Our Designers & Architect
ROOMS OF HOPE is proud to have a very talented group of volunteer designers on our team who are committed and dedicated to helping children with serious medical conditions and their families. Together, we are honored to work with these amazing families.
Alina Druga is the principal designer and owner of “Alina Druga Interiors.” Alina began her journey in the design industry as a Certified CAD Drafter. In 2009, she went back to school for her degree in Interior Design. With a love for creating better living spaces and a passion for helping people, Alina understands the importance of delivering the best space possible for each person she helps! “Designing is what I love to do most, and helping people bring their dreams to reality is a joy!” Alina made this statement when referring to her work with seriously ill children, “Bringing a smile on a child’s face and giving them a little bit of joy while going through such a hard time in their life is an amazing experience and the greatest reward. It is truly a privilege to meet and design for these amazing children!” Alina lives in Castro Valley with her husband and their two daughters.
Bynn Esmond is the principal designer of Bynn Esmond Interiors. She was raised in Southern California and received her A.S. in Interior Design before transferring to San Jose State University. After working in high tech for many years, she took some time off to raise her children. Presently, with her children at an older age, she has found her passion calling again. She enrolled, once again, into an interior design program to continue her education and was introduced to Rooms of Hope through her teacher, Jill, another Rooms of Hope designer. Bynn has always felt a special calling to help bring hope and joy to children with life-threatening diseases. Her first experience was through the Leukemia Society in 1999 where she sponsored a child, raised money for the organization and trained and ran her first marathon to help raise awareness. Being back in interior design has been very rewarding. She looks forward to helping more Rooms of Hope children.
Charlie Ham, our in-house licensed architect, has been serving the design needs of clients for more than thirty years. His passion for creating environments that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing is always at the forefront of his aspirations. When it comes to complex projects and satisfying the needs of his clients, Charlie soars! His love is design, and helping children interact with their surroundings in a more meaningful way is his forte’. Charlie specializes in creating schools and daycares with a special emphasis in accessible design. One of his favorite projects was creating a space for high school girls with babies working towards their diploma in an unconventional setting. Charlie has also modernized two special education centers for a local K-12 school district. Two meaningful projects included designing an elevated playground structure for those children in wheelchairs, and a playground racecar track where children with motor skill disabilities could propel themselves and drive while being kept safe by a secured harness system. “Helping my community makes me feel connected to what is most important about life.”
Christine Knott was born and raised in the Bay Area. She spent most of her adult life working in the legal field. As a child, she would often rearrange her furniture in her bedroom. At 14 years old, she redecorated her bedroom choosing wallpaper, paint, and coordinating bedding. It is clear that she has always had an affinity for and an interest in design. In 2011, while working toward her Interior Design Certificate, Christine met Shelley Ham and instantly felt the overwhelming need to be part of the wonderful group of volunteers who provided dream room makeovers for children with life-threatening illnesses. Christine’s daughter had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2004, and so she felt an instant connection with its mission and purpose. “Being able to provide joy and hope to a child who is going through such a difficult experience is one of the most fulfilling and humbling experiences of my life.” Christine lives in Livermore with her husband of 28 years.
Emilia Viveiros was born and raised in the Azores, Portugal and moved to the US with her family when she was 14. Her extended family consists of artisans who create, renovate, and build. Since she was young, Emilia has been gifted with a keen sense of knowledge in all things construction and design. Together with her interior design and artisan skills she has successfully renovated several homes and completed other design projects. Working with Rooms of Hope has allowed her creativity to shine as she designs spaces for these special children whose imaginations are limitless. Emilia currently lives in San Ramon with her husband and 2 sons.
