Helping Atlantans Dwell with Dignity
At Nandina, each day is full of design challenges that makes us work harder in order to meet our clients expectations but to also satisfy our personal needs as artists. We deal with many different tasks such as customer service, inventory management, marketing, human resources and fiscal management. But the key to our success is that we truly support our philosophy that each and every home must provide its residents a safe-haven which will allow them to rest, grow, and dream. We like to believe that our work has the strength to change lives.
How serendipitous that my business partner Sue Shannon and I would found ourselves presenting at a conference in Atlanta last year that featured Lisa Robinson, Founder/President and Kim Turner, Vice President/ Director of the Dallas-based Dwell with Dignity organization. After Sue and I heard Lisa and Kim’s presentation, we realized that Dwell with Dignity was an organization that reflected Nandina’s values and we wanted to be a part of of this noble initiative!
If we can change a person’s surroundings, we can change their outlook on life. Exposing children to a nurturing home environment that includes good design and art can inspire a standard of living that will carry over to future generations.
– Dwell with Dignity
Dwell with Dignity is a nonprofit group of interior designers and volunteers dedicated to creating soothing, inspiring homes for families struggling with homelessness and poverty. Founder Lisa Robinson, an interior designer, started the organization in 2009 and Kim Turner, also a designer, joined her soon after.
One of the first public appearances of the Dwell with Dignity organization was on the Nate Berkus Show in the summer of 2011. Since then, this charitable organization has been creating inspiring homes with the labor of dedicated volunteers, along with the generosity of donors, rapidly helping to change people’s lives, one household at a time. Click on the picture below to see the amazing things that Dwell with Dignity does.
Nancy Foster at Dwell with Dignity Atlanta, shares:
“The first project we did in Atlanta was in 2014. The family consisted a single mother with two boys, ages 10 and 5. During our exit interview, the mother said that the 10 year had never asked to have another child over to play. After the reveal, the child not only asked to have a friend over, he also insisted that the boy’s mother pick him up so he could show off the house. It still brings tears to my eyes when I reflect on that. Many of these families have been homeless or right on the brink of it. Now, they are at a point where they can say ‘this is mine, I have something, I have dignity, and my life has possibility.’ Every time we go back to visit these families, their homes are still as pristine as they were on the reveal day. It instills a sense of pride into these families and communities, and gives a voice to those that might not normally have one.”
She continued, “we work through a number of different accredited social services. We do a lot of work with the Atlanta Initiative for Affordable Housing and Atlanta Children’s Services. We take into account each family’s unique situation, and all of our families are thoroughly vetted.”
After getting to know more about Dwell with Dignity and the fine women that run the organization, we knew that it was the right way to put our values into action. We want to help the less fortunate dwell with dignity.
Nandina donated $5000, which became the budget for this protect. Nandina has been involved in the project for about 5 months, and this family of five was selected a month ago.The selection of the family that we would eventually work for was done with the help of the Buckhead Christian Ministries. Families with younger members are usually considered top priority.
Once the family was selected, the project was treated like any other. A design consultation took place in which the designers assessed the family’s needs and got a sense of their personality and style. The family’s number one concern was storage, so the designers worked hard to find affordable storage solutions.
Above all, we need to ensure that this space functions properly for this growing family. We got really creative and were able to come up with a lot of space-saving storage solutions.
– Chanel Katic, Designer
The importance of children being brought up in a safe environment is so crucial it can easily determine their future. As the project’s lead designer John Ishmael shares:
My aim is to create a calm, peaceful space where this family can learn, play, and grow together.
– John Ishmael, Designer
When it came to gathering the furniture and all the accessories that were included in the project, there were a few generous donors. This project was supported with lighting by Currey & Company, furnishings from AmericasMart (a wholesale trade center), and Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC), as well as by our Inman Park Nandina Home Decor Store. The fabrics for items such as pillows, fabrics, and bed skirts will be up-cycled remnants leftover from other Nandina projects. All of these items are being hand-made in the Nandina work room. Additionally, there is a team of volunteer DIY-ers working hard to refinish and paint donated furniture such as chairs, dressers, and desks.
All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of our entire team. In the end, I know we will create a space that the whole family will be proud of.
– Chanel Katic, designer
Dwell with Dignity is an idea that is based on giving a helping hand to those in need and an opportunity to stand on their own two feet again looking at life from a new angle. And for this reason we are proud to be part and encourage others to participate as well.
The exciting reveal of this project will be this Friday (June 26) at noon. Our entire team will be there to watch their excitement of finally having a dignified, comfortable, and stylish home.