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The House That Love Built

Home & Design is very proud to dedicate these pages to a generous and caring group of local design professionals who have taken the time to share their talents and donate toward the expansion of the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southwest Florida.

Our team would like to thank co-chairs Suzanne Costa and Jeffrey Fisher for the opportunity to provide support as the media sponsor for Project Design 2020, as well as highlight this group of extraordinary designers and sponsors within our design community.

We are truly inspired by this group of professionals who take pride in what they do and share their talents to support this wonderful cause. We hope our reveal of this amazing ‘HOME’ leaves you equally inspired.

— Home & Design Team

From co-chairs Suzanne Costa & Jeffrey Fisher

We are so honored to chair Project Design 2020, benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southwest Florida. The very first Project Design began in New York in 2013, stemming from the belief that great design transforms the energy of a space to bring comfort to families of seriously ill children. As we reveal the newly expanded Fort Myers house, which includes 10 new spaces designed by top designers from the Southwest Florida area, we collectively continue to work with the same intention that began back in 2013. It has been a wonderful journey leading this worthwhile project. We cannot thank the staff and volunteers at Ronald McDonald House enough for allowing us into the house the love built once again.

Sincerely with honor, Suzanne Costa & Jeffrey Fisher

*Feature cover image: Entryway designed by Suzanne Costa for the 2016 remodel.

Jeffrey Fisher HOME

I want guests staying in the Jeffrey Fisher Home suite to have the full JFH experience. I love color and pattern, tropical and animal prints, and although I love modern, I also appreciate “more is more”. I want guests to feel as if they’ve checked-in to a really cool, well-designed hotel. When they are in this room, I want them to be able to leave the day’s worries at the door and, if only for a few minutes, be able to absorb and appreciate their surroundings. — Jeffrey Fisher

Judith Liegeois Design

We designed our bedroom suite to create a comfortable home away from home for those families staying at Ronald McDonald House®. The soft tones in the space are meant to evoke a feeling of peace and calm. Keeping the function and safety of the space in mind, family-friendly fabrics and textures were mindfully selected to create a place of respite. The images of cranes in flight encourage uplifting thoughts and add a sense of freedom and escape for the imagination. We hope that our design will make families feel pampered and help them to cope with their struggles during their stay. — Judith Liegeois & Team

Ficarra Design Associates

Our goal for this space was to create a retreat for families that stay in this home away from home. Inspired by some of Florida’s most cheerful vacation homes, our design layers color, pattern, and natural materials to invite visiting families inside. Colorful fabrics keep the space bright and upbeat while natural textures, such as rattan and vinyl grasscloth add a sense of coziness.

Contributing to the mission of the Ronald McDonald House Charities® is near and dear to our hearts. We are extremely honored to utilize our design skills as a tool to create a pleasant experience for families with children receiving special care at the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

— Lisa Ficarra & Team

Renee Gaddis Interiors

Inspired by a sense of cheerfulness, we wanted to design a space that instantly creates feelings of happiness, optimism, and hope. Through incorporating fun textures and furniture, vibrant colors and brass metals, eclectic accessories and art, the space is not only enjoyable but also equally comforting. The wood flooring runs up the headboard wall to add warmth while the beds are accented with bold pillows and pom-pom trimmed throw blankets. The bathroom’s colorfully patterned handmade cement tile adorns the floor, while white subway tile is used in the handicap-accessible shower. Bright blue wallcovering completes the look. Our hope is that the overall design of this bedroom helps families feel an overwhelming sense of love, peace, and warmth, bringing big, bright smiles to all who stay here!

— Renee Gaddis & Team

Pamela Durkin Designs

I am calling the concept for this room “Messages of Hope”. When my younger son was born, he was in the NICU for 10 days, which seemed like an eternity. My days were spent completely focused on him. I can’t even imagine what a physical and emotional strain it must be for the parents who go through this for months at a time. The goal for this room was to provide a little break from the stress of the days and give them a tiny respite. I hope this space helps them fill their tank, even just a little bit, so they can face whatever challenges come up the following day. I have placed messages throughout the space to remind them that they are strong and will make it through this. I am so proud to be a part of this project and am grateful for all my vendors who have wholeheartedly stepped up and supported me in this venture.

— Pamela Durkin

Republic of Decor

I was inspired by the Japanese legend of 1,000 origami cranes. The centuries-old concept represents wishes granted from the gods for happiness, good luck, and recovery of illness. A custom-designed crane mural covers the walls of the bedrooms’ hallway. I selected lighting and accessories inspired by folded paper and handmade paper cranes, as well as created framed origami art — folded by yours truly — to add the finishing touch! My hope is that by bringing design elements inspired by origami into the space, I will create positive energy and bless the families who visit with good wishes. I am so honored to be selected to participate in this project and hope that this space helps to provide visitors with a sense of optimism and strength.

