Monica Mangin wears many hats: DIY expert, TV personality, entrepreneur, wife and mother. Back in 2011, she started a blog called “East Coast Creative” and soon found herself making guest appearances on shows like “Live! With Kelly” teaching viewers how to make their homes more beautiful — even on the smallest budget. Mangin now has a series with Lowes called “The Weekender” where she transforms a space with five projects over a weekend. We chatted with the Bucks County native about how she got her start and how to tackle a home makeover.
How did you become a DIY expert?
Trial and error [Laughs]. I started off as a DIY blogger seven years ago and was just crafting projects in my own home. We had young kids, no money and I really wanted a house that I thought was cool. So my best friend and I just started doing a lot of projects, started a blog and I realized that I was passionate about doing that. From there our blog took off. Our first appearance [as DIY experts] came with "The Nate Berkus Show." I did four guest appearances on that and was like, “Wait they are telling me I know what I am doing? Maybe I know what I am doing.” Really it was just starting in my own home, trying things out and it kinda grew from there into my career.
I didn’t know you started the blog with your best friend. How has that been?
I did. It’s kinda funny. We started our blog as “The Real Housewives of Bucks County.” It was very tongue-in-cheek. We were like, “This is just for us. No one is ever going to look at it.” Then it kinda blew up and we were on TV. Then we got a very sweet letter from NBC Universal saying we can’t use that name. So we switched over to “East Coast Creative” about a-year-and-a-half in.
Is Jess still involved?
Jess and I worked together on the blog for four years and we hosted a DIY show on ABC together for two years, and after that she decided to go the stay-at-home mom route and sent me off to do my thing. We obviously still talk all the time about our projects and what we are working on, but we just have different career paths now.
Where do you find inspiration for a space?
I really try to talk to the homeowner as much as I can first. If I am working with someone as a client, I want to find out what their deal is, what are things that are going to make them excited. But if I am going into a space and it is for me, color is huge. So I decide what color direction are we going in. Are we going bright and bold? What kind of statement are we making with the color? Then I think of what style are we going for. Are we going mid-century modern? Are we going traditional? Are we going modern farm house? My style will dictate my furniture. And then after that, it's things like accessories.
The next episode of Lowes “The Weekender” will be available for streaming on Youtube on Thursday, August 25.