Elsie and I are super excited to share a new adventure with you today. We are proud to announce that ABM will be giving away a house this year! Let me explain more:
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.
You might be thinking right about now, "What?!?!?!" I know, we might be totally crazy. But let me back up and tell you how we came up with this totally insane plan and what our goals are.
Here you can see the hallway, living room, and dining room. We took lots of before photos and video that we'll share later in the process.
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.
Here's a peek at the two bedrooms. I think we have some carpet removal in our near future (There's beautiful wood underneath!)
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."
Here is the bathroom and laundry room. I have a feeling the bathroom is going to end up being the most expensive remodel in the house. Just a hunch. 🙂
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.
Here's the kitchen. Love all that counter space. It just needs some TLC and it'll feel so much fresher and more functional. Also, to add a dishwasher or not to add a dishwasher? That is the question.
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. :)
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support. We love you guys! xo. Emma, Elsie and the ABM team.
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
YAY!!! I work for Habitat for Humanity here in Oregon and I love this so much! Thank you for supporting the Habitat mission and eliminating the need for substandard housing in your city!
This is really cool, congrats!
This is amazing! I can’t wait to see the whole remodeling process, and perhaps, the lucky future tenants of the home. 🙂
I think that this is a fantastic idea, and an incredibly generous one. Shout it out, this is one I think deserves to be talked about! Can’t wait to hear and see more of the process, looking forward to all your updates.
this is simply amazing!
This is so awesome!! This is just the type of project that renews my faith in humanity. The team at ABM is always fantastic, always posting awesome projects that are really manageable and clear. I am definitely looking forward to the updates in this new project.
Thank you for sharing this GREAT new project 🙂 !
That’s awesome of you. It’s really amazing that you had that idea. I can’t wait to see your progress on that house. You’re such wonderful girls to do this.
Where can I find Elsie’s shoes? I love them! Also, so proud of this!!
I seriously had a lump in my throat the entire time I was reading this. You guys are so amazing. I think this is just wonderful. I also am grateful to you for making a blog that I just love and can’t go a day without checking! Any time I’m buried in work and just need a break, I head to ABM to distract my brain and recharge myself. So THANK YOU for all YOUR hard work to create something so beautiful.
You guys are such an inspiration! 😀 I recently found your site (can’t really remember how, maybe pinterest?) and I’ve been in love ever since! Elsie, I already know I’m going to be a lot like you when I’m older haha (16 right now). Well of course, I’ll be ready for updates on your project(:
I feel like a dishwasher would be marvelous addition. A lot of people around here that have gone the route of HFH to get a house have multiple children, or other family members to care for, and that can make a lot of dishes. It’s something small that could really make a difference in the amount of time someone has to spend with their family. 😀
I personally prefer to not have one, but then again I only have one child. 😉
This is seriously so cool. How I would love to do this! Where can I buy some books to help support you?
Just want to say that seeing this project on your site affirms my continued love and support for ABM! I have been following this blog for several years now and have enjoyed watching the ongoing growth and transformation that has happened within this small blog space. The fact that you are taking your creative ideas (literally) outside of your personal spaces and fueling a project to help others is so awesome. It’s easy to get caught up putting so much of our energy into making our own lives inspiring, artsy, and crafty, or even getting into a worse rut of comparing our lives to others on the internet. Thanks for having the courage to do something huge (like give away a house!!) and share it with the readers. Keep up the sharing and good work! 🙂
How did I miss this before? This is so insanely cool. So awesome. Bravo to you guys!!!
This is the mostest bestest thing I’ve read in, like, forevah. I can’t tell you how different my style is from what you typically post – but I LOVE your ideas. And I’m so uncreative (truly), I couldn’t even replicate what you do no matter how hard I tried. BUT I CANNOT WAIT TO FOLLOW THIS!!! How totally awesome you and your whole team are. BEST TO YOU as you continue to grow your fabulous business!!
Iv been following ur blog for some time now, and I just want to say I love how far u ladys r getting with ABM. Im constantly inspired by ur posts, and cant wait to c wat u do with this house.
This is truly a wonderful thing you decided to do girls…very inspiring and it actually makes me proud to “support” people like you when i see that you’re capable of doing something this huge for someone in need. THANK YOU! And congratulations that is really fantastic! Can’t wait to see that project growing step by step!
Much love to the entire ABM team!
I’m really sad because I really like the floral on the top of the walls but I know you’ll get rid of it.
I also really like that little shelf-type thing with the star cut out of it but I’m sure you’ll get rid of that too, if not the entire wall to make everything open.
I’m sure however you create the house will be amazing though!
Beyond amazing! I can’t wait to see the improvements you make. You and your team are such inspirations!