A happy ending, and a new beginning



The Dedication Ceremony of the Tina Klem Serenity House took place on Friday, June 28th after 5 months of planning, designing, painting, restoring and installing new furnishings for this amazing 19th century Victorian home in Bridgeport.  Operated by the Recovery Network of Programs, Tina’s House is a 12-bed home for women recovering from co-occuring substance abuse and psychiatric disorders.

Her Haven was thrilled to partner with students from the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at the University of Bridgeport.  Twelve students in Professor Giancarlo Massaro’s class worked hard all semester to design a common area and 6 bedrooms.  They were also on hand to give recommendations for the kitchen remodel, carpeting for the staircase and upstairs hallway, and paint selections for the remainder of the rooms.  These designs were on display for the public at Her Haven’s “Designing a Difference” event at the Schelfhaudt Art Gallery at the University of Bridgeport on April 24th.

Under the direction of Professor Massaro, the students came up with beautiful and unique designs for each bedroom, as well as two different options for the common area.  Regardless of what colors, furnishings or accessories they chose, they never forgot that the ultimate goal was to create spaces that would convey a sense of comfort and healing.

Her Haven was also honored to receive tremendous support from local businesses and design professionals:  A.G. Williams, Closet & Storage Concepts, Kebabian’s Oriental Rugs, Rockwell Art & Framing, Cynthia Brown Studio, Anne Lee Window Designs, Romanoff Elements, Robert Valle Design, Ring’s End, 2nd Chance Restoration,  Bella Interiors, Soroptimist International of Greater Bridgeport, and Avon, as well as local artists Andrea Bonfils, Mari Gyorgyey, Elisa Keogh, Kendall Klingbeil, Xanda McCagg, Denise Minnerly and Carla Wales.

We were invited to the home when the first three residents moved in on July 1st to begin their journey of healing and recovery.  As they toured the home, going from room to room, they commented on how beautiful, how bright and cheery, and how warm and comforting everything was.  Finally, in the last room, they said — through tears — that they had never seen such care and love.

In the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?

With care, love and gratitude,


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