January 3rd, 2012

Apparently this is Hazel’s house? Or maybe Hazel is a bit of a camera hog? Is it possible that this kitty likes to work it for the camera? Hmmm.

I have no excuse and will not apologize. I cannot resist photographing pets.


I had been crashing on Laure’s couch while we worked on the home makeover portions of Extreme Clutter this past summer. Production hours can be nuts and after a full day of creating pure magic and transforming cluttered homesteads into places that were both organized and stylish, we would stumble into Laure’s pad and pretty much pass out. So, when the second season wrapped up, it definitely felt like time to tackle Laure’s 450 sq.ft apartment – which might have suffered it’s own touch of the neglect style clutter. You know, seeing as Laure was working all day, every day for months on end and I was making myself at home in her living room.

Check out some of this BEFORE action for reference.

Now scroll back up to those afters. I’ll wait.

See? That was amazingly fun.

Over the course of a day or so I helped tackle (what my terrible with names brain is calling) a No-Cost Makeover of Laure’s living room and bedroom. We reused the furniture and things she already had in the apartment, pulled a couple things out of her storage and then fairly quickly the whole apartment functioned better and felt way more cohesive with just that basic rethinking of the floor-plan and restyling of her accessories. So, in total, we spent about $40 at Home Depot for a smattering of plants and a couple light bulbs. Cheap, quick and good-looking to boot. In the end everything came together so well that I’ve been testing out this makeover idea and love how quickly a space can transform with a couple layout tweaks and careful editing. Sometimes it takes someone with a fresh pair of eyes, ruthless ability to edit down all your crap (with fantastic taste, obviously) and style it all up to pull that space together.

The No-Cost Makeover : One room. One day. Solving those big design problems with the things you already own.

Sound like fun? Maybe something you might need at your house? I think this could be kind of amazing, but need to figure out the having time issues. I’ve been super slammed and now my house is suffering the neglect clutter. To the EXTREME.

Maybe if I can get past the shame of it all, I might share my dirty secret. The clutter. All that clutter!

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  1. kim on 01/03/2012:

    wowEE. you guys done good. great mix of stuff and yes, nicely edited. looks terrific. i love that white succulent planter.

  2. Kara K on 01/03/2012:

    Love everything about this apartment, and your photos are beautiful. Time for me to do a little work in my house… first up, I really need to get a cowhide rug.

  3. Bandita on 01/03/2012:

    looks AMAZING 🙂

    the biggest issue i have with rearranging (which I just recently did and am loving it) is the extra “stuff” that usually ends up homeless afterwards.

    i guess that’s the area i need help in so i can trim down on clutter and find a different place for all that stuff.

  4. Erika on 01/03/2012:

    Love it all! where are those curtains from?

  5. Tara on 01/03/2012:

    I would hire you faster than you can say no cost makeover.

  6. Suzy8track on 01/03/2012:

    Wow! Really looks great! Now I need to tackle my own clutter!

  7. Marije on 01/03/2012:

    Love it, love it, love it all. Such an inspiration for our future house.

  8. Heather on 01/03/2012:

    I’ve been testing out a 2-day makeover here in Minneapolis, with a small budget–about $200/room for new/needed things–and through experimentation have come up with some of the issues/hassles. Happy to share if you’re interested!

  9. Desi on 01/03/2012:

    Looks amazing. Plus, I’m a huge fan of Hazel’s. She is so damn awesome.

  10. carey on 01/03/2012:

    yes, YES! can you come to my house??

  11. Christina M on 01/03/2012:

    Ooh I love this. Any idea for the source of the curtains in the bedroom? I love the pattern.

  12. Susanne on 01/03/2012:

    As always, you are the best. The decorator of decorators.

  13. Deda on 01/03/2012:

    Love both of the new curtain patterns actually – what are they?

  14. Lisanne on 01/03/2012:

    Where are the sconces in the bedroom from?

