Places– of

A former Culver City motel has been renovated by volunteers and opened as the Upward Bound House Family Shelter.  Eighteen interior designers decorated the units, making them stylish and inviting.  L.A. Times writer Lisa Boone shares details about this place of pride.  The team was exceedingly generous with their talent!

The power was off during the grand opening of Upward Bound House’s new Family Shelter, but there was a lot of daylight in the rooms. And, as though to compensate for the lack of electricity, while on a walk-through to meet the designers of each room, a visitor could feel the buzzing energy of community and of creativity.  Volunteer coordinator Dara Lasky said residents are families who’d been living in their cars.  Vanessa De Vargas of Turquoise Interior Design created low-cost headboards by using wallpaper and then having them laminated at Staples.  Kelly LaPlante of Organic Interior Design nailed circular pieces of cork to the wall above bunk beds for kids to decorate.  Nadia Geller painted stripes. Jill Crawford created graphic links.  Dara Vargas added fluttering butterfly decals.


social responsibility, sustainable design, green design, social design, sustainable architecture, green renovation, upward bound house, los angeles

Kitchen corner by Kelly LaPlante below:


9 thoughts on “Places– of

  1. Mary Alice Tallmadge

    I so agree, Kiwana. These amazing volunteers raised money, shopped for furnishings, then decorated all of these units.

  2. Kathleen Rowland

    The families can stay there for as long as a year. The success rate for those families later obtaining and keeping permanent housing is ninety-five percent, according to Upward Bound’s numbers.

  3. Mary Alice Tallmadge

    The parents receive a lot of support besides enjoying secure, safe accommodations. They receive counseling, education, a hot meal program and other services.

  4. Kathleen Rowland

    Mary Alice, according to David Snow of Upward Board, those served by the program are not looking for a hand out. They want their own home.

  5. Kathleen Rowland

    I should say! I plan on stealing some ideas myself! Janessa, these families can bring all of the contents to their new apartment when they leave. And, then decorates bring the bare unit to new life.

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