Before & After

Alma Project: Kitchen Remodel!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Greetings all, doesn’t it feel so strange that the Fourth of July is on a Wednesday?  It’s totally throwing me off but I’m happy for the day off tomorrow.  Well as I’ve been hinting at for days, we are really proud to have finished the kitchen at our Alma Project just in time for four new families to move in.

If you’re unfamiliar with this project, you can read the details and the motivation behind it here, but basically we adopt a house every year with our local Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) and we take time every few months to upgrade the spaces (playroom completed in April).  This home is shared by women with children who are making the transition from homelessness to success stories through counseling, job training, and abstinence from substance abuse.  This four bedroom home currently houses 9 people, including 4 mothers and their 5 children, each family shares one of the four bedrooms.

The kitchen was a total disaster when we started and we had limited funds and only six weeks to make the necessary changes before the new families moved in.  Thankfully,  several of you donated to the project and we were able to raise $1,550 from your donations (thank you donors, see list below) but that wasn’t nearly enough to get us where we needed to go.  So I struggled with what to do, and thankfully others stepped up to take this to the finish line.

First was Home Depot.  I’ve got to give them so much credit for this transformation, I wrote to them and asked them to donate cabinets to replace just the center island and they generously agreed.  Then when they sent their kitchen designer and cabinet supplier to the site we told them the story of the purpose of the house.  They looked around and they decided to do an amazing thing.  Home Depot decided that just the island wasn’t enough, they were going to donate all, yes ALL NEW kitchen cabinets.  I can’t explain how amazing it was to get that email.  ALL NEW CABINETS?   Wow, we’re talking several thousand dollars in cabinets donated for this cause!  THANK YOU HOME DEPOT!!

Thanks to Kelly and Nicole from Home Depot corporate, Christine, our local kitchen designer, and Keith, Craig and John our local cabinet supplies who all came together to replace all the cabinets for the entire space.  COTS was also able to allocate $1,700 to the project so with the donations by several of you, Home Depot, and COTS we were able to complete this full kitchen remodel for just over $3,600.  Without any help it would have cost us $9,000 in just materials (not including any labor).

Here’s the full tour and the story to go with it!

alma house kitchen tour

 

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Alma Project: Playroom Transformed

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Hi all, it’s time to share what we accomplished during our weekend at the Alma Project, and I’m so excited about this space!  We started with this room which is dedicated to the kids but was acting more like a storage space than a playroom, and in need of practical kid friendly solutions.  Over the course of three days, the team took this room from totally drab to completely fab!   We had to work with the existing navy carpet and ceiling, but every thing else was fair game so we started with a fresh coat of paint on the walls on Friday (painted baseboards too) and then installed all the elements from the design plan on Saturday and Sunday.

A month ago, Cristin and I got on the phone together to brainstorm ideas to reinvent this space.  It had to be a gender neutral playroom to serve kids ages 2 to 10, and we wanted to make it as inspiring as we could within our budget of $1,000.  We started with the giant wall map in shades of blue and green, then found a modern wavy stripe for the curtains, and I sourced everything else after that, with various online purchases and trips to IKEA, Target, etc.

All of the families who reside share a bedroom (mom plus kids in one room, up to four families in this home) so there was a real need for a community space for kids to be inspired to create and play.  The kids playroom sits right off the kitchen and is also a place for parents to relax and interact with their little ones.

Here’s a look at the room before we began:

alma kids room

And how it now looks after our three day makeover:

alma project kids playroom

Wow, right?   So fresh, so fun, so filled with color! Here’s the grand tour of the new kids playroom at our Alma Project. 

 

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