Elsewhere Videos

Three Apartment Makeovers

I write for Glidden over at MyColortopia, and a while back I was discussing a few ideas with them that I had for projects. I was already answering advice column questions and recommending paint colors, and I wanted to take it a step further and actually help someone with a makeover. I had no idea that my little idea would lead to me flying to New York and spending three crazy long days painting three different apartments while being filmed! Remember this sneak peek of what I was up to last month? Well, the videos are ready and I can finally share them with you.

I had a very small budget for each of the makeovers, a five-minute phone conversation with each of the renters beforehand, and only three photos to go off of before choosing paint colors and accessories for each of them. First up is Lisa. She loved hot pink, so I was excited about helping her find a good shade of it for her entryway. She went with Very Berry, and I brought in some red-orange to liven it up a little further with a ceramic lamp and a bar stool. I also gave her a black and white hook to bring in all of the black and white accents, but it didn’t make it into the video.

Here’s Lisa’s makeover.

So fun, right? I love that she picked such a vibrant color, and the entryway was the perfect place to do something so bold. Her black and white art looked great against the new color, and I love the hits of orange in the space. Lisa loved it too, and I think it really suited her!

The next video features Cassandra. She wanted to repaint her bedroom because she was tired of the yellow that had been on the walls since she moved in. She had red curtains (that she’d made herself), vintage dressers, and brown, white, and teal bedding with an overscale graphic pattern. She mentioned that she liked gray in our phone conversation, so I selected three shades for her to choose from and she went with Dolphin Gray. I also chose a giant multi-colored wall art piece, a small glass lamp, and a pillow with subtle red dots.

Here’s how her makeover turned out.

I don’t think she realized that the gray she chose had some purple in it, but I thought it looked great! She hated that art though, yo. She was a good sport about it and she tried to live with it, but I knew she wasn’t going to keep it. Even though the scale of it was perfect, and it tied all of the colors in the room together, it just wasn’t her taste (I thought she’d go for it, based on her bedding and fabric choices, but no). I also grabbed that fantastic yellow lamp from her living room, and she has since moved it back. She wrote all about her side of the story on her blog.

The last video features Eliza. Her living room walls and trim were all the same shade of white. Eliza hates clutter and wanted to keep an open, airy feeling, but she was having a really hard time choosing a color for the room. I helped her select Sea Spray, a blue/green/gray hue. I gave her a new nesting coffee table (I fought hard to get that in the room, by the way), a beautiful new pillow on the couch, and an adjustable floor lamp.

This is Eliza’s makeover.

I don’t normally do accent walls, but it works in her apartment because we did the two long walls opposite each other and the architecture had recessed areas that lent themselves to the look. The white wall of windows feels like a wall of molding now, and the other white wall had a large doorway in it and a bookshelf. I did want to hang larger art over the sofa (Eliza had a great collection of art, just sitting in boxes), but we didn’t have the proper hardware. Still, I think the new color added so much to the space, and the blue is gorgeous and changes depending on the light.

My short New York trip was a whirlwind, but it was a great experience. The Newfangled video crew, Apartment Therapy team, Glidden people, and renters were all fantastic to work with, and I’m proud of the work we did! I hope Lisa, Cassandra, and Eliza will enjoy their rooms, and I hope you all enjoyed following along.

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  • jbhat
    August 23, 2012 at 11:46 am

    That was wonderful! You’re good on camera too. I liked the last room the best, but that color really speaks to me in general.


  • Betsy
    August 23, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Loved these! My house next, ok?

  • NicoleD
    August 23, 2012 at 11:59 am

    These are so awesome! I can see why that trip to NY was such a whirlwind for you. Excellent job. You’re so great on camera!

  • Rachael
    August 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Wow Nicole! It’s so weird to hear your voice, after seeing your face for so long! Not that you have a weird voice or anything, it’s just strange to finally hear you. It’s like when you see what Radio DJs actually look like.

    The rooms look great!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      It’s weird for me to hear my voice too, ha!

  • Karen A.
    August 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you for the apartment makeover inspiration! I can’t wait to makeover our apartment when we move to New York!

  • mandy @ this girl's life
    August 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    The rooms all look great and it is fun to see you on video! :)

  • Nichole@40daysof
    August 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Wow! I love before & after and these three were great.

  • patricia
    August 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    they all turned out great, especially the bedroom that wasn’t well received. I think it looked much better! Good job!

  • Jessica
    August 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    You did a really nice job! I think it takes a lot to help others transform their rooms—it’s much different from making your own spaces more beautiful. You never know when someone will love or hate what you do. So, great job and way to take a chance! Cheers!

  • Yasmin
    August 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    My favorite was Eliza’s makeover – that seaspray really contrasted well with the other colors in her room. I’m so glad to see you in this avatar doing makeovers on video. It really suits you! Can’t wait to see what you do next :)

  • Urban Cholita
    August 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Thanks so much for your help, Nicole! PS. I really did try to love the art!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      Oh, I know. I’m glad you were able to find someone who wanted it!

      • Urban Cholita
        August 24, 2012 at 7:45 am

        He really really really wanted it. So you actually helped two renters with your makeover ;)

  • Kristina
    August 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I love that gray/purple paint color, may have to use it somewhere.

