For high energy, active Sandy Querecuto, shopping at Habitat Greensboro’s ReStore provides an exciting diversion from her busy days. This creative recreational therapy allows Sandy to discover home décor possibilities.

“I am always in hunt for bargains I can bring home to enhance and restore,” says the Gate City ReStore regular. “Yes, shopping there helps me find ways to beautify my home with home furnishings as they are or with some repurposing as a fun project.”

Over the years, Sandy’s many projects have included dressers, benches, chairs, headboards, cabinets, armoires, and “other amazing finds that are right there if you take the time to discover.”

Her design projects grace Querecuto’s Greensboro home, as well as her mother’s home, daughter’s college apartment, and in living rooms of friends.

Sandy and her husband Yamil are real estate brokers. During the pandemic, both work from home. On weekday mornings, she divides her time between professional responsibilities and supervising two younger children attending school remotely. And, on those select afternoons, she breaks away for a thrilling shopping respite at the ReStore to get some quality time for herself.

“Driving over to the store, I think about what kinds of projects I would like to do,” she explains. “When I get there, at the door, I take a deep breath, clear my mind, walk in and begin shopping the entire store, visiting every department looking for new arrivals and furniture pieces that have lots of character. There are so many beautiful pieces that need to be rescued!”

Sandy’s advice to ReStore “treasure hunters” is to keep an open mind on possibilities. Sometimes a chair or table becomes more with some fabric or fresh paint. “For ideas, you’ve got to let the furniture speak to you. That’s the way I can always find something to bring to my garage workshop, where I apply a little imagination and transform that ordinary piece into a different look and, sometimes, function,” she gushes.

Sandy smiles wide in her husband’s home office, pointing to his desk, a dining table transformed into a beautiful workspace. The same for an ordinary china cabinet that became a focal point after her magic touch of paint and persistence.

“Once I complete a project, I feel as though I have conquered something, which is magical because an idea in the ReStore became a beautiful reality,” she says, confessing to another exhilarating feeling. “I feel really proud when somebody asks me, ‘Where did you buy that?’ and I explain that I discovered it at the ReStore for only $15, and I refinished it to make it look like a million dollars.”


Photo credit: Ivan Saul Cutler