In a heartwarming birthday surprise, a woman named Madison Malaga showcased her interior design skills by transforming her sister Rylee’s small 200-square-foot New York studio into a luxurious haven.
The entire makeover was documented in a TikTok video, amassing a staggering 4.7 million views after going viral.
Malaga, determined to make Rylee’s move to the Big Apple extra special, spared no effort in the eight-hour-long transformation.
The TikTok caption reads, “Surprising my little sister on her birthday by decorating her first NYC apartment.”
What’s more, the work didn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Malaga says in the video, “We did have to get thrifty with the decor, so when I saw these flat pieces of wood in the trash, I thought they could be awesome as floating shelves.”
Her resourcefulness extended to repurposing discarded materials, navigating a New York City hardware store and creatively tackling unexpected hurdles.
Malaga recounted their journey, saying, “We covered up her gray floors to the best of our ability and then hung some of my favorite Roman shades using a scrap piece of wood because we did not have a tape measure.”
The duo’s ingenuity extended to art as well, freshening up the walls with chic hangings that, too, were inexpensive.
“We saw these beautiful wood frames, but did not have any art for them, but knew we had recently thrifted this book, so instead just ripped some of the pages out from the book and hung that,” Malaga says.
In the 200-square-foot space, creative solutions became paramount.
Malaga explains, “We wanted to create separation between the bedroom and the living room, so we found a track system and hung a flat sheet that would create the separation but would not take up any square footage.”
The video, originally showcasing an empty apartment, seamlessly transitions to the final product — a stunning, fully furnished living space.
Viewers expressed their amazement in the comments section, with one user writing, “I would cry if someone did this for me, good job! 💕”
Another exclaimed, “My jaw dropped at the reveal!!!! Insane,” while yet another praised the duo’s space utilization: “200 sq ft!? You guys made great use of the space!”
Mary K. Jacob