We've purchased a small house within our hometown, Springfield, MO. We will be updating the house with renovations + a major decor makeover, and we will share the whole process on the blog with you. Once we have completed the makeover, we will be donating the house and everything inside to our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate.
This past summer, while Elsie and I were flying home from Costa Rica, we talked about the state of our little business, our big goals and what we'd like to do next.
A passion we kept discussing was a desire to give back and be a part of our local community. We used to own a small retail shop in our hometown, and although it made sense for our little company to move on from our local shop over a year ago, we've often missed the local aspect. We like being involved in our community because we love where we live. We also really wanted to find a way to use our business to give back to our town. Lots of businesses we look up do charity work or give back in some way, and we felt that it was time for ABM to make this kind of commitment as well.
Another thing we discussed was that we had heard from many of our readers, over and over again, that you want more inspiration for small spaces. Elsie and I have already shared our personal homes in our latest book, and we've shared about our studio house on the blog as well. So, we wanted to find a way to makeover a smaller home, but how could we do this? Could we just invade someone's home? Or buy one? We didn't want to buy a house that would ultimately just sit empty, and we didn't envision ourselves in the house flipping business.
While we talked all this through and allowed ourselves to dream big, it finally hit us. What if we bought a small house in need of repair, gave it a big makeover, and then somehow donated it to a non-profit, maybe Habitat for Humanity?
We had a lot of questions. Could we afford to do this? Would we seem totally out of our minds if we did? Would our readers enjoy seeing this? We didn't know. But we immediately fell head over heels in love with the idea. It felt so right, and we were SO excited to explore the options.
So, when we got home from our vacation, we thought about the idea more. We ran some numbers. We started looking at houses in our town that might work for this type of project. We had a couple of meetings with our new Habitat friends, and discussed the project with them to see if it was a good fit for their goals as well.
And about two months after coming up with this insane plan, we signed the papers for our new "project house."
As you can see from the photos, we have quite a bit of work to do. Our goal is to give the house a major interior makeover, share projects on the blog with you, and then donate the house. We hope to accomplish this within the next six months.
Inside the house we'll be updating the living room, dining area, kitchen, two bedrooms, laundry room, and a bathroom… which is basically the entire house! We're excited by this challenge and totally stoked to do a little painting, tiling, and create lots of projects to share with you, and then give it all away to support the Habitat mission.
Another thing I'd like to note about this process is that after we donate the house, HFHS will likely make some updates of their own. Habitat for Humanity strives to build or renovate homes they work on so they are as energy efficient and “green” as possible. So some updates they may choose to make could be replacing windows, siding, or updating some of the heating and cooling systems. We're super excited to learn more about HFHS and their process through our work with them on this project. So we'll be meeting with them on a regular basis throughout the updates to ensure none of our work conflicts with any green updates they have in the works to avoid any wasted effort, as there are some set processes there.
To be honest with you, I've felt incredibly nervous to announce this project with you all. Elsie and I are super proud of this project, and we can't wait to see how it goes. But, I was raised with the mindset that when you do a "good deed", you don't go around telling everyone about it.
For this reason, we considered keeping the purpose of a house a secret. But this just didn't feel right as we always try to be really open and honest with you guys about whatever we're up to. And we figured that you would find it sort of odd if we started renovating a home and sharing it with you, but not disclosing whose home it was, or why we were doing the renovations in the first place.
One of the things we love about blogging is sharing our life and business journey with you. This is a very happy part of our life this year and we're looking forward to being open and honest with you about it!
And the truth is, it's because of you and your support that this project is possible! And I mean this from the very bottom of my heart. Every time you support ABM by reading the blog, sharing our content, buying an e-course or product we create, downloading one of our apps, or all of the above, you enable us to keep growing. You are the reason a family in need will be helped toward home ownership. We're incredibly grateful for your support!
Thank you for reading. We hope you love following along with this crazy house project because the truth is, it's your project too. High fives all around.
We'll be updating you on the house project periodically as things happen (we've already started some of the major renovations, as you can see in a few of these photos). Feel free to let us know if you have any questions or if there's anything about the process that you want to know more about. Maybe we'll blog about it. :)
Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. *Habitat homes are sold to qualifying families at a reduced price with a zero-interest loan. Mortgage payments then go into a revolving fund that allows Habitat to build additional homes for families in need. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity or to make a donation, visit habitat.org