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Haven and the GMC Habitat House Makeover 2013


My goodness, it has been a whirlwind week for me. I left on Wednesday to head down to Atlanta, GA with my good friend Holly (of Storywood Designs). We rode in the lap of luxury in a swanky new 2014 GMC Acadia Denali! (My boys were in love with the new SUV. Especially the bluetooth headphones that let them listen to another radio station as Mama belted out the lyrics to “Blurred Lines.” I can’t blame them, singing is the one skill I don’t have.)

I was sponsored by GMC at Haven and they let me borrow the vehicle for the week. It’s a good thing we had the Acadia with loads of cargo space, because neither of us travel light. We even brought our own furniture:

bellhopOur bellhop barely skipped a beat as he loaded furniture onto the cart with our luggage.
(photo courtesy of Holly)

Holly and I didn’t waste a moment. We checked into the Grande Hyatt in Atlanta, spread out our ScotchBlue Heavy Duty Non-Slip drop cloths and started transforming furniture:


We were on a mission to help furnish a home for one special woman and her four children. A woman who had been renting, sleeping on a mattress on the floor and barely making ends meet. This lucky lady was about to get the keys to her new Habitat house and open the door to a FULLY FURNISHED HOME! (If you have been reading my blog for a while, you’ll remember when I helped do the same thing for the Moore’s last year.)

This year, GMC partnered with six new bloggers on the same epic stretch of continuous yard sales. However, the goal was to furnish the home for five people instead of three (like last year.)

But, I’m jumping ahead. While the bloggers were shopping for furniture, I was shopping for lumber. Sandra (the black belt of molding) and I prepped for our hands-on workshop at Haven by filling the Acadia with loads of lumber and trim. (Thank you to Home Depot for sponsoring Haven and for providing the materials for our class!)


Then we put on our teaching caps (I mean aprons from Duluth Trading Company) and taught a class on installing molding and casing called “Case This Joint”.

Sandra_Britt_musclesPhoto courtesy of Simply Designing

It was a blast and we REALLY enjoyed the sheer enthusiasm and cheers when each power tool newbie fired their first nail or made their first cut on a miter saw.


Karen using the Ryobi miter saw; giving a planking demonstration to Rebecca, Darla using the Ryobi Cordless Air Strike Finish Nailer.
(photos courtesy of Karen & Darla & Jenna)

It is experiences like these that makes me think my goal of changing the stereotype that women aren’t handy will happen sooner rather than later. Watch out world! Women are empowered! You can read more about our molding class in Sandra’s recap.


[The power tools were generously provided and manned (or womaned) by Ryobi! We couldn’t have done it without them, so a big thanks to them for helping empower more women!]

After a few days of chatting, teaching and learning, Haven came to a close. It was sad saying goodbye, but I had little time to mope.


Early Sunday morning I woke up; checked out of the hotel; loaded my tools and headed to the GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure rendezvous point. This adorable Habitat House:


And, met with the six amazing bloggers that had been scouring the World’s Longest Yard Sale for deals and steals!

#GMCHTA 2013 Bloggers

Liz from Liz Marie Blog – Courtney from French Country Cottage – Christine from The DIY Dreamer
Carissa from Good N Crazy – Jocie from One Project Closer ~ The Better Half – Kirsten from Simply Grove
(photo courtesy of The DIY Dreamer)

It was amazing seeing the huge line of white Denali vehicles all converged on this little quiet street. It was like a whole army of white knights there to rescue the empty house.


Several of us from last year returned to help. We called ourselves the veterans, but honestly the newbies put us to shame.


Lindsey from Better After, Brooke from All Things Thrifty, Me, Traci from Beneath My Heart and Court from The Blog Builders (Brooke’s brother who joined us to help this year.)

After several hours, the blank slate rooms were transformed into fully decorated and furnished rooms for the family of five.






Want to read more about the experience from the newbies’ perspectives? Be sure to follow their posts to get the full story:

You’ll also want to take a minute and watch the reveal video and the families’ reactions. Priceless!

I’m back in Raleigh and things are slowly returning to normal. I can tell you, it was a sad day when I had to return the Acadia. (Sniff, sniff. Goodbye new car smell, goodbye built-in navigation, goodbye loads of cargo room, goodbye bottom chiller. Maybe we will meet again soon.)

But let’s not leave on a sad note. I wanted y’all to know that I parted with a very special piece of jewelry just to help furnish the Habitat house this year. I really hope the new owners appreciate my sacrifice. I literally gave them the clock off my neck.




Makeover magic by Lindsey from Better After

Have a Flav-a-FULL weekend!


19 replies
  1. Darla from HeartWork Organizing
    Darla from HeartWork Organizing says:

    Love this! Love Habitat! Love the designs, especially the boys room. Love the effort. Loved sitting in the GMC at Haven (although they did NOT tell me about the bottom chiller, whoa!). LOVED meeting you and Sandra. Love that I made it into the post with my Ryobi nailer. Loved Haven, and can’t wait for next year. LOVE that this mom is getting so much more than a house. They work their butts off the earn and afford these homes, one of which you made beautiful just for her. LOVE!

  2. Colleen Taylor
    Colleen Taylor says:

    This is incredibly heartwarming what all you women did. Brought tears to my eyes. Each & every one of you are very special people! Brittany, YOU ROCK! Congratulations on a job well done!

  3. Courtney
    Courtney says:

    Aww what an awesome video – so glad you caught the ‘chalkboard’ chore list moment!! lol!! She LOVED that!! 😉 I love your recap post too! I love how everyone’s rooms turned out- and thank you again for your help with the chalkboard and the dining chairs!! It was so great to meet you in person finally!
    xo Courtney

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Courtney, LOL. Yes, between her praising the chore chart and the younger daughter saying she was in Heaven, I think I caught the overall feelings. So great to meet you and you rocked that kitchen!!!

  4. Carissa
    Carissa says:

    THAT little clock ROCKED my Girls Room!
    HUGE thanks to you and Lindsey for all the last minute details!

    I plan to send brownies your way.. oh wait.. I plan to DRIVE up to you and Bring the brownies myself! 🙂

  5. lucysinspired
    lucysinspired says:

    Loved meeting you! I hope we can find the right corbels for your shelves! They are one of my favorite architectural accents! Looking forward to your visit to the store…..sooner than later, right?

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Lucy, it was so great to meet you too. I will definitely be in touch soon! I found some reclaimed lumber for shelves and just need to finalize the size I need for the corbels. AND, I’d love to come down your way sometime soon!

  6. christina @ homemade ocean
    christina @ homemade ocean says:

    LOVE IT! So glad I got to meet you at Haven and hear all about this fantastic project!!!! It is so humbling to see so many fantastic women (and men) using their DIY super powers for good.

    Mad props to you and the whole team that made this happen. And holler for bum chillers 🙂


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] it fit both beds which was the most important. Thanks to Holly storywood designs & Brittany Pretty Handy Girl for the nightstand & to Brittany for helping me soooo much with hanging the basketball hoop on […]

  2. […] Haven and the GMC Habitat House Makeover 2013 – Pretty Handy Girl […]

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