Not one to sit on the sidelines, Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber doesn’t just talk about adding life and style to your home, most days you can find her on the road personally working on homes, some of which might be passing you on a highway rolling to their end destinations.
When Hurricane Katrina hit, Felber’s parents who are Salvation Army volunteers were already on their way to provide hot meals and assistance. When talking to her parents, Felber heard directly about the devastation that hit the city. Her parents and their canteen were stationed in the French Quarter for almost a month. Her Dad, Paul Smith always kept his sense of humor and quipped, “I always wanted to have a restaurant on Bourbon Street and I finally got it.” Felber had helped prepare meals at two other hurricanes in the past and knew she wanted to help make a difference on the Gulf Coast.
Rolling up her sleeves, Felber teamed up with Patriot Homes and Ashley Furniture to help as she puts it “design the best looking FEMA trailers on the block”. Knowing that many of the individuals who would be living in these homes were urban dwellers and have extended families, the homes were fully furnished. Felber even added some style by using lving room suites with animal print chairs. The Patriot team provided almost 2,000 homes that will help house the people who so desperately need a place to start over.
Patriot Homes is now busy working on the rebuilding effort and is now working on designs with Architect John Carricarte that will fit into the styles and sizes of the homes that were lost. The Lifestylist® has worked on bringing the feel of the old neighborhoods into the homes, and designed a home that was shown at the Gulf Coast Initiative in Baton Rouge. Five furnished homes will be also be going on display during the South Central Housing Show in Tunica, Mississippi March 29th – 31st.
Felber feels that manufactured, or factory built homes are a resource whose time has come. “It just makes sense” Felbers states. “Having homes constructed in a controlled environment where they can build up to 8 homes a day in some facilities will help overcome the labor and materials shortages that we are seeing in many areas”. Expect the unexpected in these homes –the Patriot Homes that Felber has worked can include high 9 ft ceilings, open airy rooms, kitchens with maple cabinets and stainless steel appliances, transom windows that let light in, and custom made draperies designed by the Lifestylist® herself.
What’s next? “Stay tuned, Felber says. Technology is helping bring us exciting new products every day that enhance the quality of life that we experience. Currently on the drawing board currently are some lighting ideas that you will have to see to believe.”