If you happen to follow the account @onefortyfour_on Instagram, you might be familiar with Nada, a nurse and mom of 2 turned woodworking extraordinaire. Like many of us in the early days of the pandemic, Nada wanted a hobby, something positive to channel her energy into. That’s when she found woodworking. Despite never having built anything before, she decided to recreate a pricey entryway bench she has spotted at a decor store. Equipped with her new miter saw and a strong will to learn, she got to work “I’m basically a Youtube academy graduate!” she jokes. Three months later, she had a new bench and a new passion.
Nada is all about giving back: it is one of the pillars of her faith and of her life. So when her DIY journey began garnering more attention online, she chose to use her platform and newfound talent for good. Along with Kathryn, a fellow woodworking DIYer, Nada took on a challenge: transform the Calgary Women Emergency Center's family counseling room. This space, which provides therapy and support to women, children, and men experiencing family violence was in dire need of a makeover. Knowing many families walk into this room to confront painful traumas, Nada and Kathryn were determined to turn it into a cozy healing space. “There’s so much to think about!” the generous woodworker exclaims while revisiting the thought process behind the project. Indeed, nothing was left to chance between these four walls. From the paint color to the choice of fabric, and the art on the walls, everything was meticulously selected to create a soothing environment. Same goes for the prints offered by Opposite Wall. For instance, posters celebrating the joys of being home were automatically ruled out: "Home isn't necessarily a happy place for some of the people seeking help in this room. I don't want anything that might trigger bad memories." she explains. Nature, on the other hand, was more than welcome in this gallery wall. “I chose the scenery of mountains with reflections because these are people who are going through important reflections. We chose the rainforest because it has a lot of greenery which is proven to be calming. Another thing I chose was a watercolor pinecone which reminded me of our pinecone trees. When I’m walking with my children, we take a bag and we pick up twigs and pinecones all the time. I’m thinking kids from here might have done the same.” In addition to being beautifully peaceful, the final gallery wall tells a story of hope and brighter tomorrows.