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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

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I hope you’ve loved The Weekender so far! I can’t believe this is the last episode in the first season, but a little break doesn’t sound awful… it’ll give me time to dream up more DIY projects!  This episode I headed to help out a local photographer that had recently moved her business into a brand new (to her) studio.  Olivia is a lifestyle photographer with amazing style, and her studio space was begging for a little facelift to better match the vibe of her business. Check it out!

Studio Makeover: Watch Below

The space already had some amazing features to work with, like hardwood floors, high ceilings, and exposed beams, so we didn’t have to renovate much, we were more focused on filling the space to meet her needs and creating a strong sense of style.  Olivia wanted a space with a blend of mid-century, rustic, and organic styles.

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I think we did a pretty good job together!

There’s a ton of good stuff in this space- we didn’t even get to talk about all of it in the episode, so I’ve linked to just about everything in the slider below. Click an image to learn more.

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I love this modern fan and how the light wood contrasts with the dark ceilings.

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Olivia wanted a space that she could use to bring clients over for meetings and to collaborate with other creatives, so  we needed to put the open concept space to better use. And yes, while we all love morphing into the puffy recliners,  we had to part ways from those hand me downs and bring in some new, furniture to match this contemporary studio feel.

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We brought in a lot of new furniture, use some vintage pieces Olivia owned, and then hacked a few pieces too! One of my favorite hacks is using a pre-existing piece of furniture, but totally transforming it into a piece that actually looks like it cost hundreds of dollars, when it really only cost a few bucks, like this farmhouse coffee table for example…

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This table started out as a pretty generic coffee table, but with just a few pine boards and some paint & stain we gave it a completely new look.   Click here for the full tutorial for this hack on the  Lowe’s Weekender Website.

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The vintage style rug was perfect to define the viewing area- it’s available in a few different sizes too.

And, this accent table was one of Olivia’s favorite pieces

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I bought in a bunch of wood elements including the Timberwall peel and stick accent feature that I created behind her TV. Timberwall is one of the coolest new products on the market. It’s peel + stick people!

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You can install it a million different ways, but I went with an irregular vertical pattern to flank the TV. The result was contemporary and rustic – Olivia loved it!

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What’s unique about this studio space is that it’s basically a small-scale home, with a kitchen & living/dining area; the previous owners used it as an in-law apartment.  Olivia didn’t need a full kitchen, so we removed the upper cabinets and replaced them with open shelving and DIY storage cubes.

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This basic shelf got a fun facelift with some eye hooks, rope, and copper fittings.

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The key to open storage is to not over-clutter.  One of the best things about it is that you can really let your space showcase who you are and what you love. In Olivia’s case, from the moment you step into the studio, you instantly get the sense that she’s a modern-day photographer.  Look at these cameras!

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Literally the coolest collection of cameras I’ve ever seen! Unique little vintage finds like this really make a space that’s so much more special. Oh yeah, and plants. Lots of plants.

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Because Olivia is constantly meeting with clients and setting up shoots, I wanted to give her a meeting space, but with a twist.  We nixed the typical conference table and went with the modern farmhouse table instead.

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Combining different stains and textures of wood really brings a unique vibe to a space while still maintaining a cohesive look. I’m a huge fan of these chairs– they’re brand new, but look like a salvage find.

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Did you know Lowe’s sells 4×8 ft whiteboard panels? They’re the best! We framed this one out with pine and used metal brackets to accent the corners.  This is the ultimate office organizer- perfect for a calendar, to do lists, and planning meetings! I need one of these in my life stat!

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I was pretty jazzed up that Olivia had some really unique mid-century pieces I was able to work with.

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Working in a photography studio was a fun way to mix things up a bit. It’s a different type of space from my normal Weekender projects and I loved the end result.  Olivia was the most cheerful, try-anything Weekender homeowner!  Make sure to check out her photography here– girl’s got skills!

-Mon

Don’t miss a single Weekender Episode Season 1- 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!*

The comments +

  1. Vanessa Mathews says:

    Hey Monica,
    I work at a Lowe’s store in Coeur d Alene, ID and I love The Weekender! Your creativity of taking anything we sell in our stores and turning it into a design element is amazing. This show is such a great tool to show our customers that they too can make a table or redo their bathroom. Thank you so much for giving us such great ideas to help people ” Love where they live”. 🙂

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