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Decor for the birds, and I need your help!

Remember how we’re creating a cozy, comfortable bedroom in a safe house for victims of sex trafficking? Yes?

I hoped you would, but I thought I should probably recap that, like every episode of Grey’s Anatomy. “Previously, on View Along the Way…”

First a quick note about the last post. We talked about how we’ll lay out the bedroom, and you guys brought tons of awesome ideas in the comments section. The most common suggestion was to do an L-configuration, and I just wanted to show you really quick why we can’t go that route. Check this out:
That’s what I call the just-sleep-with-your-feet-in-the-air layout, or the gently-jam-your-feet-through-the-wall layout. (ha!) It seems SO good in your head until you come face-to-face with the actual scale of the room, right?

You also had lots of great suggestions for loft beds, and I think in any other tiny-space situation, that’d be the most perfect idea. Ultimately we talked about it and felt that we should lean away from anything that might feel institutional in any way, and even if space is tight, aim for a homey feel above all else.

So that’s the sitch. I love you. I love your ideas. I just needed to explain that so you didn’t take it personally that I seemed to ignore them. Let’s keep being friends, okay?

Now let’s talk about the birds! The folks who run this trafficking ministry (Out of Darkness) suggested it might be cool if we could find a way to incorporate a symbol of freedom in the room. They suggested doves or butterflies. I LOVED the challenge and set out thinking about how we could do something like that in a way that feels modern and age-appropriate.

Obviously, this could go cheeseball in a heartbeat – and I can already feel you guys worrying that this is going to lean 1990s-Lisa-Frank (butterfly decals EVERYWHERE!). I could hear you cringing through your screen when I mentioned it in the last post.

Am I right? You can admit it.

No worries! I think we can do this and make it cool! Stick with me here.

First I hopped on etsy and looked for art that might work. I found a few things that said “freedom” to me, like these:

Sources: 1, 2, 3

But nothing felt quite right, or high-impact enough.

Then I found these photos:

Amazing paper styling by Stuart McLachlan

And I was all, “GASP! A bird INSTALLATION!”

That’s IT. Done. It’s happening.

First thing I did was call up my friends at 163 Design Company, who made these wood-and-canvas letters for me:

I was like, “uhhh, guys. I think I want… some kind of birds? Doing some kind of thing?” And they were like, “We’re on it!”

I can’t gush enough about the family behind 163 Designs. They go above and beyond to design whatever you can imagine and create it for you, and they were SO excited to just donate whatever we needed for the ladies in the safe house. I kind of mushy-gushy love them. Make sure you swing by their shop!

The plan is to do wood-and-canvas birds flying across one of the walls – maybe a few stray birds escaping up to the ceiling? I think it’ll be high-impact and kinda different.

Here’s where you come in.

I’d like the bird display to represent something bigger, something cooler, and I’d LOVE for you to be part of it! If you’re up for it, I’d love for you to “sponsor” a bird. Here’s how it will work:

“Sponsorship” of one of the birds means that you’ll do one or both of these things:

  1. Commit to pray for the ladies who come through the safe house, long-term.
  2. Send a note of encouragement. You can write a little to the ladies who will stay here – handwritten if possible! – and send it to me. It can be just a short note, or a verse that means something to you, a poem or… limerick? Perhaps a haiku? I’m getting carried away.

    We’ll collect all the letters and bind them up in a book which we’ll leave on the dresser. I’ll put a little note in the front explaining who you are, and that each of the birds represents real people who care about them and are praying for their future.

    (A few ideas for your letter: keep it basic, stuff you’d say to anyone who’s coming through something tough, and encouraging! My letter will probably include a few Bible verses I love, and the general idea that Jesus loves them and is for them.)

Every night when they go to bed and see those birds, they’ll know that actual people – YOU! – care what happens to them and love them and are rooting for them. Cool, right?!!

Answer: IT IS SO COOL.

What do you think? Are you in this with me? If so, you can write a letter to these ladies and mail it to:

Safe House Letters
3721 New Macland Rd
Ste 200-155
Powder Springs, GA 30127

The catch is that we have VERY LITTLE TIME. I need to receive all the letters by October 24, 2014, so you’ve got to do this today. Ya with me?

If you can’t make the handwritten-letter thing happen, you can send me an email and I’ll print it out. Printed is better than nothing, but handwritten trumps everything else. Am I right?

So. What do you think about this crazy bird installation idea? Are you up for sponsoring one of the birds and letting these ladies know you care about them?

Let's connect


  1. What a really sweet and awesome idea

  2. It such a tiny room, use captain beds. The height will not take up too much room, yet allow a space for clothing to be stored under the beds. This way you can eliminate the dresser in the middle, allowing a little more breathing room. Another option is a trundle bed. They make them so that the trundle pops up to regular height when needed. Best wishes for such a worthwhile project.

  3. This is A GREAT idea, Kelly! I love the birds! Sending a note now…

  4. love this idea! so inspiring, kelly!

  5. What a wonderful project. Note mailed. The stationary even has a butterfly on it!

  6. This is so beautiful. I can’t wait to write my letter. Should we sign our names?

  7. It’s wonderful what you are doing. Mine is signed, sealed, stamped and ready to ship. Can’t wait to see more of how the room turns out and how many girls it will help.

