7 Unique Things About DFAD

Nowadays, stunning images of beautifully designed spaces are of no shortage. Whether you’re finding inspiration through online sources or looking through your favorite magazines, there’s a plethora of simply incredible designs to comb through. And, similar to how your most-loved articles and go-to blogs have a specific aesthetic, so does Design for a Difference.

That’s right, the Design for a Difference makeovers all have their own unique look. Many of them are bright, cheerful, and carefully planned spaces that have multi-purpose uses. They also feature some of the most brilliant designers from across the US and Canada.

One thing that might surprise you, though, is how each makeover, created by a totally unique team, comes together to achieve that look. We’re sharing 7 behind-the-scenes elements that differentiate our work from what you see in your everyday browse.

We Design for Communities

For the most part, designers create environments for residential or commercial use for a particular family or group of people. What makes DFAD designers one-of-a-kind is that they broaden their scope by creating spaces that are used by entire communities! That’s no small feat for a team of volunteers. Many of these non-profit organizations work with people from all walks of life, so their spaces need to work for a wide range of people.

We Design by Committee

Unlike a residential project that is usually completed by one designer, the Design for a Difference projects usually include eight to ten designers working together at the same time. Together, they create styles and designs that wow by allowing everyone a chance to contribute, create, and get the job done. Rumor has it, life-long friendships happen in the process as well.

Our Work is Pro Bono

The work involved with a Design for a Difference project is unpaid, which means the teams who volunteer for days or weeks on end are coming together for the greater good of humanity. However, the reward received from working on one of these projects is unmatched. There is simply nothing like being able to impact those in need in a positive way.

In Kind Donations Make It Happen

An ‘in kind’ donation is a donation that typically includes goods or services, rather than cash. In our projects, there’s a lot that goes into transforming a neglected area. New floors, wall colors, furnishings, and décor are just a few examples. Everything you see in a DFAD space has been donated by generous people and companies. Local businesses, contractors, and national brands make ‘in kind’ donations every day to support our projects.

The Ticking Clock

One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of a DFAD makeover is that demo and installation are performed within a very tight window of time as to not affect the services provided by the charity. In the world of design, it’s rare for everything to arrive or go according to plan. We make returns, reselect, or reschedule the work to be done on a different day. Not here.

DFAD is an ‘all hands, on deck’ experience. You will find that participants execute some of their fastest and finest problem solving to ensure a successful install. This is why DFAD is attracting people and partners who result-driven and want to know where their money and resources go.

We Celebrate Design

The celebration of the completed design is arguably one of the best parts of participating in a DFAD project. While the charity staff has to stay away without seeing the project in progress, the design team works their magic. At the end, we bring everyone together and the designers get to watch the staff “open their eyes.” Tear-filled reactions of overwhelming joy are shared among all, and, for the first time, there is an opportunity for everyone involved to share their personal stories and relish in the spectacular transformation of the space.

A Project of the Heart

You will never encounter a DFAD partner being involved in a project for self-advancement; despite that fact that it advances people and the associate brands. You will never encounter a DFAD designer who is doing it because it’s all about creating pretty spaces, despite the fact that we’ve beautified over 150 rooms across the U.S. and Canada.

Everyone involved in these projects, including local businesses, designers, and volunteers, understand the value of being charitable. Integral to each participant is the desire to support a social cause with their talent. And the most rewarding part of our work? Our makeovers have an invaluable and long-lasting impact on the charity and those who participate in them.