Jennifer Helms was born and raised in the East Bay. She has always loved design and architecture. After graduating from Cal State East Bay with a Bachelor in Business Administration, she worked at Ethan Allan and loved it. She then moved on to working in computer software for 9 years and traveling all over the world, but resigned to stay home with her first son. After her second son was born, she found herself wanting to work again, and began dreaming of a career in design. She knows God was at work when she met an Interior Designer who taught a class on how to start your own Interior Design business. Before the class ended, Jennifer had started her business, J. Helms Interiors, and began working on her Associate Degree in Interior Design. God was at work again when Jennifer met Shelley Ham and they began to collaborate together on projects. “I’m truly blessed to finally have my dream job, a healthy family, and now the honor to create a dream rooms for these amazing children.”
Jill Hornbeck was born and raised in Livermore. After graduating from UC Davis in Design, she started her own design business, Everett Interiors in 1992. She has experience in a variety of positions from doing residential design, model homes, staging, remodels and working for 5 years as a Marketing Coordinator for 2 local home builders. Jill and her wonderful husband, Neal, have been married for 19 years and have 3 teenage children. They know the power of prayer when their twins were born at 29 weeks and spent almost 2 months in the NICU. Known as a practical designer, Jill teaches Interior Design classes at 3 local junior colleges. When she isn’t teaching, she spends time with her family camping, traveling and snow skiing. They are truly grateful to have a passionate family whom has all engaged themselves in various Rooms of Hope projects including her 76 year old dad.
Kim Carolo arrived in the Bay Area from Minnesota in 1976. She vowed then never to live anywhere else! Her background includes banking, commercial real estate development, and commercial and residential space planning and design. She spent twelve years as a designer/project manager for a design firm specializing in luxury interiors in San Francisco, Danville, Lake Tahoe and Los Angeles. When Kim’s best friends’s daughter, Kaitlin, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Leukemia she understood first-hand the devastation that this type of diagnosis can bring. Kim is now ‘paying it forward’ by designing room makeovers for other children with life threatening medical conditions. Kim has said that creating “an environment specially tailored to the needs and dreams of a child is a transformative experience for everyone involved”. Kim lives in Pleasanton with her husband, son and daughter.
Kristen Phillips is a long time resident of the East Bay and is the owner/principle designer for Bellissimo Décor based in Danville since 2003. Her love for design and unique ability to create a functional and beautiful space has been nationally recognized. One of her recent projects was featured in “HOME DÉCOR—A Sunset Design Guide” and IFDA’s “Design Links” on “Outdoor Spaces”. At the end of the day, her designs are about the people she’s creating for. Kristen looks forward to creating spaces that will bring delight to the hearts of the children and the families we serve. “Thank you for the privilege of working with you as our designer. May God bless your home, and may God bless your family!”
Lauren Agustin was born and raised in the East Bay and graduated from the Academy of Art University with her B.F.A in Interior Architecture and Design. Lauren has always had a passion for design and creativity and loves using her skills and talents where most needed. Having a God-daughter with a rare heart condition, she saw how important it was for children to have a space of their own where they can feel comfortable and safe. Lauren is excited to be working with children who need a place all their own. She considers it a real treasure to be able to combine the two things she loves most, design and children.
Mary Naleway is a professional home stager and loves design. Her family’s background with Rooms of Hope is extensive. Her husband is a top fundraising beard grower in the First Street Alhouse’s annual Beard Growing Contest, supporting Rooms of Hope, for three years in a row. Both she and her husband Jeff are passionate about this mission because it is personal. Their daughter has gone through two open heart surgeries and Mary has been the recipient of an organ transplant. They know first-hand what it means to be faced with a life-threatening illness and what it means to be surrounded by their community. Mary has been the designer on many dream room makeovers and it is a “volunteer’s dream come true to participate in these builds and support this worthy cause.” Mary lives with her husband, Jeff, in Mountain House and has one daughter close by.
