Shelton Quarles & Studio M help single moms
Interior Design Tampa-Studio M Interiors©
Shelton Quarles brought his best game and a team of recruits Thursday to tackle a house in dire disrepair.
The game plan: repair, refurbish, update and beautify the home of a struggling single mother.
The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker kept an eye on the clock while he worked alongside partners of his IMPACT Foundation at Leann Farmer's modest three-bedroom home.
The total remodel – new floors, windows, plumbing, appliances, cabinetry, light fixtures, paint, furniture and décor – must be finished before the big reveal on Sunday.
Farmer and Christina Crumpton of Brandon were selected to receive home makeovers through Quarles' charity, which provides support and resources for single-parent households in the Bay area.
The families were whisked away to the Don Cesar resort in St. Petersburg before the work began on Tuesday. They will return for the reveal Sunday afternoon.
Quarles' charity, since its inception in 2004, has helped build seven new homes from the ground up in partnership with Habitat For Humanity, a Christian housing ministry that provides affordable financing and sells modest houses it builds at cost to families who are willing to invest a little sweat equity.
Quarles formulated a new strategy this year, to repair and remodel old homes. He dubbed the plan "Home Blitz."
"We think we can help families more by refurbishing existing homes that need a lot of repairs," he said. "The goal is to do green, energy-efficient total makeovers."
The Greater Brandon Community Foundation helped solicit more than $80,000 worth of products and services donated by local businesses, and provided dozens of volunteers to perform manual labor. The IMPACT Foundation and the Brandon charity also contributed $10,000 each to revamp both homes.
Quarles, who pitched in to paint Thursday , put his brush down to help a deliveryman muscle a new oven into place.
"This is a very big job for us," he said.
The undertaking is a big task too, for designer Liz Grina, who graduated from Florida State University in May. She was hired in January by Studio M in Tampa, which is providing free interior design services.
The Home Blitz project is Grina's first job.
She bounced between the two houses on Thursday to check on the work in progress.
"They are really flipping these houses," she said. "It's been hectic but I'm learning a lot and meeting a lot of great people."
Grina spent a month planning the interior design of the two homes. She said she's hoping and praying that everything will be completed before the families return home on Sunday.
"I know we'll make it happen, but it's been nerve wracking," she said.
Mural artist Jason Hulfish was also feeling the pressure at the Farmer's home. While he painted pink swirls on one wall of a bedroom shared by sisters Amber, 9, and Jessica, 12, Hulfish held his breath to better control the brush.
"I'm doing four murals in five days," he said, wiping paint from his hands. "It's definitely a challenge, but it's for a great cause."
Raised in a single-parent household in Tampa, Hulfish said his upbringing inspired him to donate his services.
"This is a tribute to my mom," he said.
Reporter Laura Frazier can be reached at (813) 627-4767
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Studio M would like to thank the many partners in no particular order who helped to make this happen. Thank you all for your hard work and commitment to this work.