When it comes to surprise home makeovers, nobody does it better than Nate Berkus and his friends. A few months ago, Nate enlisted the help of Thom Filicia of Style Network's Dress My Nest
to help him surprise a couple
outside Salt Lake City with a 60-minute room makeover.
"We had so much fun," Oprah says. "We asked celebrity designer Thom Filicia if he'd do it again." This time, Thom and a few friends from Lowe's are hiding out in front of an unsuspecting couple's home in Asheville, North Carolina—in the back of a truck! "We're outside the Libbys' house. They're so cute," Thom says. "Totally deserving."
Billy and Megan Libby are teachers in Asheville, North Carolina, who live in an 1,100-square-foot condo with their son, Nate. The couple is about to get a big surprise—but they think they're only asking Nate a decorating question via satellite. "Basically, we have one big living space and we have to have a dining area and a living area and a computer work space, and we just want to know how to define the boundaries in this one space," Megan says.
As Nate checks out the Libbys' dining and living rooms, he can see what the problem is. "Basically, you've got one big room and it has to do a thousand things, right? Playroom, dining area and living space," Nate says. "What we need to do is figure out how to actually define your spaces so that they function really beautifully for your family."
Nate tells the Libbys that his best idea is right outside their house. "I want you guys right now to go to your front door," he says.
As the Libbys reach the truck, the driver says he has a delivery for them. The door opens up, and Thom and his crew from Lowe's pile out of the back and overwhelm the unsuspecting Libby family. "This is crazy," Billy says.
After the chaos settles, Oprah tells Megan and Billy what the plan is. "Thom Filicia is going to make over your space before the end of the show," Oprah says. "Forty-two minutes. So this is a big undertaking."
In the last show, Thom only had one room to redecorate—this time he has two rooms to tackle! "We have been here for the last four days just working night and day going into every store in Asheville," Thom says.
Nate says Thom and his crew have been doing a ton of prework. "The last two weeks they've been staging and they've been in a parking lot and a warehouse," Nate says. "Trying to prepare for this."
While Thom and the crew are working, they set up a temporary living room in the front yard so the Libbys have a place to sit while the makeover madness ensues. As Megan and Billy patiently wait, the neighbors take notice. "People have started to gather around and ask us questions. You know, 'What did [you] do to get this?'" Megan says. "I'm in total shock."
Before, the Libbys' living and dining rooms were connected and had no boundaries to distinguish them. On top of that, their son Nate's toys were starting to take over.
"Here's what it looked like an hour ago," Oprah says. "Just functioning—1,100 square feet, three people."
After battling power outages, a small paint spill and a 42-minute time constraint, Thom and his crew put the finishing touches on the Libbys' home and are ready to invite them back in to see the results. "Libbys, dinner's ready!" Thom jokes.
The first major change was flipping the rooms. Since the Libbys need a dining room, office area, storage for Nate and a living room, Thom came up with a plan to make the most of their space. "[I moved] the living room to the smaller side, which [was] the dining room, because it sort of operates by itself," he says.
Since the condo doesn't have many windows Thom added another curtain to the interior wall to create the illusion of windows. "[It] also just makes the room feel more warm and inviting."
"I don't believe this," Megan says. "This is beautiful."
Thom decided it would be best to use a bench for one side of the dining room table. "You don't always need dining chairs at a dining table," Thom says. "This is a great way to make it kid friendly. [And] you always can squeeze in extra guests." Thom placed storage for Nate's toys behind the table.
He created the office space on the opposite wall from the table. "This is like your sort of the 'come, home grade papers, do all your business [area],'" Thom says.
"Awesome," Megan says. "Thank you so much."
See something you like? Find information on all products used in this makeoverNate surprises a deserving family with a manly makeover
Published on November 24, 2008