Space of the Week: The 50-Minute Home-Makeover Artist

When I heard about Noa Santos’s design business, 50forfifty (, it sounded like a great idea: $50 buys you a 50-minute (more like 60, Noa says) design consultation at your apartment, where Noa recommends design solutions, moves furniture, and suggests layouts and shopping resources. “The 50 minutes are about getting as much done as possible, which is surprisingly a lot,” he says. If you decide to work with him further, Noa charges $50 an hour. As you can see here with Noa’s own apartment, a two-bedroom rental in Murray Hill that he splits with a roommate, “bold” is the operative word. Noa worked the flea markets and thrift stores to find most of his furniture and art. The living room’s scroll coffee table, striped rug, and side tables are all from Housing Works. The sofa is from City Opera Thrift. The custom-made throw pillows were done with fabric from Mood. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Noa found the gold frames at Angel Street Thrift in Chelsea and decided to fill them inside and out with vintage postcards he found on Photo: Wendy Goodman

As all good decorators know, it’s all in the details, and I appreciated the lovely presentation of sweets and berries laid out for my visit. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Who doesn’t love a huge mirror? Especially in a gold frame! This one was found in a friend’s basement in Connecticut and given as a gift to Noa. By placing it on the floor in the living room, he creates the impression of a portal into another room.Photo: Wendy Goodman

Noa painted each of the side tables flanking the sofa with corresponding designs. They are a perfect shape and height for side tables. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Post-war apartments are pretty unforgiving in the design-details department, as these light fixtures demonstrate. So if you can’t beat ’em, Noa says, join ’em with an array of plates that will eventually spread over the wall.Photo: Wendy Goodman

Noa’s bedroom wall is covered in tear sheets from collected magazines. Photo: Wendy Goodman

His mattress rests on shipping pallets that also serve as a shoe closet. He found them at Photo: Wendy Goodman

Noa’s roommate, Shane, prefers a more subdued palette in his bedroom. The walls are painted in two-tone gray and white. The lounge chair was found at Vintage Thrift and the carpet at Stark Carpet. The lampshade was bought at that bastion of design ideas, TJ Maxx. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Space of the Week: The 50-Minute Home-Makeover Artist