Reach for a Dream

Johannesburg / Diepkloof

Trend was approached by the Reach For A Dream Foundation to assist with the design and fit-out of a Dream Room at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. Dream Rooms are spaces created within the children’s wards of hospital environments, as a place where sick children can play and have some respite from the stress of the hospital environment.

They fulfil an important function in allowing children – particularly those who are confined to the hospital for long stays, or who are very ill – to relax, play, enjoy time with family members, or even have their dreams fulfilled through the foundation. They provide appropriate stimulation for children who are unable to receive it otherwise, and are typically equipped with games, books, toys for imaginative play, educational games, and electronics.


Trend’s design for the Dream Room at Chris Hani Baragwanath incorporated two rooms, connected across a corridor, that were provided for the purpose. The rooms are designed to appeal to youngsters from approximately age three to age 14. Each room was given its own theme, with one being a quiet, creative space for reading and playing, and the other being more tech focused with PC gaming and Play Stations installed.

The tech and gaming focused area has been given a sky theme. The walls are painted dark with moon and star motifs on one side. The other side features a sunny sky and cloud motifs livened up with fun Pac Man characters. A section of drywall incorporates a cloud cut-out arch between the Play Station and PC gaming areas, creating a subtle divider. On the PC gaming side, custom light fittings have been created which look like large, colourful Lego bricks.

The lighter of the two rooms, dedicated to quieter play and reading, has a day-time theme with a beautiful landscape mural. This theme works well to connect this space to the outdoor play area that it opens onto. Cloud cut-outs made from acoustic panels hang from the ceiling, modulating the height of the space and giving it visual interest. A cosy reading ‘pod’ has been created in the centre of one of the walls of shelves, padded with plush cushioning.

The Reach For A Dream Foundations bright brand colours have been used to add fun colour accents throughout both spaces – in wall décor, stools and the openings in shelving areas. Careful consideration had to be given to the choices of materials and the design of different elements, because the spaces are used by young children. Custom joinery items were created to include storage space so that toys and games can be put away to keep the space clear and tidy.

The project was an opportunity for Trend and its suppliers and partners to take on work that has corporate social investment value. It has also been incredibly rewarding to see the children enjoying the spaces created for them.