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Building on Hope to Renovate Nashua PAL

New Hampshire non-profit Building on Hope will spend two weeks in May renovating the Nashua PAL Youth Safe Haven. Consisting of New Hampshire volunteers from all walks of life, this inspiring nonprofit helps other nonprofits doing good work in their community. This past year, Kristen has been donating her time and expertise to this great cause. She is serving as their interior designer for the new lobby on this project. 

Though Kristen has worked with many interior designers over the years, she has never taken on that role herself for any project aside from her own home. Yet she felt inspired to after attending her first Building on Hope meeting and learning of their need for a designer in this particular project. 

When Kristen joined the team, she dove right in with her trademark enthusiasm. She’s also been learning a lot along the way. “I have a whole new appreciation for the incredibly hard work that interior designers do,” Kristen said of the project. “Not only are designers skilled at paying attention to all the details of a project, but they also need to bring together all the necessary people and products to make a vision come alive.” 

The Building on Hope project is perfect for custom touches.

From the first meeting, she knew that this project would be perfect for one-of-a-kind, custom-designed elements. With that in mind, she decided on two special elements. For a special handmade piece, she is creating a large mosaic of their logo for their lobby. Next, she is creating cushions for a seating area in the entry. Rather than design a pattern herself, she involved kids. She wanted those who would be using this space every day to create the pattern designs.

On a winter afternoon, Kristen spent time with a group of kids, ranging in age from 7 to 13. Armed with loads of fabric to show as examples, Kristen explained the process of creating fabric designs. The kids set to work sketching and drawing what they wanted to see in their space. Back at the studio, these drawings became seamless pattern designs, ready to be printed on fabric.

For Kristen, the best part of this experience has been learning from the other volunteers and professionals who are donating their time and skill. More importantly, she feels connected to the sense of community this project has created. This community spirit extends beyond the Building on Hope team, but out into the community of Nashua. The people who will be using this space on a daily basis have wholly embraced this project. They’ve given their input and helped create the space that will serve them best.

If you’d like to help support this project, you can! Kristen is hoping to raise $10,000 for the new and improved Nashua PAL. You can help her reach that goal by making a donation. All donors are entered to win an original piece of Kristen’s needlepunch artwork.

Update: Due to COVID-19, this project will now be completed this fall.

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Kristin Crane

Kristin Crane has designed jacquard designs for the home furnishing and residential jobber market for many years, with mills in the US and in China. Today, she writes about pattern and design trends for Design Pool from her home in Providence, Rhode Island. When not writing about fabric, she can be found weaving in her home studio or hiking along the Rhode Island coast.


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