One Room Challenge Week Two: Reuse, Rethink, Refurbish

//One Room Challenge Week Two: Reuse, Rethink, Refurbish

One Room Challenge Week Two: Reuse, Rethink, Refurbish

We gathered our volunteers last Saturday, and tackled a couple of DIY projects for our One Room Challenge family home! As a non-profit organization, we rely heavily on our circle of volunteers for various projects including shopping, painting, installing, photographing and DIY-ing furniture and decor. The majority of our furniture pieces are donated by showrooms, designers and home retailers. We are so thankful for these products and love re-inventing them to create cohesive spaces that are easy on our budgets.

A Dwell with Dignity home is made possible by a $5,000 sponsorship (shout out to Tie’s home sponsor: Edwards Mother Earth Foundation!). We stretch that $5,000 budget as far as we can to provide every single item that a family needs to sustain a home that represents their new phase of life. Part of our mission is to help eliminate the upfront stress and cost of purchasing everyday items like silverware, shower curtains, cleaning supplies, coffee mugs, towels, drinking glasses, trash cans, a vacuum cleaner and even pantry staples like flour and sugar. Our families have often overcome unthinkable odds to become debt free, retain stable jobs, afford suitable and safe housing, and further their education. It is our greatest honor to gift them with the items that make a house a home.

Filling a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment for our family of 4 on a $5,000 budget definitely fits the bill of a challenge! One way we meet our goals is by using donated furniture and rethinking it’s use or refurbishing the piece to fit the design style of our family (instead of purchasing something brand new).

Our TV credenza for Tie’s living room is a perfect example (hello, storage)! This 6-drawer dresser is getting a high-design makeover with a fresh coat of striking paint and subtle gold details that will make it a perfect focal-point piece in the living room.

Once our shipping sponsor for Tie’s home, Knox-Addley, dropped off the donated pieces, our volunteer team got right to work prepping the dressers for paint. We began by cleaning and lightly sanding the dressers to remove any previous varnishes.

Next up was 2-3 light coats of primer.

And finally the fun part…. adding a coat of color! This is Benjamin Moore’s Seaweed 2035-10 in High Gloss. Benjamin Moore is a longtime sponsor of Dwell with Dignity and of course our designers just crave their stylish colors! We still have a couple more coats to add to this piece before it gets some special gold detail. Here’s a sneak peek from GordonDunning‘s design plan:

Shameless plug: If you’re in Atlanta and want to help us finish this project and others – click here to volunteer!

Next up is a DwD signature volunteer DIY project! Tie’s two youngest boys will be sharing a room in their new apartment. Two boys means … two bed frames, two sets of sheets, bedding and pillows, two mattresses and box springs, and two headboards. We have to watch our costs closely here! Our Dallas chapter shared their go-to method for creating designer headboards with us and we know we will call upon this idea time and time again.

We grabbed two inexpensive sheets of plywood and cut them each down to 54″ x 42″ to create the base of the twin headboards. The plywood was quite rough, so our littlest volunteer (with help from the rest of the team) sanded down the surfaces and edges till they were smooth.

Next we covered each of the boards with 3/4″ queen-sized quilt batting. One package produced four perfectly soft and fluffy layers for one headboard and was much less expensive than purchasing foam.

We can always count on the team at GordonDunning to wow us with their fabric choices. This Plaid Tartan from Robert Allen is perfect for the two youngest boys! Tie loves to dress her boys in matching collared shirts in strong colors like navy, red and hunter green – this is just perfect!

We are so pleased with this trusted method for making easy and inexpensive headboards. It’s an amazing way to incorporate fabulous fabrics that help elements within a space all speak the same language.

We can’t wait for our family to see these handmade headboards and refinished dressers – they were carefully chosen, built and updated just for them and we hope it shows!

We still have some more details to add to the dresser (plus another coat or two of paint, of course) and a couple more DIY projects in the works. With trim coming in from Fringe Market, hardware from ATG Stores, and frames from Framebridge – our volunteers, together with GordonDunning, are excited to continue creating this home for Tie and her 3 boys.

Check back next week when we head over to the GordonDunning headquarters to check on product arrivals, see more design plans and get to know Cate and Lathem even better!

Volunteer with Dwell with Dignity Atlanta!

Up Next…

We will host ONE more Volunteer DIY Workday then it’s off to the install! Volunteers are crucial to the success of our homecomings and we offer many ways to serve!

Want to volunteer? Sign up here!

Help us support this Atlanta family! Donations are instrumental in providing linens, kitchen items, mattresses, towels, pantry staples and more. Donate here!

Need to catch up? Week One  |  Intro Post


Dwell with Dignity designs and installs complete home interiors for families who desperately need an environment that will support health and wellness. Our mission is to help families escape poverty and homelessness through design; one household at a time. We empower families to lead their best lives and to thrive in a safe, functional, and beautiful environment.

Dwell with Dignity works with agencies that have programs in place to take families from homelessness & poverty to self-sufficiency.  Often times, after a family has received all of the counseling, training, and support from our partner agencies, they find themselves struggling to provide a home in which they can thrive. Dwell with Dignity addresses this critical economic need through our mission.

We create inspiring home interiors with the labor of dedicated volunteers and with the generosity of our donors. Dwell with Dignity works with interior designers and members of the trade to furnish the families’ homes including all furniture, art, bedding, kitchen supplies, food in the pantry and their first night’s meal. Our goals are to bring good design to those less fortunate, inspiring them to maintain a standard of living they can be proud of and thrive in.

We feel that if we can change a person’s environment, we can change a person’s outlook on life. When we provide our families a place to be proud of and thrive in, we have set the stage for breaking the cycle of poverty and setting up future generations for success.

Help Support Our Mission >

By |2018-08-08T04:32:13+00:00April 11th, 2017|Our Blog|2 Comments

About the Author:

Managing Director, Dwell with Dignity - Atlanta


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