Airbnb Loft Makeover: The Weekender Makeover Series

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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!

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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


Airbnb Loft Makeover: Watch Below

This week’s episode of The Weekender, was really unique, because I actually found the space by renting it on Airbnb.  I was working on another Weekender makeover in Philly and rented this loft to stay in for the weekend. I fell in love with the space, but knew the Master sleeping loft could be so much better for the owner and also her guests. Like a total creep- I asked the owner if I could do a makeover for her and thankfully, she wasn’t creeped out, she was super excited.  A few weeks later, I was back, but this time with Matty V and all my tools!  Check it out!

This Weekender challenge was different for me… The space was already amazing and eclectic with so much personality, so it wasn’t that I needed to transform it- more like enhance it.

Loft Living - Exposed Brick and Beams. DIY Makeover from East Coast Creative

The master sleeping loft could barely fit the bed, and since I’d rented it, I knew first hand that if you sat up too fast you’d bang your head on the ceiling.  OUCH! Tall girl problems yes, but honestly it was so low that it was a pretty universal issue.

Master Sleeping Loft. DIY Loft Makeover East Coast Creative

 Then there was the stairs… I’m afraid of heights.  Not like get me a brown bag I’m going to hyperventilate, but definitely, I feel a tad nauseous and anxious.  The stairs leading up to the master sleeping loft had no railing whatsoever and went really high, so when I stayed there, I might have crawled up the stairs instead of walking.  Yeah, I’m super good at playing it cool.

Loft Living - DIY Loft Makeover from The Weekender with East Coast Creative

Basically, I needed to change the master loft to avoid further concussions and to up my cool factor by allowing me to walk up the stairs like a normal human.  Ya know, typical makeover goals right?!?

So here’s what we did…  

The slider below has lots of the items I used in this loft. Click on an image to get more product info!

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I designed a staircase railing that would look really cool, keep me from falling to my death, and also work with the asian inspired mural Keren and her mom had painted together on her wall.


We used 1×3 pine boards with all straight cuts, to create a modern grid handrail. When I say I “designed” it, what I really mean is that I had a loose idea in my head and then we just added wood and did what we thought looked right. I’m SO thankful for a carpenter partner that is okay with my design-on-the-fly style.




We painted the staircase with my favorite black paint Tricorn Black SW6258  but, we did something extra special and unique on the stair treads.  We used a Dremel Rotary tool with a grinding attachment to create a scalloped pattern on every other tread.  Keren, the homeowner, is quite an artist and was the perfect person for this creative project!


To create our pattern we used 3 different sized cereal bowls and traced the design, then we went back with the Dremel to create the pattern on the wood.


I’m skipping ahead of myself a little bit here, but I also surprised Keren by adding a bit of the same scalloped pattern to the platform bed headboard we made for her.


I love how simple this bed is- we just stacked 3 pine boards to create the headboard, but the scallop detailing gives it a more custom, unique feel.


If you watched the episode (I hope you did!) you saw that we extended the master sleeping loft into the unused storage space. This almost doubled the size of the loft and allowed us to tuck the bed at the one and and create a mini sitting area at the other.


We couldn’t raise the ceilings (although I have been known to raise da roof a time or two… umm actually no. Never. not even once. I’m a dork) so instead we lowered the bed. The mattress is actually sitting on the ground and we built a box around it and added a little 1×3 ledge so it looks like a true platform bed.  Now, the homeowner and her Airbnb guests won’t be hitting their heads on the ceiling!


A floor level platform bed is a great way to add some zen-like style to a space and it’s also super budget friendly. You save on needing a bed frame and extra linens like a bedskirt etc.  It’s simple and awesome!



We did a few additional things to the loft area for added privacy and safety. We used eye hooks and wire cord to hang sheer, white curtains around the perimeter of the loft.  When they’re closed like the photo below it gives a lot of privacy to the master bedroom, and they can easily slide open as well.


The loft originally had about a 6″ lip around the perimeter, but with Keren having a younger son and having guests up there, we wanted something a bit more significant, without fully closing it off.  We used the same wood that we used on the staircase and built a clean lined railing/knee wall.  Now, will this prevent someone from jumping over- nope, but it’s better than what it was before and it’s in line with the aesthetic of the rest of the loft.   For all the natural wood, we did use a water based sealant, to protect the wood.


We did one more easy, but cool project down below.  I was walking though Lowe’s just browsing- I do that a lot to just see new products and get inspired- and I spotted some outdoor wooden trellises. I immediately thought of Keren’s upcoming space and how easily I could transform them into a photo gallery for some of her amazing photography work.


It’s a super simple process, but you can click here for the tutorial I wrote for the Lowe’s Weekender Website.

This was a totally unique makeover episode and just spending the weekend in Keren’s amazing loft made me feel just a wee bit cooler.  If you’re ever visiting Philly and need a place to stay, check out her Airbnb listing– you’ll love it!


Don’t miss a single Weekender Episode- A New Ep airs each Thursday! Subscribe HERE to catch all 10!

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*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!*

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