If you’ve been following along for the past year or so, surely you’ve heard me mention Dwell with Dignity.
If not, here’s the break down:
Dwell With Dignity is a Dallas-based non-profit dedicated to helping families escape poverty and homelessness through design, one household at a time. With the help of some dedicated volunteers, we now have a provisional chapter here in Atlanta.
Do you remember having play dates at your house when you were young? Do you remember having family over to celebrate holidays and events? Slumber parties? Okay, now, imagine not ever experiencing those things. At first glance, Dwell with Dignity may seem like a pretty little charity that does home makeovers. Y’all, it’s so, SO much more than that. These are life changing makeovers. After a recent install, a mother sent a note to the founders of DwD to tell them that her son, at 10 years old, just had his first friend over to play. Imagine feeling embarrassed or afraid to make friends because you don’t want to invite them to your house.
DwD helps families transition from homelessness or poverty and provides them a home. Not just a roof over their heads, but a place they can be proud of… A place that they can have their friends or family over for holidays, birthdays and just because… A place where their little ones can grow up and have a “new normal”. Life is about God, love, family and sharing time and experiences with each other… DwD provides a place for a family to do that… not just a place to survive. You know that feeling you get when you’ve worked all day and it’s been a bear of a day and you walk into your house and just… “ahhhh”… you can finally relax. You’re at home. Okay, back up and think about it again, but this time, you get home and you walk into an almost empty room. How relaxing is that?
DwD is so much more than a makeover. Right now they are only working in Dallas and Atlanta. If you are in one of those cities, you can check their website for volunteer opportunities or feel free to contact me directly. If you are so, so far away from those places, you can donate! Every bit helps!
This past September we were able to help another family here in Atlanta and I am finally getting around to sharing the before and after images along with some deets on the projects.
I’ll start with the master bedroom, here it before the makeover:
This room was done by Ann Wisniewski of AJW Designs, Inc.
DwD loves DIY – and so do I, obvs. In each project we do, we try to make sure there are at least 5 DIY projects, using either donated furniture or furniture that the family already has. In the master bedroom, Ann wanted to keep nightstands but paint them and change the hardware. They are kind of hiding in the “before” images but this is what they looked like.
Ann opted for a SW color called Nugget and picked out some brushed nickel hardware from Home Depot that fit the existing hardware holes. For full details on my painting process, you can check this page.
Another view from before:
After, with the new nightstands (the other one is hiding).
The boys room was done by Cate and Lathem of GordonDunning.
Here it is before:
There was a limited amount of space in here, so rearranging wasn’t really an option, but that doesn’t mean you gotta skimp on color. The bunk beds and the twin were all cherry wood and I gave them a nice high gloss coat of SW Positive Red.
The other side of the room before:
The two dressers got sprayed with high gloss SW Pure White. The one in the center of the pic above was already white so I didn’t even bother taking a before pic – The other dresser, hiding behind the closet door, was a cherry wood that matched the bunks beds – It was also made by the same furniture maker as the striped dresser from the last DwD install that made me break out into a rash. I was a little worried about working with this piece but thankfully, my skin didn’t freak out this time. Here’s the dresser before:
Aaaaand here they are all painted in the new room:
Another part of the DwD makeover is the kitchen. When we say that they get a complete makeover, we aren’t joking. They get new towels, linens, Container Store comes in and gives them new custom made closet systems and we stock the pantry and the fridge.
At each install, we get to be in the home when the family comes in and freaks out, that’s the best part. There’s a moment at each one that really gets me reaching for the tissues. At this one, the kids had their cousin with them. They went into the kitchen and saw all the food and their cousin spotted a toaster. “A toaster!? You have a toaster?! The next time I come over I’m going to bring bread so I can make toast! Yessss!” I mean… toast, y’all. He was that excited about toast. Doing this for the kids is just the greatest payoff for me. They get so excited about the smallest things. Things a lot of us take for granted on a regular basis.
The entry way got a little face lift, courtesy of Julie Montgomery of Julie Montgomery Interiors.
Julie also did the living/dining area. I had to save that for last because it’s my favorite. She did SO good. Julie has such a huge heart and was so thoughtful about each and every detail.
Here’s the living room before:
Julie found a couple end tables at her favorite thrift store and wanted them painted to fit her living room design.
They got a semi-gloss coat of Behr Marquee in Alabaster and live on either side of the new couch.
The other side of the room before:
Julie also made room in the budget to give the patio space a little sprucing…
Julie also got her hands on the dining area. Joann Kandrac of Kandrac and Kole also donated her dining room set for the family.
Dining room before:
Dining table and chairs before:
Table in the spray booth:
Dining room, table and chairs after:
The dining chairs were sprayed with the same SW Pure White used on the boys dressers and the table was sprayed with Behr Marquee in Black. I’m not actually sure of the exact color, I just gave my paint order to the sweet folks at my local Home Depot and said “black” – I just knew I needed the heavy duty Marquee for the table top. Also, GIANT shout out to Home Depot in Roswell for helping us out with the supplies needed for this project. It was a huge help. (Thank you so much, Tim!!!!)
Photos courtesy of the wonderful Tom England.
It is always such a joy to be able to do this. Being able to using my talents for a good is cause is such a blessing and is so gratifying, I only wish we could do it more often. If you want to help the Dwell with Dignity provisional chapter in Atlanta, you can visit the website to donate – make sure you designate your donation to go to Atlanta. 🙂
Again, if you’re in the Atlanta area and want to get involved, please feel free to contact me.