Back From Africa and THIS Is My Room?




About: Quirky gifts, colorful paintings, detailed drawings, silly graphics--I do it all.

My husband and I live with a wonderful girl named Stephanie. Stephanie was an intern for our program that built vegetable gardens for schools to grow produce for food pantries and sought to humanize the needy through massive food distribution, and as part of that program she and three other interns lived with us. At the end of the program, we asked Stephanie (and another intern) to move in with us and keep the positive community vibe going! She is truly one of the most amazing and motivated people I have ever met. And THIS is her room.

The reason Stephanie's room is so empty is because she lives incredibly frugally, saving all her money to go on two-month-long trips to an orphanage and school in Tanzania. After seeing the disconnect of the needs of the orphanage with the assistance given by foreign aid, Stephanie is starting a program to find out what the biggest needs are for each orphanage in Tanzania, and then connect with churches and organizations to fill those exact needs. For example, at Camp Moses, the orphanage she is currently working with, a church had donated many sets of new bedsheets for the younger children. However, the mattresses on the beds were so old and soaked with urine that the new sheets were instantly turned to rags. If only the church known that the money spent buying sheets could have been more useful if spent on a new mattress! By clearly communicating the needs of an orphanage to those willing to help, Stephanie hopes to make the orphanages of one of the most impoverished countries a comfortable place for orphaned children to live.

She does all of this while still in college and working to save money for her next trip to Tanzania! I told you, she is incredible.

I want to re-do Stephanie's bedroom so that she has a comfortable place to feel at home when she isn't traveling the world helping others. I talked to her about this idea and about the contest and asked if I could do this for her (and so I wasn't just posting pictures of her bedroom on the internet and stuff without her knowing), and she was very excited. To plan out her new space infused with Ikea powers, we broke down what she wants out of her room as follows:

1. An actual bed, with a comfortable blanket and pillows (replacing the mattress on the floor and the fleece throw she uses now)
2. A great place to study and stay organized, since she is still in college
3. Storage, Storage, Storage, and organization! Stephanie sells used books on Amazon to help pay for school and her textbooks, and right now they are just piled all over one little dumpster-found table. She also has a great collection of things she has brought back from Africa, and no way to display them! Ikea has a million great options for organizing just about everything, so I have no doubt that they will have a solution for every unique thing Stephanie needs to stow.
4. Space for sewing and crafting. She loves to sew and quilt presents for everyone.
5. Great homey decor. The rest of our home is (in my opnion) a very comfy, intimate, inviting space with lots of homeyness all around. I want Stephanie to be able to have that environment in her room, too!
6. Comfy for kitties. Our two cats love Stephanie's room more than anywhere else in the house (probably because she loves animals more than anyone else I know). We want to keep the space kitty-friendly.

I've included pictures of some of the furniture we are thinking about getting for her room. She LOVES the big bookshelf with desk attachment, since she can store schoolbooks and books to sell on Amazon so conveniently right next to her computer. Her room also does not have a ceiling light, so new lamps and task lighting is a must. We picked out a color scheme of fabrics that are similar to colors she loves in African batik clothing and will use the fabrics to sew quilts, curtains, throw pillows, and all the good textile decor items her room needs. We will use the desks already in the room to form one super-desk of glory, creating a big, deep workspace perfect for quilting and add bookshelves on the wall above the desk for craft storage.

With this new Ikeafied space, Stephanie will be able to study, sleep, and plan out new ways to help the orphans in Tanzania in her comfy bedroom.

Share Your Space Challenge

First Prize in the
Share Your Space Challenge



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    14 Discussions


    5 years ago

    That's good what she does sacrificing so much to help others


    Wow. You all sound like truly gracious, giving people. Donations not matching the need is a widespread problem, kudos to Stephanie for tackling it. Good luck in the contest. =^..^=

    1 reply

    Thank you! Stephanie's plan is to continue working with the orphanage she is currently connected with and to slowly grow village by village, matching donations with the unique needs of each region. Her vision is incredible; she inspires me every single day!

    stephanie should get a coulerd wall maybe a blue with white walls around it then get her a nice white bed fram bookshelf desk and comfy chair. then add a blue bedding and white pillows and a blue lamp and garbage pale and a nice blue curtin and if your having a problem with cats get a litterbox in their constently change the litter with some hardwood flooring. this with thank her for everything she has done

    1 reply

    Thank you for the suggestions! Our color scheme will be based on the brown, orange, and light blue fabrics (the blue will be an accent color used sparingly). The colors will be more African and not focus on blue and white. We hope to get mostly light wood-colored furniture to warm up the space. Your ideas are really fun!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    What a thoughtful gift to give a selfless friend! Your presentation is very nice! I wish her the very best in this contest! Have a splendorous day!

    1 reply

    Thank you! She is so giving of herself and so dedicated to serving others; it will be wonderful to have the opportunity to essentially give her a place that feels like home. Thanks for the luck, and I hope you have a great day too.