Safe Horizon's entry way before Elaine Griffith's makeover.

Photo credit: Laura Moss

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When a woman finally breaks away from her abuser, she's probably tried to leave six times already—especially if the relationship is long-term and involves children. So the scene at Safe Horizon's domestic-violence shelter in New York often includes a frightened woman at the end of her rope. She's coming from a police precinct with crying children and, if she's lucky, a few belongings hurriedly stuffed into garbage bags. The past is scarred by pain and failure, the future uncertain. Unimaginable, even.

"That's why I had to do something with this entry hall. It felt like the walk of shame," says interior designer Elaine Griffin, O at Home's Good Works Makeover dynamo.