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Fine Living: Bringing beauty to chemo rooms

Article By PJ Bremier, Marin IJ Correspondent, 7/16/2011

Source: marinij.com

Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo, a design program to update local chemotherapy rooms, started out serendipitously this spring with the help of an imaginative office manager, a willing San Francisco doctor and an artist with a painting under her arm.

Now, the program is expanding to Marin and founder Nancy Ballard is looking for creative interior designers and a generous furniture store to participate in transforming a series of rooms at Marin Specialty Care in Greenbrae.

Ballard, a master watercolorist and former Tiburon resident, arrived for an appointment with her San Francisco internist in May carrying a painting she was going to deliver to a patron afterward.

The office manager admired the artwork and casually mentioned that the chemo rooms in the cancer care center that shared the medical suite could benefit from interesting art pieces.

Ballard promptly offered to donate framed prints for each of the six rooms and saw the potential for even more attractive rooms. With that, Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo was launched.

“I sent out 20 emails to local designers, requesting donations of time, materials, expertise and expenses to upgrade one chemo room at a time,” she says, imagining it to be something like a “designer showcase” of chemotherapy rooms.

One of the first designers who responded, Jennifer Jones of Niche Interiors, quickly “adopted” a room and named it in honor of her grandmother who died three years ago. “She would have loved the room we created in her memory,” Jones says.

The walls are now hand-painted in a buttery-yellow called Little Dipper from Benjamin Moore’s zero-VOC Natura line, bringing much-needed warmth to the room,” she says. “Organic curves (in the mirror and chair) add softness to the and movement to the space and a tulip motif provides a natural element to a room that lacks a window.”

While Ballard is still lining up the last of the decorators for the remaining San Francisco rooms, she has her sights set on Marin where she’s hopeful local designers will want to spiff up seven examination and two treatment rooms with a paint job, a pair of new guest chairs and a doctor’s desk. Each design will be contingent upon the doctors’ approval and Ballard will donate a framed giclee print to each room.

“Nancy has such a wonderful idea wanting to create more inviting areas where people can sit,” says Lorraine Holzapfel, administrator for the Marin Specialty Care, where art from patients grace the walls. “It’s exciting that people from the outside want to come and add that personal touch.”

In recognition of their efforts, participating designers and their vendors will have their names inscribed on a room plaque and receive a tax-deductible gift receipt for in-kind donations; designers will also have the honor of naming the room.

Ballard is looking for donations of a new stereo system along with furniture for the community chemotherapy room.

She’s also hoping someone will step in to help the organization gain nonprofit status as a way of encouraging more donors. “The more people who can help, the better it can be,” she says positively.

To help Ballard in Marin or extend Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo throughout the Bay Area, call 518-1716 or go to www.roomsthatrock4chemo.us

PJ Bremier writes on home, garden, design and entertaining topics every Saturday and also on her blog at DesignSwirl.net. She may be contacted at P.O. Box 412, Kentfield 94914, or at pj@pjbremier.com.

Read the original article here: http://www.marinij.com/lifestyle/20110716/fine-living-bringing-beauty-to-chemo-rooms

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