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Introducing Our Brighten Up Any Room Winner + Their Space (It’s EHD’s Next Makeover!)

Hi, friends! Happy Wednesday. I’m SO EXCITED because today, I’m going to introduce you to the recipient (…or recipients?) of our next makeover. Y’all, I cried while learning about this person and then I cried some more while I was putting this post together — in a good way, though — so I hope that you’re ready to read about who we selected, why, and how we’re going to design this room while travel is out of the picture. 

In case you’re new here, let me catch you up to speed really quickly: earlier this year, we announced our second-ever Brighten Up Any Room giveaway in partnership with our friends at VELUX. The concept for this giveaway is pretty simple: show us your space, tell us how we can help, and Team EHD will swoop in with a custom-designed room and two VELUX No Leak Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylights with solar-powered blinds. 

AND BOY, we found someone (…a few people, actually!) who deserved some brightening up.

Meet the Winner(s)


After looking over hundreds of applications, we unanimously decided on one from a woman named Dina. She lives up in the Pacific Northwest, she’s a working mom of 3, she loves to quilt, and y’all, Dina has HAD a 2020. You can read on to learn more about her story, or meet her via video below…

Back in January, Dina was just about 8 months pregnant when she sat down to play Legos with her 5 year old son, Clark. She felt something pop, stood up, and saw a pool of blood on the floor. She was home alone with the kids — her husband had just gone to pick up some takeout — and she rushed to the bathroom, where she continued to bleed profusely.

Dina calmly told Clark that she needed him to get her a phone so she could call 911. He did, and as paramedics sped her way, Clark — to reiterate, he is five — unlocked the front door, turned on the porch lights, and let in the responders. In the meantime, Dina’s sister, who lives within walking distance, put on shoes and sprinted over. She shuffled the kids into a back room as Dina was loaded up into an ambulance (now with husband in tow, though he wasn’t allowed to ride in the back with her). She couldn’t feel the baby. 

By the time she arrived at the hospital, doctors and OBs were scrubbed up, waiting, and ready for Dina’s crash emergency C-section. They delivered her baby — a girl — but the room stayed silent. Dina’s doctors launched into 2 straight minutes of CPR — the longest 2 minutes of her life, she says — until thankfully, the baby began to cry. Dina thought her newborn would be placed on her chest, like her previous two children had been, but she was immediately rushed away to the NICU. Dina couldn’t hold her baby for five days.

At this point, Dina had lost two-thirds of the blood in her body. Her baby, Ada, spent 17 days in the NICU. And now, 6 months later, since both mom and baby are home and healing, we wanted to give the whole family a fun distraction to focus on. To honor her kids for their heroism during this tough time, we’ll be brightening up the attic bedroom shared by all 3 of her children. To that end, meet EHD’s newest (and cutest, honestly) clients: Clark, Holly, and Ada. 

Look at these sweet siblings!

Emily and Julie recently had their first design consult with Dina, so they got to take some peeks at this shared room while meeting all the tenants. (I got to watch the screen recorded version after the fact and I basically cried the whole time, because I am a giant baby.) Clark, at 5, is brave. He loves the color red, riding (and jumping!) his bike, and playing dress up. Holly, at 3, is independent. She loves to read and her wish is that the room will have a “purple sky.” (VERY CUTE, YOU GUYS.) And Ada — y’all, ADA IS THE COOLEST BABY. She can hang. Girl is a natural at Zoom calls already. She’s calm and very loved by her two older siblings. 

The Room

So now that you know the who, let’s take a peek at the space we’re working with. Dina’s hope is that this space will feel like “a cloud with a rainbow,” — “if that makes sense” (girl, it does!) — and we are READY to deliver. 

First off, we’ll be adding two VELUX No Leak Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylights on this north-facing wall above where the twin beds and crib currently are, so they’ll be providing soft, diffused light all day. It’s an ideal placement for keeping the space cool and bright. I’m sure y’all can already tell — this is gonna make a huge difference, especially with these sloped ceilings. 

Next up, EHD is planning to tackle three big things: the beds, the storage, and the play space. As you can see, there are A LOT of beds in this space. Clark and Holly both have twins, Ada has a crib, and there’s a spare king for parents to crash on when necessary or for family reading and cuddle time. We want to make sure that this is a space that works long term for this family — not just for a year or two while Ada is still in a crib — so we’ve got to figure out the best configuration and plan for these kids. (Will bunk beds work with the sloped ceilings? Stay tuned!) 

