Saturday, June 4, 2011

The YWCA Armoire

 Last year I had a great opportunity to be part of the renovation of a 'new' building for the Tacoma YWCA transitional housing for women, children, and their pets (this is one of the few shelters that takes pets).

After the YWCA had completed the renovation of the plumbing, electrical, and structure of the 1930s building they ran out of money. The board decided to do basic institutional necessities for the 22 units and try later to upgrade one unit at a time as funds were available.

A Tacoma designer went to the board and proposed that she recruit designers and decorators to volunteer to finish the units. The board agreed, thinking nothing would come of it. But they were wrong!

Twenty designers volunteered. Each was assigned a unit (a couple did two). They donated their time (and money) and got donations of materials, furniture, art, and labor and finished the 22 units in style. Each unit has a kitchen and a bathroom. Some are studios, some have one bedroom, some have two bedrooms. There are new kitchen fixtures, new tile in kitchens and bathrooms, new cabinets and built-ins, and each unit is furnished beautifully. I wish I had pictures of them all, they were HGTV-reveal-AMAZING! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the units. But I can show you a little part.

I worked with decorator Joyce Weir on her unit. The biggest piece I got to transform was a large pine armoire donated by a friend of Joyce's.

Here is the before:

And here is after:
I'll put the technical info in another post for anyone who is interested in how to do it. Or leave me a comment and I can get the info to you.

This is a picture (with li'l ol' me) of the armoire in the unit:

It was such a cool project to get to help out with.


  1. Excellent work for a worthwhile cause. You're awesome as always.

  2. Thanks. Takes awesome to know awesome!!

  3. What a beautifull job,love it