When florist Lisa Waud attended a foreclosure auction, she had no idea that she was about to embark on an epic journey…
On a whim, she bought two tumbledown, boarded up houses; but she hadn’t a clue what to do with them. However, she was inspired by some amazing artists to reinvigorate this sad, run down neighborhood, transforming it into something beautiful once again. So read on, and check out these stunning images of this derelict house bought back to life…
Abandoned And Derelict
Michigan, Detroit: A city home to many abandoned and derelict homes, and this one looks just like the rest. It seems pretty sad and empty on a rundown street. Its boarded-up windows and smashed glass, however, are no reflection of the beauty that lies inside. In fact, one woman has transformed this disused house into something quite simply amazing.
A Foreclosure Auction
The story starts with florist Lisa Waud, when back in 2014 she went to a foreclosure auction. While there, she paid a mere $500 for two next-door houses on Dequindre Street in Hamtramck, Michigan, a city almost totally surrounded by Detroit.
All You Need Is Love
The two properties, had trash littering every single room and were totally abandoned. But Waud had an inconceivable plan in store that promised to bring both the buildings back to life in the most fantastic way.
A Mansion In Paris
Two years previously Waud had seen photographs of a Christian Dior fashion show in a mansion in Paris, France. The stunning couture clothing had been set against a magnificent backdrop of blooms, with five of the property’s rooms decked out with over one million flowers.
The sight stuck hard with Waud, who was also a fan of the work of artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. For those who don’t know these artists’ work, they’re best know for wrapping Paris’ Pont Neuf in 450,000 square feet of woven fabric in 1985.
A Large Scale Installation
Both of these works, lingered in Waud’s mind until a grand idea began to take hold. After all, she had been running her own floral design company, Pot and Box, since 2000 and had a longing to create a large-scale installation of her own.
A House Of Flowers
“I knew I had to create my own house of flowers,” she wrote on crowdfunding website Indiegogo. “I wanted to invite as many people as possible to experience it with me.”
The Breathtaking Factor
Initially, Waud’s dreams were quite modest. “My first idea was to build a small shed from a hardware store kit and display it at a local contemporary museum,” she told Bored Panda. “But that quickly felt like it wouldn’t have the ‘breathtaking’ factor I craved.”
Providing A Canvas
So the florist began thinking bigger by turning to a resource that Detroit has in spades. In fact, since the city had filed for bankruptcy back in 2013, there were tens of thousands of properties that had been abandoned. Could they provide the canvas Waud was searching for?
Abandoned Homes Are Resource
Waud said, “When you live in Detroit, it’s hard to not notice an abundance of abandoned houses. I began looking at them as a resource, and it wasn’t too much longer before I was at a city auction with my hand up.”
Filling The Rooms
Now that she had her setting, Waud’s artistic vision was really beginning to take shape. The next thing to do was to launch an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for a unique project. The goal was To fill all 16 rooms of the abandoned houses with flowers and plants grown in the United States.
More Than A Fleeting Project
However, from the moment she entered the properties she had purchased, Waud knew that the work she had ahead of her, was about much more than a fleeting art project. She told Huffington Post, “I opened up the door, and it was full of clothes and mail and broken furniture and all kinds of things, and that’s when I realized that it wasn’t just a campus for our work… and I realized that I was responsible for the house even after the project was complete.”
Three Stage Plan
So, with this in mind, Waud came up with a three-stage plan for the future of the houses. The first step was to be the floral exhibition she had been dreaming of. So, after clearing out the properties, she got to work.
An Incredible Transformation
In October 2015, dozens of florists from across the United States began to arrive at this very unassuming location just off the busy I-75 highway. Together, they began transforming Waud’s houses into the most incredible wonderland filled with donated blooms and living plants.
Later that month, the installation opened its doors to the public, and, over the course of just one weekend, it attracted more than 3,000 very curious members of the public, who visited the project to wander through its fairytale-like rooms.
Rooms Of Blooms
In one of the rooms, for instance, you could see a whirlwind of ferns and autumn leaves seemed to sweep up from the floor to cover the ceiling. Elsewhere in the house, delicate roses spilled out of open windows and doors.
A Sight To Behold
Indeed, every single space in the houses was used. You could see dresses and coats in closets shared their hanging room with flowers and plants which sprang from every surface. Even the bare boards of staircases were lined with fragile white blooms.
“A Spectacular Flower House”
Visitors were totally blown away by the experience. “From front porch to back stoop, the Flower House was spectacular,” wrote one reviewer. Meanwhile, commenters on Facebook were also full of praise, calling the house “inspired” and “amazing.”
Eventually, the plan for the Flower House is to work with recycling company Reclaim Detroit to dismantle the structure and salvage as many of the materials as possible and hopefully use them in future construction projects. After that, the land will be repurposed for an urban flower farm which will be run by Waud and Pot and Box.
Changing Detroit For The Better
For now, however, the house is showing no signs of fading into obscurity. New installations have kept popping up in the rooms, and in June 2016 a stunning wedding was held there. Although some have criticized what they see as a waste and indulgence when the city is facing so many problems, Waud is confident that the Flower House is changing Detroit for the better.
[Featured image credit: Flower House @ Facebook]