Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Designers take design challenge to help the Habitat

By
From page C3 | October 12, 2012 | Leave Comment

You will find this hard to believe. You will wonder how this could be. I did.

But you can furnish your home, or a room in your home, beautifully, for one-third what it would cost if you bought the same furnishings retail, and, in doing so, help provide housing for others who need it and help the planet.

Get out!

That’s what I said when I learned how Habitat for Humanity ReStores worked. Folks like us donate home furnishings and building materials to ReStores. The stores resell them to other folks at incredibly low prices. Profits go back into the community in the form of decent housing for low-income residents.

Lovely, you say (OK, I said), but who would buy other people’s cast-offs for their homes? I have donated to Habitat ReStores. I have unloaded extra lumber, drywall, trim, paint and other shrapnel and fallout from my remodeling projects. But I never considered shopping in one.

The idea seemed as appealing as eating someone else’s leftovers while wearing hand-me-down clothing in an abandoned car.

Was I wrong. Last week, to celebrate World Habitat Day, three Orlando decorators along with Emmy Award-winning TV personality and former host of “This Old House” and “Renovation Nation” Steve Thomas took on a design challenge.

Using only furniture acquired from local ReStores, they created a showcase room and unveiled it to a disbelieving public.

Somehow, I got invited to help moderate the event. I was dubious about how the room would turn out but, hey, it was all for a good cause, so I played along.

Well, my friends, I ate sawdust. Any homeowner would be proud to have the room – in this case a man’s den — this design team put together. It was classy, warm, harmonious and cheap!

I asked how they did it. The women all talked at once, but here’s what I think happened. They independently shopped six local ReStores. (Habitat operates 780 ReStores throughout the United States, so one is probably near you.) They snapped pictures of items they liked and texted them to one another. If they got the thumbs up, they nabbed the item, a sofa here, a table there, a rug someplace else.

“It was like being on a treasure hunt,” said Luisa Padilla, one member of the design challenge team, “but you had to act fast. The good stuff goes.”

They delivered the furniture to one ReStore in Casselberry, Fla., where they installed it in a three-sided, 12-foot by 12-foot showcase room.

Besides adding celebrity pizzazz, Thomas contributed the No. 1 most-desired skill in a man: “I just did what I was told,” he said.

He and a few handy volunteers assembled a wood floor, put up moldings and did the heavy lifting.

The plan to create a masculine den clicked after Orlando decorator Christina Russell seized on a coppery-brown leather, two-seater movie chair with cup holders. Then Julie Baker, another local designer on the team, found a set of vintage golf clubs and two framed golf prints that coordinated with the sofa. Padilla picked up a dart board for $4, which she knew she could embellish for a focal point.

They pulled the caramel tone from the golf art and sofa for the wall color.

Baker, who owns a furniture store and knows the product lines, estimated that if purchased retail the cost for the room’s furnishings would have exceeded $3,000. The team got everything for less than $1,000.

Priciest items were the sofa ($225), the entertainment center ($300) and the coffee and side tables ($150 combined). As usual, the $200 spent on accessories — the rug, art, silk plants, chess set and golf-props — gave the space its wow!

“This helps the planet, too,” Thomas said. “All this stuff most likely would have wound up in landfills.”

Thomas’s commitment to Habitat kicked in last year when he went to Kenya to build homes for citizens sleeping in tents. “Snakes would literally crawl in their beds for warmth and wildebeests would eat their foods,” he said. “You think I’m making this up.”

The Habitat mission is simple, he added, “to build a world in which everyone has a decent place to live.”  Here are ways you can make that happen and benefit yourself:

  • Donate new or gently used furnishings, including working appliances and building materials, to Habitat ReStores. You get a cleaned out house and a tax deduction. Habitat trucks will pick up large items.
  • Shop the ReStores for great finds and steals. With some patience — you may need to visit several stores more than once — and some imagination, you, too, can score beautiful home furnishings for a third of what they would otherwise cost.
  • Feel good whether you give to or buy from the ReStores. You’ll know proceeds go directly back into your community to provide housing for those who need it. The homes are not handouts. Recipients help build them, then pay back Habitat’s interest-free loans.
  • Volunteer at a ReStore or connect with a local Habitat in your area to help build homes. Invite your church or school group to pitch in.
  • Help the planet. Over the years, ReStores throughout the United States and Canada have diverted an estimated 250 million tons of would-be waste from the landfills, Thomas said.
  • Change lives. “Homes, no matter where they are, change people’s lives,” he said. “How can a family feel safe if they don’t have a door that locks?”

You win. They win. Your house wins. The community wins. The planet wins. Believe me now?

Syndicated columnist and speaker Marni Jameson is the author of “House of Havoc” and “The House Always Wins” (Da Capo Press). Contact her through marnijameson.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 9 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

 
.

Letters

District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 19 Comments

 
Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 76 Comments

 
Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
.

Sports

First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

 
Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

 
Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

 
HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

.

Comics

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments