How Designer Kasia Waloszczyk Surprised a Cancer Survivor with a Room Makeover
See how The Marilyn Denis Show design expert redesigned her open concept space.
Kasia Waloszczyk is one busy designer! Between running her successful design firm and regularly appearing on The Marilyn Denis Show as a design expert, she managed to find time to sit with us to tell us more about a living space she transformed for a deserving cancer survivor and her family.
Bouclair: How did this makeover come about?
Kasia: This makeover was a Mother’s Day special surprise. Her husband wrote in to The Marilyn Denis Show asking for us to surprise his wife with a makeover for their nonexistent dining room and their living room. She is a cancer survivor with 2 small children and her family went through a really hard time so he wanted to do something special for her. The space I redesigned was the one in which she would try to recover from her chemo sessions so it held a lot of negative feelings for her. It still looked the same as when she would come home and feel at her worse.
B: What was the vibe you wanted to create in the room?
K: The space is meant for the whole family, but was a surprise for her so I really wanted to add feminine touches while also keeping it family-friendly. I added florals as well as soft pinks touches and balanced them out with neutrals and dramatic black.
B: You went with a very bold graphic wallpaper in the space. What was the reason behind this choice?
K: I had never seen the space in person prior to the makeover. I was going off of pictures, sketches and measurements, which were all provided by her husband. I found out shortly before the makeover that they had already purchased a couch. Once I got the couch’s measurements, I was stuck. I had wanted a completely different layout and thought that the couch was too big for the space. I needed something bold and dramatic that would balance out the size of the couch. I chose the wallpaper because it had that modern, edgy feel. I had seen some pictures of the couple and wanted the design to reflect who they were.
B: Many people want to keep their old furniture in a new space, even if it is a little oversized. How do you design around large pieces like that?
K: You have to scale back. Initially, what I had wanted to do was add two loveseats as well as two wingback chairs, but I scaled back and only added one wingback chair in the corner.
B: What are your must-haves when designing a dining space?
K: It needs to be comfortable and functional. If you know that you’re going to be hosting Christmas dinners or birthday parties and that there are over 12 people in your family, don’t go for a table that can only seat six or eight! Choose something that can expand. Adding proper storage is also key – to put away fine china or to display and serve food and drinks during a function.
B: The space is open concept between the living room and dining room. What are your tips for decorating large open spaces like this one?
K: Have both spaces speak to each other. You want them to flow, but they do not have to be exactly the same. Here, I pulled a colour from the wallpaper and added it onto the dining room ceiling. The colour palette automatically tied the two spaces together. The living room also has a modern and sleek high gloss coffee table, and I injected that finish into the dining room with my storage unit. In the end, both spaces had similar finishes, as well as a similar colour palette, and complemented each other.
B: You worked with contractor Sebastian Clovis on this project. Do you have any tips for people doing renos with the help of a contractor?
K: Communication is the key. If you want specific things, communicate it clearly to them. If something won’t work, they’ll be able to tell you the reason behind it so you can rethink your design.
B: Any last tips and tricks you would like to share?
K: Don’t be afraid to take on a reno. I think that everyone deserves to have a beautiful space. Don’t hold off on it and say “Maybe next year or the year after that”. Just do it now and enjoy your home! When you have a beautifully decorated space, it reflects on everything in your life from your mood to your health – it gives you a boost.
Want to see the space come to life? Watch the full makeover and reveal here.