A Castle and a Kitchen for Princess Keely

Four-year-old Keely is in love with all things girly! Unicorns, sparkles, fairies, and dresses are some of her favorite things, including the colors pink and purple. Keely says if she could have anything in her room it would be a castle and a kitchen. Keely was diagnosed with pre-b cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in October of 2020, and it took a toll on both her physical and emotional state. She had been feeling quite sad lately, often making comments such as “I hate cancer” and “I wish I didn’t have cancer.” Missing multiple days of school due to classmates testing positive for Covid-19 was also contributing to her low spirits. At home, she is one of four children, and her mom really felt it was important for her to have her own oasis to relax and heal during her 30-month treatment plan. Not to mention, she had been sleeping in her parent’s bed every night, so she needed a space that she felt comfortable and safe in, ideally surrounded by her favorite things.

Keely’s room transformation was Designing Dreams' first time partnering with interior designer Courtney from The Modern Hive, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect pairing! When our Dream Team approached her for this project, she described her initial teary reaction as "Oh my goodness, how could someone ever turn down this type of opportunity? This project felt especially special to me because my daughter is very close in age to Keely's age and it pulled at my momma bear heart." Additionally, her insight on the power of interior design perfectly aligns with our mission. She told us, “To put it simply, I have always believed that a well-designed space promotes a strong sense of calmness, happiness, and mental stability in one's environment and at the core, one's health begins with emotional wellbeing and gives your body space to physically heal.”

Courtney took on all of Keely’s many interests as a fun challenge, wanting to incorporate as many of her requests as possible, while still making all the elements in the room flow nicely. The main design plan inspiration started with a beautiful castle print wallpaper that felt just perfect for little Keely. Courtney and her team painted the walls pink, and added rainbow and unicorn artwork, as well as a special clothing rack for her favorite princess dresses, a make-up vanity, and of course, a mini kitchen! When Keely first opened the door to her new room, her mom described, “She was so overwhelmed with joy and immediately studied every inch of her room and all the things.” Courtney recalls the big reveal as one of the best and most rewarding experiences of her career. She told us,

“Seeing the joy on Keely's face was such a happy moment for me. To be able to make her little life a bit more joyful was very impactful.”

Since Keely’s bedroom transformation, she has been sleeping in her room every night and loves spending time in it to play. Her mom noticed that “She is able to retreat to her bedroom and be comfortable in a space that is perfectly meant for her. There are times now when she will just go lay in her bed and watch a movie to relax. She loves to sit at her vanity and put makeup and jewelry on. She also loves to play with her kitchen. Jewelry, makeup, and cooking are her favorite things and her room perfectly has all of those things.”

Her mom told our Dream Team that

“This room transformation has literally changed not only Keely's life but our whole families. I had no idea how much a space could make a difference in our emotional and physical wellbeing. What you do is so important for the health of children with cancer.” 

We are overwhelmingly thankful for The Modern Hive, Wonderwoman Painting, FloorIT Nebraska, the Meyer family, and all the incredible donors that generously contributed to making this dream bedroom come true!


by Kelly O'Donnell

Executive Director

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