Meagan Callahan graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California in 2008 with a B.A. in Communications. In 2009 she returned to college and graduated with her A.S. in Interior Design in 2011. For the past two years, she has been working in the design industry at Callahan Tile and Stone, a family-owned business. Meagan couldn’t feel more excited and blessed to be working and designing for children with critical medical conditions. This organization combines both of her loves: interior design and bringing sunshine into the lives of others. She can’t wait to see what God has in store for her and knows working with our children and families is a joy and privilege for all involved!
Naomie Wert has been fascinated with the beauty of her surroundings her entire life. She loves how art, fashion, architecture, and nature affect our emotions, and as such, felt compelled to complete her formal education at CSU Chico, where she graduated with a BA in Interior Design. She then moved to the East Bay to pursue a career in the design industry. Naomie has been fortunate enough to work with and learn from the very talented designers of J. Hettinger Interiors in Danville for the last seven years. She specializes in residential design, doing everything from paint consultations to designing homes from the ground up. She is motivated by lifestyle, practicality and the craving for luxury! Although design is her first love, she loves children, as well as being active in her community. “I love designing and if I can use my talents to design a space that exceeds the expectations of a child… It will melt my heart and be my honor.”
Niki Cardillo was born and raised in Walnut Creek. She attended CSU Chico and graduated in 2006 with a BA in Interior Design. Niki’s passion to help improve the lives of others on a day-to-day basis inspired her to pursue a career as an interior designer. She realized her dream by honing her design skills on residential, corporate, healthcare and institutional projects throughout the West Coast. Over the past 4 years, Niki changed her career path and is now a manufactures representative in the local Architects & Designers community. Her focus is working hand-in-hand as a product specialist with Architects & Designers in Northern California, for Studio by 3form. Missing the creativity that comes with being a designer, Niki joined the Rooms of Hope team and is thrilled to be designing again. She loves the process and working one-on-one with these amazing children to make their dreams rooms come to life! “I feel so lucky and honored to be apart of such a dynamic team that is touching so many lives with design. Rooms of Hope is a pillar in this community and represents the main reason I choose to pursue interior design.”
Robin Shapiro is an Interior Designer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a degree in Early Childhood Development and spent many years working closely with children. She lives in Livermore with her husband, and close by are her two daughters, son-and-law, and three amazing grandsons. She has always had a love for design, and in 2000 she launched her company, Panache Interior Design. Since then she has been creating beautiful homes and businesses for her clients. After attending her first Rooms of Hope Gala, she immediately knew she wanted to support this special organization. It brought her such joy to be involved in this wonderful charity for seriously ill children and work alongside an amazing team. She looks forward to her next collaboration with Rooms of Hope.
Shelley Ham brings a wealth of experience in nonprofit work as well as a sincere love for design and children, especially those with unique needs. She has been involved with nonprofit organizations such as Make-A-Wish, The Lymphoma & Leukemia Society, and the US Olympic Committee. Shelley’s background in community service and being the President of a firm serving the needs of more than 50,000 clients with her staff of over 400, coupled with her need to make a difference, is why she created Rooms of Hope! Shelley is finishing a second degree in interior design, and after creating a room makeover for a very special young lady with an aggressive form of cancer, she knew that this was her calling. “Seeing her eyes filled with hope when she saw her room for the first time was so gratifying. I’m inspired to do better in the world when I see how brave and fearless these children are in their world. Designing dream bedrooms is simply my way of creating spaces for these very special people that I’m privileged to know. It is truly an honor.”
Susan Stadler was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. Her love of travel, led her to a career as a flight attendant with USAIR for 7 years. She fell in love with Northern California and now resides in Danville, with her wonderful husband, her son, daughter and 4 dogs. Being the daughter of a successful artist, art and design were always a passion for Susan. With no training, she started her own design business and quickly had a thriving career. She has done residential, commercial, decorative painting, complete rebuilds with several contractors & staging. She retired a few years back, but when she went to her first ROH Gala, it brought her to tears and she knew she had to be a part of our team. “Thank you so much Shelley for introducing me to ROH. I am so proud to be able to help for such an amazing cause”.