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Home Interior Makeover - Michelle Kassa Home Makeover
By Elizabeth Stump - August 19, 2011

After a whirlwind three days of painting, reorganizing, sewing, and carpentry, the premier project of the Rock Church’s Home Interiors Makeover Ministry (HIM) culminated on August 7 in a joyous homecoming for Michele Kassa and her four teenagers.

“Service is the essence of the Rock community,” Michele says.

Leslie Bunney, HIM’s ministry leader, led over 20 volunteers from the church in a gigantic makeover project of the interior of Michele's 5-bedroom home. Although HIM had been preparing for the redesign since June, the actual makeover took place from August 4-7. Michele and her teens (Sarahlily, Denisse, Stephanie, and Miguel), who were absent during the project, were delighted with the new rooms.

“We loved it!” says Michele. “We were just amazed with the creativity that each designer had for every room, and with how they made the design unique to our home and fit our lifestyle and personalities. They also solved a lot of space issues we had,” she says.

Michele’s house is a placement for deaf and hard-of-hearing children and their siblings from San Diego, Riverside, and Los Angeles counties (the only such foster home in Southern California). The house is licensed for up to six children. Michele also leads the Rock’s Deaf Ministry and is the Deaf Team leader for the “Miles Ahead” program.  

“Michele does so much to help these kids and others, that we thought she was deserving of something wonderful in her life, as well.” says Leslie.

Master Bedroom Before [Courtesy of Home Interior Makeover Ministries]

HIM helps underprivileged military and single parent families. Although this was HIM’s first project, Leslie started working on getting the ministry together at the Rock Church about a year and a half ago.

“Design is my passion!” she says. “I believe your home surroundings can play an important role in the way you feel, especially when you are struggling. God gave us beautiful, the ocean, the sky, the mountains, and streams. I think beauty needs to be carried through in your home and in your taste. It is nice to come home to a warm, beautiful, cozy environment that is pleasing to your eye. It makes us feel good when we can be proud to have friends and family come to our home. It brings an element of safety in.”

Master Bedroom After [Courtesy of Home Interior Makeovers Ministry]

Michele says that she has been “trying for several years to create an atmosphere that's homey, warm, healing, and personal to us. Decorating is not my gift.”

But now, thanks to Leslie and her talented team — who do love decorating — the Kassa home is organized and inviting.

“My room is now an oasis and a retreat of calmness that I need at the end of every day!” exclaims Michele. “It's clear that Leslie and the other designers put a lot of time and thought into designing a space that would feel calming and relaxing, and they did a great job.”

“The thing that stood out the most about the house was it needed to be organized so that they can all function better,” Leslie comments. “We have a professional organizer in our group that took our volunteers and trained them, and they did a great job getting everything in a place.”

Bedroom 2 Before [Courtesy of Home Interior Makeover Ministries]

Changes that freed up space include the addition of twin bunk beds in one bedroom and more seating in the living room.  “Denisse and Stephanie are very creative,” says designer Janette Schoelz, who was in charge of the girls’ bedroom.  “They had mirrors in their rooms they would draw on, so we found an awesome cabinet for them with lots of storage space that actually had a dry erase finish to it.  So they could draw all over it!”

Bedroom 2 After [Courtesy of Home Interior Makeovers Ministry]

Ten designers assisted with this project, as well as over a dozen high school students and additional Rock Church volunteers. The ministry contains multiple teams, all voluntary: designers, organizers, cleaners, sewing professionals, fundraisers, painters, and 18 other groups.

 We had so many volunteers show up to help, and it was amazing to see all the hard work pay off,” says Janette, owner/designer for The Hidden Door, Interior Design. “Thank you to everyone who helped with this first makeover. We honestly could not have done it without each and every one of you!”

Janette became involved with HIM a few months ago after browsing through the ministries on the Rock’s Web site. “I was so excited to find something like this. I have had a desire for quite some time to give back through interior design, but didn’t really know of any avenues. This was exactly what I was looking for!”

But you don’t have to be a designer to get involved with HIM, Janette explains. “We need people who like to paint, are crafty, handymen who can install drapery rods, fix things, and people who can move & assemble furniture.”

HIM raises funds through makeover projects (one room or full house), organizing, artwork, curb appeal, and painting, for a suggested donation. “We also have had some people donate to our ministry, but since we are new and this was our first makeover, our funds are now depleted. Michele also put funds towards her project,” Leslie explains.

Several companies donated items for the Kassa home makeover, including: paint and  painting supplies from Frazee, furniture from Real Deal Furniture, salon products from I.C.O.N for the kids’ bathrooms, and upholstering from Sandy’s Custom Designs & Home Interiors Custom Upholstery. “We cannot give enough thanks to these companies for their generosity!” Janette says.

Leslie anticipates they will start with three makeovers per year; when their volunteer list grows, they can likely do more projects.

“Service is the essence of the Rock community,” Michele says. “I think this project is a good example of focusing on community outreach and how we can serve outside our walls, and how one ministry can bless another ministry. Other ministries like the High School ministry joined and helped with the redecorating, so it's really cool to see how we can help serve each other.”

If anyone needs an interior design project done around their house, please contact HIM fundraising leader Virginia Vela at: [email protected] and cc: [email protected].

If it is on anyone's heart to give a donation to the ministry, please send a check to: Mel Burgess  [email protected]   and cc: [email protected]

(Donations are tax deductible)                                                      

P.O. Box 10755 Scripps Poway Pkwy. #110

San Diego, CA 92131

All checks need to be made out to: Rock Church Memo: Home Interiors Ministry 

The checks are deposited to the account for: The Home Interiors Ministry at Rock Church by Kimberly Larter

To volunteer with the HIM ministry, please send Leslie an e-mail at: [email protected].

Visit the ministry here:

For more information about the Writers Ministry, click here »