Wednesday, May 10, 2017

#secretproject #morecreativitythancash

If you follow me on Instagram then you may remember
 my #secretproject hashtag from mid-March.

The IG posts involved some hand block printed sheets, thrifted items and a few other sneak peeks!
Well, here is the reveal of that #secretproject!!
And it was a secret because it was going to be featured in a local design magazine!!
The magazine, Simply Decor Simply Design will be on the stands in my area today so I can finally share!

I was invited to partner with MUST Ministries of Marietta
 and put my thrifting skills to the test.
They had some empty apartments that are going to be used to house veterans with disabilities who are homeless 
or have been chronically homeless over the past couple of years. 
There is a complicated process for qualifying and renting these apartments and then helping those in need to move in.

My friend who is the mastermind behind this program and many others at MUST
 told me about this project. 
She wanted to create homes for them that are welcoming 
and speak to a certain level of dignity.

(These are obviously the "befores." A blank slate. For real!!
Donated rental company furniture.)

(And donated hotel room furniture.)

Would I like to help? Yes, I wanted to.
Good, she says. But there isn't any budget for this.
No problem!! Thrifting to the rescue!

I rearranged the furniture from the original layout when the items were dropped off.
Then I was granted access to the MUST Donation Center
Over 90% of this project was free from these two places.
I had to purchase curtain rods at IKEA, bath mats and shower curtains, and 2 white lampshades from Ross. I also purchased a few $5.00 throw pillows from Wal-Mart. 
Otherwise - items had been donated to MUST and sourced by me and my family climbing around in the warehouse!!

And here is the apartment ready for the clients to move in!!

This gallery wall was the starting point for the "look" and colors 
in this apartment transformation. Remember - all thrift finds!

I created the buffet/credenza from 2 luggage holders from the donated hotel furniture.
 They weren't needed in the bedrooms and this was a long empty wall 
and I wanted a focal point with a purpose- storage.

Looking left to the living room area from the front door.

(I had the blue and white ikat fabric in my stash 
but the brand new down pillowform came from the MUST Marketplace Thrift Store-
 brand new in the original wrapper!)

 Looking right from the front door toward the eating area and kitchen.

 The mirror was in my donate pile at home.
 I had paid $5.00 at a yard sale years ago. It was already the perfect tangerine color!

The galley kitchen is fully stocked from the donation center and already had nice appliances.

(New, still in original packaging, gorgeous oriental for the kitchen!)

This is a two bedroom apartment. 
Two non-related females will share this unit.
They will only bring a few personal items with them - whatever they had in their locker at the shelter.

Mollie found this brand new Bed-In-A-Bag at the warehouse. 
It was complete and had never been used. 
Major score.
I had already found the pineapple lamp. I had the green chevron shade at home so I needed a way to tie the navy and green together. 
We found the panels over the bed at the Donation Center which were shades of blue and green. 
Then I decided to hand stamp a green border on the free sheets turned curtains and two white pillow cases. 
Mission accomplished - blue and green tied together in bedroom 1.

The second  bedroom was not quite finished when these pics were snapped.
I still needed pillows but I had found all the bedding and shams.

This picture does not do it justice. 

The quilt is brand new and embroidered in metallic shades of gray, cream and tan.
I found a brand new Ralph Lauren blue roses dust ruffle.
The shams that are waiting for pillows are a golden tan that matches some of the embroidery in the quilt. 

 And I think the outdoor space is equally important so I brought a couple of chairs from home that were, more than likely, headed to a yard sale!

(I found that cute metal typewriter table at a yard sale while visiting my parents for $5.00! 
A coat of orange Rustoleum paint and it makes the porch!)

One chair had been free and the other purchased at GW for about $6.00
We used it and now it is being put to good use!

This project was so much fun and I was honored to get to be a part of this amazing housing program to move Veteran's from homelessness into homes.

Using more creativity than cash can result in something pretty amazing!
And pretty, too!

 I spent only $91.00 on this project. 
Everything but the few items mentioned above were free to me for this project!
Even if I had paid for the items used at thrift stores like MUST Marketplce and Goodwill it would have been a very low cost to completely furnish this apartment!!

UPDATE: I'm working on my second apartment for MUST. 
I'll be sharing pics soon!
See the before of Apartment #2 here.


  1. What a wonderful cause. This apartment is beautiful and I love how you styled each part of it so thoughtfully. You are always giving back to your community and I can only imagine how these two ladies will feel when they walk into their new home !

    1. Thank you Diane. It was absolutely the most fun!! I was so so lucky to get to do this in collaboration with MUST!!

  2. What a beautiful transformation and I love the gallery wall. You have truly created a home for these two ladies. Well done!

    1. Thank you so much. I had so much fun and the whole experience was such a blessing to me!

  3. Your space looks wonderful. I love the use of the tangerine and blue.

    1. Thank you Rae. It was such a fun project!