  8. love love love this. I’ll mail off a letter tomorrow!

  9. Even my bird phobia won’t hold me back on this one. 😉 The letter is in the mail!

  10. You probably aren’t looking for layout input but apparently I am going to input anyway. I would customize the heights of beds. Go with the “L” layout and put the bed on the left about waist height and have the other bed low enough that the mattress tucks underneath the left bed. The bed on the right should have the pillows on the opposite end of the bed and no footboard. Any 6 foot tall lady automatically gets the left bed.

    • I love this idea! Unfortunately it’s a time issue now and we only have a little bit longer before the whole thing has to be finished. This would’ve been great if we had a longer window to get it all done!

  11. My letter is in the mail! Love the bird installation idea. It’s very symbolic but also stylish and not overdone. This is great work you’re doing Kelly. I’m so happy to have the chance to be a part of it.

  12. Did you consider a trundle bed? I have one that looks like a day bed and the trundle rolls out when you need it. I too have a very small room as my guest room and this works wonderful. If I have two guests, we roll out the trundle and if only one then they sleep on the day bed. I found it to be the perfect solution for a small bedroom.
    Love the bird idea 🙂

  13. I just think it’s so cool you guys are doing this. Almost makes me cry. Working with victims of sex trafficking is a huge part of our lives. Making something beautiful for these survivors… God bless you so much.

  14. Kelly, I LOVE this idea! Seriously, this pulls at my heart strings. Thank you so much for doing this. These woman need lots of positive energy and compassion. I will write a letter and mail it asap. 😀

  15. Angie Thier says:

    I am totally in! So definitely send the letter to the safe house? Or to you? And how much should I donate for the bird?

    • Angie Thier says:

      I just reread how the birds are already donated. Oops. And I will send the letter to the safe house.
      I love this project, Kelly!

  16. Kelly,
    Kudos to you and those who are working on this project! This warms my heart. I will send my note tomorrow, and I will pray for these girls every day when I pray for the girls from Nigeria who were kidnapped.

  17. you know what would be beautiful? mode-podging the hand written letters onto the birds. Too late?

  18. I love that you’re doing this! I’ll get my letter out tomorrow!

  19. I love the idea of sponsorship. Definitely writing a note as soon as I get home!

  20. Love this SO much!! Just put a letter in the mail. This is amazing what you are doing for them 🙂

  21. Can I say once again how much I love your blog, Kelly? Not just for the fab style and great humor that you bring, but for posts like this where your heart and mind is just out there. I will write a letter and send it by tomorrow! xoxo, Sharon

  22. You’re doing such a beautiful, beautiful thing here Kelley!! Along the same lines as the letters, I wholeheartedly believe in the power of words so even though the space is suuuuuper itty bitty teeny tiny I think that if you could put even a little bookshelf in there it’d be amazing. Books are the best escape for anyone, let alone someone going through such a tough transition. If not an escape, they could have relatable characters or stories to their own that help ease their pain. I’d be so sooo willing to donate books to that.

  23. The letters are a great idea! Sending one off today 🙂

  24. I so love that you’re doing this! And I love the birds. Sending my note asap!

  25. OMG – I live in Powder Springs! Is that the location of the safe house or just where they are accepting mail/administrative offices? Reason I ask – I can so easily get there and help out if you need me.

    I am going to write a note (good to know I can mail it the day before and they’ll get it!). But I’m wondering – do they need/take donations? I’m working on redoing my bedroom furniture to look stainless steel and that means I have to dump out all the contents of my drawers – which is the boot in the butt I need to declutter and purge. So I’m about to have LOTS of stuff I can donate. I’d much rather donate things to such a great organization rather than a more faceless/overall one like Goodwill (not that I’m dissing the Goodwill – just like the idea of something that has a bit more oomph/meaning for me).

    • Duh – I realize you can’t say if that is the safe house’s location or not publicly – feel free to email me at stacy @ with where I can bring any donated items if they are accepting them.

  26. Thank you for thinking of such a personal and meaningful way that we can all be involved. My letter will be in Monday’s mail, and I’m praying too! What a great project, Kelly. Excited to see the results!!!

  27. ALSO! I had an idea. What if you also put a notebook with blank pages in the room? The idea would be that the girls who stay there could write a little note to the future residents. It would be kind of like a guest book at a B&B but with deeper meaning. A notebook with a bird-themed cover would be perfect!

  28. I love everything about this! Best Wishes.

  29. What an incredible project! So excited to see what you do! I wish I could pray for these ladies but our hearts are being inundated! Thoughts and love sent you’re way!

  30. Hugs!! You are so sweet, and I LOVE the sponsor a bird idea!!

  31. So great idea. I love your blog and all of your ideas. They are incredible.

  32. This is so beautiful, I loved it so much!!


  1. […] Remember how we’re creating a cozy, comfortable bedroom in a safe house for victims of sex trafficking? Yes? I hoped you would, but I thought I should probably recap that, like every episode of Grey’s Anatomy. “Previously, on View Along the Way…” First a quick note about the last post. We talked about how we’ll […]The post Decor for the birds, and I need your help! appeared first on * View Along the Way *.  […]

  2. […] Bonus points for incorporating a symbol of freedom. (See the plan for that part here.) […]

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