I know the week between Christmas and New Years is a slow one, but… I’ve been DYING to share our latest Bloggers Heart Habitat project with everyone! 2016 has been a tough year for lots of folks, and working with organizations like Habitat does wonders for bringing things right back into perspective. A little back story… last fall, I had the harebrained idea that I could wrangle some of my uber talented uber thrifty blogging pals and help decorate and furnish a newly built Habitat for Humanity home. (See all the posts from our first round here.)
This season, the inordinately supportive and generous folks at Hometalk stepped up to sponsor us again in our partnership with the Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut.
Eastern CT Habitat had two families scheduled to close on their homes prior to Christmas so we kept it equitable and helped each homeowner with two rooms rather than taking on the full house for just one family. I teamed up with my friend Jillian from I Am a Homemaker again this round and we took on the dining room.
Our homeowner, Jessica, is a single mom who was visiting family in Connecticut when her husband notified her that he wanted a divorce and had packed up all of her belongings. She was stranded with her three children living on her sister’s sun porch. Until now! A few weeks before Christmas, she moved into a beautiful new home with two of her kids (her oldest daughter is away at college) and their beloved cats.
Jess’s favorite color is purple so Jillian and I tried to bring in lots of purple without getting too… Barney about it all. Her design style was “comfortable” so… we tried to keep it simple but still durable and fun for a young family.
The rug is this one from RugsUSA and it’s the perfect purple. As with all of these Habitat Houses, there isn’t budget or time to paint the walls so the rug became the foundation for the room.
I found that farmhouse table at the Restore for… $20. I also grabbed the new chandelier there for $40 so adios, boob light! I painted the base of the table with DecoArt’s Chalky Finish paint in Victorian. Jillian built BOTH the bench and that topper to add a little more design to the original table.
The chairs were $8 each at my local Goodwill and I recovered them with that purple ticking cloth I found on etsy. I actually bought another set from a salvage place in New Haven, but when I got them home and started really inspecting them, I wasn’t convinced I could sturdy them up enough for an energetic 13 year old boy and his family! Chairs are tricky that way… make sure you give them a good shake and inspect all the different joints before purchasing. A wobbly chair is a tough repair for anyone to make!
Jessica said she dreamed of having built ins on either side of the window for them to store their games. We didn’t have time or budget for built ins, but… the good ol’ Ikea Billy hack never disappoints. Two $70 Billy bookshelves looked plain Jane until… I built that custom crown topper. I wasn’t convinced I could pull it off, so I didn’t take pictures, but I basically made a crown out of the crown and then just screwed it down onto the Billys once we’d built them on site.
As for styling… Jillian and I both tried to grab whatever purple items we could find at thrift stores and on clearance places, but obviously we need about 200% more to make those shelves look truly chic. Regardless, Jessica has some great storage space to work with in there!
Jessica had one painting that she wanted to feature in the space so we left one wall bare. The other wall has that custom stenciled sign with the simple grace that both Jillian and I said before meals when were growing up. (I JUST learned that there’s a whole second part to the prayer, so apparently our family just did the Cliff’s Notes version!)
The plate wall is such an easy way to fill wall space on a budget. I use e6000 glue and D-rings on the back of each plate and then just hang with a brad nail.
Last but not least… that corner cabinet was actually part of the original house. (This home was actually an existing space that Habitat gutted and refurbished which is unusual.) We didn’t want to mess with that too much, but thanks to the ever generous D. Lawless Hardware, we were able to add a few glam purple knobs to the lower doors.
D. Lawless also provided a set of these other knobs that we were hoping to use on cabinet doors for the Billies, but… each door was around $50 so that didn’t work within our budget. The hardware DID work with these mason jars for some amazing shelf accessories.
The other room in this house was taken on my the incredible Lisa of Shine Your Light (who brought along her three gorgeous kids to help) and the truly talented Kim Macumber of Kim Macumber Interiors. Their room was BIG and I could NOT believe the transformation! Giant thanks to a new friend who reached out to me as a result of our last Habitat install: the generous Maggie Morgan Professional Organizer donated the living room furniture as well as a new mattress and boxspring. I took a few pictures of their space but you’ll have to head over to their sites to get the full scoop.
A week later, the second house installation took place and I didn’t have a room to design, but I was too nosy not to be there for their room reveals as well! Raymour & Flanigan donated the most amazing bedroom set for the homeowner, Shea and they sent a film crew to document the afternoon. I’ll post the video as soon as they share it! (That also explains the weird lighting… taking pics with the film lights was a challenge!)
Michelle from Weekend Craft and Lauren from Lauren McBride pulled the master bedroom together with amazing bedding and other chic and cozy accessories. Shea asked for bright and bold so Michelle and Lauren were trying to design around a red accent wall Shea was hoping to paint in the future! Thanks to Tuft and Needle for providing ALL the mattresses for Shea’s house. We couldn’t do this project without the generosity of so many kind brands.
Shea asked us to help with her 10-year-old daughter’s room as well so Carli from Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Kristen from A Thrifter in Disguise and Robin from A Home To Grow Old In gave her the turquoise/ zebra print/ basketball room she asked for!
I am SO proud of everyone and the wonderful spaces they created for two incredible and deserving women. It was an honor to help these two families begin to transform their new houses into homes.
To learn more about Bloggers Heart Habitat, feel free to check out our first project here or email me at bloggershearthabitat (at) gmail (dot) com.
I love that we told so many of the same stories in our posts. Thank you for being the force behind this. You are one amazing lady.
Charlotte Smith says
Love you, girl. Such fun!
These stories are so sweet. Even though you have a large family of your own, thank you so much for organizing all of the bloggers who contributed their time and even their own money to change the lives of two families.
Charlotte Smith says
It’s truly my pleasure! I think we enjoy the process as much as the homeowner!
The rooms you guys did in both homes look so pretty, this is such a great project to be involved in!
Charlotte Smith says
Thanks, Tania! It’s one of my favorite projects of all time!
Jennifer Sergent says
I am so impressed. It’s amazing how design can literally change people’s lives and perspectives. I’m lucky to be in a community like this — thank you for this inspiration!
Charlotte Smith says
I AGREE! I think people associate design with being ‘high fallutin’ but on many levels it’s simply making one’s house… a place of warmth and comfort!