The winner of a national DIY design challenge completed a renovation at Guadalupe Center in Immokalee that gives teachers a tranquil retreat for planning periods, brainstorming sessions and lunch.
Kelly Hartley, a self-taught designer, interior stylist, DIYer and blogger from Naples, won the FrogTape Paintover Challenge by receiving the most votes in an online poll after completing a small-budget, stylish refresh of her guest bathroom. In addition to a $2,500 cash prize, Hartley was awarded $10,000 to donate to a charity of her choice and $2,500 to execute a design project for that nonprofit. She selected Guadalupe Center, a nonprofit that provides high-quality educational programs for nearly 1,950 students annually in Immokalee.
Hartley met with Guadalupe Center’s administrative team and toured the Morgridge Family Early Childhood Education Campus, stopping at an underutilized, cluttered office space that was being used primarily for storage.
“Most interior spaces at our campuses are devoted to classrooms, learning labs, libraries and cafeterias, so our teachers lacked a dedicated space to call their own,” said Guadalupe Center President and CEO Dawn Montecalvo. “The new teachers’ lounge gives our educators a beautiful space to unwind, enjoy lunch, plan student activities and have small meetings.”
The teachers’ lounge features a solid wood table with a table runner and padded seating for eight, plush sofa with throw pillows, a pair of conversation chairs around a coffee table, lamps, greenery and a refrigerator. Complementary artwork adorns the walls and floor-to-ceiling windows feature sheer curtains that allow natural light to brighten the room.
“I’m so happy I had the opportunity to create this space for the teachers and staff,” said Hartley, who creates high-end style and décor on a budget. “I hope that every time they walk inside the new lounge, they’re reminded that their hard work is noticed and appreciated.”
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