Women's Shelter Makeover

Last week a group of local designers headed by Jill Sorensen finished up the makeover of a local women's shelter for victims of domestic violence.  To say it was an awesome experience is an understatement.  I partnered up with Rebecca Ilgenfritz of Acanthus and Acorn to do the living area/entry and a bedroom of the house.  Here's what the living area looked like the first time we visited:


The shelter is affiliated with a local thrift store so we were able to "shop" the thrift store for items for the shelter.  (SO much fun!!!)  Many of the items used were also generously donated by people through Knock-Out Abuse.  We kept the existing furniture & found more furniture, lamps, artwork & accessories at the thrift store/ donations haul.  We all met at the house for a big painting day and - with the help of a group of local volunteers- added color to the drab house & some of the furnishings.  Rebecca and I used fabric remnants to sew pillows, we painted lamps, Rebecca kindly stole her daughter's curtains, and we purchased new shades for all the lamps at Target.   Here's the space now:

{The "new" room}

We popped bright pink peacock feather Liberty of London shades on the existing lamps and used shots of pink throughout the room. 


We wanted to create a space that would encourage the women to hang out with each other & linger.  Of course it's all very "use-what-you-have" but I think the end result is fun & cheerful. 


The bedroom we redid currently belongs to a mom and her two small children. The rooms have to function for an entire family and hold all of their belongings.  Here's a close-up of the bed before:



And here it is now:

Here's a shot taken by Rebecca of the room before:


{Photo by Rebecca Ilgenfritz}

And here it is now:
{Photo by Rebecca Ilgenfritz}

Rebecca generously donated the beautiful antique iron twin bed and the new bunk bed was also donated.  We chose a pale aqua for the walls (that worked perfectly with our pillow fabric) to give the room a relaxed, restful feeling. 


Here's a photo of the lamp before:


And here it is now, piled atop thrift store books for some added height:

Here's the nail polish-stained dresser before:


And here is is now:

I love it!  All of the accessories were free from the thrift store and we added yet another Target shade to the painted urn lamp.  The green leaves in the little white vase are actually just "weeds" I picked from outside the house so they can very easily replace them with new ones.  The vintage weathered frame prints are insanely beautiful.  We spied them in the office at the thrift store and practically begged for them, keeping our fingers crossed that they weren't already spoken for.  They're not hung symmetrically as the dresser isn't perfectly centered on the wall & the visual weights of the twin bed and the bunk bed are so off, so a perfectly symmetrical grouping just didn't feel quite right. 


While taking the mattresses of the bed, we found that one of the mattresses had a beautiful vintage-floral pattern on it in the colors we were using.  We loved it!!  We decided to keep it under the bunk bed to be pulled out for a fun spot the kids could play on:



How much fun is the gold-and-cream rug?  (Thrift store again!)  It hides some stains on the carpet and is another soft spot for kids to play.  The bulletin board (below) was painted in the same aqua as the walls so it will simpy recede and we added a little tray with wooden back massagers on it.  Using a back massager is one of those things I used to love doing with my mom when I was little, so we thought the family might enjoy them and be able to do a little "massage train."  When the family was shown their new room, the kids immediately picked them up & started playing with them wondering what they were.  I love toys that spur interaction.


We used more leftover fabric to cover the box spring on the bed (this one had been with me since college & I'm so happy it's finally found a good home!!)  I love the little painting we found (another thrift donation!!) and hung next to the bed:



And one last picture (because you know I'm a picture nut):



I really can't thank all of the people involved enough for such a rewarding experience.  Cathy (the director of the shelter) is one special lady (& had to deal with our constant questions & emails) who cares so much about these women and helps improve their lives daily.  Jill Sorensen masterminded this whole thing and is the founder of Knock-Out Abuse.  She's such a upbeat, generous talented (and gorgeous!!) person.  Danielle, Ellen, Jennifer Sergent, the volunteer painters and the crew from Hardwood Artisans were such a huge help in getting our spaces finished in time and there's no way we could have done it without them. The other designers involved- Raji Radhakrishnan, Denise Willard and of course Jill Sorensen & Danielle Sigwalt are all just amazing people and I'm honored to have gotten the chance to work with them.  It's definitely a bonding experience and you really feel as if you're part of a team and I know I'll be seeing more of these new friends.  And last but not least, to Rebecca for putting up with my baby-child-smashed-rarely-any-free-days schedule, working so hard to make this project happen and for parterning up with me.  I'm so happy with how everything turned out.   

