Waiting patiently for the right property to come up paid dividends for one couple. They loved the village they lived in and had a great circle of family and friends, so didn't want to leave the area.
'Eventually, our patience was rewarded when a house in the same village came on the market,' says the owner.' It was dated and badly in need of renovation, but with well-proportioned rooms and beautiful big windows, the house felt light and spacious. It had huge potential and was just the project I had been looking for.'
Another sublime makeover: Before and after: from a boring beige bedroom to a hotel-style scheme
'We started on the master bedroom first. The upstairs had a large landing which seemed like a poor use of space. There was also a family bathroom and separate loo,' says the owner.
'I wanted to move a few things around so we could make the most of the layout, and decided to cut costs by doing a lot of the work myself. I roped in my mum and dad to help and, with a little help from a local tradesman, we set to it!'
Get the look
In store only: Doors, skirting and architrave painted in Downing Street eggshell, £23 for 2.5ltrs, B&Q
In store only: Walls painted in White Hot emulsion, £23 for 2.5ltrs, B&Q
Together, they knocked through the loo wall which was next to the master bedroom and pinched some space from the landing to create an en suite. They then built a new stud wall between the two rooms and created a doorway into the bedroom, by taking some space from their son’s room.
'We stripped back and re-plastered the walls, reinstated the chimney and found an original Victorian iron fireplace on eBay for £70.'
'Our previous home had a country cottage style, but for this house I wanted a totally new look,' says the owner. 'I became obsessed with Pinterest and started to pull together new ideas. I really liked the simplicity of monochrome – it’s a great way of adding light and shade, but also practical.'
Get the look
Buy now: Similar Westbrook black metal bed frame, £249, Dreams
Buy now: Brunsta wire pendant shade, £16, Ikea
Buy now: Lack floating shelves, £11 each, Ikea
'With a neutral palette, you can accessorise the room with different splashes of colour, and change the look cheaply if you get bored,' she adds. 'I originally painted the walls white with dark grey woodwork but it wasn’t punchy enough, particularly around the fireplace. So, I took the plunge and bought a pot of black paint. Once I started, there was no stopping me!
'We wanted to create a feature wall behind our bed with a Cole & Son paper, but as it was £72 a roll, we decided just to paper the chimney breast instead. I really like the way it catches your eye from the doorway and adds depth and interest.'
Get the look
Buy now: Cole & Son Cow Parsley wallpaper 66/7046, £76 a roll, Amara
The owner started looking online and in charity shops for accent pieces to dress the room. She kept their old Ikea bed, but the drawers, wardrobe and bedside tables were all eBay bargains.
Kitchen transformation: Before and after: See how a narrow kitchen was transformed without an extension
'By painting the bedside tables black and changing the knobs, we gave them a new lease of life,' the owner recalls. 'Hanging some picture shelves gave us a cheap way to create an ever-changing gallery of our favourite photos and, to save money, I painted some old picture frames black.'
Get the look
Buy now: Chrissy diamond cushions, £8 each, B&Q
Buy now: Mosslanda picture ledge, £8.95, Ikea
Buy now: Original 1227 Brass Desk Lamp by Anglepoise, £250 each, Heal's
The owners added warmth with some lush green plants, and introduced cosy textures with cushions and throws on the bed.
Love a makeover? Before and after: this bathroom went from dated to statement
After only three weeks of hard work, the space was completely transformed. 'You simply can’t beat the excitement of stripping away the old and creating something new! I really enjoyed the challenge and now I’m excited about getting to grips with the rest of the house. Our next project is the kitchen, so watch this space!’
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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