May 3, 2019 12:56 pm
Updated: May 3, 2019 3:47 pm

New Okanagan pilot project could be a home décor game-changer

WATCH ABOVE: Community reporter Shay Galor learns how to up-cycle a headboard at the headquarters of Habitat for Humanity’s new initiative called the Up Project.


Lisa-Marie Pettovello is bubbling with excitement.

That’s because she gets to merge her love of up-cycling, or up-styling as she likes to call it, and helping Okanagan families, through a new initiative at Habitat for Humanity called the Up Project.

READ MORE: ‘I’m so grateful’: Habitat for Humanity builds house for Winnipeg family

“Basically we take in donations that go through our local ReStores. I try to pick pieces that need to be repaired or need to be restored,” Pettovello explained. “Our goal is to save pieces from going to the landfill to maximize charity.

“We want to create more value for Habitat for Humanity.”

The idea is simple: products that would otherwise end up in landfills are donated. These items are repaired, refurbished, upcycled or up-styled to create cool and unique items that can be found on Pinterest and other retro-chic websites.

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The items are sold at full market value, with all profits going back in to Habitat for Humanity to build families in need homes.

“This was actually an old sewing machine,” said Pettovello, pointing to an expensive-looking rustic seat. “We turned it into a chair.”

Pieces include wood turned into funky storage ladders, outdated headboards with modern make-overs, a broken chair revamped into a patio planter – unique ideas to delight shoppers and raise much-needed funds.

WATCH BELOW (Aired April 29, 2019): New Habitat for Humanity home built for Ontario family

The pilot project is the first of its kind. If it’s successful, the program will be replicated nationally and even globally.

“This could potentially be a huge thing,” Pettovello said. “It’s a great concept.”

Pettovello has been reclaiming pieces for years and owned her own company called I’m Board Rustic Creations.

She says the experience was wonderful, but she felt isolated working on her own.

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She now feels in her element working as the creative director of the Up Project alongside a team of volunteers.

“I have such a passion for creating. But now, it’s just taken it to a new level because I get to be around the most amazing self-less people,” said the do-it-yourself guru.

In addition to offering lots of ready-made options, the team can create custom pieces to turn your decor ideas into one-of-a-kind creations.

If you’re interested in dropping off some old items or picking up some gorgeous new ones, visit the Up Project.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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