Here are some links to all of the people involved.  Check out all of the gorgeous before & afters of the other rooms!!


Rebecca Ilgenfritz: Acanthus and Acorn 
Hardwood Artisans - I highly recommend them for any built-in/ furniture work you need if you're in the area. 
Raji Radhakrishan: Design Dossier - mother's refuge
Denise Willard: Dream Design Live. - playroom
 Jill Sorensen Live.Like.You. -- go here for a wrap up post complete with videos

To check out the full article on the entire project by Jennifer Sergent, go to DC by Design.  You will not BELIEVE how amazing the other rooms are!!! 

Finally, if want to help, check out Knock-Out Abuse to find out how.  If you live in another area, consider contacting local shelters to start a project of your own.  It's one of the most rewarding experiences you'll ever have.  I'm going to cherish the memory of the mother & her two adorable children (a little boy & a little girl) walking into their new bedroom forever.  It was better than anything you can imagine.  I keep playing it in my head over and over.  She just kept saying, "It's beautiful," as she and the kids slowly took the room in.  The kids scooped up the back massagers and started touching & exploring everything and it's amazing to see that even 2-4 year olds appreciate something like this.  I didn't want to leave, but standing there staring at them through the doorway forever was probably not cool.  The mother was so thankful and I've never had a more deserving client.  This is really what it's all about.

xoxo,
lauren

80 comments:

Alicia said...

This looks great!! What a wonderful experience!

blondiensc said...

oh my goodness, this is the sweetest makeover I have ever seen...you girls did an amazing job and I am sure every woman there will appreciate your thought and attention to detail...those littles touching and exploring everything, you girls completely made their day, possibly their year!! thank you for caring and taking the time to help these women, blessings to you! tara

Aubrey said...

That looks so wonderful, what a kind thing to do! I'm sure it felt great to give back.

Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

It's gorgeous!!! An absolutely fantastic example of what creativity, thrifting, and a tight budget can provide.

I'm bummed, though, because I meant to sign up to help and donate, and was so busy at work that I completely forgot.
Will there be future projects like this to help with?

Thomas and Monique said...

Looks amazing! How wonderful.. what an awsome thing to do Lauren!

Style Chronicle said...

It looks so warm and inviting now! What a wonderful way to use your time and talent. Blessings!

Jen said...

Hey Sweetie! You helped with this?? Amazing! Girl, you've got some talent! And as I was looking at all the rooms, I couldn't help but notice how soothing and comforting they all felt. Nothing too bold, Nothing too frilly, everything was just perfect! You guys are awesome for doing this.

Have a great weekend!! You so deserve it!

LiveLikeYou said...

WOW! Is all I can say. You and Rebecca created the MOST beautiful rooms!! I'm so inspired by your kindness, talent, work ethic and generosity of spirit!!! Know that every two months a new family whose lives have been shattered by abuse, will walk in here and feel some peace and joy. What better way is there to use design?? THANK YOU!! xx Jill

Lauren Jade said...

what a beautiful project and post.

nkp said...

That is so awesome, from start to finish. The rooms turned out beautifully. So wonderfully inviting and uplifting. I would never have known that these were not in a home had you not told us otherwise. But of course, the best part was that you were able to do something so personal and special for such a deserving cause. Congrats Lauren!

Morning T said...

Bravo Lauren- you all did such a beautiful job!

LiveLikeYou said...

Wait I see my dear MOM and Bubba in the before photo!! Love it.

Bonjour from Switzerland! said...

Love the pics! Great job on using what you got!

