Architecture Decor Interior

Lindsay’s North Side Apt. Makeover

This is Lindsay’s 375 square foot apartment on the North side. A few years ago when she rented the place, these before photos give a you an idea of what it looked like! Despite the space being a little rough looking, she decided to rent it anyway. At the time she wanted an apartment close to her job and within walking distance.

There are people in NY that will completely give their rental a makeover but it’s not so common in Pittsburgh unless you own your home. I really admire Lindsay for taking on the task of creating a comfortable space for herself. She did an excellent job with the help of her friend Thatch. You can see in the after photos there is a beautiful brick wall hiding!

Typical dingy Pittsburgh attic.



The stove, sink, the wood countertop and fixtures are from Construction Junction.

by Ayanah Moor

by Lindsay O’Leary

She has a great collection of artwork , these pieces are just along her stairway.

by Lindsay O’Leary

by Keny Marshall

left by Shannon Knepper and right is by Michael Cuccaro

by Lindsay O’Leary

Lindsay loves tiny figurines. This one is on her stairs.

by Tom Sarver

by Katherine Young

She turned her attic into a bedroom, even though it’s small and you can’t stand up all the way, it’s so cozy and warm looking.

A little nook that was built for her computer and books.

by Anne Angyal

This is Eli
I want to thank Lindsay for inviting me over to her lovely home and showing off her space.

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  • Reply
    March 15, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    fantastic space and kudos to Lindsay for creating such a warm, inviting atmosphere…the North Side is a bit better w/ her work and ingenuity

  • Reply
    March 15, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    Whoa! I hope they knock off the last few months of her rent because that place went from gross to amazing. It’s such a hard balance to strike because the only return on investment in a rental will be your temporary enjoyment of it. The landlord will reap the benefits of being able to charge more rent after you leave, and you will have to start over. But damn that is a lovely apartment!

  • Reply
    Julia Gongaware
    March 15, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    holy wow. seriously impressive stuff.

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    Katie V.
    March 15, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Stunning! Lindsay has an extraordinary eye. Lucky landlord 😉

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    Courtney D.
    March 15, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    What a transformation! Such a wonderful, inviting space now. It kind of gets the mind moving as to what I can do with my own apartment.

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    March 15, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    The last time I visited Lindsay, she had only completed about half of the rehab. It was amazing then, and now… completely stunning! Darlin’, you rawk!!

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    March 15, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    what an amazing makeover! cheers to the impeccable taste in interior design. i totally feel inspired

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    March 16, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    so great!!! the love and thoughtfulness of lindsay’s remodel really comes thru the pictures…

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    Lynn Hunter
    April 22, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    You are a wonderful encouragement to be and do as lead by you inside creativity. Hopefully at 60 I can do the same. Thank you

    • Reply
      June 14, 2013 at 6:36 PM

      Hi Lynn! I’m sorry I didn’t notice this till now, but just know that you _totally_ can do it, too. All it took was a few trips to Construction Junction, a helpful friend, and watching a ton of how-to videos on YouTube. Start with little projects to build up confidence… You Can Do It!

  • Reply
    lori bower
    April 25, 2013 at 7:08 AM

    Beautiful job. I love it.

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    April 25, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    I’m curious how she worked out this arrangement with the landlord, as the article says she rents the place. Is she getting a credit toward her rent for rehabilitating the place? Did the landlord impose any restrictions on her when she said she wanted to renovate? Did she pay for the new appliances etc. herself?

    • Reply
      June 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      Hi there! I’m so sorry I didn’t see these comments till now. But here’s how the rental deal went down:

      The place was a wreck when I first moved in — and the landlords knew it so they rented to me cheaply and with the hope I’d fix it up a little (but I don’t do anything halfway, so I fixed it up a lot!).

      My landlords reimbursed me for the cost of raw materials and gave me modest credits for doing the labor (i.e., $100 for reflooring the kitchen with cork). The kitchen — by far the most expensive room — cost a total of $2,000 mostly due to replacing the subfloor and adding a cork floor. The attic was only a few hundred — mostly for good insulation. I paid for any colored paint myself (I figured that was a personal choice/taste kind of thing). I reused as much as possible. They began by renting it to me for $350/month.

      I’m very thrifty, so the owners didn’t have to pay too much. The sink was $5, the stove was $23, and the bowling ally lane counter was $150 (all thanks to Construction Junction).

      In fact, they just sold the house and it looks like it sold on the first day it was shown and for more than twice what they paid for it back in 2006. I hope the new owners love that little back apartment as much as I loved making it livable again.

  • Reply
    Paul Mc
    May 9, 2013 at 8:38 AM


  • Reply
    May 16, 2013 at 7:02 AM


  • Reply
    June 14, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    #1 Thanks for all the lovely comments, everyone! #2 I’m sorry I just noticed these posts now. I’m obviously bad at the internet. #3 Not that anyone asked, by my ancient 22-year-old cat, Eli [in the last photo up in the post], is loving his new residence and my partner jokes that he’ll keep on living through Hilary’s 2nd presidential term. #4 And, yes, yes, I miss my old little quirky apartment.

  • Reply
    November 14, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Wow! What a fantastic job! Really great change and reuse of a drab property.


  • Reply
    January 31, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    Aww, you had me at 22 yr old cat. Long Live Eli! (both Eli the Cat and Eli my Dad.)

  • Reply
    NEXT Up: Lindsay O'Leary - NEXTpittsburgh
    February 1, 2015 at 3:24 PM

    […] of web communications and social media at Carlow University, an MBA student in the evenings, a remodeler of quirky living spaces and an artist/glassblower, Lindsay O’Leary is carless, clumsy and happily living with her […]

  • Reply
    c. ware
    December 7, 2015 at 4:05 PM

    Lindsay I love what you’ve done with your apartment. I’ll be renovating a house on the northside soon and would be delighted if your available for hire. Please contact me.

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