It’s all about the family {and in this case families!}. This year GMC had a larger vision for this event! We got to help TWO families by furnishing TWO homes! What a fun challenge!

immaculee and axel diy blogger house

The bloggers who came were amazing. They’re my friends forever. So don’t forget to check them out and follow them. There’s just something about volunteering your time for almost an entire week just for the sake of helping others. It bonds you together forever.

blogger friends

I helped with the GM Foundation house along with Zondra from Six Brown Chicks, MJ from Chicagonista, Rene from Good Enough Mother, and Courtney from French Country Cottage, and the DIY Blogger house was decorated and furnished by Danielle from Finding Silver Pennies, Taryn from Design, Dining and Diapers, Beth and Nick from Sawdust and Embryos, Amy from The Idea Room, and Allison from Two Thirty Five Designs . The two houses were only a mere 20 minutes away from each other!

Before we even leave home, we read the all about the families. We knew their names and their kids’ names. We felt like we knew them, and we already loved them without even meeting them. We spent weeks thinking about them, and I can’t even write this post without tearing up.

I would like to introduce you to Immaculee, Axel, and their 8 month old baby Levi. I snapped this picture when I saw them for the first time. They had no idea that their home would be completely furnished when they opened their front door!

Habitat for Humanity and GMC trip

When we all arrived in Atlanta on Wednesday, we drew rooms out of a hat. I was absolutely ecstatic that I drew the master bedroom and bathroom.

All week long, I thought about them, and pondered what they needed and what they might like while shopping for their room. I read their information sheet at least 10 times and wondered how I could serve them best.

I knew that Immaculee and Axel had one dream. To own a home in the United States. They have been through so much. They moved to the US from Rwanda where they both lost close family members as a result of the Rwandan Genocide. So I wanted to honor their dream somehow. Plus, I knew that Immaculee’s favorite colors are red and green, so I used small bits of those colors as accents in the room!

When Axel entered his home for the first time, he cried and cried. He was so humble and grateful. It was such a touching moment.  Each one of us had the chance to introduce them to the rooms we decorated for them.


Random side note: I found out the day of the reveal that the ceilings were slanted in the room! So imagine my panic when I found out that my design plan was going to be worthless! HA! It all works out in the end, luckily!

Here is a reminder of the room before:


I love it, but more importantly, Immaculee and Axel’s expression was all the reward I needed.


{Since I know someone is thinking about lead-based paint, I wanted to mention that I sealed the windows with polycrylic}. I also upholstered the headboard myself. Smile  And I painted the side table with my favorite chalk paint powder B.B. Frosch mixed with Behr Dolphin Fin flat paint.
brass-deer-decor-accessories magazine-rackaccessories

map pictures

desk area


floral-headboard-1I picked up some amazing accessories at yard sales, and books are some of my favorite accessories, and it was a great way to jazz up the room with color. colorful-books-for-decoratingIf you follow me on Instagram, you know I bought this amazing wooden architectural piece and I knew just what it would be perfect for…MAGAZINES!  Immaculee loves to cook and travel, so I tried to fill it with magazines that she would like.

Plus, the $25 desk {that I mentioned in my first post} was in pretty good shape already, so I just painted the drawer fronts to add a pop of green to the room.

magazine-rack-green-desk-1This amazing mid-century modern bench was one of my favorite things I found on the yard sale, and the folks were so nice to sell it to me for a lower price for the cause.   mid-century-modern-bench-1 I bought the bedding at Wal-Mart since I wanted it to be new and clean.

Red-gray-white-bedroom-decor-1When Immaculee and Axel walked into their room, I said, “I heard you like red and green” and she looked at me with the cutest look on her face. Then she caught a glimpse of the USA and Rwanda maps. I asked her if she knew what  it was, and she said, “Yes! That’s the United States!” Then I said, what is below that? And she looked closer and said, “That’s Africa.” I couldn’t hold my emotions back any longer and I barely breathed out, “Yep, that’s Rwanda.” She looked at me straight in the eyes and said, “How did you know?”  It was so special. USA and Rwanda[3]

In the master bed room, I wanted to honor where they have been and where they are today, and I couldn’t have done it alone. Thank you to Jessica Washburn from Unique Wallflowers {a Southern Utah friend of mine who now lives only 20 minutes away from the house in Cincinatti}!  It was fate I tell ya!  She donated the USA and Rwanda vinyl for the art in the room.


As I stood with the homeowners posing for a few pictures, Immaculee nestled her head into my neck and I couldn’t hold my emotions in any longer.  I cried and cried. I will never forget that moment. I’m glad that someone was videoing because it was so tender.  I’m filing that experience into my memory forever.

Thank you MJ for putting together this video of the house, in fact, she caught the tender moment I was just describing!


If you missed my first post about this year, check it out HERE. Plus, check out 2013 and 2012 too! After all it was VERY special when I got to help Alexia two years ago and Latoya last year.



I hope you liked the room!


  1. says

    I absolutely LOVE how it turned out!!!! So special what yo did for them. What a great cause – we have one of those ReStore places here in town- it’s soooo much fun to go in there & I love what they do for the community.

    Can you just come up here & stay with me for a week & we can decorate like crazy??!!

  2. ira lee says

    i have loved watching all the room reveals. what a tragic story that has been this couples life. they were truely grateful and you could see that in their faces!! you did a good thing!!!!

  3. Fara says

    This is so sweet. I’ve really enjoyed reading the adventures and generosity of your group of bloggers! I also have a very similar bench that my great-grandfather built. I was always told that he copied a Frank Lloyd Wright design. It is at the end of our bed, and we use it everyday!

  4. says

    Brooke!!! Your room is as amazing as you are! So happy to experience this with you my friend! Wish I could have gone to both reveals! Love you! happy birthday! xo

  5. Wendy says

    Brooke!!! You are simply AWESOME!!!! I loved reading this first thing this morning to start and lift my heart today! You’ve got MAD skills!! Everything you touch turns to gold! This is just beautiful <3 <3 <3 <3

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