“Share the Joy” Office Makeover: The Reveal!


Alright, so last night I introduced you all to the “Share the Joy” service project I had the opportunity to be a part of thanks to our sponsor, World Market.  (To catch up on that post if you missed it, click here.)  Earlier this week, myself and three other bloggers took on the task giving the Central Florida Children’s Home office building an extreme makeover.  We’re talking paint, new furniture, window treatments, lighting…the whole nine yards!

Here’s our team in the midst of getting our DIY on for a worthy cause!  From left to right are myself, Christine from First Home Love Life, Katie from Sew Woodsy (and yep, she’s expecting!), and Sarah from While They Snooze who was also the creative mastermind behind this whole project.


So, to refresh your memory, here are some before pictures of what we were working with:

The Office in Need of Renovation - - Before

The Central Florida Children’s Home office building was in need of more than just “sprucing up.”  They needed a conference table for meeting with donors and the families of potential foster kids, a second desk area for Hiram, the Executive Director, better lighting, fresh paint on the walls…and a whole lot more.

In fact, I’m going to show you what all we did, and then soon, I’ll get to the grand reveal photos I know you’re all anxiously awaiting!  Hang tight!  (Ooo, I’m so excited.)

Day 1

The work actually started on Sunday, which was “painting day.”  I unfortunately couldn’t be there, but some extra hands showed up to help share the load – – including my pal Wendi from H2O Bungalow who I got met at FL Blog Con this September.  They were there from morning till night working on a laundry list of tasks that included:

  • clearing out furniture
  • patching holes
  • painting walls (French Gray by Behr)
  • installing missing baseboards
  • installing new lighting
  • repairing a broken window
  • fixing a broken toilet
  • replacing the air filter
  • building custom wood shelves
  • prepping the space for our second work day

Working hard for the "Share the Joy" Campaign - - helping out Central Florida Children's Home to give their office a makeover!

Way to go, team!

Day 2

When I showed up Monday morning, the gang was already hard at work…hubbies, too!  We had help from all our husbands at one point or another over the course of the two work days.  Mark even stopped by for a few hours to help assemble the buffet!  We seriously could not have finished our project in time without their help.  Go hubbies!

Here are some of the main projects we tackled on Day 2:

  • replacing a lot of the outdated furniture with solidly built and beautifully designed World Market furniture (some assembly required)
  • spray-painting frames and creating a gallery wall
  • stenciling an accent wall
  • installing a new ceiling fan
  • adding paint accents to cabinets
  • painting a chalkboard wall
  • installing curtain rods and hanging new curtains
  • covering bulletin boards with fabric and hanging them
  • painting and installing custom-wood shelves
  • mounting file organizers
  • creating DIY artwork and styling shelves

Working hard for the "Share the Joy" Campaign - - helping out Central Florida Children's Home to give their office a makeover!

My favorite project of the day was stenciling an accent wall.  We used a stencil by Royal Design Studio that Sarah had used for some curtains she painted, and for paint, we used Gulf Winds by Behr.  This was really slow and meticulous work, even though we expedited the process by using a paint roller and switched off throughout the day…but it was pretty much a non-stop effort.  I can say with confidence, though, that it was well worth it in the end: it’s the first thing your eyes see when you open the front door, and it packs a real punch!

Stenciling as part of our "Share the Joy" service project at the Central Florida Children's Home Office!

We worked from 9a to 5pm, stopping only briefly to eat at Natalie’s insistence.  Natalie is the sweet-as-pie secretary I told you about; she kept us all well fed and smiling with her naturally joyful demeanor.  She must have remarked at least 10 different times throughout the day, “I’m like a little kid at Christmas!”  She was just so enthusiastic and thankful for all the improvements we were making to her workspace.

Just before we lost all light at the end of the day, we managed to vacuum up behind ourselves and snap a few “after” photos.  Are you ready for the big reveal?

The Reveal!

Here is the finished space, and I’ll include those “before” shots again so you can see how dramatic this transformation truly was.

First up, the entryway:

"Share the Joy" Before & After of our Children's Home Office makeover!

Verona Buffet, custom shelves by Jon, and a new gallery wall!

Then, turn around to see the new meeting area and lunch nook!

"Share the Joy" Before & After of our Children's Home Office makeover!

Conference table, new chairs mixed with some of the old, new lighting, new curtains, and stenciled accent wall.

Then, turn to the right and you’ll see our new chalkboard wall…

"Share the Joy" Before & After of our Children's Home Office makeover!

DIY Chalkboard wall, 2 Verona Bookshelves, books donated by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

…and Natalie’s desk area!

"Share the Joy" Before & After of our Children's Home Office makeover!

New lighting, new curtains, new DIY bulletin board.

Then, through the doorway ahead, you enter Hiram’s office!

"Share the Joy" Before & After of our Children's Home Office makeover!

New desk, new pedestal table, newly set up computer, new ceiling fan, file organizers.