  15. eliza on 01/03/2012:

    oh my glob! it is LITERALLY gorgeous.

    i would LOVE for you to come edit my space. but i’d have to pay you in handknits and coffee and stuff. and i’m most of the country away from you. but if neither of those things sound like problems to you, LET ME KNOW. because i am so down.

    the point of this comment is: good job, you.

  16. Anna - Canoe Design on 01/03/2012:

    What a stunning transformation – I love it!

  17. Gaidig on 01/03/2012:

    So inspiring!

  18. Elizabeth on 01/03/2012:

    Hazel is clearly quite at home- what cat wouldn’t want to be showcased in a room like that? So airy and bright. Well done!

  19. Lisa Congdon on 01/03/2012:

    Morgan, this is STUNNING. I love everything about it.

  20. modernhizzaus on 01/03/2012:

    I want everyone to take note that me and Lisa Congdon’s comments ARE TOUCHING EACH OTHER….so we’re pretty close I guess.

    I love this business idea. I think most people want to buy what they like on their own (not with a designer), but then need help sorting out a floor plan and putting it together in a deliberate way. Laure’s place totally illustrates that. I think it’s amazing and looks at least twice as big as 450 sq ft. Also I think people have design blindness in their own homes and need someone else’s help.

    You can provide this service at a distance, no? From photos and emails and Google sketch up? Are you divulging your rates??

  21. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/03/2012:

    No long distance, it just gets too complicated. It was to be in person…but I also need to have time to be in person…

    Few months, perhaps? Also, I want your table…so. Yup.

  22. jamie on 01/03/2012:


  23. Kate on 01/03/2012:

    What are those bedside lamps? They are exactly what I have been looking for.

  24. Caitlin on 01/03/2012:

    So good. So so good! Any chance you know where her cowhide rug came from? I’m assuming it’s a flea market find but you never know 🙂

  25. Hayley on 01/03/2012:

    Amazing! I am in LB and need a low/no cost home make-over. Please put me on your info list for when this becomes a thing! Cheers!

  26. Christa on 01/03/2012:

    A national couch surfing/home restyling reality TV show – pitch it, woman! Start with my house in Berkeley, and bring your dogs.

  27. Chedva on 01/03/2012:

    I’m scrapping my jaw from the floor – it’s BEAUTIFUL.
    Do you happen to know the source of the curtains?

  28. Fat Cat on 01/03/2012:

    I’m speechless… This is the most beautiful interior (and photos thereof) I’ve ever seen. You can be really proud !

    Oh and please tell me : where can I find some vintage macramé for my plants ?

  29. cathy on 01/03/2012:

    Wow! This is beautiful.
    Drooling over the white canoe planter. Can you divulge the source?

  30. Karen on 01/03/2012:

    I need a low cost source for a Cado wall unit. The ones from dealers on eBay are out of my budget. Private party ones are often too beat up to consider. If you run across one in SoCal, let’s talk…

  31. cathy on 01/03/2012:

    Amazing job! This is beautiful.
    Drooling over the white canoe planter. Can you divulge the source?

  32. Blythe on 01/03/2012:

    Wow. This space is amazing. I love the use of color and texture so so much! This is the perfect time of year for a zero cost makeover, thanks for sharing!

  33. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/03/2012:

    Curtains are West Elm and Ikea, but I believe they no longer carry them.

  34. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/03/2012:

    Bedside lamps were CB2 – think they are gone, oh and the planter is vintage…thrift store maybe? Vintage shop?

    I actually have a black and a white one here at my house. I see them around a lot. Check etsy or ebay, there must be tons.

  35. Monika (MB Captured) on 01/03/2012:

    Wow, this is gorgeous. Some really great inspiration. Xx

  36. Chris on 01/03/2012:

    Do you happen to know the maker of the drop leaf dining table?

  37. meg on 01/03/2012:

    It’s true that while some folks have utterly fabulous taste, they are just a bit unsure how to design functional living spaces. This is a PERFECT example of beautiful form following practical function — always my favorite type of makeovers! (Love the carefully edited vignettes, too!)

