and central nervous system resulting in numerous physical and cognitive limitations. It was clear to the design team that despite Stephen’s disability, the family has surrounded him with love, encouragement and determination, and to quote his Mom, “Enjoy the littlest of accomplishments while striving for the great ones”. Stephen lit up the room with his excitement as we learned about his interests in maps, clocks and bright colors.

Managed By

Michael Collins of D. Michael Collins Architects

Designed By

Stephanie Rossi of Spazio Rosso Interior Design Managed by Michael Collins of D. Michael Collins Architects

"Our son, Stephen, was born with a rare genetic condition which resulted in various disabilities, including challenges with vision and movement. Room to Dream came into our lives 10 years ago and every single day since, has positively impacted not just Stephen’s, but our entire family’s life. The compassionate and dedicated team didn’t just try to make a room with Stephen’s favorite things and color, orange (but a calming orange), but one that helped him functionally be more independent while maintaining his safety. The end result was the creation of a masterpiece for Stephen, with a map wall he could draw on with his imaginative travels and a bed bench he could use to safely dress. He can be himself, access what he needs, and feel like a typical kid even years later. One of the most wonderful things about Room to Dream is the inclusion of siblings. Stephen is the eldest of three and being a special needs mom, it pains me that the siblings are often lost in the shuffle. They are the ones living the day-to-day struggle and Room to Dream’s recognition of this through the creation of their dream bedrooms heartwarming. We can’t thank them enough." – Raven

Stephen had a clear vision for what he wanted in his room: his favorite color (orange!), his own desk and whiteboard, and most importantly…maps! Additionally, he needed storage and his mom felt that it was important to have an uncluttered space for his own safety.

I did not want Stephens’ room to look like a typical little boy’s room but rather a space he could grow into. The team I worked with was careful to implement safety solutions throughout the room. We utilized solutions such as appropriate dresser handles, simple on/off light switches, and additional lighting. A custom platform bed was designed with his comfort and safety in mind and we added clutter free storage cubbies within the bed unit and finished with a bright orange cushion alongside the bed.

Orange striated FLOR tiles were placed in the room, which worked beautifully as an area rug, creating a soft play surface.

In tackling the map concept I had a close friend design ‘The Ultimate World Map’, labeling as many countries as could be squeezed in. Eddie Collins of E. Collins Graphic & Industrial Design Studio did the honors. Our apologies to the Hawaiian islands, as they were simply far too small to accommodate proper titles! The map was then printed on vinyl whiteboard paper so Stephen could use a dry-erase marker to interact and self-explore the world, ‘his world’.

Seeing Stephen’s face when he first walked into his new bedroom was the icing on the cake. He quietly took everything in, contemplating methodically all of the changes and improvements. We learned later that he couldn’t wait to go sit at his desk and do his homework. This was a first for Stephen and a sign that we accomplished our mission: to make one adorable, smart little boy happy and comfortable in his new environment!

Bridget & Fiona’s Bedroom:

What little girl wouldn’t love a room filled with millions of butterflies?! For two little girls who would be sharing a room, we had to comfortably fit them into a space with room to play, sleep, & grow. Fortunately the girls’ bedroom was large enough to fit a new bunk bed, large dresser, two nightstands and a bookcase; not to mention all new draperies trimmed with red grosgrain ribbon, lighting, and again FLOR tiles. C & R Flooring was so kind and generous to donate new hardwood floors for each bedroom. This initial step not only gave us a clean slate to work from, but set forth a mentality that donating both time and resources were the least we all could do to provide this amazing family with subtle upgrades and inspiration.

Despite the fluttering of multi-colored butterflies, the girls were most enamored with the fact that they had a bunk bed! It brought back memories of childhood play dates and sleepovers, which we could all tell would increase significantly now that all 3 siblings had room make-overs to show off!

Special Thanks

We would like to thank all of the volunteers as well as the donors below for being a part of this Dream Team!

C &R Flooring

FLOR Carpet Design Squares

Catchlight Painting

Sherwin Williams

E.Collins Graphic & Industrial Design StudioI


Dellorfon Electric

J Benjamin Smith Wallpaper Installations

Ken Soderholm, Soderhom Builders

Marcoux Upholstery

Michael J Lee Photography

D. Michael Collins Architects

Stephanie Rossi of Spazio Rosso Interior Design