Room Candy

April 04, 2013

Holly House Makeover...VISSR's version of "Move That Bus!"

So after months of planning, begging, pounding on doors at local retailers and trades we were finally able to give our friends at Holly House a home makeover they so needed and very much deserve.

Victoria's VISSR group ( Vancouver Island Stagers Stylists & ReDesigners) of which Stacey and I are active members - coordinate and implement a "Hands Up" project every year. This year we chose Threshold Society's Holly House....a house for young women ( ages 15-21) who are in transition from homelessness. Threshold and Holly House provide a safe home environment for these girls to find and develop life skills to get them on their feet all while being mentored in a loving and safe space they can call their own. There is also a house for young men in Victoria - Mitchell House. WOW!!! High Five to Threshold!!

The non structural makeover was such a great fit with our group of stylists. The house needed some TLC and no budget whatsoever to implement any upgrades. It was so important for us to make the common areas of the house feel like HOME. Using most of their existing furniture we were able to transform the space! ( this is called redesign folks...and yep we did this in one day- with exception of paint and flooring)

All trade labour , goods, and financial support was donated by fabulous Victoria community companies and local retailers. ( see list at end of this post) We are beyond grateful for this support!

Here's a small project snapshot of the before and afters....

This is what they had going on for a dining room/craft space. No plan in place and no focus.

After the all of the main common areas were painted and refreshed with a creamy white, we flipped the dining and living rooms..Surprise!


Same furniture pieces..some refreshed with paint, some re purposed. The addition of a new area rug, blinds, drapes and throw pillows ...WOW!

The Tapestry is the Threshold symbol and a jumping off point for the orange pop of colour throughout the space.

What was the living room /TV area was converted back to a functioning dining area .
What a difference!


Paint, new blinds, area rug and some decluttering

 Dining Room After !

Kitchen eating area before...

The really awful commercial carpet was replaced with engineered hardwood
 ( product and installation labour donated xoxox!!) 

The pine dinette was transformed with a durable spray lacquer!
New seating ( donated as well!) and this kitchen eating area is now fresh and so inviting!

Stylist/Stager Pauline created this amazing art collage with photo prints taken by one of the young ladies living at Holly House .

The cluttered and dreary entry was cleaned up with the addition of these glass panels, painted and re purposed into functioning "whiteboards"!! Fresh and fun as you walk into the house.

Outside...the front garden was completely over grown...Curt jumped in and cleaned out the pretty...and useable!

In the morning...just starting...

...after a day of weeding trimming and mulching!

Beautiful curb appeal...welcome HOME.

*Note-  Garden City Landscapers did a great patio and backyard clean up at Mitchell House.
 Thank you!!

Brian (with Hanks help!) painted and delivered the newly sprayed furniture!

All these amazing  women with power tools at work :)
 ( thanks Valerie and Diana!) 

With a little (!) help from Handy Mur !!

 Pauline ( our VISSR speaker rep) being interviewed by Shaw TV... I will link the video asap! The video will show the B/A transformation as well. There were so many more bits that we added or transformed (the craft/sewing/yoga room upstairs , new hardware on the kitchen cupboards) - this post could go on for ever :) 

Here is the reveal to Holly House resident mentor and counsellor Rebekah ... her reaction and the reaction of the Director of Threshold was...well...PRICELESS!

There was so much more accomplished than I can show in these photos and SO MANY more people working behind the scenes! We are truley grateful for all of the support for this project and look forward to being involved with many more in the future.

Our amazing VISSR crew that participated on this project ( <3 you all )
( top to bottom: Tracey Stacey Pauline Dana Melanie Josee Diana and Valerie)

Please please please take a moment to look at the trades and sponsors of this project.
 Click for their links and use their services!!

C&T Squared Contracting

So much fun and so rewarding....cant wait to tackle another project:)


Here is a great post from Threshold Society on our project . NICE!!


  1. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU TRACEY! You have done such a WONDERFUL job of capturing the spirit of this project in your Room Candy Blog. And in record time! I was blessed to be a part of this super initiative. Truly a testament to community spirit!

    Pauline Dueck

  2. Such an amazing team and community effort...but in reality no effort at all. Just good people! Pat yourself on the back Pauline!

  3. Tracy, This is a wonderful example of people coming together to make something great happen. Thank you for posting the photos to show the transformation that Holly House underwent at the capable hands of VISSR

  4. As a Board member of Threshold Housing Society I want to thank you so much for your work and your transformation of the house. While the painting and re-arranging are significant, even more significant is the love and compassion you have shown by doing this work. These kids come from troubled backgrounds where these qualities were probably lacking, and now they are teens and in some way adrift. It takes a community to raise our kids and you folks have really played a big part.


  5. Thank you Mark and was our pleasure ( and our passion) to makeover Holly House for the girls who are so deserving of a place to call Home. What Threshold accomplishes on an ever shrinking budget is amazing! BRAVO!!!! Hope we can partner up again with more Victoria community spirit!!