  38. Mariela on 01/03/2012:

    Great makeover, love it!, have a nice day.

  39. Jay on 01/03/2012:

    wow, i love the curtains they have.
    i need to get myself some new house plants from home depot.
    the lighting in the house is gorgeous!

  40. coutch on 01/03/2012:

    this is after??? There is no where at all to not see at least 5 or 9 tchotchkes…. totally against the grain, stuff there for the sake of ‘stuff’…. sad!

  41. Shannon(8foot6) on 01/03/2012:

    WOW! Do me next!

  42. cathy on 01/03/2012:

    Coutch, if you’re most comfortable with spartan, enjoy that. But there’s no reason for you to be rude because some of us happen to like living with plants or books or pottery. That’s not “stuff for the sake of stuff”. That’s life.

  43. Kris on 01/04/2012:

    Looks amazing!!! Please add me to the wait list for your skills and services! (ps Laure, Hazel is simply awesome)

  44. Myles Henry on 01/04/2012:

    It’s amazing how good this apt looks. Nice work

  45. Jules on 01/04/2012:

    The day books and plants are stuff for the sake of stuff is the day I check out. I can’t imagine a life without either.

    Morgan, I think this looks amazing, and I think it’s a good idea. I do not, though, think you have the spare time to do it. You’re a busy woman, woman. Besides, Laure has awesome stuff. What if you ended up with someone pedestrian, like me? Not so much fun-time awesome.

  46. Ilissa on 01/04/2012:

    Love the turquoise and chartruese patterned pillow on the couch! Any ideas on where I can find one like it?

  47. work it morgan!

  48. abby on 01/04/2012:

    I was wondering if the curtain change was your doing.

    I’m so excited for you to do mi casa!

  49. Reva on 01/04/2012:

    I love the no cost idea, but it only works if your home and basement is already filled with fabulous furniture, textiles, non-linoleum flooring, light filled rooms, awesome paint choices, etc.

    Also, kitty!!

  50. Jennifer on 01/04/2012:

    My mom does this as a biz in the sweet city of Fresno. Big hit and HUGE differences can be made in a short time. People luv the idea of using their own stuff (low to no cost), minus her fee. Fresh eyes, editing and of course design sense makes a world of difference. I say do it…and let’s start with my living room

  51. Jen on 01/05/2012:

    Curious about that bed. I am looking for a low-headboard bed and would love to know if this particular bed was a DIY solution or purchased somewhere? Your blog is an inspiration, btw.

  52. Brian Bosworth on 01/05/2012:

    Great style, Love the plants!

  53. Virge Piersol on 01/05/2012:

    Never apologize for pet photos.

    I’m trying to declutter from the combination of old vintage stuff, my parents’ estate items that didn’t get claimed by family, too much teak furniture, obsolete files, bad organization, etc.etc. It’s a BIG job and I’m not young. Your evolving house and other projects and your wit continue to inspire me.

  54. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/05/2012:

    Jen – bed is from Modernica.

  55. Susamn B. on 01/06/2012:

    It looks just like your house…actually I thought it was your house. Is that style or a rut?

  56. Carlson Homes on 01/06/2012:

    This apartment looks beautiful, as well as the photos you’ve taken of it! Great work!

  57. lisa w. on 01/06/2012:

    Really stunning and inspirational! Truly helps to have a trained eye like yours know how to take all the elements and put them together just right! You can sleep on my couch anytime if this is the trade!! My question is, where did the computer/desk setup wind up?

  58. tracy on 01/06/2012:


  59. Mary on 01/06/2012:

    I can’t believe someone would actually say this home looks exactly like The Brick House AND say it as though it were an insult! And daring to ask if you are in a rut! I have yet to see one curtain hanging in your home (love them in this home) nor have I seen an abundance of greenery at the brick house (not for lack of you trying). Where is the captain? Yes, modern and danish-isn’t the love of those styles what draws many of us to your blog? Both homes are beautiful and inspiring! Thanks for sharing. I say if this is a “rut” please put me in one asap!!

