HGTV’s Tamara Day sledgehammers her way through Ronald McDonald House

It's for a good cause, we promise! But sometimes, you do gotta Hulk-out.
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Tamara poses with her freshly demoed masterpiece. // Photo by Bek Shackelford

Tamara Day of HGTV’s Bargain Mansions, and owner of Growing Days Design, has had a sledgehammer in her hands a time or two. Usually, her sledgehammer-welding days are spent in homes which she buys and renovates, but this morning, Day took on a different type of project.

Day has begun a renovation project donated to the Ronald McDonald House. She and the lead designer of the project, Denise Cadenas, will be redoing the family room the Ronald McDonald home at 2502 Cherry St.

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Day in action. // Bek Shackelford

“As a mom of four, when I was asked if we can do this project, it was an immediate yes,” says Day.”This is such a great community builder but also it just helps so many families. I can only imagine as a mom if we needed someplace like this that having it feel like a home and not an institution, that would mean so much more. I feel like us getting to bring that homey feeling into a place that is sacred and important to families, it’s quite an honor.”

According to Day, the renovations will begin as soon as the recently-ordered flooring arrives and renovations are estimated to be completed by early-mid April.

The 1,500 square foot family room’s makeover will feature a new floorplan (thanks to the removal of a wall), updated decor and furniture, and new flooring.

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Digital rendering of the seating area. // Courtesy of Growing Days Design

Day and Cadenas’ main goal for the renovation is for it to provide an accessible, welcoming space for families to spend time and feel at home in.

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Cadenas and Day. // Bek Shackelford

“I think at the end of the day, this is a home where people are supposed to be. In that, they’re supposed to feel comfortable, relaxed, and have that moment of peace so taking a commercial feeling space and turning it into a home space is just another facet of mansions or really large buildings.”

To keep the space durable for the many Ronald McDonald House families that will be in and out of the space, Day will be using Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and other lasting components traditionally used for commercial spaces.

“We’ve paid a lot of attention to all of the different elements like the LVT flooring the tile the countertops, all of those elements have been accommodated to a commercial space, but still bringing in those homey touches that make it feel comfortable,” says Day.

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Digital rendering of the snack area. // Courtesy of Growing Days Design

CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City, Tami Greenberg, is excited for the renovation and hopes it is the beginning of a longstanding partnership between Growing Days Design and Ronald McDonald House.

“This is kind of a metaphor for what it feels like to be around McDonald House family with a seriously ill child,” says Greenberg—surveying the chunks of drywall and the sledgehammer on the floor. “What I know will happen here is what happens to families when they are with us, as we find a way to make it warm and welcoming and kind of salvage that experience and reduce the burden of illness.”

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The damage. // Bek Shackelford

“It’s impossible I think to overstate how families are when they’re here, how fragile, tender, raw, and important the experiences are for families when they’re here,” says Greenberg.

“This space will really be just medicine to them, a special way to help them.”

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