Hope and Will’s Room Promotes Health and Wellbeing at Southeastern Designer Showhouse

Leading pediatric hospital and design organizations come together to increase public awareness of child wellbeing and safety through an interactive children’s playroom design.

Two leaders in children’s health care, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and SafeKids Georgia, have joined forces with Southface and Rabaut Design Associates to increase awareness of child safety, health and wellbeing in the home at the 2016 Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens. They are approaching this endeavor by designing a kid’s activity room to demonstrate important safety and health aspects to be considered when building and designing a home.

(Top) Jo Rabaut, ASID, IIDA and Andrea H. Bishop, ASID, LEED AP teamed up with Southface staff Shane Totten, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C; Bonnie Casamassima, LEED GA for this exciting project

(Top) Jo Rabaut, ASID, IIDA and Andrea H. Bishop, ASID, LEED AP teamed up with Southface staff Shane Totten, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C; Bonnie Casamassima, LEED GA for this exciting project

The characteristics and quality of housing directly affect people’s physical and mental health. For example, a home that is cold and damp or has allergens may cause respiratory illnesses and asthma in the residents. “The goal for this project is to increase awareness of how built environments impact health and holistic wellbeing,” says Bonnie Casamassima, of Southface. “Our focus with this room was to answer the question, ’How can research-driven design promote wellbeing while being inspirational?’” says Jo Rabaut of Rabaut Design Associates.

The playroom, created by Atlanta interior design firm Rabaut Design Associates, is called “Hope and Will’s Room,” a nod to the familiar mascots of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Hope and Will represent a hopeful attitude and the strong will in patients, inspiring them every day to be curious, brave and playful.

“Hope and Will’s Room,” located on the terrace level, is the result of thoughtful collaboration between Rabaut Design Associates and Southface, a leading nonprofit headquartered in Atlanta since 1978. Rabaut and Southface accomplish their goal of increasing public awareness on the impact our buildings have on our wellbeing by implementing evidence-based design standards such as biophilic design for improved health, and by specifying no- to low-VOC and Red List Free items to minimize exposure to harsh chemicals.

Thousands are estimated to tour the Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens, located in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, April 23 through May 15, 2016. Showhouse funds will benefit Safe Kids Georgia, the injury prevention outreach arm of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The media has garnered increased attention on lead risks in schools. Now is the time to continue the discussion on wellbeing and safety of our children in the home.

Relevant Statistics

  • Preventable Injuries are the No. #1 cause of death of children ages one to 19, affecting one million children around the world each year. (Safe Kids Georgia)
  • Two of the three leading causes for emergency department visits occur in the home. (CDC)
  • One in 10 children ages 19 and under will be seen in an emergency department for a non-fatal unintentional injury. (CDC)
  • Indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 times higher indoors than outdoor levels. Indoor air pollutants are of particular concern considering people spend as much as 90% of their lives indoors. (EPA)


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