Before & After: A Non-Profit Cafe Gets Its First Facelift in 10 Years

Before & After: A Non-Profit Cafe Gets Its First Facelift in 10 Years

Dabney Frake
Dec 21, 2016
(Image credit: Franke Chung )

Right before Thanksgiving we posed a question to readers — "If you had $200 to surprise someone with a gift, what would that gift be, and to whom would you give it?" Brigid Barjaktarevic's response — some supplies to spruce up her non-profit workplace — caught our eye. We thought we could do more than just provide paint as the gift; we wanted to go all in on an Apartment Therapy makeover.

(Image credit: Franke Chung )

Brigid works at a non-profit café that supports the homeless in Chicago. Because of the work they do, all available money goes to serve their population, with little left for physical upkeep. In particular, their Ravenswood Manor space had seen better days with mismatched paint and crumbling walls. It was in desperate need of some TLC.

"Because management prioritizes feeding the homeless (and paying staff as close to a living wage as possible), other things, like decor, have to slide. The interior of the café is cozy and we have a lot of regulars...but it's also really dingy." — Brigid
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

We thought we could help, and a team of staff hopped on the project with the goal to give that location a facelift. First Slice agreed to close for a couple of days (which is significant for them), and we descended upon Chicago. Here's what the café looks like now!


  • Bobby Berk Home BARS removable wallpaper in Pink/Blue/Yellow/Cream from Tempaper
  • Behr Deep Base Eggshell Enamel Interior Paint from Home Depot
  • Bling Bling paint by Behr
  • Royal Navy by Glidden (color matched using Behr paint)
  • Macramé Wall Hanging from Sonya Benham on Etsy
  • Fabric from Mood Designer Fabrics
  • Threshold Emery Metal Bistro Chairs from Target
  • Room Essentials Storage Cart from Target

A Holiday Makeover: Watch the Video

Thanks again to Home Depot and Tempaper for their support of this project, and for the Chicago Tribune and DNAInfo Chicago for covering the story!

First Slice supports its efforts through a profitable "shareholders program," where neighborhood residents and families subscribe to home-cooked, restaurant-quality meals weekly. Money from this program funds the same quality meals for hundreds of needy and homeless each week through several social service organizations, such as Streetwise. Currently there are four First Slice cafes operating throughout Chicago.

→ Learn more about First Slice's food subscription program here.

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