Mitten from Smitten said...

as a victim of domestic violence I was very blessed to have family to run to when I was finally able to escape. What you have done here is the most amazing thing... enabling women to have not only a place to go, but a place that can feel welcoming and like a HOME. That means so much more than you know.

Tracy @ ComfortandLuxury said...

Gorgeous results and such a worthy effort. Congrats to all of you who participated and thanks, Lauren, for sharing it and inspiring us all. Your last photo looks like a detail from a high-end magazine. I'm certain that such beautiful surroundings will help these families heal. Excellent work, Lauren.

Peggy and Fritz said...

Lauren you and your team did an amazing job. I loved how you transformed the living room working with what you had to make it conversational. I can't imagine the surprise of the family that lived in that bedroom when they came in to see their new room. I loved what you all did. I use that lamp shade from Target all the time (the creamy / tan one) and you can't beat it for the price. Love all the little touches. Funny thing is I loved the old bunk bed - I thought with a little white paint it would look amazing. However, the other bed looks great and your little touches were incrediable. Got me inspired to do something here. Can't wait to see all the other rooms as well. Great inspiration to us all and what a wonderful feeling to know women and families that are going through a challenging time will feel a little bit better because of you! Great job.

Peggy and Fritz said...

p.s. Lauren what color is that blue?

The Brick Cottage said...

So beautiful! Both the rooms and the story behind them. You all made both rooms feel like home and I'm sure that's what the families staying there need. They look so cozy and safe and I'm just amazed by what you all did. Bravo!

Jennifer said...

Lauren (and Rebecca) this is so beautiful and wonderful! I get a little teary thinking of how much the ladies and their families will appreciate having a homey place to come home to as they get their lives back. truly a wonderful use of your talents!

Annie said...

What a wonderful project. Reading your story about 'Knock-Out-Abuse' and seeing your room renovations brought tears to my eyes. Such a gift you have given this family.

Wendy said...

Lauren,
This is such a touching post and today I write from my heart as a public health nurse for low income mothers.
This is a great gift you gave to this shelter and the women who will visit there. The world is a better place because of these shelters and a place for these mom's to go to as a safe haven. It is such a giant step for these mom's to take to go to a shelter and now because of you they have a beautiful place to stay. I can't say enough in support of women's shelters and the work they do. Thank you for your time and talent. Blessings to you and the this shelter.
Wendy

bluehydrangea said...

Lauren, the rooms are beautiful and what a wonderful gift for the mother and her children!!! Nothing is better than a beautiful place to call your own. Great job!!

Christine said...

So beautiful and cheerful!

Lynda said...

a job well done!!! VERY well done!!! What a warm and loving place it is now!!! That's how you make a house a "home"......compliments ladies!!

Greetings
Lynda

Centsational Girl said...

Fantastic Lauren ! All of the choices are wonderful, and I can see all the love and care that went into this worthy makeover. Well done, as always !

Kate

lisaroy said...

Wow! these rooms are absolutely beautiful! You have lovely taste and have made the spaces so calming and serene! What great pieces you had to work with and you added the perfect finishing touches. How nice to have such a pretty, comfy place to enjoy during a difficult time for so many women. : )

Ruthie's Renewed Treasures said...

How beautiful to make this home a place where the tears they have cried from the bottom of their heart can start to heal. Being surrounded by a beautiful space does something for woman. What an incredible blessing! You have inspired me to do this for one of our local shelters.

Leanne said...

Wow, you did a beautiful job! I'm sure these women are going to feel the love that went into making these spaces special. In their diffent circumstances it's important that they feel safe and some peace. I think these rooms help them feel that way. They truely are beautiful.

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

What a wonderful project! I love the little white chairs in the living area and the bedroom is so fresh and inviting. Great job!

Julie said...

The room is beautiful... what a wonderful thing to be a part of!

Visual Vamp said...

Great cause, great project, wonderful design work. You guys rock!
xo xo

Living It At Home said...

One cannot help but feel welcome and comforted by your wonderful transformations and design. It is so serene and beautiful! Great cause~

FROM THE RIGHT BANK said...

