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Design for Good: the Beauty of Belonging

The Ultimate Thrift Studio: Dwell with Dignity

Helping families escape poverty and homelessness through design



Let’s start here. Imagine an organization where interior designers, stylists, designer brands and the public donate home items, furniture, lighting, bedding and everything needed to create a sanctuary. They meet with families and get to know what they like, their style, colors, etc. They have a DIY volunteer work nights where they repaint furniture, make custom art, and re-upholster headboards and chairs, to help families free themselves from poverty and homelessness. They work with agencies that have accountability-based programs of caseworkers and counselors that provide guidance to help families achieve self sufficiency and reliance. The families are counseled personally and financially, offered job assistance, and they save the first and last months rent and finally get placed in permanent low income housing. Sometimes they leave the shelter with only a plastic bag of basic supplies. Some had to leave abusive partners in the middle of the night and have nothing.

DwD, based in both Dallas and Atlanta, furnishes their apartment, fills their pantries and cooks a hot meal their first night so they can literally just come in, eat dinner and go to bed in their new home. Across the board, beds are the most important thing to them. They recently had one mother with three small children that burst into tears when she saw their new beds. She said they had been sleeping on the floor for months and had forgotten what a real bed felt like. Tears all round.

The biggest fundraiser is their thrift studio. It is an annual 30-day pop up shop created to provide financial viability and fundraising for DwD by selling the overstock of donated new and gently used furniture, housewares, accessories and high end designer finds to the public. Each thrift studio has a cast of fabulous designers that design and install vignettes using items from their warehouses as well as items they've donated from their own inventory to help families begin again.

When we heard about their work through our friend and fellow artist Nicole Horn, who took a sizable pay cut and lost her health insurance so her work could have a deeper meaning and impact, working with DwD. She’s the angel that manages their thrift studio in Dallas, and handles their social media and marketing as their communications and retail manager. She’s also one of the most talented creatives we’ve ever met. Find out where to donate, support or sponsor a family at

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