Photo: Dallas ReStore

All photos: Dallas ReStore

If you’re DIY aficionado or planning a home renovation project on a budget, then you’ve got to be jazzed about the Feb. 21 grand opening of the newest Habitat for Humanity ReStore Resale Outlet in DFW. The store will be located in Lake Highlands at the southeast corner of Skillman Street and Abrams Road in the space formerly occupied by Big Lots, which closed last year.

This location is the eleventh in the DFW area, all of which are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers selling new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at steep discounts (like 20 to 70 percent off retail prices). Each store is operated by local Habitat chapters, and proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity homebuilding efforts around the world.

The range of items at a ReStore is always surprising and it varies tremendously by location: I’ve seen everything from front doors to front-loading washing machines. And for the creatively inclined, this place is a mecca. The Dallas area ReStore knows what’s up: they’ve got their own Pinterest page with 25 boards featuring everything from Dallas ReStore sales and fab finds to inspiration for specific rooms around the house and upcycling ideas. I’ve already repinned a thrift store lamp makeover, projects using pallets, and a DIY furniture re-do from their pages. Jump to read more!


Community First Village


(Photo: KUT)

The concept behind the Community First Village is revolutionary — rent a tiny home to someone who needs a reason to hold down a job for an affordable rate, and help the homeless turn their lives around.

The fact that it’s adorable doesn’t hurt, either.

Austin, home of the food truck trailer parks and high-priced housing, has made something that Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League calls, “the very first ‘yes, in my backyard’ project!’” according to this story from KUT:

Mobile Loaves and Fishes’ Alan Graham, the man behind the project, says one reason many in the nearby community are on board is because there will also be a bed and breakfast in the village and an Alamo Drafthouse outdoor movie theater.

“We haven’t converted everybody, but when people come out here they go, ‘Oh!’ They see a chapel; they see medical and vocational services on site, and they learn that residents will not live there for free; they’ll pay a monthly rent.”

Graham adds that if 200 chronically homeless people get back on their feet, that could save Central Texas taxpayers about $10 million a year.

The village covers about 27 acres and features adorable micro homes like those on trendy blogs and websites, designed and built by University of Texas architecture students. Rent runs around $200 a month for some of the homes, which includes access to a community garden and social services. Mobile Loaves and Fishes is still in the middle of a fundraising campaign for the project, with a goal of $6 million. Find out more about the project here.

Considering the growing homeless population in Dallas, do you think there’s a space for this concept here? Where would you put a development like this? And if this was planned for your neighborhood, would you be a NIMBY or a YIMBY?