  60. elle on 01/07/2012:

    Incredible. I want to live here. I’ll even take care of the cat for you?

  61. Open house blog, NOrway on 01/07/2012:

    I LOVE this apartment and your photos,
    Is it ok if I show them on my blog?

    best wishes
    Open^house blog, Norway

  62. Tonia on 01/07/2012:

    LOVELY! I love everything about this- it’s comfy and live-in-able while being fresh and stylish at the same time. Can you come to my house? 🙂

    We have an awesome built-in in our living room that we love, but it takes up an entire wall and therefore there is little wall space left for our couches…making the whole room feel weird and cramped. I know there must be a solution, but we haven’t come up with an arrangement for the furniture that works yet.

  63. M smith on 01/08/2012:

    Love the whole house. Now why cant my kids keep my house that picked up? lol

  64. raquel on 01/08/2012:

    love the house, and really, really love Hazel. What breed is she?

  65. bigBANG studio on 01/08/2012:

    gaaaaah. so beautiful. SO, so beautiful. well done, you two.

  66. John on 01/08/2012:

    If for nothing else, THANK GOD you got that Nelson lamp hung properly.

    ;^ )

  67. TX Sarah on 01/09/2012:

    I went berserk this weekend and tried to replicate this apartment. It’s that good.

  68. Iris on 01/10/2012:

    Me! I live not too far from you and my house already has some pretty neat stuff. I’ve just had a hard time putting everything together. Might be a perfect match!

  69. Jess on 01/10/2012:

    I love the colours in this place! Also love the idea of makeovers using things you already have, it’s really all about what you do with what you have, isn’t it?
    I would totally sign up for your services but your fee would have to include airfares to Australia, haha.

  70. Julie-white tapestry on 01/11/2012:

    I think it looks so great, the lightness and the colors blend so nicely together.

  71. Pippa on 01/12/2012:

    Love this home, especially the plants!

  72. John on 01/12/2012:

    Looks sweet Morgan. A wide angle shot of the room would be nice to compare it to though. I agree about the curtains, they do add a lot. The organic pieces and plant life add some warmth to the room too. Simple changes can make a big impact! I need to work on it. I’ve been picking up some nice pieces, I’ve just got to work on placement some more!

  73. Chris on 01/14/2012:

    It looks fantastic! Very nice!

    Also, if anyone else was wondering it looks like the gate leg table is by Bendt Winge (Norway).

  74. Stephen on 01/14/2012:

    Billy balls, sheepskin, and a streamlined couch = so good. Cats frighten me though! :X

  75. Laura on 01/14/2012:

    looks really nice.

    what kind of cat is that? cute!

  76. Lisa Kellner on 01/15/2012:

    I love how you re-styled this space. I was wondering if you knew where the couch is from! Great Job! lk

  77. Melissa on 01/17/2012:

    I love her sofa. Do you know what kind of sofa this is called and where I can get one?

  78. Jennifer on 01/23/2012:

    Very inspiring!! Makes me want to dig around here and see what we’ve got. Thanks!

  79. Sketch42 on 01/23/2012:

    My house is suffering too. We fight the perpetual clutter battle at my apt. ARGGGG

  80. dana on 02/16/2012:

    Late to the party as I just found this….but seriously a wonderful change. Add me to the list of people who would also pay for this service….it is SO hard to be objective with one’s own things/space!
    I think you should take Hazel to all your projects, photograph, and then do a coffee table book. “Hazel at Home(s)”

  81. Lisa on 02/20/2012:

    Where did the rug in the office area come from? It’s gorgeous!

  82. Lilly on 03/09/2012:

    What an amazing home!!

  83. Anja on 04/07/2013:

    I would really like to know where you have bought the white ceramic pot?

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