After successfully designing a corporate office space for the non-profit organization, Make-A-Wish Georgia, WB Interiors was approached about participating in fulfilling a wish for a local teenager battling cancer. “It was a great honor for our company to be included in a project that would bring joy to a family facing a difficult time in their lives,” explained Brandi Kmoch, a Project Manager heading up the design team.
At the initial meeting with the family, WB Interiors learned that sixteen year old, Leah had a simple wish and that was to have her family’s basement transformed into a movie theater and hang out space for her and her friends. However, the existing area had limitations, such as a low ceiling height, prohibitive column placement and a built-in niche that challenged the team’s plan and made the “simple” wish a bit more complicated.
“We created a shared Pinterest board to help our designers connect with Leah,” Kmoch describes of the planning process. “This enabled us to ascertain her likes and dislikes. We shared ideas regarding color palettes, art work and furniture.”
Leah’s vision was of a comfortable and youthful design evocative of the Fox Theater’s grand historical finishes. Using the Pinterest board as their guide, designers at WB Interiors presented a full finish board to Leah’s family to guide the selection of carpet, paint colors and theater seats.
Eager to surprise Leah with the final product, WB Interiors began communicating exclusively with Leah’s father. He provided guidance on the final design decisions and scheduled time for the team to build out the space while the family enjoyed a vacation together overseas.
Making Magic Happen
With a shoestring budget, the project needed to rely heavily on donations. WB Interiors got to work establishing contact with industry partners, who were very accommodating. They supplied the vast majority of materials required to make Leah’s wish a reality. Leah’s basement began coming to life with the donation of beautiful wall coverings, glass tile, plush cushions and other elegant features.
The design team then worked closely with an Audio/Visual consultant to meet height and distance requirements within the size limitation of the room. Together, they devised a design solution to ensure that the overhead theater projector would not create a head clearance hazard to viewers standing up on the theater’s second row platform.
Leah’s theater project quickly reached its peak momentum with the design of a custom concession stand and reading nook. WB Interiors coordinated with a local window treatment company to fabricate plush red draperies for the theater’s entrance which created the iconic theater design aesthetic. With the installation of some of Leah’s favorite movie posters, carefully-selected accessories and healthy snacks for the concession stand, Leah’s custom theater space was nearly complete. A commercial grade popcorn machine provided the perfect finishing touch and the design team prepared for the big reveal with Make-A-Wish.
The Big Reveal
The design team joined a crowd of family and friends to see Leah’s reaction to the finished space. “Before we could see her face, we heard her reaction,” remembers Kmoch, “She cried the entire way down the stairs, exclaiming ‘oh my gosh!’” When Leah finally made it to the finished theater space, she was ecstatic. Kmoch continues, “Leah was amazed. She asked ‘how is this even the same space?’ It was a really special moment for us to see our design make this incredible young lady so happy.”
Ultimately, Leah and her family were thrilled with the final result – a communal space for family and friends and a comfortable retreat to enjoy a multitude of entertainment options.
Kmoch acknowledges the importance of this unique renovation. “This project was a great reminder that whether residential or commercial, creating environments that evoke positive feelings and emotions is important part of what we do at WBI.”
To learn more about Make-A-Wish and how you can help make a child’s dream come true, visit www.wish.org.