What a great makeover! That bedroom is so fantastic. Stop by if you can for my new giveaway. It's the biggest one yet. :) Have a good weekend, Lauren, and get some rest. Ha!

Stephanie Sabbe said...

Lauren, it looks great. The bedroom reflects your design style a ton. I love it.

I read your below post about commenting and whatnot. I have a friend who is a famous artist and another who is not. The famous one told me he is jealous of the one who is not because he does not have to meet anyone's expectations of what kind of artist he is supposed to be or what kind of work he is supposed to produce. Point being, every loves your designs and your blog, so don't worry if you can't comment, email etc. People should understand.

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

I love this post. There is a special place in heaven for everyone that participated in this project. The rooms look cheerful and inviting, which I'm sure is a welcome feeling to those who will stay there. Congratulations and well done!

dulci said...

Wow this is great - Major karma points too!!
:)

http://ladulcivida.blogspot.com/

Cote de Texas said...

omg - gorgeous! i am dying!!! you are unreal. you can do anything. my favorite are those lampshades. i have to get those!!!!

Bonjour from Switzerland! said...

OMG I have that exact dresser style from woman's shelter bedroom! It's in my living room right now with my TV on it. Dresser new from Sears cira 1987! I have had it since I was a little girl. I have a picture of it posted on my blog from the other day!

VictoriaArt said...

Lauren, I just came from Acanthus & Acorn, what a great story and wonderful work! This is such a lovely job you've all done and it looks great!

XX
Victoria

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

Absolutely wonderful, this must make quite the difference to the people there.

The Moerks said...

Well done, what a great idea. Hopefully this will make life just a little brighter for some families.

Windlost said...

Oh my Lauren, that is fantastic. All of the things are just so lovely and thoughtfully put together and peaceful and filled with love.

I adore that pillow fabric in the bedroom - what is that. Wow, that is beautiful fabric. What a lovely, lovely room. So proud of you in this effort!!

I hope the families are able to feel peace and love in these spaces. Good job!

xo Terri

casey at loft and cottage said...

Gorgeous makeover. You worked wonders with color and pattern. Love it! And I'm sure the families who live there will too. What a great project to be a part of.

Love Where You LIve -- That's What It's All About. said...

This is wonderful -- and a project that offers big returns for all you volunteers, too. I hope it's an idea that spreads.....cheers, -s

Melissa Rakowski said...

Congratulations to you! I do not know how you do all that you do with two small children and are able to give back to your community.

You have inspired me to work with our domestic violence safe house to make it a special, peaceful place. You did a beautiful job!!!

LindsB said...

Such a wonderful thing you did!! Everything look so comfortable and homey and just perfect. What a special project to be a part of!

Tina said...

Oh Lauren, this post has made my cry! What a wonderful experience for you to be involved in and you did such a beautiful job on the rooms, they are beyond gorgeous. You should be so happy with the job you did and so proud too. Thank you so much for sharing this. Wishing you a wonderful weekend as always ~ Tina xx

paige said...

wow!!
what an awesome story
& you did an incredible job !!!
wow!!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

wow! i am sure the women who live there are thrilled! you really made a difference in their lives and should be so proud of yourselves. way to go!

simply seleta said...

First of all I am sooooo happy to see all of these talented designers come together to create a beautiful and restful nest for women and their little ones. Wow, it's so inspiring...and quite tear jerking.

Lauren, thank you for sharing this. And wow, you're so talented. You've enriched the quality of other's lives!

Marija said...

Lauren others have said it but I wanted to reiterate..what you guys did was incredible. The time, energy and heart that went into this project is obvious. Talent is one thing, using it for something so selfless and pure is another. I know how hard you guys worked. Now I hope you know how inspired we all are by the outcome! xo Marija

Megan said...

Beautiful job! I love how you hung the pictures.

It warms my heart to know that all you creative woman are giving back in such a generious way.

I can only imagine the comfort and peace these women feel when they are welcomed into the shelter.

Especially now that it looks so beautiful!

pve design said...

