The Chicks will be stylin’

We are about two weeks away from being back home. The interior of our flood-soaked warehouse is beginning to look so stylish we will have to dress up for work. Maybe.

The first thing you will notice are the beautiful lights in the warehouse proper. And the industrial ceiling. And the very soothing celery green on the walls. It practically looks like Macy’s. We are not used to light. We were used to existing in a cave-like environment with no natural light and some dim fluorescent bulbs, half of which did not work. This is uptown.

Check out the break area, or as we are calling it “the lounge.” The counter will be topped with a “green” material made from recycled detergent bottles. We are swooning over the stainless light fixtures. And I will admit something here that is very non nonprofit like. I went to the Sears scratch and dent center yesterday to pick out a refrigerator and a dishwasher. You can get great buys of new appliances with just a nick here or a scratch there. I picked white because it was cheap. I went back today and changed the order to stainless. I don’t want the only cheap-looking thing in the new building to have been selected by miserly me.

We are also loving our overhead lighting. Loving it! And the industrial ceiling within the office space. And the lighter shade of celery on the walls. Why am I feeling like we’re in a designer showroom? We are in a designer showroom!

One of the smarter things we did was decide to leave the floors concrete. Easy clean-up. No carpet replacement every few years, or in the case of a nonprofit every 20 years when there are only shards of carpet left.

The concrete is stained a dark chocolate brown in the office space and will be left au naturale in the warehouse proper. Here’s my office. With a window even! Unimagined luxuries eight months ago. So as we continue working out of our 90,000-square-foot warehouse doing flood relief and serving our regular nonprofit partners, we look forward to coming home. And we will never be able to thank enough the donors who made this possible; Beth Phillips of Street Dixon Rick, who designed this beautiful space we could never have dreamed of; and Andrew McAlister of American Constructors, who is managing the project as though he were working for family.By now, both of them are family. If I seem to gush, I am not ashamed.

So much tragedy came out of this flood for so many people. But here’s what we are seeing at our temporary warehouse. As flood survivors come to get mattresses and furniture we are seeing happy faces. Not to diminish the pain and suffering they have endured, but for many of them their homes are nicer, safer and more secure than they were before May 1.

The same holds true for us.

The Chicks will be stylin’

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