This is one of my favorite pictures from our day: Hiram sitting at his own desk in his own office for the first time!

Hiram at his new desk!  In his own office space!

Before this, he shared a desk and computer with Natalie, and now, he has a space of his own.

Also, I managed to capture a short Instagram video of our reveal to Hiram.  I love Katie’s, “Move that bus!” reference to Extreme Home Makeover!  I’d say this qualifies as an Extreme Office Makeover.

Here I am with Hiram and Natalie after the day’s end.  It’s so inspiring to see people giving so much of themselves to meaningful work like they do at the Children’s Home.  And I’m just so thankful we got to give back to them in this small way through an office makeover.  Now, they can really feel proud inviting people into that space to discuss fundraisers or potential foster care placement.  Also, we found out they sometimes use the office as a quiet space for the older kids to work on homework, so the kids will get to enjoy it, too!

"Share the Joy" - - our smiles say it all!

Speaking of the kids, before we departed that evening, Hiram took us over to the Children’s Home to meet his wife and some of the kids!  (He and his wife watch over 15 kids, ranging from age 2 – 16.)  While I can’t show you pictures of their faces, trust me, they’re as adorable as you imagine.  That’s Sarah’s son in the red shirt, petting the House dog with one of the little boys.

Kids at the C.F. Children's Home!

A Final Thanks

Thanks again to World Market for this incredible opportunity to give back to our community and “Share the Joy.”  And thanks to Sarah, our fearless leader, for the immense amount of work she poured into organizing this.  RYOBI, 3M, Homes.com and ForRent.com, and our local Home Depot all get virtual hugs for the donations they made both in supplies and gift cards to help complete this makeover!  It takes a village.

A Call

So, now that I’ve shared our story, I’d love to know from you, dear reader, what you’d like to tackle to help “Share the Joy” this holiday season.  Maybe you could put together a gift basket for someone who is sick or show up at a local nursing home with a Christmas tree and box of Christmas ornaments to spread some cheer.

I can tell you from my own experience that when you give back to others, the joy flows both directions.  I’m still riding off the high of seeing the looks on Natalie’s and Hiram’s faces as they stood in their newly revamped workspace, took it all in, and just said, “Wow.”

And if you decide to share some of those moments on social media, use the hashtag #ShareTheJoy to join the movement!

Lastly, don’t forget, for every week from November 8th through December 6th, World Market is giving away a $5,000 American Express Gift Card plus $5,000 for a charity of the winner’s choice.  To enter the sweepstakes, you just need to become a fan of World Market on Facebook and click here.

"Share the Joy" Sweepstakes! by World Market

Have a joy-filled weekend!

Full Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but received a World Market Gift Card in exchange for sharing about my experience working on this worthwhile campaign.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own.  For more policy information, click here.

{Sometimes, I link up at these parties.}


Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    Lauren ~ Loved the finish! Like you I am riding “high” on the feeling of helping out such as worthy cause. It was an honor and a blessing to be able to roll up my sleeves and help out. I loved your video of the reveal!! I feel blessed to have met all of the CFL DIY Bloggers:) ..and am looking forward to next service project I can jump in and help with! Have a wonderful and love filled Thanksgiving!

  2. says

    Great post Lauren! Thank you again for all the work you put into this (thank Mark too!). I think it turned out better than I was expecting and made more of a difference than I ever expected too.

  3. says

    OOh, that stenciled wall is fantastic! I haven’t been brave enough to try one of my own. But maybe I’ll do the chalkboard wall, seems a bit simpler, no?

  4. Jessica says

    Wonderful transformation! It is such a joy to see you and so many other talented individuals sharing their talents for a wonderful cause. I’ve been trying to figure out a family project to do this year with my little people, and you have piled on even more inspiration to get going on it. Thanks for sharing, Lauren!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Aw, thanks, Stacy! It really was OUR joy. Now, I’m hungry for more service projects like this one. It really kind of opened up a whole new world of possibility in my mind…we’ll see where it leads!

  5. says

    I’m so glad you were able to join us! My heart is filled with so much joy for Natalie and Hiram and the entire Children’s home! Thanks again for filming the video–great job!!!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      That joy is overflowing, isn’t it?! And just at the perfect time of year when we’re all harried and overwhelmed and need a good reminder of what this is all about. So honored to have been a part of this with you all!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks, Britni! Yeah, the stenciled wall makes the biggest statement of all, I think! Such a brilliant idea on Sarah’s part.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      It was pretty neat how it all came together in the end (even though for a while there, we weren’t sure we could finish in time!). They deserved every ounce of love we could pour out on ’em!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Yes, Thalita! As we DIY’d, I thought, “THIS is what it’s all about.” Hoping I can find more opportunities like this to do what I love AND be a blessing to others.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      It was such a joy to be a part of this amazing project! (And I know you would have leapt to join in alongside us if FL and OK weren’t so far apart.) And I’m glad you love the stenciled wall as much as I do; I waas proud to have a small part in it!

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