My ‘Hot Mess Express’ Makeover TV Segment on Good Morning America

Last week was one of the biggest moments of my career to date: I hosted a design makeover TV segment for America’s most watched morning TV show, Good Morning America. The segment was called ‘Hot Mess Express’ and you can watch it in full, here. It was a huge moment for me as I’ve only ever presented for online content, never for a national primetime show watched by millions of people. Gulp! I was super nervous before we kicked off filming last Monday but within minutes of entering the apartment it was go, go, go so there was no time to be nervous or think about it! Teaming up with one of GMA’s anchors, Lara Spencer, I was given a tiny budget and just 48-hours to transform the ‘hot mess’ bedroom of a 28-year old actor from Queens, Lisa. As you can see from the before image in the slider above, the room is tiny. Lisa had no where to sit and do her make up, zero storage, dark and oppressive walls, and cables all over the floor. It was quite literally the definition of a hot mess! So while Lara headed out to find a vintage mirror, I got to work on repurposing what Lisa already had to help makeover the space on a budget. Click through to read about the transformation in full!GMA-hot-mess-makeover-half-height-paint-trick-2My first design trick to transform the space was to paint 2/3rd height soft pink walls, leaving the ceiling and top 1/3rd crisp white. Pink is very of the moment (Pantone included it as one of their Colors of the Year!) but it’s also chic and sophisticated when pared with dove gray and fresh white shades. By only painting 2/3rds of the way up the wall it visually ‘raises’ the ceiling giving the illusion of added space. I can’t stress enough how doing this really did appear to double the size of the room. The producer, cameraman, sound team and so on just kept standing there in disbelief at how different it looked – it was quite funny!GMA-hot-mess-makeover-half-height-paint-trick-3My next trick was to rid Lisa of her furniture that was falling apart and replace it with pieces that were both stylish and practical. A leading shelf meant there was minimum stricture to the piece, which helped keep the light flowing freely and the eye moving through the space without obstruction. I love how the dark gray finish contrasts with the gentle pink.GMA-hot-mess-makeover-half-height-painting-trick-4The paint makeover I gave to the wooden dresser that Lisa’s had since she was five is one of my favorite elements of the space. When I arrived the piece was unloved, stuffed full of things and had drawers that wouldn’t close. In a simple three set process of sand, prime and paint I took it from drab to fab. Isn’t that ombre drawer effect just awesome? It was a hit on set, for sure!GMA-hot-mess-makeover-half-height-paint-trick-4As there was just the single window in Lisa’s room I wanted to maximise on the natural light it offered. With the 2/3rd height walls offering a design statement, and subtle pattern introduced via the Moroccan souk-style rug, I was keen to keep the window dressing simple. A simple gray pom-pom stitched along the edge of each curtain panel was just the effortless design touch to elevate the drapes from everyday to something special and personalized.GMA-hot-mess-makeover-half-height-paint-trick-5The addition of two mirrors (the one seen above and the one Lara found in the segment) were a must for helping to open up the room and bounce light around the space.GMA-hot-mess-makeover-half-height-paint-trick-7Given the tiny budget and tight timeframe I am so thrilled at how the space came together – thankfully, Lisa loved it too! It was such a pleasure working alongside Lara and the team at GMA, I learnt so much and really enjoyed it! The icing on the cake? When the GMA folks surprised me by revealing the cover for my second book, Bright Bazaar’s Dream Decor live on a huge screen in Times Square at the end of the segment. I screamed so loudly! Haha! What do you think of the makeover, folks? Which elements of the space are inspiring you?GMA-hot-mess-makeover-half-height-paint-trick-8


  • Reply Betsy February 21, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Congrats, Will! The room looks amazing – and all the tips are 100% doable by amateurs, which isn’t always the case in these kinds of segments/shows! I’m inspired to find trim for my white bedroom curtains now too 🙂

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 21, 2016 at 11:37 am

      @Betsy – I’m so pleased you think so as that was our aim! Hope your hunt for trim goes well! 🙂

  • Reply Robin Pulsifer February 21, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Hi, I’ve been following your blog for a long time and just wanted to say, as I follow your successes (and the fun you are always having) that I am so happy for you! You deserve it! Keep going…

  • Reply Jenna February 21, 2016 at 11:21 am

    I saw this!!! You were amazing! Loved the room!

  • Reply Kevin February 21, 2016 at 11:26 am

    So proud of you Will! The transformation looks incredible.

