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Meet Trish, winner of the Workspace Upcycle Challenge!

Jared Laabs

When we announced the Workspace Upcycle Challenge last month, we thought we had a winning idea. People were working from home a lot more, school was starting up again and many children were distance learning and needed a workspace too. The goal was simple. Upgrade your workspace no matter what or where it might be. Trish submitted photos of her entry, and as you can see, she's the real winner (of a brand new workspace)!

Trish's Workplace Upcycle Challenge entry

"I teach kids how to oil paint and have a studio for them, but don’t really have a space for myself," Trish says. "I started out by cleaning off my drawing table." She then used a couple coats of white enamel spray paint bought from ReStore to cover up remnants of some red paint that was previously on it. Next, she painted and upholstered a chair she also found at ReStore. Finally, she traded out the green curtains for sheers for additional natural light, and now has a place to store supplies and to work on her own paintings.

before and after of Patricia's upcycle challenge entry
A before and after view of Trish's winning Workplace Upcycle Challenge project.

A little bit about Trish

Trish is retired and owns a non-profit. The goal of the non-profit is to preserve her neighborhood as a caring community. To do this, one of the programs she created is Art With a Heart. Her creative side really took off in 1980 when she took a painting class at St. John's Hospital. In 1990 she went to the University of Minnesota and majored in Art. "I was never best in class, but I was good at painting," she said. Trish then worked for the Air Force for some time then retired in Virginia where she currently lives part-time when she's not at her St. Paul home. 

"I teach youth, family, and friends how to oil paint and you need a lot of space. I have lessons in my dining room and didn't have a space for myself. I created a space in my office. I donated, cleaned and got rid of stuff."

She originally learned about ReStore from a newspaper ad and decided to go find it. When she visited the store:

"I thought I died and went to heaven. Doors, windows, carpet and the Minneapolis location had lighting on sale! For someone who is trying to renovate on a budget, there is no better place."

A photo of Patricia and her mom, which she credits for teaching her many skills
Photo of Trish and her mom. She credits her mom and dad for teaching her everything she knows about stripping, staining, and finishing wood.

Other projects tackled with a little help from ReStore

Patricia's living room remodel after using items from Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore
A remodel project done by Trish using paint and other finds from ReStore.

"After my mom passed away I wanted to make her home more attractive to young buyers so I changed it from a 2-bedroom 1-bath home to a 4-bedroom 2- bath home out of spaces that were already there; the porch, attic, and basement. It's like a hobby for me, I can't stop it."

patricia attic
Trish turned an attic into an office/bedroom with a new legal size window, insulation, drywall, paint, paint supplies, radiator, and furnishings—all from Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

"First off, go see what's there [ReStore]. Go find the little gems. Get a mentor, consult with a friend. Ask people at Habitat, friends, or family and try it. You'll be hooked. It's a healthy habit that keeps you out of bars."

Patricia turned a portion of her porch into a bedroom and remodeled a bathroom with items found at ReStore
Trish turned part of a porch into bedroom by relocating French doors, and using multiple items such as a radiator, furniture and curtains from ReStore. She also added a second sink to a bathroom using items found at ReStore (sink, tiles, mirror, window treatment, and light fixture).


Congratulations Trish for winning the upcycle challenge! Enjoy your 35% off discount card for an entire year at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

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Topics: Upcycle, 2020