Parterre Provides Plank Flooring for One-of-a-Kind Charity Design Project

Parterre is proud to have recently been a part of a one-of-a-kind charity interior design project created to help cancer patients breathe new life into their homes to encourage healing and healthy living.

The design project — which this year involved a full basement makeover for a mother of two who is battling breast cancer — is part of the Healthy Spaces Program, which is a joint effort between the Karen E. Mumford Cancer Foundation (KEM Foundation) and students and faculty from the Virginia Marti College of Art and Design (VMCAD).

Cristina McCarthy, Interior Design Department Chairperson at VMCAD, said each year a cancer patient at a nearby hospital in the Cleveland-area is chosen to create a healthy living space in their home. The effort involves VMCAD interior design students designing and completing a total makeover of a room in the patient’s house.

The effort began in 2011 and has since been a growing success.

“This program gives the students a wonderful opportunity where they get real world experience in an interior design project, as well as the opportunity to participate in something that is rewarding,” said McCarthy.


This year’s project involved Marvianne Barrett, a cancer patient with two daughters who asked for some TLC for the basement space of her home. During initial interviews with the team of design students, Marvianne said she was hopeful the redesigned space could reflect three zones: a dining room, a lounge area and a work area for her daughters to do projects and school work.

Marvianne said what she really wanted was a comfortable and inviting space for her family, but also a place where her two young daughters could play and do their homework.

The project, which is the largest ever completed in the Healthy Spaces Program, took roughly a year to plan, coordinate and execute. In addition to a fresh coat of paint, new furniture and other design elements, the VMCAD team realized it would also need to rip up the existing carpet and replace it with something more long-lasting, durable and healthy.

That’s where Parterre’s luxury vinyl flooring came into play.






As luck would have it, VMCAD student Macy Smith was working as an intern for Parterre during the design and programming phase of the charity project and suggested to the design team they consider using luxury vinyl flooring as a replacement for the old carpet.

Upon introducing her fellow design students to samples of Parterre’s flooring, Smith said she then approached company leadership about potentially donating some of the product to the worthy cause. Everyone, according to Smith, was instantly on board and donated enough flooring to redo the entire basement space.

Smith said she and the design team used a luxury vinyl plank product called Merbau, a wood-look flooring design from Parterre’s InGrained collection, to create a warm and inviting aesthetic.

“It was really nice to be able to have Parterre’s product involved,” she said. “It really made the room.”


McCarthy credited Parterre for helping the design team achieve the perfect look and feel. McCarthy said the vinyl flooring product used in the project represented a clear improvement over the old carpet originally in the space — both in terms of design and ease of maintenance and also in terms of the health benefits.

“Designers looked not just at the aesthetics of the space, but they were also concerned with the well being of the client,” she said. “It was a conscientious decision to use Parterre. The students were able to present the benefits of using the flooring, such as the wood feel and the warmth of the material.”

When the project came to a conclusion in late November, Macy and her fellow students were on hand to watch as Marvianne and her daughters finally were able to see their new space. While the project itself proved to be challenging at times, Macy said it was all worth it in the end.

“It was totally worth it to see her reaction,” said Smith. “It was a lot of work, but it was a really good experience.”

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