There is one closet up here, but we’ve got to figure out some more options. Dina’s currently also using a dresser and an IKEA unit for clothing storage, but as kids get bigger, clothes will get bigger! We’re going to need to brainstorm some solutions (maybe beds with drawers underneath?) so everyone can have a dedicated space for their belongings. 

And since the kids love reading, we want to make sure we’re keeping books (and some toys!) available. Will this little book nook remain? Will Team EHD install a different type of shelf? I have no idea, since I’m just the partnerships person! But you know that whatever Julie and Em come up with is gonna be great. (I mean, have you seen this kids’ room?!?!) 

The Plan

OK SO, as a blog reader, I was always interested in timing and process and so I wanted to share that information with y’all, too. Here’s the deal: when we originally planned this with VELUX, the goal was to have Emily and Julie fly up to Seattle for an in-person consult earlier this year and then for an in-person install…around now. We hoped to reveal this whole room in August!

But Ms. Rona had other plans, so we’re adapting! IT’S GONNA BE FUN, and I think you’re gonna be able to see more of our process, which might be…better? (THOUGHTS?!) Anyway, like I said earlier, Em and Julie performed an online consult late last month and since then, Julie’s been pulling inspiration and putting together pin boards and mood boards. Soon, we’ll be able to show Dina our direction to get her sign-off, but we’re going to keep a whole lot of the actual products a surprise.

OF COURSE I’m gonna show you another CUTE baby pic!!! What a Wednesday treat!!!

Traditionally, we’d have all the furniture and decor arrive at the house at once so we can install and have that ~magic reveal moment~, but since travel’s off the table, we’re starting to figure out how we can design virtually. (A process we’re starting to get the hang of, as we’re doing something similar for a friend here in CA!) There’s still a whole lot for us to figure out — like, if we wanted to hang a ceiling wallpaper, how would we do it? If we needed to repaint everything so it’s not orange, is there a way for us to manage that process from down here? How do we keep the ~magic moment~ from thousands of miles away? Some extra creative thinking will be involved with this one.

Either way, we’ll make sure Em gets up there in late 2020/early 2021 (fingers crossed!) so we can style it out, sprinkle a lil fairy dust on it, and shoot it so we can show y’all the finished product. Whatever happens, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be beautiful, and I know that Julie will keep us updated with some freaking AWESOME process posts. If nothing else, Team EHD LOVES A SKYLIGHT in a kids room!

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Secret Room 11
Let’s see it again!

And if you’ve been reading this and you’re like, “hey, I’ve been inside for 4 straight months” or “wow, I’ve seen these skylights in so many projects and they always look good” or “maybe I should just go to the website and price one out,” then BOY. I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU. (Also same, same, and I guarantee they are more affordable than you think!)

Y’all, VELUX is now offering virtual consults. You can pick whether it’s audio or video, you can ask all your burning questions, you get pro feedback on what kind of skylight works for you (like, VELUX helped Sara decide on sun tunnels for her coming-soon closet reveal — they have a tiny footprint and make HUGE difference!), and best of all, IT IS FREE. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while and you’ve seen all the posts where we sing the praises of skylights, why not just check and see if there’s an opening available that works with your schedule? 

So this is where I’ll leave you. WHAT AN UPDATE. Say hi to Dina, her husband, and our three newest clients. Do y’all have any initial ideas on what layout plan we should pursue? Any product recommendations so we can help make this a “rainbow on a cloud” space for a boy who loves red, a girl who loves purple, and a very cool baby with TBD color preferences? We can’t wait to get started and I CAN’T WAIT TO TALK TO YOU in the comments. Let’s chat and plan so I can send Julie a million screenshots with ideas from y’all, ok???  

Opening Photo Credits: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Portland Reveal: You’ll Never Guess What This Bookcase Is Hiding…

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Cris S.
3 years ago

Very exciting and I’m so happy for this family that 1. they are getting this makeover and 2. both mom and baby survived.

And I hate to be this person (because my mom is this person and I hate that I’m turning into my mom) but that Ikea dresser doesn’t look to be anchored to the wall. I hope I’m wrong on that, but just in case – be sure to anchor it for that darling baby’s safety!

3 years ago

Oh I wanted my neighbors to win SO badly…until I read this post and cried the whole time. What an amazing family with an amazing story. I’m so glad you’re all healthy, and so glad you’ll have a magical space to enjoy!

3 years ago

Omg that baby is literally the cutest!!!!’ I just want Aida pics!

3 years ago

Congrats to this family!
My only suggestion is to find out what *kind* of purple she likes. This could be very important. Big difference between lavender and, say, “grape.” No one wants a heartbroken little girl!

