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


Will Taylor

Will lives in NYC and is an interior design author and content creator. He's been blogging about his love of design, style and travel since 2009. His #MakeYouSmileStyle approach to decorating and dressing has inspired over one million Instagram uploads to the hashtag from followers across the world.


  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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…

  3. Kelly Reade Reply

    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

  4. 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

  5. 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!?!

  6. 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 🙂

  7. 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!

  8. 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}

  9. 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

  10. 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!?! 🙂

  11. 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

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  13. 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!

  14. 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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Hey, I'm Will

Welcome to Bright.Bazaar, my make-you-smile style corner of the internet. I’ve been sharing my love of beautiful design, feel-good homes, everyday style, inspiring travel and, pretty much everything in between, since 2009. As well as working as a content creator, I write interior design books and edit a bi-weekly e-newsletter called Smile Mail. I live in New York City with my heartmate and can often be found listening to Madonna’s Confessions album and dreaming up my next home renovation project.