Design for a Difference is a national interior design initiative where floor covering showrooms partner with interior designers to make a difference to charitable causes. This year, Design for a Difference has evolved from a contest into a community movement, where a number of socially-conscious International Design Guild (IDG) showrooms around the country will be working with the local designer community on a makeover of a space for a non-profit or charity location in their area – expanding the footprint of the program and making a difference to more local causes.
This year, Interiors & Textiles in Palo Alto is partnering with the local business community and design colleges to deliver a communal space makeover for a very deserving non-profit charity organization: The Community Services Agency (CSA).
CSA provides access and information to emergency services, primarily food & shelter to help elderly and lower-income families and individuals in the Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills areas. In the prosperous Silicon Valley, where typical housing costs are often exceed $4,000 – $5,000 per month, the effects of income disparity are particularly severe for low-income families. CSA’s mission is to be “the community’s safety net, providing critical support services that preserve and promote stability, self-reliance and dignity.“ They provide emergency financial assistance, a food & nutrition center that directly distributes food to those in need, and social services for the elderly and homeless.
The Design For A Difference Mountain View program will deliver a makeover for the communal lobby space at CSA, including the information area, waiting area, internet access points, and helpdesk. The overarching design principle is Dignity and Self Respect, providing an environment that is functional in its approach to helping its constituents, creating an open and welcoming experience, while still providing areas for private discussion and counsel. The transformation is to create a space that is a “Welcome Center” for those in need of CSA’s services for the community.
The design project will start with space planning, as well as fundraising during the summer months, culminating in an intensive remodeling over a long weekend in thefall. Be sure to check back on the page often to keep up-to-date with progress.
Previous Design For A Difference Winners
2014: National Design for a Difference winner Stephanie Stroud gave nominated charity Operation Breakthrough a $25,000 makeover that not only enhanced the space but transformed the lives of all who visit! Stephanie along with the other 4 regional Design for a Difference winners, and Madden McFarland Interiors took Operation Breakthrough, a charity that aids underprivileged families in the Kansas City area, and totally transformed the space. Creating something functional as well as beautiful, revived the space and all those who inhabit it. Watch the video for before and afters that will give you chills, commentary from the designers, and the heartwarming response of the families of Operation Breakthrough that now get to call this space home.
2013: IDG showroom owner Gina Cook of Gina’s Design Center in Spokane, WA won the debut of the Design For A Difference contest to help make over Transitions, a Spokane charity offering transitional housing for woman and children. Talented designers renovated the common area and transformed the space from bland to beautiful for the families living at Transitions.
Design Excellence Award
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) recognized the Design For A Difference reimagination of the Community Services Agency welcome center. The Gold Award for Community Service Community Project was presented by the Peninsula Chapter of ASID, and the awards presentation gala was attended the Fred Wee, Mark Brunetz, and the Interior Designer Team.
Each year, the Community Services Agency (CSA) recognizes leaders who have positively contributed above-and-beyond to the local community. This year, CSA presented Fred Wee with a Hometown Heros award for the Design for a Difference project.