A Port Moody family coping with multiple health challenges has a new oasis in their home to escape their stresses.
And the renovation project that transformed their basement was as easy and painless as could be, as long as Kaela Scott, Matthew DeGelder and their son, Beckett, didn’t pay too much heed to the cameras recording their every reaction.
The family was selected to be recipients of a $15,000 room makeover for a YouTube series called, naturally, Room Makeover, that is sponsored by Vancouver-based home insurance provider Square One.
Scott said she almost dismissed the company’s email last fall soliciting entrants to be considered for the series.
But with her husband struggling to recover from two back surgeries after he was injured on his contracting job, and two-year-old Beckett facing his own ongoing health challenges from an abdominal wall defect that requires constant care, she decided the family deserved a bit of a break.
Plus the basement of their Ioco Road home had been vexing her since they moved in five years ago.
“It was a space that was driving us crazy,” Scott said. “It had a form, but nothing fit together. It wasn’t a relaxing place to be.”
Last December, Scott learned her family had been selected for a room makeover.
“We were deeply moved by Kaela and Matt’s story,” said Square One’s president Daniel Mirkovic. “We knew right away this was a family we wanted to help.”
After an initial consultation with interior designer Lisa Moody, of Grapevine Designs, and contractor Morris VanAndel of Vanwest Developments to discuss their desires and goals for the space, construction and production crews showed up early one morning last May.
Scott said the family had no idea what was in store: They were kept from the basement, so they went for long walks. On-camera interviews were conducted in the kitchen.
By 8:45 that night, the bulk of the heavy work was concluded and the interior designer returned the next day for final touches.
Then came time for the big reveal.
When Scott and DeGelder descended the stairs, their view of the transformed room was initially blocked by a tarp.
As designer Moody pulled it to the side, Scott said she was blown away by the transformation.
“It was remarkable,” she said of the new look that includes a 12-foot olive-coloured couch, a sleek new fireplace to replace an old wood-burning stove, as well as bright new paint and wallpaper for the walls. “I didn’t think people could do that in 36 hours.”
Scott said in the months since, the new basement has proved to be the balm their lives needed, where the family can gather to unwind or watch TV together, and DeGelder can do his back stretches.
“It’s kind of like a big exhale,” she said. “It allows us to have a space where it’s comfortable to be in now.”
Scott said all in all, the renovation and production process was pretty painless, unlike most home reno projects. Even the inevitable twist — an old box of tiles they’d hoped to use around the fireplace but didn’t match — that is often the signature of such shows proved relatively minor to overcome.
Scott said the success of the makeover has them thinking about other projects around the house that need to be addressed.
But they’re unlikely to occur in front of cameras, or with somebody else’s budget.
“It’s just magical when you have somebody come in and do something for you,” Scott said. “We had no idea what was going to happen. We just got to enjoy the reveal.”
• You can click here to nominate someone — including yourself — for a room makeover.