A culmination of Pure INsipiration is what you are and all are! I did feel a tear, and then a smile for all the love you infused. You are giving me some wonderful ideas to share my talents with those who are in need of art.
pve

Sailing Simply said...

Beautiful post in everyway! How wonderful to use your talents to give back something to these women who need it the most. So inspiring!

Kelle Dame said...

Completely awesome Lauren! I'm teary eyed over here :) I can tell that you all poured your hearts out on this one and such beauty came to be all around!

Lynda @ Happenstance Home said...

What a fantastic job you did and for such a great cause. Very rewarding! Love the bedroom. It is so serene.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Mission accomplished...so glad we teamed up for a great cause!!!

Jennifer Sergent said...

Ack! So sorry for commenting so late -- I posted my own blog and then rushed out for little league practice/ family dinner, etc. I loved reading all the blogs about everyone's own take on the redesign. What a great project -- kudos to you all!

pretty pink tulips said...

I can't imagine who great you all must feel --- isn't this what life is all about? You have not only left your mark, you have inspired me and I'm sure many others to share what we have to impact others in a powerful way. Big HUG and a High Five!!!!!

Lorna said...

Wow, well done, a brilliant cause and it looks fab.

Ellen said...

Soooo Very perfect! I know you will never forget the experience,and neither will they! smiles.

robyn michelle-lee @ this is life. said...

this is so wonderful

Semi Expat said...

I know you have lots of comments and this is a little late but I just wanted to say what a wonderful makeover this is! Fantastic and well done...... x

Debra Phillips said...

what more to add to all the lovely comments lauren?
sharing your "gifts" with those in need, bravo!
debra

Velvet and Linen said...

You amaze me, Lauren. You are a busy mom with thriving business, but you still make time to give back. You've created such a beautiful place for these women and children. What a blessing.

xo
Brooke

Hello Lover... said...

What a lovely concept! Beautiful makeover!

Hill Country House Girl said...

What an amazing job you all did and for such an important cause. Your time and talent are such gifts and to share them in this way is such a blessing for so many. Thanks for sharing the story and photos with us.

Maria Killam said...

It certainly has your touch! Love it Lauren, you are so talented, love the way you hung the artwork in the bedroom!

Linda Merrill said...

What a wonderful job you and Rebecca did for this wonderful cause. Congratulations!

Fran said...

Incredible! What a transformation - honestly, that bedroom is so soothing and calming! Such an awesome experience!

Melissa said...

How neat you did that for the organization. Amazing results as well. I have the same pink peacock lamps from Target!

tarheel said...

wonderful!! what a perfect way to use your gifts.

Averill said...

This looks dynamite -- great job ladies!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Lauren, I am SO happy to see your redo! I'm in the midst of doing the same thing for a women's center here in my city of B'ham. We are redoing one room & I've been yardsaling for a month collecting things for the redo.

I love what ya'll did with those spaces. It is totally transformed & beautiful. I know whoever is in that room will appreciate it so much with the TLC put into it.

Knock Out said...

Hi everyone,

On behalf of Knock Out Abuse Against Women and myself we can not thank you enough for all of your hard work. The shelter looks amazing thanks to your dedication, amazing talent and generosity. It was a pleasure working with you and I look forward to more projects in the future.

Thank you so much for being a true champion of Knock Out Abuse.

Thanks,

Ellen Blankenstein

SogniSorrisi said...

Really, really gorgeous transformation!

Tiina said...

this post made me very warm and happy in my heart. plus it looks gorgeous!

have a lovely weekend!
xo, tiina
http://elcestockholm.blogspot.com

Barnwood Urbanist said...

This has to be one of the best posts I've read in a long while. I am so inspired to do good and to do it for so little. Wonderful! Thank you. The world needs more people who are so thoughtful and kind.

Riviera Wedding Planner said...

An incredible make-over (bookmarking to show my hubby tonight) and so inspiring. You go girl.
http://wedding-planner-costa-azzurra.blogspot.com/

Alyssa said...

I am simply amazed by this! Alyssa