Harlem senior center gets 'O' makeover

June 24, 2008 4:53:05 PM PDT
The queen of talk, Oprah Winfrey, is now even more of a hero to some seniors. That's because their community room at the Victory One Senior Center was selected for a facelift, getting a hundred thousand dollar makeover for free.

Russell Drake and his wife share a one bedroom at Victory One, an affordable housing complex for seniors in Harlem. There's room for his piano and her art, but not a lot of room to entertain.

So now, when Russell wants to jam, he heads downstairs to the recreation room. It used to look sterile and institutional, but O at Home magazine gave a jazzy makeover to the room.

Elaine Griffin is the interior designer. She wanted the furniture to be comfortable and and functional.

"We wanted them to be comfortable, but at the same time senior citizens live here, so they have to be able to get up," she explained.

Griffin used bold colors to offset the lack of natural light in the room "You see we have a very sunny sort of palette," she said.

And because it was a large space, she created more intimate areas, various carpets help break up the room. It's a trick people can use in their own homes.

The entire project, including new exercise equipment, cost about 100 thousand dollars. It's O at Home's ninth Good Works makeover.

"We choose each project based on need, and identifying the group that we think really needs a refuge," said Natalie Warady of O at Home.

For more designing tips, check out this month's O at Home magazine or visit the website by clicking here.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Lauren Glassberg