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 21, 2016 at 11:39 am

      @Kevin – Cheers! It was such an amazing project to be a part of!

  • Reply Harriet February 21, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Will! That is amazing…Times Square, wow!

  • Reply Kelly Reade February 21, 2016 at 11:34 am

    I DVR’d it especially so I could see you. That paint idea has inspired me to try it in our home! Well done. xo

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 21, 2016 at 11:40 am

      @Kelly – Love that! It’s such a great way to raise the ceilings.

  • Reply Carly A. Heitlinger February 21, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    you’re a natural! amazing job!

  • Reply jo February 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    So pleased it was such a success. I cant watch the video on my phone but I’ll check it out later. I love the colours in the room and the redo of the unit is gorgeous. Just goes to show how you can change everything with colour, paint and just a bit of finesse. Great post Will.
    Jo xxx

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 21, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      @Jo – Totally agree, it is amazing what repurposing what you already have can lead to! Thanks for the kind words!

  • Reply Eleni | My Paradissi February 21, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Wow, Will, the after result is AMAZING! Congrats 🙂
    You rock America dear! xoxo

  • Reply Libbynan February 21, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Gosh,Will, seeing you on TV was really a rush. You are a true natural. I could see you becoming more and more relaxed and easy. And the transformation was really amazing and doable. Then the huge advert! How great was that!?!

  • Reply Fiona Duke February 22, 2016 at 5:09 am

    you are like getting really famous now Will !!!!! how on earth do you have time to do this blog too ??
    you are an inspiration

    the room looks brilliant – fav bit is the chest of drawers transformation but also the wall paint is very effective.

    prime time TV – there seriously is no stopping you and why not – go for it 🙂

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 22, 2016 at 11:06 am

      @Fiona – Really kind of you to say so, thanks! Glad you liked the painting tips for the chest and walls, too.

  • Reply Valentina February 22, 2016 at 8:56 am

    WILL! OMG! I am so excited for you! GMA and your book in Times Square? That is amazing! Painting the wall 3/4 of the way was a brilliant way to add space and light into the room. Sadly, the video will not play in Copenhagen, but I’m certain you were amazing on film!

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 22, 2016 at 11:07 am

      @Valentina – I know! I screamed when that happened! Thanks so much for your kind words!

  • Reply Molly {Dreams in HD} February 22, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Oh my goodness Will what an amazing accomplishment! And how exciting to have your book cover released in Times Square – too cool.

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  • Reply mary beth February 22, 2016 at 9:51 am

    A-Mazing Will! I would love if you and Lara had a TV show, Pretty Please. Thank goodness your book is out, love the cover. Just in time for my birthday, Whoop

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 22, 2016 at 11:10 am

      @Mary Beth – So happy that you like the cover, more to come on the new book very soon!

  • Reply Josh | The Kentucky Gent February 22, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Congrats on the new book cover! AND I love the hack above painting 2/3rds of the wall to extend the ceiling. Definitely a life saver in some apartment situations.

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 22, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      @Josh – Isn’t it just great? A total game changer for small spaces! Thanks for kind words re: my book cover, too!

  • Reply Matthew February 22, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    I remembered to turn on the TV just in time to catch your segment; I was so excited to see you! Congrats on doing a fabulous job!! When will I be seeing your own HGTV show!?! 🙂

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar February 22, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      @Matthew – I’m so glad you caught the segment, thanks for watching! 🙂

  • Reply Alexandra February 22, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Love the result. Didn’t know you were on TV. Look for your book.

  • Reply Niamh February 22, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    How wonderful! Congrats x

  • Reply Maureen February 23, 2016 at 7:43 am

    So Happy for you Will! Good things are coming your way because you send them out as well – love your tips & Congrats on your second book! Going to buy that one as well, all the best! Maureen x

  • Reply Alison February 23, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Amazing news! Congratulations to you! The room looks super sweet now.

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  • Reply Monica @ Life Out Of Bounds March 11, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    That was brilliant! I am just catching up with many e-mails and just saw this. I thought it originally was a teenage boy’s room, which you turned into a girl’s! Haha! Love the idea of painting the walls 3/4 height, it makes the floor-to-ceiling space look higher! What a transformation! Great job on the dresser, too. Congratulations on the new book!

  • Reply Monica Aguinaga March 16, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Will! This is absolutely fabulous! I’ve been following for YEARS and it’s amazing how far you’ve come. Your talent is unmeasurable!

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