3 years ago

This made me smile the entire time I was watching Emily’s story and reading this post. I LOVE that you’re doing this. Sometimes people forget how impacting “just one” person’s home/life can really brighten so many others’ lives. xoxo

3 years ago

Sweet children! Google bunk beds under sloped ceilings and you get lots of images of interesting solutions. Do you build three bunk beds in anticipation for Ada to be able to sleep in it (obviously with a guard rail) by the time you finish?
A reading zone with a pull-out couch seems a likely choice for the occasional visitor, used mostly for reading/snuggle time and to gain play space for three kids.

3 years ago
Reply to  Mk

Oooh smart like a murphy bed but a couch? I love that idea! I’ve also had pinned forever for a future playroom where you make like 6+ fabric covered thin twin mattresses, then stack them as a couch but they can also be laid all over the floor for tumbling practice or sleepovers, stacked in different configurations for all the imaginative play!

3 years ago
Reply to  Cici Haus

Thinking bunk beds w/ storage in between or below or trundle under one for Ada.
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Bunk beds under the window:

3 years ago

And separation could allow for mounted reading lamps to encourage their good habits!

3 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

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3 years ago

Maybe kids wouldn’t dig this, but I do as 27-year-old woman; What if they have similar cloud like white comforters ( easy to clean because bleach) and then they each get their special colors by having fun bright sheets? It’s like a special treasure when you flip the comforter open when you go to bed. Then it’s like you’re wrapped in your own special pattern. This is how I felt when I saw pottery barn’s Harry Potter sheets. I think they were for children AND they were so fancy and beautiful!

3 years ago
Reply to  SARAH

Shoot. I think I’m 28 now. Hah

3 years ago
Reply to  SARAH

Sarah! I’ve been 28 since March and am just now finally starting to remember that I am not, in fact, 27.

3 years ago
Reply to  Jenny

hahah thank you! Glad I’m not alone!

3 years ago

Im 38. It doesn’t get easier, at 33 I tried to convince my husband I was turning 33. He thought I was joking, but no.

3 years ago

This is so wonderful! The shape of the ceiling lends itself to a rainbow mural! Paint a lovely rainbow across the ceiling (incorporates red and purple yay!) ending in white clouds either side. A muted moody tone for the colours would help it not feel too baby-ish I’m sure. Or you could design cloud inspired headboards – scalloped and velvety, what a dream!

3 years ago

I’ve had a s*i**y day today – doing chemo – and this post totally made my day!!!
I’m so happy for this family. Beautiful.
That lil big brother looks sooo proud!
K, my eyes leaked, but my heart swelled so much!
Sooo many possibilities for that room.

3 years ago

Okay this is going to be the sweetest and I totally cried reading their story!!! As a kid, I dreamed of bunk beds in an attic just like this — maybe you could tier three of them against one of the sloped walls, sort of sculpturally? You really don’t need a ton of room above a bed so you could do one against the floor, one up a little to the side, the third back above the one on the ground? I think the idea of a really deep couch with either a pullout bed or some ottomans that extend the area? (I can’t think of which IKEA couch system does this but John and Sherry of Young House Love’s couch in their old house’s upstairs media room is what I’m envisioning.)

Also I’ve been VERY into Racheal Jackson’s colorful murals recently (she’s @banyanbridges on Instagram) and they all seem to work very well between kid-playful but not TOO kid oriented, you know?

3 years ago

can the velux skylights be blocked/covered so the baby/kids can nap during the day? i am all about brightening a space, but nap time (or even bed time during summer when children often go to sleep before sundown) is vital!

3 years ago

Was I the only person thinking that “This room may be a little hint ;)” means the very Emily Henderson herself is expecting???

This is incredibly kind and sweet on so many levels. You guys have been a breath of fresh air. <3

3 years ago

A comment a few days late, in case other folks are also late to the party and like reading all the comments like I do 🙂

Velux skylights may be “more affordable than you think” for just the skylight, but installs are PRICEY. We wanted to install skylights while our roof was being replaced. Because of the wonkiness of our rafters, the roofing team was going to have to spend another day re-framing the hole for the skylight (and at $60/hour, that was going to add up FAST). We ended up pulling the plug on the skylight idea, but instead used Velux sun tubes, which aren’t nearly as stylish and don’t let fresh air in, but they do provide a bunch of extra light. The sun tube was around $400 and install was free (the roofers just popped it in), but the operable skylight would have been around $600 and install would be $1000, plus we’d still have all the drywall and finishing work on the inside ($$$).

3 years ago

Oh! We have more products on the website: In addition, we also have our own printing factory, similar products, you can visit and we can make products as you like.