Atlanta Habitat for Humanity was established in 1983, and is now one of the biggest Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the United States. The organization serves as the largest affordable single-family housing developer in Atlanta. As part of its efforts to eliminate substandard housing and improve access to adequate, affordable housing, Atlanta Habitat partners with working families, communities, and sponsors to build affordable, quality homes that meet green-building standards. Atlanta Habitat builds energy-efficient houses using Green Advantage construction procedures to help lower costs for homeowners while also benefiting the environment.
Along with maintaining relationships with its homeowners—starting from the application process and ending when the no-interest mortgage is paid off—Atlanta Habitat helps families to complete 250 hours of sweat equity—the volunteer time required of those who buy Habitat homes—as well as classes and other homeownership requirements.
To aid both those who need to decorate a whole room or seek just one standout piece, the knowledgeable consultants at Simcolifestyle find answers to design voids with comprehensive furniture collections and eye-catching accessories. Their business was designed to provide clients with luxurious window treatments, furniture, and fireplaces at an affordable price without having to sacrifice style and functionality. In addition to helping clients pick out pieces in their showroom, the consultants and their staff create custom bathrooms, kitchens, flooring, closets, and audio-visual installations.
"Wired and Fired is the best date [we] have ever been on," wrote Haley and Jeff, whose first meet-up went so swimmingly that they married less than two years later. Perhaps the duo bonded over their shared creativity: at the studio, blank white dishes, figurines, boxes, and banks await fresh coats of paint and glaze from brush holders. Artists also can stop by the Bling Bar to spangle their bisqueware with colorful gems poured from the bartender's shaker. Pieces emerge glossy and dishwasher-safe from the kiln about three days later.
Wired & Fired isn't just popular with the cupid-struck set—the kid-friendly environment is also a favorite hangout for families, especially when Family Night on Wednesdays offers discounts for tots. (Tuesdays are Ladies' Nights.) Children and adults alike can hold their birthday parties or private get-togethers at the studio, where they're invited to bring their own snacks, pizzas, and even 21-or-older beverages. Partiers can daub paint onto pottery or learn to fuse glass into jewelry, bowls, and vases. Those preparing a custom gift may call upon the talents of Wired & Fired's on-staff artists.
Sam Flax South outfits artists and designers with supplies and furniture from top industry brands such as Herman Miller, Humanscale, and Steelcase to produce masterpieces on any scale. Easels grip canvases as painters blanket them in polychromatic oils and acrylics, just as drafting tables, rulers, and protractors help architects draft the blueprint for the first home built entirely of discarded totem poles. Guests can leaf through paper products and readymade gifts including delicate cards, journals, and calendars. Treasured prints also find displayable homes in Sam Flax’s custom-framing department, where artisans design hangable enclosures that accentuate a picture with a contrasting mat color or an oversize neon arrow that points directly to the image. The in-house framing center applies acid-free matting and seals art in airtight materials to preserve pieces.
All Fired Up!'s homey studio invites artists of all ages to participate in kiln-fired activities. Whether perusing the shelves laden with blank pottery or cutting and arranging colored glass to design their own plate, visitors get the chance to create personalized mementos and dishware. Classes let students try their hands at a pottery wheel, and kids' parties keep birthday guests distracted with painting while their parents wrap last-minute gifts.
Kathy Antar opened The Sewing Studio planning to provide sewing services for design professionals and event producers, but was soon flooded with phone calls and emails from people who simply wanted to know how to use their sewing machines. To meet that need, The Sewing Studio began to offer a selection of beginner, intermediate, and advanced sewing classes. During each 2.5-hour session, students learn how to thread machines, wind the bobbin, and practice various stitches using their own machines. In addition to classes, Kathy custom-designs furniture upholstery, bedding, and window coverings and supplies expert design-consultation services, which can transform a client's dream design into a tactile reality.