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Ailing widow receives room makeover
Project is fifth for Designing Dreams
Terri Wylie, this year’s Designing Dreams room makeover recipient, looks over her new master bedroom and bathroom suite during the reveal on Wednesday. - photo by Crystal Ledford

Terri Wylie just couldn’t stop smiling and laughing Wednesday afternoon. And after the past few years, that was definitely a good program to have.

Wylie, a mother of three, lost husband Kevin to a sudden heart attack in October 2012. While that would be difficult enough for any wife and mother, it was more so for Wylie, who battles multiple sclerosis, with which she was diagnosed about three years ago.

Kevin Wylie cared for her as she battled the disease, often times being completely bedridden. He would also take care of the children — Patrick, now 22; Erin, 17; and Sean, 10.

Through everything, he kept a big smile on his face. In fact, he was known in the community by many as “Smiley Wylie.”

While the past few years have brought much heartache to Wylie, Wednesday was all about joy as she got to see her new, completely renovated master bathroom and spruced up bedroom.

Wylie, an Alpharetta resident, received the room makeover from Allison Havill Todd Interiors in Cumming, through the company’s Designing Dreams program. Each year, an individual or family in need is selected by a committee to receive a complete room makeover.

The project receives donations of time, materials and labor from many different local businesses and typically is worth about $20,000.

Allison Havill Todd, the owner of the interior design company, said the program, now in its fifth year, is all about using a person’s environment to lift their spirits.

“It is true belief of mine that if you have a beautiful space, it can be uplifting,” she said. “For Terri, we wanted to give her a recreated master bathroom that is safe for her with her disabilities and something that could truly be her oasis.”

The makeover of the bathroom included the installation of a new, walk-in bathtub and revamp of a free-standing shower. The two vanities were replaced with modern, custom-built cabinets at taller-than-average heights with granite tops, new sinks and fixtures.

The makeover also spilled over into Wylie’s master bedroom, which also got spruced up.

“Wow” was the word that Wylie couldn’t stop using as she took in the changes. She was joined in the reveal by her two younger children, who still live at home, and Laury Beesley, founder of Widows’ GPS, a nonprofit that helps widows.

Beesley nominated Wylie for the room makeover this summer.

“It’s so great to see it finished,” she said. “Everything is so bright and welcoming.”