This dated 1980s bungalow has been transformed into a laidback Californian-style home

Despite a tight budget, this dated 1980s bungalow has been modernised into a relaxed Californian-style home in the heart of Yorkshire

A white living room
(Image credit: James French)

This four-bedroom bungalow built in the 1980s in East Yorkshire was bought by the homeowners in 2019, and being on a tight budget didn't stop them from turning the dated bungalow into their dream home. By getting creative and watching videos online to learn new skills, they've created a beautiful home to be proud of.

Layout-wise, all the rooms lead from an L-shaped hallway. One side opens into the living, dining, and conservatory areas, which have a partial wall and central fireplace to create a divide between them. The kitchen and utility room lead is accessed from the dining area. On the other side is the couple’s bedrooms, study, and family bathroom.

The kitchen

'With plans to extend in the future, we repurposed our existing kitchen ideas instead.  The cabinets, worktops and walls have all been professionally wrapped in vinyl by a company called Cover Styl. It has been a complete game-changer. I can’t believe it’s the same kitchen!' says the homeowner.

'Going from dated red gloss cabinets to timeless combination of black wood & marble has completely changed the feel of the space, and there’s now continuity with the rest of the house'.

'We changed all the appliances and sink, and removed the wall cabinets, replacing them with a stylish cooker hood and floating shelves'.

A kitchen with black vinyl-wrapped cupboards and open shelves

(Image credit: James French)

The living room

'We fit faux beams to the ceilings to hide old light fittings but also to add character and a natural element in the living and dining areas. The brickwork has been exposed and limewashed, and faux beams added across the ceiling to add character and a natural element to the living and dining areas'.   

'The dark window frames create a striking contrast against the linen curtains and softer shades in the room. The black elements used in the lighting and furniture help to unify the space'.  

‘We opted for a more minimal approach when it came to the furnishings, with the aim of keeping the space pared back and clutter free. I like to create balance.’ 

A white living room with faux wooden beams and minimalist furniture

(Image credit: James French)

The dining room

'We took inspiration for our dining table from something we had seen on pinterest, adapting an Ikea desktop with an MDF base overlaid with vertical lengths of doweling.  We are delighted with the result and it looks so professional!'

 'Wood-beams, exposed and limewashed brick and the double-sided wood burner help to unify both the living and dining areas. We love entertaining in this space now - the updates have created a little social hub'. 

A country-feel dining room with a circular black dining table

(Image credit: James French)

'A white Ikea cabinet has been upcycled with black paint and black gaffer tape to help tie it with the rest of the room. Sometimes the simplest changes can be the most effective.’

A black glass-fronted cabinet with a white chair in front

(Image credit: James French)

The master bedroom

A bespoke headboard has been fitted along the length of the back wall to add a touch of comfort and luxury.  The walls have been painted in a soft grey, lime-based chalk paint giving the walls texture and depth. 

A bedroom with a panelled headboard

(Image credit: James French)

The guest bedroom

 'The guest bedroom embraces the simplicity of contemporary Scandi design.  The pared back birch furniture and linen-dressed bed make you feel instantly calm and relaxed'.

'We created a handy nook for a small desk in a section of the old wardrobe, with panelling and a shelf for storage'.

A guest bedroom in pale tones

(Image credit: James French)

The hallway

'Hallways can often be over-looked, but as its so central to the layout, I wanted this space to feel consistent with the rest of the house'. 

'Lengths of wood have been added to the ceiling to create a contemporary, Scandi-inspired look. It has a visual impact the minute you walk through the front door. Adding artwork and mirrors to make it feel more spacious and light'. 

A hallway with a wood panelled ceiling

(Image credit: James French)

Whether your hallway is long or small, we have plenty of inspiration for upping its style credential on our hallway ideas page. 

Get the look

Homeowner Q&A

We sat down with the homeowners to gain a little more insight into their house renovation process.

 Why did you choose this property?  

'As first-time buyers we were keen to find something we could develop over time, ideally in a quiet, rural spot. We had been renting locally for two years, keeping a keen eye on properties that were coming onto the market. This four-bedroom bungalow was perfect. We loved that the rooms were well proportioned and logically laid out on one level. It had a generous footprint, large back garden and bags of potential to extend and add value.’  

 What condition was the property in?  

‘The property had been built in the 80's and although it needed updating, wasn't in bad condition. The majority of the house had been decorated top-to-toe in magnolia and was bland and lacking character. In stark contrast was the jazzy red kitchen, which I'm sure would have been the height of fashion in the early 90's, but really was a sight to behold!’

‘Unfortunately, we had a big set-back while we were waiting for the sale to go through, the North had a severe cold snap and the water tank froze, causing the pipes to burst and flood the entire house. There was a lot of water damage which had to be addressed before we could think about anything else, and this ate up a scary amount of our renovation budget before we had even moved in!'

 What work have you done? 

'The priority was to remove the old water tank and replace it with a new combi boiler which was relocated to the utility room. The main bathroom was re-fitted, with extra space created by the removal of the water tank allowing for a shower and small bath. An ugly old fireplace has been removed, brickwork revealed and limewashed, and a double-sided log burner fitted which serves both the lounge and dining area. The kitchen and utility room have been given a full makeover, with the existing doors and worktops professionally wrapped with vinyl from Coverstyl'.  

 What have been your biggest challenges? 

'Aside from the flood before we'd even got the keys, our biggest issue has been working with a very limited budget. This was squeezed even further with the onset of the pandemic which had a huge negative impact on our income, and really pushed up the cost of labour and materials. We were forced to reassess our plans for the house and become more creative with ideas, swapping structural changes for more achievable aesthetic alterations. We also realised we could drastically cut costs by taking on the work ourselves, obsessively researching what was required for each stage, and watching hours of DIY tutorials online'. 

What have you gained from the process?

'Every step of the way we have gained new skills, and despite the steep learning curve, our confidence has grown, and plans have become bigger and more ambitious. At the start of the renovation, we began an Instagram account, @mishkashoe, to document our journey and use as a forum to share ideas. Fast forward three years and our account has blossomed and I have taken on a full-time role as an interiors Content Creator - it's opened so many new doors!'

What are you most proud of? 

'For complete novices, not knowing much about renovations and learning along the way, we have created a home full of warmth and character that makes us very proud. We've really thought about how to mix rustic, natural and modern elements in an understated and uncluttered way. I think the house now has a real sense of calm and continuity, and a unique, high-end look that hasn't broken the bank. It's better than we could have ever envisaged!'

With contributions from