After 37 years of Designers’ Showhouses, organizers believed it was time for something different.
Instead of transforming a home owned by a local resident, Child Care Aware of Eastern Kansas decided to purchase a home and renovate and sell it as its annual fundraiser.
“This is the 38th Designers’ Showhouse, and we’ve been talking about this for a while because so many people are interested in the DIY approach,” said Reva Wywadis, executive director of Child Care Aware of Eastern Kansas. “We’ve been looking for just the right property. We wanted a house that would lend itself well to a dramatic transformation.”
The Designers’ Showhouse board of directors found what it was looking for at 1551 S.W. Westover Road. With 3,761 square feet of space and built in 1948, the four-bedroom home was in need of a makeover.
In the past, Child Care Aware selected a home in the community and asked the homeowners to move out while a team of designers transformed it. This year, they decided to purchase a fixer-upper and renovate it from top to bottom.
Once the renovations are complete, the house will be open for public tours before it’s put on the market. All proceeds from the sale, as well as revenue from the tours and sponsorships, will support Child Care Aware of Eastern Kansas in providing services that benefit area children and families.
“I think a lot of people will be interested,” Wywadis said. “It’s an exciting time for the agency.”
The mission of Child Care Aware is to support the development and learning of young children by offering programs and services that improve the quality and accessibility of child care for working families in eastern Kansas. The Designers’ Showhouse Tour is one of the organization’s largest fundraisers each year.
The inspiration for this year’s format change came from popular HGTV shows like “Fixer Upper” and “Flip or Flop,” in which the hosts hope to turn a profit by purchasing less desirable properties, remodeling them and then selling them, also known as flipping.
“It will bring new excitement to the project, and this will generate additional revenue for programs and services for children and families,” she said.
A Bare Bones Preview of the showhouse — before the renovation begins later in the month — will be Jan. 19-21. The designers who will be transforming the house have yet to be selected. Wywadis hopes the public will share design ideas during the preview, which will be relayed to the designers once they are chosen.
Several opportunities are available for the community to get involved in making this year’s showhouse a success. Child Care Aware is searching for individuals and work or church groups who want to volunteer to help with demolition inside the house and yard work outside.
Ongoing volunteers will be needed through May. One-time work days are available for civic or workplace teams who want a group volunteer experience.
For more information about volunteering, contact Wywadis at (785) 440-4507 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shanna Sloyer is a freelance writer from Topeka. You can reach her at email@example.com.