— David Fruscione

go crazy for a spectacular powder room, it is the perfect place to have fun and be adventurous. I wanted to create the feeling of an exotic getaway, a place that allowed you to not think about your daily struggles. I developed a custom-designed graphic wallpaper in bold colors, which I complemented with an over-scaled hex tile floor. Gold accents add a bit of shine, and the delicately beaded light fixture adds texture and sophistication. Sometimes having a moment alone is what we need most, and I hope that this space allows guests to escape!

— David Fruscione

Dwayne Bergmann Interiors

The goal in this guest bedroom was to evoke a sense of calm and provide a much-needed respite for the families of loved ones in the hospital. The overall cool, minimalistic aesthetic is warmed with the elongating floor-to-ceiling natural wood canopy feature. We want guests to feel an immediate sense of serenity when they cross the room’s threshold, so we chose a pleasing mix of earthy tones, which are proven to positively affect one’s mood. The functionality of the space — to act as a home away from home — was of the utmost importance, so we created a clean workspace where they can virtually reconnect to life outside the hospital setting. We hope the monastery-like space acts as a sanctuary where guests can free their mind, rest, recharge, or find that moment of Zen so they may provide healing support to their loved one in-need.

-— Dwayne Bergmann & Team

Alexis Marie Interiors

Being all too familiar with the NICU experience ourselves, we wanted to create a serene, warm office space where staff can retreat between aiding the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House®. I envisioned a space that felt like home, had warm texture and tonal layers, as well as a touch of the outdoors.

We aimed to create an inviting feel by using warm tones in the wallcoverings, embroidered fabric panels, and natural wood tones on the side chair. Each of these pieces were accented with a touch of fun: a hand-painted faux horn acrylic martini table and beautiful antique brass light fixtures. A custom built-in wall and shadow boxes, all done in a rich waterloo painted finish, anchor the furnishings. To add a sense of serenity, we added faux greenery in the back of the boxes and chose a calming beach scene piece of artwork.

We are so honored to have been a part of Project Design 2020 and hope it provides comfort to all those who pass through.

— Alexis Limb & Team

California Closets

Our goal was to provide a functional space with flair for all of the behind-the-scenes items that are so important to the staff at Ronald McDonald House®. Tackling the storage room and the bedroom closets allowed for us to provide units that made the house feel like a home, with familiar places to put all the important things for daily living, and in turn give everyone more time and space to focus on what matters most.

— Heather Woods & Taylor Woods


The new Development Director’s office can be described as spirited, modern, and organic. The custom artwork, “Jolly Jumpers”, exudes hope, joy, and refreshment, all of which is at the heart of the Ronald McDonald House Charities® and the thousands of families throughout the world who benefit from their cause.

Incorporating sustainable green materials, this inviting space welcomes donors into a fully integrated modern design. Our design is defined by white lacquer cabinets that are framed by a wall clad in charcoal gray solid surface material, which form the backdrop for a glass upper cabinet and a stained wood floating shelf. The oversized desk — perfect for working in tandem with donors — is supported by a stainless steel base and the built-in cabinet, which houses pullouts for trash and recycling.

After our remarkable experience with Project Design 2016, it is an honor to serve Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southwest Florida for Project Design 2020.

— Jett Segal & Team

Message from Laura Ragain, Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House Charities® Southwest Florida

We are so very pleased with the expansion of our Ronald McDonald House® in Fort Myers. The House continues its mission of providing a home away from home in our five-county region of Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, and Hendry counties for families of children who require medical care. Parents who are not close to the essential care their child needs have the added stress of distance, increased living expenses, the added difficulty of long drives, interruption of jobs, and separation from family and friends. All of the above creating a need for the welcoming environment we provide at “the House that love built.”

Through December of last year, occupancy rates averaged 70 to 100 percent for an average stay of 24 days. The ever-growing specialty treatments available at Golisano Children’s Hospital have also increased the need to provide for more children and families. All too often, families had to wait for a room vacancy.

Although 2020 brought unexpected twists and turns, our generous Southwest Florida community allowed us to break ground on a 10-room House expansion! Shortly thereafter and without hesitation, Project Design 2020 was underway! We are beyond grateful. Our sincerest thanks to Suzanne Costa and Jeffrey Fisher for inviting Southwest Florida’s top interior designers to transform a blank canvas into an incredibly beautiful and nurturing environment.

Laura Ragain, Executive Director Ronald McDonald House Charities® Southwest Florida


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