Photo by Michael Wiltbank
When a deserving mom needed a bedroom overhaul, Real Simple pulled off a top-to-bottom makeover. Dana Gentile, a fifth-grade teacher, lives in Hawthorne, New York, with her husband, Carmine, and their children, Jordana, 5; Gia, 6; and Santino, 4 (all pictured here). Last November, the parents received heartbreaking news: Their older daughter, Gia, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of cancer. Suddenly their time and efforts were overtaken by medical visits, treatment sessions, and fundraising efforts. (In partnership with a local business, the family raised $30,000 for Cookies for Kids Cancer in Gia’s honor.)
Before Gia’s diagnosis, the parents had worked to upgrade the common areas of the home along with the kids’ bedrooms. “The kids spend a ton of time in this playroom,” says Dana. “It’s set up like a classroom so they always know where the games, books, and art supplies go.” Last on their to-do list was their neglected master bedroom. Once the family’s story made its way to Real Simple, the editors swooped in to transform this mom’s cramped bedroom into a serene and airy space. The finished room is full of fresh ideas and some easy DIYs you can try in your own home.
Like most spaces, this room posed its share of challenges. To start, there was limited lighting in the bedroom and closet and limited floor space to lay out a symmetrical design beneath a window. Using a few ingenious tricks, our team was able to implement some easy strategies to solve these common challenges. First up, hire an electrician to install overhead high hat lighting and motion sensor lights in the closet. Then, use a little visual trickery to balance out the offset layout. Take a look at the finished product and see what new ideas you can use in your own home.