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What a difference design makes!

Centro Hispano is the latest recipient of a Design for a Difference facility makeover from FLOOR360 and dozens of area interior design partners who are normally business rivals.

Photographs courtesy FLOOR360

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It’s the rare nonprofit that can call its offices and facilities palatial. Some are even lucky if they can use the words attractive, modern, or functional when describing their workspace.

Like many nonprofits, Madison’s Centro Hispano has long eschewed cosmetic improvements to its offices so it can instead pour its resources into assisting the community it serves. It’s one of the reasons the charity was selected as this year’s Design for a Difference makeover sponsored by FLOOR360 of Madison, which has been providing these makeovers since 2015.

“Centro Hispano was chosen for 2017 based on their incredible programming with a large outreach to the community,” says Bob Tobe, FLOOR360 CEO. “Centro has many programs, services, and volunteers to support the Hispanic community, yet their space did not function to support these services and did not reflect the level of professionalism, caring, and love that is evident in what they provide to the community. Like many charities, the available funds for Centro Hispano are used to provide the human services, and their physical space is neglected.

Centro Hispano's reception plaza before a Design for a Difference makeover …

… and after the makeover.

“Design for a Difference is an opportunity for the design team to use their talents to do a great makeover for a local charity,” adds Tobe.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for Centro Hispano since the general call for entries in January for the Design for a Difference project.

After entries were received, a committee consisting of FLOOR360, NBC15, BRAVA Magazine, and Design for a Difference design ambassadors reviewed entries and selected finalists for further consideration. Site visits were scheduled during which discussions with the charity leadership regarding specifics such as structure, function, and needs were considered. Centro Hispano was announced as this year’s winner at the Spring into Design event held at FLOOR360 in March.

Past project winners include the Center For Families Respite Center on Fordem Avenue in 2015 and the Rainbow Project on East Washington Avenue in 2016.

Since March local interior designers have worked with an army of suppliers, installers, painters, and other volunteers to plan and provide the much-needed interior design makeover for Centro Hispano’s 18,000-square-foot facility at 810 West Badger Road that was previously used by a printing company.

Planning and execution of the project occurred in four phases:

  • Planning – April and May

  • Designing – June and July
  • Procuring Elements – July through September
  • Installation – October

The installation, in particular, provided the final flurry of activity on the project. Beginning on Oct. 2, the installation was completed in less than two weeks and the refinished space revealed on Oct. 15.

Nearly 40 local design professionals and business owners — many of them women — comprised the design team for the Centro Hispano makeover, a unique collaboration of professionals in the interior design field who are technically competitors.

“The DFAD design team in Madison has really become a new circle of colleagues and friends,” notes Tara Buedding, owner of The Happy Home Organizer and a Design for a Difference national ambassador. “We have joined forces and collaborated and it is so great to see new friendships formed through this project!”

Each design team member dedicates many hours to being involved in this design process, explains Angela Skalitzky, FLOOR360 vice president of retail and design and a Design for a Difference national ambassador. “These are hardworking professionals who make time to give back and this opportunity is so important to them that many of them choose to contribute year after year. We have design team members who specialize in many areas including kitchen and bath design, commercial interior design, color specialists, etc. With a full range of experts on the design team, each shares their knowledge with the full team to ensure a professional and dramatic makeover.”


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