Celebrity designers complete remarkable makeover at Indianapolis non-profit


The space where we spend most of our time can impact how we feel and how productive we are. But when budgets are tight, money for design is often cut.

Outside the Box is a local not for profit business where adults with disabilities spend their days. Over the last several weeks celebrity design teams moved in, believing for everyone design can make a difference.

Several days a week, Alexis Ricard and Jasmine Coleman join the Hummingbird group.

"We are just like an all-girl group. We're strong, caring, loveable, show kindness to everybody," said 21-year-old Jasmine.

But in their day room, a hodgepodge of practical isn't comforting.

"I really don't like orange. It's not my color," Jasmine said.

Celebrity designers have been hard at work to transform their space.

"I bet it looks very beautiful and I can't wait to see it and it's just going to be a lot of fun moving into that new room," said 20-year-old Alexis.

The International Design Guild awarded Barb Fleming $25,000 to makeover three rooms, then local suppliers stepped in.

"Every time we turned around, we said how we need this...Shaw Flooring said yes. Blakely's Flooring said, 'whatever you need," said Deanna Whetstone with Whetstone & Associates. "Sherwin Williams put paint on our walls, Delta Faucets automatic faucets to make it easier."

The work was kept secret behind plastic curtains.

"Have you peeked?" Anne Marie Tiernon asked Jasmine.

"No, but I want to see the room, though. I want to see it," she replied.

Mark Brunetz from makeover TV fame was on hand to document the process and see the reveal.

"Actually, there is a big difference between how Indianapolis and so many other cities, because you guys have rocked it. I mean, seriously, this started off as a $25,000 makeover and has now blossomed into a $100,000 makeover and it really speaks to the character of the community and without a doubt, Indianapolis ranks supreme," he said.

"I get a feeling of accomplishment and that this was the right thing to do," said Barb Fleming, lead project designer.

Finally, it was time for the big reveal.

"Oh my goodness, it's so pretty!" said Whetstone.

"I'm about to cry," said Alexis. "It's beautiful. I love it. Oh my, I'm speechless."

She may have been speechless, but she had plenty to say in gratitude.

"I just want to say thank you everybody for taking the time out and coming to do this for us and make it pretty and there is more space and it's a really pretty sight to look at," Alexis said. "I'm grateful, thankful that everybody did this for us and I love you all for it. Thanks!"

Two other rooms also got makeovers this week.

The Glick Family Foundation provided matching funds and because so many people and businesses came forward, the dream of renovating all 18 rooms at Outside the Box is now closer to reality.