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While Annabel Tyzzer-Smith was in hospital being treated for a serious illness, her parents wondered how best to welcome her home.
All photography © ONE17
Annabel was a happy active teenager when she first complained of pain in her limbs. Dismissed by the family GP as growing pains, Annabel continued to suffer and soon stopped taking an interest in food.
Seeing an energetic teenager succumbing to lethargy and no longer enjoying the activities that had characterised her childhood, Annabel’s parents grew increasingly concerned, and sought a second opinion. This proposed further tests without delay.
In that sudden hurricane that can blow up from seemingly nowhere, immediately following the tests Annabel was rushed into hospital where it was not long before a diagnosis of leukaemia was made.
Teenage years can be tempestuous for any family but a diagnosis such as leukaemia can be life-changing for everyone involved. For the parents, apart from lavishing all the love you possess on your daughter, what can you actually do in practical terms? Realising that the weeks that were to be spent in hospital receiving treatment would mark a major life change for Annabel, father Mark Tyzzer-Smith and his wife Rachael decided to acknowledge that change by giving Annabel’s room at home a complete makeover. Annabel was doing a lot of growing up in a short space of time and when she returned home to convalesce and recuperate Mark and Rachael wanted it to be in a room that expressed how important their daughter was to them, that provided a calm nurturing environment and that acknowledged Annabel’s transition from childhood to early adulthood.
WITH LITTLE TIME AND NOT MUCH ROOM IN WHICH TO MANOEUVRE, THE SEQUENCING AND COORDINATION OF TRADESMEN AND SUPPLIERS UNDERTAKING THE NEW DESIGN WAS CRITICAL.
To misquote the Bard: "If ‘twere to be done, then ‘twas essential ‘twere done quickly"; welcoming Annabel back to a half-finished makeover would not have helped anyone. Step forward ONE17. Mark Tyzzer-Smith had worked with the company before. He knew ONE17 could come up with a redesign appropriate for his daughter and thought that the company’s project management capabilities might be able to deliver in double-quick time. Who could resist such a challenge? Not ONE17, that’s for sure. While partner Mark Lee came up with a sophisticated scheme of built-in furniture, soft lighting and cosseting fabrics, assistant Hannah Lunn scoured the showrooms of suppliers for appropriate pieces, fittings and materials available for immediate delivery - no time to wait. Meanwhile project manager Jonathan Budd was arranging the removal of all existing furniture and stripping the room back to a bare shell. The space was ready for the new scheme just as the design was finalised.
With little time and not much room in which to manoeuvre, the sequencing and coordination of tradesmen and suppliers undertaking the new design was critical. Jonathan from ONE17 Project Management, along with Mark and Hannah on the design side, attended site every day to keep things moving and catch any problems before they had chance to affect progress. A special thank you to Steve Blezzard, a close family friend, who completed all joinery work in record time.
ONE OF THE MANY DETAILED DRAWINGS PREPARED FOR THE REFIT. DETAILS WERE FINALISED DURING THE WORK ON SITE, SO TIGHT WAS THE PROGRAMME.
The day came when Annabel was able to return from hospital. With no inkling that she was returning to anything other than her childhood bedroom, the look of astonishment and speechlessness as she entered the room told her parents that they had done exactly the right thing. Out of sight, the last tradesman was tiptoeing away from the house at the same time. Steve Blezzard said “without such great teamwork this wouldn’t have been at all possible”.
EVERYONE HAS WORKED SO HARD TO GET IT FINISHED FOR HER AND WE CAN’T THANK EVERYONE ENOUGH.
At the time of writing, Annabel is still undergoing treatment and making steady progress. If the refit of her room can play even a tiny part in the recovery process it was a decision well taken.