Growing up in a small town, Melbourne’s Nicole Herrick saw first-hand just how resourceful her mother had to be. “My mum can make or fix anything – we call her MacGyver. We didn’t have access to many stores so if we needed anything she just headed down to the shed and made it,” says Nicole who was clearly inspired by this impressive role modelling. When she left home for university, Nicole asked for a drill and basic toolset for Christmas and, since then has amassed over 40 power tools as well as 16k YouTube followers who tune in to see her inspiring DIY home decor projects.
A graphic designer by trade, Nicole worked in the architecture and interiors industry as an in-house graphic design manager for many years. She now works as a photographer by day and when it comes to DIY, is entirely self-taught. “I’ve been uploading little tips to YouTube for over 10 years and only started taking it seriously about three years ago when I realised my videos were helping a lot of people make and fix things. I also saw the potential to earn a side income,” says Nicole.
“We’ve been told all our lives that the men need to use the power tools for us because they’re ‘too dangerous’ but that is complete garbage. It’s incredibly empowering the first time I use a new tool. There’s nothing like the feeling of being able to create absolutely anything my mind can dream up, without having to ask for help,” says Nicole.
Nicole recently put her impressive skill set to use converting her friend Mitra’s garage into a fabulous art studio. For inspiration, she researched warehouse-style art studios with a very simple style and set out to make the single-car garage feel as spacious as possible. To this end, Nicole painted the garage’s dark brick walls white and added some warmth with plywood and pops of green.
BEFORE: Nicole recently converted her friend Mitra’s garage into an art studio
AFTER: The former garage is unrecognisable!
“Initially my design didn’t include adding a wall or sliding door and windows but when I saw one for free on Facebook marketplace, I knew it would transform the space to become a ‘real’ room, not just a converted garage,” says Nicole. Incredibly, Nicole hadn’t ever built a wall and installed a sliding door before but a few YouTube videos showed her all that was required. “All I needed was a few studs, some insulation, plasterboard, external cladding, trim and caulking and the job was done!” says Nicole.
Studio storage was found on Facebook Marketplace and is comprised of second-hand wardrobes and cabinets that Mitra painted in the evenings. To bring all the mismatched furniture together, Nicole made custom leather drawer pulls and handles. The studio workbench was built by Nicole (it features legs found for free on Facebook Marketplace) and a giant pegboard acts as a display board for Mitra’s work.
Nicole working on the studio’s workbench
“My Youtube channel is DIY focused and all about creating, building and fixing things. From how to fix a toilet to full room makeovers, pretty much everything I teach I’m doing for the first time, so they get all the info from a beginner’s perspective rather than an expert. My mother always said that a woman can do anything that a man can do and that you shouldn’t let anyone tell you differently!”
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