Three lucky families in the Atlanta area recently received complete home decorating makeovers courtesy of the Dunwoody-based Home Stager’s Guild. “We wanted to give back to the community by donating our time and talent to several well deserving families,” says Melanie Serra, founder of the Home Stager’s Guild.  In striving to improve the transitional housing offered to homeless families by Decatur Cooperative Ministry, it was such an honor to make a difference for people who are working so hard to get their lives back on track.  Now, when they wake up in the morning, they are not only living someplace that’s safe but also beautiful.

The transitional single-family homes are sparsely furnished by the Ministry. “We knew the Home Stager’s Guild could positively impact the residents lives by improving the quality of their surroundings,” says Serra.  Serra founded the Home Stager’s Guild in 2006, an association that offers certified training, support and networking to individuals interested in establishing or expanding a business in the fields home staging, interior redesign and interior decorating.

“Guild members were divided into three house teams. Each team was responsible for developing and executing a decorative theme for each room in the home,” Serra explains.  To finalize the projects,  HSG members also solicited and coordinated volunteers to aid with home repairs such as painting, electrical, carpentry and furniture delivery.  A great many members of our community came out to support this project through donation of products, materials, furniture and decorative accessories.

“The unveiling of the homes left the families awestruck by the transformation of their space,” Serra recalls. Our goal was to turn each shelter into a true family home that reflected warmth and beauty, and where we add could, a bit of the residents’ personalities.  Above all else, we wanted to make these safe havens comfortable, stylish and personal.

The Guild appreciates the generosity and support of Sherwin Williams, Superior Painting, Brookhaven Homes, Consignment Depot Furniture, Pillows by Gail, and Carpet Liquidators. For more information on the Home Stager’s Guild, please visit  Certification classes and special-topic seminars are taught monthly.

The Decatur Cooperative Ministry provides single-family residences for homeless families that are working or actively pursuing employment. The program provides comprehensive life skills services to participants including financial management classes, budget counseling and a savings plan to assist residents with moving into permanent housing.

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