‘Queer Eye’ Team Does a Life-Changing Home Makeover Featuring Riad Tile

Riad’s Nero Marquina Marble tile looks spectacular in a life-changing makeover on Queer Eye Season 7’s “Speedy for Life” episode, which aired May 12 on Netflix.

In the inspirational installment, the Fab 5 helped 20-year-old TikTok user @speedy4prezident regain independence after a tragic car accident in 2020 left him paralyzed from the chest down.

True to form, Speedy’s Queer Eye experience was so much “more than a makeover.”

Queer Eye co-hosts Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, and Jonathan Van Ness not only created an accessible home for Speedy, but they also helped him express his feelings about his traumatic losses.

Coping with Unbearable Loss

When Speedy was 18, an F-150 truck hit the vehicle he was in with his mom and aunt. Their car ran off the road and hit a tree. Sadly, Speedy’s mom and aunt died in the crash. He survived, but a spinal cord injury paralyzed him.

Before the accident, the Louisiana native teen dreamed of becoming a pro basketball star. Now, those dreams are gone.

While he’s grateful to be alive, Speedy admitted that he doesn’t really talk about his grief or the awkward feelings he gets when people stare at him in his wheelchair. He also shared that he cried a lot in his early post-accident days, and coping with loss and his new circumstances is challenging.

Accessible Home Design Breaks Down Barriers

Adapting to life in a wheelchair presented multiple challenges for Speedy, including getting into his bathroom because his chair couldn’t fit through the narrow doorway. To resolve this and other challenges, the Fab 5 and Queer Eye Art Director and Designer Travis Jones created a stunning, accessible apartment design and told Speedy they paid the rent for a year.

Photo Courtesy Travis Jones

We love how Riad’s 6″x12″ Nero Marquina Marble tile accentuates the talented team’s modern master bathroom design on the wall behind the vanity.

Photo Courtesy Travis Jones

We can also see why Speedy was thrilled with the large bathroom — including the roll-in shower that makes transfers from his wheelchair a lot easier. 

Photo Courtesy Travis Jones

Other accessible design elements include low kitchen counters, front stove burner controls, pull-down upper cabinet shelves, voice-controlled lighting and window shades, wide hallways and doorways, a wheel-in master closet with low rods and shelves for clothes and shoes, and a front-loading washer and dryer.

Sparking Reciprocal Joy

Speedy’s heartfelt thanks for his beautiful new barrier-free home sparked reciprocal joy for the Queer Eye team.

“At 18, so many dreams that he had were all taken away in an instant,” said Bobby Berk. “I can’t imagine what this kid went through. But it just makes me so happy he now has such a smile on his face.” 

Above all, Speedy hopes his story inspires others. That’s why Karamo encouraged Speedy to openly share his feelings — including his struggles — with his social media followers. He explained that doing so can help others deal with their own grief or traumatic situations.

Pushing Through

Queer Eye season 4 shooting survivor and Disabled But Not Really founder Wesley Hamilton returned for this episode. Also paralyzed, Wesley told Speedy to find love within himself and accept his “new life,” because many other people are waiting for him to lead them.

At the end of the episode, Speedy reflected on the ups and downs in his journey. He said: “Life has been a very tough rollercoaster for me, but I’m still here, and I’m pushing through. I’m ready to tell my story.”

With over 80,000 TikTok followers and more than 1.7 million likes, people clearly want to hear it.

At Riad Tile, we’re always here to help bring our customers’ design dreams to life. It’s incredibly rewarding to see how design elements brighten a space and make a life-changing difference for people like Speedy.