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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

Hey Guys! This post is part of The Weekender Makeover Series.  A DIY Makeover web series in partnership with Lowe’s Home Improvement.  Subscribe to watch all 10 episodes and get project details using the buttons below!

The Weekender TV SHOW


Renter Friendly Apartment Makeover: Watch Below

This Weekender makeover was! Sheldon and Davida are a young, fun couple and I loved getting to know them.  So here’s the deal… Sheldon is a bartender at two cool Philly spots and Davida is a fashion blogger (you should check her out: VidaFashionista) AND… a Philadelphia 76ers Dancer- she’s spunky and crazy and has so much personality!


Sheldon and Davida live in a really nice rental condo, but it totally didn’t fit their personalities- it was basic, oversized, and lacked all the style of this cool couple.  Davida had to travel for work, so it was up to me and Sheldon to pull off this makeover and surprise Davida with the final result!

Here’s the transformation we pulled off:




Can you even believe that’s the same space?  It looked so completely different by the end of the weekend, and the kicker- This is a Rental and we didn’t paint a single wall! Now, I know it’s a bit bold and packed with colors and patterns, but that’s exactly what Davida and Sheldon wanted.

With each Weekender Makeover, we focus on 5 main projects to transform the space. Here were our top 5 for this room!

Project 1:  Peel & Stick Wallpaper

DIY EastCoastCreative Wallpaper Shelving

That red wall had to go, but we couldn’t paint… So, I covered it up with a really bold peel & stick wallpaper from Lowe’s.  Unfortunately the exact pattern I used isn’t available anymore, but there are some awesome options online! Sheldon was so note sure about my pattern choice at first, but once the wall was finally complete, he was totally on board.

I love how the paper totally changed the feel of the room and let me bring in lots of funky accents and color!

DIY EastCoastCreative FamilyRoom Armchair Pillow

It was really easy to install.  I shared my tips and process over on Lowe’s website. You can check it out HERE.

DIY EastCoastCreative Wallpaper Shelving Decorating

Project 2:  DIY Artwork & Pillows

DIY EastCoastCreative Artwork Pillows

Sheldon and I had some fun getting our craft on! Instead of buying tons of art and accent pillows, we made our own!

For the pillows, we used sample paints from Lowe’s mixed with fabric medium so that they became washable, fabric paint.  For the polka dots, we just used the end of a foam brush (perfect circle shape)

DIY EastCoastCreative Pillows Geometric Black&White

and then used the foam side of the brush to make abstract paint strokes on another pillow. It’s perfectly imperfect and only cost us about $7 each!

DIY EastCoastCreative Lamp FamilyRoom Pillows

For the artwork- we borrowed a zebra from the Philly Zoo… haha JK.  I bought that big canvas, but we did make all the smaller accent artwork.  I picked up a variety of frames from Lowe’s and ATG Stores and then got a bunch of inexpensive folders and gift bags from the dollar bin at Target.  All we did was choose patterns we liked and popped them into the frames.

DIY EastCoastCreative FamilyRoom Sofa CoffeeTable Rug Black&White Gold

For some we did a combo of two different patterns.  It took us about 10 minutes and the actual art cost under $5.00!

DIY EastCoastCreative WallArt

Project 3:  Upholstered Cornice

DIY EastCoastCreative Window Cornice

Having a big sliding door is awesome for natural light, but the conference room style blinds were not so awesome.  I wanted Sheldon and Davida to be able to still use them for privacy at night, but during the day I didn’t want them to be an eyesore.  We used plywood and cut the shape of a cornice board.  We padded it and then upholstered it with curtain panels from Lowe’s.  A few gold nail heads finished the look.  I added some sheer curtain panels behind it to hide the blinds during the day.  Davida was shocked that they were still there, just hiding!  I’m all for function; I just know that there are creative ways to make ugly stuff look good!

DIY EastCoastCreative Wallpaper LivingSpace Entertaining

Project 4:  Dresser Hack Media Unit

DIY EastCoastCreative Entertainment Unit Dresser Wallpaper

This project wasn’t rocket science, but might be one that you haven’t thought of before.  Instead of buying or making a media unit, we used a dresser!  All we had to do was swap out the hardware (which is optional, but really made it look less like it belonged in a bedroom) and drilled a few holes in the back for cords.  Now, the TV has a place to rest and Sheldon and Davida’s video games are all stored neatly- they’re both big gamers!

DIY EastCoastCreative Wallpaper Shelving Decorating PopColor

On either side of the media unit we hung open shelving that almost give the wall the illusion of a built-in wall unit.  We were allowed to put a few screws in the wall, but a full, built-in unit would have been out of the question in a rental.  I love the rental friendly version we came up with!

DIY EastCoastCreative Wallpaper EntertainmentStand

Project 5:  Painted Bookshelf

DIY EastCoastCreative Bookshelf

What to do when you want to bring color into a rental space, but aren’t allowed to paint the walls?? Paint lots of other things! We painted the back of this inexpensive bookshelf and it added a fun pop to the space. The perk to less expensive bookshelves is that the back panel usually pops off, making it really easy to paint and replace.

DIY EastCoastCreative Bookshelf Accessories Black&White

The bold color was an awesome backdrop for some accessories!

DIY EastCoastCreative Bookshelf Accessories

Just 5 main projects, some furniture and accessories and this rental was good as gold!  Davida loved the space and Sheldon won some serious points with his lady!

I rounded up all the products used in this makeover for ya. You can click on any image in the slider below to get info on it!

[print_responsive_thumbnail_slider id=”9″]

Here are some other details from the makeover! The furniture from Lowe’s and ATG was so unique and perfectly funky!

DIY EastCoastCreative SideTable Accessories

DIY EastCoastCreative CoffeeTable Black&White

Ghost Chairs

DIY EastCoastCreative FamilyRoom Seating Pillows EndTable

Their old sofa was comfy, but SO overstuffed that it took up a ton of space. We got an equally comfy new couch with nice, clean lines.

DIY EastCoastCreative Bookshelf Decorating Seating Pillows

DIY EastCoastCreative FamilyRoom Seating Entertaining

This is one of my favorite shots of the space It’s crazy to think that this space and be returned to the neutral, basic, rental style it started with when Sheldon and Davida decide to move (hopefully not any time soon though!)

DIY EastCoastCreative LivingSpace

DIY EastCoastCreative FamilyRoom Lamps EndTable Gold

I love this mug they had!

DIY EastCoastCreative BarCart Accessories

DIY EastCoastCreative Entertaining BarCart

DIY EastCoastCreative FamilyRoom WallArt Frames

DIY EastCoastCreative WallArt Pillows FamilyRoom

DIY EastCoastCreative FamilyRoom EndTable

DIY EastCoastCreative Bookshelf Storage

DIY EastCoastCreative FamilyRoom Bookshelf

DIY EastCoastCreative FamilyRoom Black&White Art Pillows

DIY EastCoastCreative Familyroom WallArt

What do you think of this rental makeover?  I’d love to know!


Don’t miss a single Weekender Episode- A New Ep airs each Thursday! Subscribe HERE to catch all 10! Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.53.50 AM*The Weekender Series is a paid collaboration with Lowe’s Home Improvement. I’m thankful for the brands that believe in the mission of East Coast Creative and support my work!*



The comments +

  1. Saundra says:

    I love the entire makeover. You are the queen of makeovers, especially budget friendly makeovers. It amazes me how you come up with such creative ideas, yet so simple. Keep doing what you do. I may need to call on your help one day.

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