Credits: photographs by Michel Arnaud
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Chaos wasn't what Good Works goddess Elaine Griffin saw when she toured the site; cavelike would more aptly describe the windowless, rectangular space. The designer's first step was to have O at Home's construction partner, Lowe's, grab four more feet of room length by moving a divider wall between the activity area and the staff's space. At the opposite end of the room, Lowe's created a small alcove by demolishing a storage closet. These modifications gave Elaine just about 12 feet by 24 feet to work with, and the plan she came up with was to divide the space into discrete activity zones, each one more engaging and interactive than the next.
Elaine enlisted decorative painters Glenn and Austin Palmer-Smith to make the divider wall into a visual welcome, since it's directly in the sight line of the entryway. The father-and-son team scouted New York's Central Park for their Friendship Tree mural, which has space for every child who visits to put his or her name on a paper leaf and tape it to the tree.