Montgomery County Habitat for Humanity raises nearly $600 through Upcycle Challenge

I am excited to share the below article By Victoria Wolk from Montgomery Media!  We helped to raise nearly $600 for our local Habitat for Humanity chapter, and many of our upcycled items are still available to purchase at their store which will help raise even more money!  Here’s the full article:

“Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County raised nearly $600 through its first-ever UpCycle Challenge, which asked five contestants to design rooms using as many recycled materials as possible. They were encouraged to utilize ReStore Montco, a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that benefits HFHMC, according to Marianne Lynch, HFHMC executive director. They could also buy materials elsewhere, though they had to stick to a $500 budget.

Each contestant was assigned a room in a Habitat-built home in Hatfield Township. The house is currently empty, but its future residents hope to move in this summer, Lynch said.

Community members were invited to tour the completed rooms in April, with a $10 suggested donation to HFHMC. There were 57 visitors, said ReStore development coordinator Erika Reinhard, resulting in $570 in donations.

After touring the house, visitors voted for their favorite rooms. The first-place winner received a $100 gift card to ReStore Montco, while the second-place winner got a $50 gift card, Reinhard said.

The winning room was a bedroom designed by mother-daughter team Katie and Diane Pietrak. They described the room as “eclectic vintage” and were proud to say that more than 95 percent of the items were from thrift stores.

“We just took different pieces and made it all come together,” Katie said. For example, they recycled a desk into a nightstand and a bookshelf and painted over old artwork to create something completely original.  (see below photos for the desk upcycle!)


vintagedeskafternightstandvintagedeskaftertable vintagedeskafterlaptoptray

Second prize went to Holly Gruszka, who owns decorating firm West Pear Interiors. She created a home office, and the entire design of the room was based off a floral painting she found at ReStore. She described her design as “moody vintage chic.” The office gets a lot of light, especially in the afternoon, so Gruszka chose a dark blue color for the walls. UpCycled items included a wooden desk painted hot pink and a desk chair reupholstered with a bright fabric.

The challenge’s other contestants were Kristin Albone, owner of Homes by Kristin, Lauren Nolan-Sellers, co-founder of Trust the Vision Décor and Laura Rodgers. Rodgers’ bedroom was inspired by “Beauty and the Beast,” and characters from the movie could be spotted around the room. Albone and Nolan-Sellers split the first floor of the house; Albone worked on the dining room area, while Nolan-Sellers designed the living room. Albone’s purple dining room was inspired by the 1960s’ style of “Mad Men,” while Nolan-Sellers created a living room with a fresh, springtime vibe.

All of the furniture and other design pieces created in the UpCycle Challenge were donated back to ReStore Montco. Many of the items are still available for purchase. ReStore is open Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and is located at 533 Foundry Road in West Norriton.”

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