Local charity provides decor to help needy

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by SHELLY SLATER

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaashelly

WFAA

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 7:45 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 9 at 8:37 PM

DALLAS - For many needy families, high-end decoration is not near the top of their worries, but one local charity sees it as a way to affect entire lives - beginning with surroundings.

Dwell with Dignity is not just about decorating, it's redesigning a mindset to help people who are homeless or looking for jobs.

The team takes bland apartments and transforms them into what looks high end.

"This was a discontinued item that we'll make into a pillow," said designer Lisa Robison. "It will make a statement for the entire room."

She holds a fabric sample worth roughly $200 per yard. For Dwell with Dignity, it's free - a donation. They hope it will make a difference for a family in need. But they hope to make an emotional, not financial, impact.

"People feel valued by their environment," Robison said. "And children, you may have a six-year-old child that was sleeping on a concrete floor or mattress, and to see that we've created this beautiful environment for them, it makes them feel safe and valued."

Robison and fellow designer Kim Turner have to get creative to keep a high-end look.

"We'll also find things on the street corner on trash day, and we'll re-purpose it and turn it into something wonderful," Robison said.

"This makes design so much more fun," Turner added. "It's fun to dig through things that have been donated."

From frames, to blankets and dressers, or even items passed off from manufacturers with a small scratch or dent, the charity is happy to take it all.

"Dwell with Dignity is a way we can recycle, re-purpose and reuse the waste in the design community," Robison said.

All while giving back, and finding a stronger purpose in their profession.

"Find what it is that makes your heart beat fast," Robison said. "What is it that you love to do, that you're talented at, and give that back to your community."

The rewards go to the needy families, but Turner said they don't get the short end of the stick.

"I go home and my face hurts from smiling so much," she said.

Knowing this polished look gives people a boost in life, and a home to return to, during a time they need it most.

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com

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