I’m a terrible friend. No matter how hard I try to sit down and blog, something breaks. Well not today! Who needs some love??? Because we have a lot of love to give today. Let’s start with my favorite charity that I’m involved in, Dwell With Dignity.
We did an install just prior to Thanksgiving last year for a sweet mother of two. All three were previously homeless and there aren’t enough words in the English language to describe the amazing ride it is to be right there, on the front lines, making a difference for folks who truly NEED OUR HELP. Pile on all the love and support from our social network of friends (you blast “we need help” out to Facebook and they answer the call!) and you’re wishing you could do this everyday.
Take a look at the before and after pictures of their two bedroom government-assisted apartment (where our country gets it right for those that need it). I was honored to be asked to design the living, dining and kitchen spaces. I had participated with Room Service Atlanta in the past and knew whatever the task, it was going to be a beautiful week. Taking a week off to so the Lord’s work is the best (and free) therapy out there my friends. If you can swing it, do it. It prompted all these rainbow and unicorn ideas, like why don’t we, as a country, make it part of our culture to take a week or two off work, excused, to help others? Make it cool. I happen to think its already cool, but you know what I mean.
I received SO MUCH help from my friends to paint these walls! And what a difference it made in the kitchen and dining spaces.
Two of the sweetest faces you’ll ever meet. Is there anything cuter than a child in footy pajamas? I think not!
My friends of Gordon Dunning made these sweet babies a MAGICAL place! You need to click on their link and meet them. I adore them! I feel like a little mama bear, or middle-aged Auntie when I’m around them. So proud of their spunk and go-after-it outlook on life. I remember “they” saying my generation, the X gen was a bunch of slackers “and the one after them worse.” Well I’ve met Y and Z and I beg to differ ;-))) we are in good hands.
Brook and Canaan created Mama a sanctuary! Another dynamic duo of love and goodness. I’m blessed to have spent the week hanging out with them. We had a ball! And they came through in the clutch if you needed it!
The Container Store, a big awesome sponsor, donates elfa closet systems for each new install and Ashley Home Furniture a sofa. Both the refrigerator, freezer and pantry are PACKED with healthy groceries for a growing family and a local chef cooks the family’s favorite meal, hot and ready, on their first night in their new space. It’s an incredible and loving organization. The big reveals are a day you’ll never forget. We asked Rosie what her favorite color was…”I’m not sure, no one has ever asked me that.” I also learned when she was growing up, she wanted to be a police officer. I told her now’s the time! She currently is a full-time cook for Chik-fil-A which offers support, second-chances and a million other amazing things for our community.
One more thing they provide is a professional photography session for the family and all the prints are framed and placed throughout the home, like this WINNER below. All these photos were taken by Thomas S. England at englandphoto.com. Awesome.
Dwell With Dignity hopes to achieve another dozen installs this year in the city of Atlanta. Wooooo hoooooo!!! Please consider adding them to your list of charitable contributions this year. The positive results from these living spaces is astronomical and proven! Better grades, better jobs, family gatherings, birthday parties, the list is endless.
Next up, a new feature Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles started running, in replacement of their “Ten Under 40”. Its called “Young Guns” (absolutely love the name) and you’ll never guess who March was?! Again, no words. Just a lot of gratitude for the Editor who thinks I have what it takes to be featured in their very popular and HIGHLY respected design magazine, here in “Designing Women” capital of the South and read all over the country. It was a banner day to say the least. I screamed and was scared to open it when it arrived, Sophie standing by. I was like oh lawd please don’t sound like a tool Jen. In the end it was a wonderful write up and I was very proud and humbled and especially touched by the outpouring of love and support from my friends, family and design community. You know I cried! hahaha.
Big lesson here is, I can remember turning 40 and thinking, well there goes that dream. Moving on. Exactly why we listen to Journey and don’t stop believing! We truly do not know the surprises and the POTENTIAL each new day may bring. Remember that on those days when the world is knocking yo a__ down – WE ALL HAVE THEM.
One more happy to report…
If you go to Schumacher’s website you might spot this. Blew my mind when I saw it and choked up yet again.
I walked around all day trying to be cool about one of the most famed, historic and fabulous fabric houses running a picture of my work on their website. You see this happen to others but when it happens to you, you’re like holy s__t! This is what happens when you work hard and are nice to others right?! And you kinda walk around in this happy can’t believe it daze for a day. Sounds so cliche but walk around with a big smile on your face and see how your day changes. Everyone suddenly softens.
Besides working double time this first quarter so I can surf Summer, that’s all the news to report. However, I am heading home this weekend to work on Lori’s house and see the fam! Its all going down this Summer team! My goal is to have it all renovated, styled and staged for a THROW DOWN #downloadubernow
Can’t wait for you all to see it! Stop by anytime this Summer if it looks like we are working…I’ve got a lot of furniture to transform so I’ll be out there painting away. The home’s palette is black, white, gray and camel. Farmhouse with a twist. The kitchen will have antique brass hardware and be a little bit more zip pity do da than the rest of the cottage style home. I’m going to cry when it sells -shocker. But then I’ll set my sights on the next 1930s fixer upper. My favorite era of home building. My dream is to go around my hometown, selecting cottage-sized homes and make them fairy-tale charming.
I wanna find a little cape cod dumpling and paint it deep deep charcoal, almost black, with white trim, flower boxes and a pale pink door. ;-))))
And they’ll all have names, the best part! And I love styling the outside of the home too…its highly underrated in my town and I’d like to educate and change all that. You never know, there may be a lot of undiscovered decorators that just needed a little pinch in the right direction.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away” – Pablo Picasso
Cheers to the weekend!!! And I’m so happy to have the time today to catch up with you all! Thank you, as always, for stopping by the road! Happy trails!
jenny from the rock