A Home Transformed by Habitat ReStore Finds

A Home Transformed by Habitat ReStore Finds

Walking through the front door of Chaya’s home, one would think they are entering a home filled with new designer furniture and expensive decor. Velvet chairs, large artwork, chandeliers, floral arrangements, gold finishings, and more highlight every corner of the home. It isn’t until you talk to the homeowner that you learn her secret to stunning decor. What is it?

Milwaukee Habitat ReStore. 

Almost everything in Chaya’s home is from Milwaukee Habitat ReStore. If not from ReStore, it is most likely from another second hand store. 

Habitat ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers whose proceeds are used to build safe, affordable homes in our communities. They sell new and gently used furniture, building materials, appliances, and home accessories at 50%-75% below retail.

“It was a goal to have things from second hand stores,” homeowner Chaya said. “Why buy full price when you can get it [less than] full price?”

Chaya has been shopping at Habitat ReStore for over seven years and stops by ReStore Wauwatosa weekly. 

“The first reason I shop at ReStore is the price,” Chaya said. “The items are great quality. There are always new exciting things [at the store].” 

She lives with her husband and children and works as a designer. She has an eye for style and shops at ReStore to bring her visions to life. 

“I choose the style I like and if the color doesn’t match, I buy spray paint. It’s a great trick,” Chaya said. “I see something and say ‘wow, I would like that near my bed.’ I find odds and ends that I think I can make pretty.”

Not only does she shop at ReStore for her own home, but when helping others decorate, ReStore is their first stop.

“When I help decorate houses, I take them there first,” Chaya said. “There’s not a person I don’t tell about the store.”

Since becoming a regular customer of ReStore, Chaya has become close with ReStore Assistant Director, Kris Hyndiuk. 

“I feel comfortable to ask [Kris questions] and that makes a difference,” Chaya said. “Kris is always smiling. Everyone is. It makes it feel good to go into a store and know you have someone to talk to.”

Kris also appreciates the relationship they have built throughout the years.

“We build genuine relationships,” Kris said. “I just think it’s awesome. Even if we don’t talk, I’m curious what Chaya is doing next.”

Kris recently got to tour Chaya’s home and see all of the projects come to life.

“With Chaya, I knew it would be great,” Kris said. “To see things come to life that were in the store into this beautiful home… it’s phenomenal.”

Chaya started shopping at ReStore because of the great deals, but is now also motivated by the mission.

Through the sale of donated items, Milwaukee’s three ReStores raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to bring affordable homeownership to local families. 

“It means the world to me,” Chaya said. “That people can afford and enjoy their life. People work hard and still cannot afford [everything they need]. The idea that people can help you afford your home is amazing.” 

Chaya still remembers the first items she bought from ReStore to decorate her home: a set of two velvet pink chairs that are currently in her basement. 

She uses her purchases from Habitat ReStore to make her house feel like a home, and wants other people to find that feeling too.

“It’s the biggest gift you can give people,” she said. “A normal environment is everything. It starts here in your house.” 

Chaya is already planning her next project with the help of ReStore. She says her bathroom is next on the list. She hopes to find more great deals at ReStore and continue supporting Habitat’s mission.

At the end of the home tour, Chaya was asked “Why ReStore?”. Without hesitation, she replied:

“The fact that it is such a pleasure to buy things without spending full price and be able to help other people [at the same time].”

Take a quick tour of Chaya’s home:

Have you decorated your home with a ReStore purchase? Or redesigned/refinished an item you bought at ReStore? Send us a photo and description for a chance to be featured on our social media or future stories! Send to aduetsch@milwaukeehabitat.org

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