  • the domestic fringe
    August 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I love these makeovers. It inspires me to put some color on my walls.

  • Lauren
    August 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    We have been redoing our house, and most of our base color on the walls is the dolphin gray!! Love it.

  • Miss B.
    August 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    YOU ARE SO PROFESSIONAL! You must get your own show!!!

    • katrina
      August 24, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      i second that! i saw these videos on my iphone while at the gym yesterday. totally fun and engrossing, nicole. i love makeovers and yes, you should have your own TV show… on TV!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      You’re both sweet. I think I did all right for my first time, but let’s slow down on the TV talk, yes? :)

  • Jen @ RamblingRenovators
    August 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    You did great! I like what you did with Cassandra’s room. Funny that she moved everything back exactly where it was. Did you really do all the painting of the rooms yourselves? I thought there would be a paint crew.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      We really did the painting! The Glidden reps pitched in too, so it wasn’t just me and the renter, but we still did a lot of the actual work. No paint crew magic behind the scenes!

  • Monique
    August 23, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    These are so great! It’s really fun to watch you transform the spaces with color. I know we all know it can happen but seeing it is so cool! Great job!

  • Karen
    August 23, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    What fun! You did a great job and all three spaces look great. Amazing what a good coat of paint in a greg color can do for a room. :-)

  • High-End Lofts Pittsburgh
    August 24, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Love the dolphin gray color. It has character and it gives a different hue every time. I would love to try this color myself in one of my own room makeover next time.

  • Gretchen
    August 24, 2012 at 7:20 am

    You are great on camera. These are really great spots! They make a redesign seem so accessible. Informative and entertaining!

  • Angeline
    August 24, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I love these videos! It’s informative to see the “one that didn’t work”, too – I’ve actually brought that sample home and found the same thing – that it reads more as a purple. I love that you shared the accessories that you brought in – so much great info! You all did an awesome job!

  • Annelies
    August 24, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I loved watching these. You seem so warm and at ease in front of the camera. Great job!

    As for the makeovers, my favourite is Lisa’s. That Very Berry shade is so exuberant and seems to match her personality very well. Pairing it with the orangey-red items is unexpectedly smashing.

    Greys are so hard to choose. They all just look grey on the swatch and then you get them on the walls and they look like an entirely different colour. I painted my office what I thought was grey and it came out looking rather green. Any tips on choosing a really neutral true grey?

    • Making it Lovely
      August 28, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      It’s best to look at all of the grays you’re considering next to each other, whether it’s swatches or samples painted on a wall. It’s easier to see if one looks blue or green or purple when you compare it to another.

  • Christine Drumgoole
    August 24, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I absolutely adore you in the videos. You are so calm and reassuring. My favorite touch was the collection of green glass. I have have quite the little collection myself. Great job, Nicole! I hope that this is a regular feature. I like how simple the makeovers are – my kind of revamp.

  • Girls Furniture
    August 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I am loving the color in the last room! I’m going to be moving into an apartment soon and I will probably be keeping Sea Spray in mind. :D Great job!

  • Emly
    August 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I watched all three videos- and just wanted to let you know that on Eliza’s video, when you clip to her talking, there is no sound when her mouth moves – only background music!

  • Tracy
    August 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I watched them videos and wow. Great results and you definitely look great on camera!

    I understand the time constraint, probably why you have to speak faster (?); but yeah, it’s GREAT. Anyone should want to hire

    Now I’m so inspired to paint :)

    • Tracy
      August 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Oops, I meant to write ‘Anyone should want to hire you as a host on a home improvement show’ :D Got deleted there :)

  • Lindsay - Shrimp Salad Circus
    August 24, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    As soon as I saw that big, colorful piece of wall art, I should’ve known it was CB2 because I totally loved it. Great post!!!

  • Kristín
    August 25, 2012 at 9:19 am

    awesome! Loved all three, I’m having trouble choosing paint for my bedroom, I want to do an accent wall. Want to come to Iceland to help me out? ;)

  • Jenna
    August 25, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    You did such a fabulous job! Picking paint colors is so hard because light is so different in every space; I can’t believe you picked them sight unseen! Wow! I’m totally loving the color in the last one. And that hot pink foyer is very amazing too! Shoot…they all look great!

  • Reesa
    August 26, 2012 at 12:04 am

    I like Lisa’s hair in the beginning!

  • Blenda
    August 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Nicole,
    Oh wow, you have been busy! The videos so interesting to watch! You look beautiful even while hard at work painting a room…enjoyed the helpful paint tips too, especially painting the W shapes on the walls. ~b

    • Making it Lovely
      August 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Oh, thank you. I just wish I would have been able to dress a little more like my usual self. I’m so glad you liked the tips though!

  • Anna
    August 28, 2012 at 12:08 am

    You are very pretty on camera! Loved the videos. I second and third that you should have for own tv show :) you have a great style. When can you do our house?!

  • Illuminations Lighting Concepts
    August 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration! Love it! :D

  • Jessie {My Mod Style}
    August 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    All are amazing! I am so glad that you get to do stuff like this! I have been following you for over 5 years now and love seeing how far you have gone! You are talented and I adore your blog. :) GO YOU!

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    January 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm

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