Light. Laughter. A deep, relaxing breath. For families with very sick children, these simple pleasures aren’t so simple.
On any given night, the Ronald McDonald House (RMHC-KC) serves 91 families who have traveled to Kansas City to battle critical illness. Their mission is to keep families with sick children together– close to each other and close to the hospitals that can save their lives.
Our vision was to help RMHC-KC create a place for self-care. A place where you might hear giggles from a little girl getting a shiny pedicure. Or catch a glimpse of the huge smile on a boy’s face when he sees himself in the mirror, transformed into a pirate captain with long hair and bandana in his brand new character wig. A space where mom or dad can take time out to enjoy a well-deserved massage or much-needed haircut. A place for everyone to recharge their weary batteries.
We wanted to design a place where they could just breathe. Breathe!
One of the happiest spots in Breathe Salon is the wig corner, where we illuminated the floating shelves to showcase whimsical yarn wigs. Young kids facing hair loss from chemo or other treatments get to choose from soft, handmade character. They love turning into princesses, super heroes or pirates while their bare heads stay warm. Older kids and teens can get fitted for a custom wig by Trenton Lee, a 19-year-old phenom wigmaker-to-the-stars who donates his time and talent to the cause.
Breathe Salon inside the Ronald McDonald House provides the extra TLC that families facing health challenges so desperately need. We didn’t want to design something frivolous or flimsy. We wanted this salon to feel real. To be grown-up. To make a space where sickness doesn’t take center stage. We wanted to give patients and their families the sensation of walking into a luxury spa and being treated like an esteemed guest… all without leaving the house.
LIGHTING DESIGNER: Clint Paugh