Today’s post is a pretty long one, but hopefully you stick with me to the end because it’s well worth the read.
You may have seen my recent post about teaming up with The Houston Furniture Bank D.I.V.A.S. (Design Interiors – Volunteers At your Service), to furnish the living spaces of four buildings for Haven of Hope House Houston, a non-profit organization providing housing and other social services to homeless female veterans and their children. If you missed it, please click here to get the back story.
I was very excited to be a part of this great team of volunteers who have been providing free interior decorating services to deserving families in the Houston area for the last 12 years.
This was my very first project with The DIVAS, and it certainly will be the first of many.
Yesterday (September 20th) was our install and big reveal day. What started as somewhat of a hectic day unloading items and dealing with the delivery truck, ended up being a very humbling and rewarding day! I was very proud of my team and all the other volunteers. All the buildings turned out beautifully. I wish I had pictures of the other buildings, but I will definitely be sharing pictures of the building my team completed.
Here is a sneak peek of the room done in Waterlogue app
For this project we had a group of 15-20 DIVAS volunteers and about 10 other volunteers from Amegy Bank and other individuals who came to lend a hand. We split up into teams to tackle each building. I was a part of a group of three: Myself, John Taylor (an Interior Design student at The Art Institute) and Rayna Kelley (pursuing her masters degree in Healthcare Interior design). We were only completing the large living space and kitchen area and not the bedrooms and bathrooms.
My team and I met at the Houston Furniture Bank a few weeks ago to select furniture pieces for our makeover. The Houston Furniture Bank provides these pieces free of charge from furniture donated to them that don’t quite meet the quality for their resale store. These pieces were in fair to good condition. We kept in constant communication to plan our design and color scheme.
We “shopped” for pieces at the DIVAS storage room located at the home of the founder Ann Cummins, as well as my own personal stash in my garage, and a few items we purchased. I even had a client (Danny and Brenda Green) donate the draperies that we used in the space. They were two wider panels and I had my workroom cut them into four panels. They made a huge difference in the room.
So before I get to the AFTER pictures, take a look at where we started out
This is the other side of the room that was assigned to Rayna
And this is the kitchen area that was assigned to John.
Are you ready to see a bit of DIVA magic?
Keep in mind that all these are random donated pieces that we carefully chose to pull our color scheme and the look and feel of the room together.
As you can see, we created two seating areas – one for watching TV and the other for lounging and playing games.
We weren’t allowed to paint the walls, so we had to work with the white walls. We also had to leave all the safety signs and devices in place. But I would say that our room turned out wonderfully even with these restrictions.
This is the kitchen area that John completed. The residents have a dining hall where they eat all their meals, so the kitchen isn’t really a functional kitchen.
The gorgeous photography of the sunsets and sunrises, were done by John.These are pictures that he took in his native Barbados and blew them up to fit the donated frames. They totally make the room and pulled it all together. They were a big hit!
But the best part was seeing the faces of the residents when all the spaces were revealed to them. It was such an emotional moment.There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. These women who have served our country and have now ended up in a challenging situation, can sometimes feel forgotten. There were so many hugs and happy tears and I couldn’t help but shedding a few myself. In the words of one the residents “I don’t feel homeless anymore”. That’s what it’s all about.
A Few Of The Residents of Haven of Hope at The Big Reveal
A Personal Note From The Team
Here is the team
Rayna Kelley, John Taylor, Veronica Solomon
This was such an amazing experience for me. I was so blessed to be a part of this great organization that is changing these women’s outlook on life. It has always been very important to me to see everyone have a beautiful and comfortable home that they can be proud of. Even if it just a transitional home, this will give these women renewed hope as they look toward the future. I am so happy that I found an organization like The Houston Furniture Bank DIVAS that aligns with the philosophy of “making empty houses homes”
I can’t wait for the next project, and I hope I get to work with John and Rayna again. They worked really hard and you could see their heart for helping and serving.
You can donate to The Furniture Bank by visiting their website. They are always in need of cash donations and gently used furniture and other household items.
In fact one of their trailers full of furniture was burned in a fire about two weeks ago, and investigators suspect arson. You can read the story here. As you can see, they need donations more than ever now.
You can contact me for more information on how to donate.
In the meantime check out this new PowToon video I made about my Mail Order Decorating (eDesign) service.
What do you think? 🙂
I had fun putting it together. I am just trying the free version for now, but may upgrade later.
Wishing you Beauty and Inspiration!
Veronica Solomon Owner/Lead Designer Casa Vilora Interiors www.VeronicaSolomon.com